From Singapore to the world! The Singapore Pavilion is back as part of this year’s Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), the region’s leading entertainment content market, presenting over 1,170 hours of quality content from Singapore and Asia produced by local showrunners.
Over 190 titles across multiple genres take centre stage, connecting local talent to global audiences. Inspire and be inspired. Come nd us at Asia TV Forum & Market Booths F06 and H08, at the entrance of the market oor.
Deep End A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts Love Punch Third Rail Tropic Tales Love at First Bite This Land is Mine The Great Wall with Ash Dykes 123 Number Squad Mr Midnight www.imda.gov.sg/SMF2022
CELEBRATING ASIA'S STORIES WITH THE WORLD S A S S I A 'S D W E WO R L IT H THHE T 24 NOV 11DEC 2022 ATF Front Cover Artwork 2 165x245mm CMYK Op 2.ai 1 09/11/2022 8:51 PM Brought to you by THE 2022 OFFICIAL + ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY two 8DEC WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY
01 CONTENTS 08 33 01 16 HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS DEVELOPMENT EXCLUSIVES MARKET 55 63 NEW IPs 2023 FEATURES 25CONFERENCE An Event of Hosted by EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION TEAM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Lulu Mendoza WRITERS Dinesh Pasrasurum, Priscilla Hendriks, Suhaimi Sainy, Adrian Kuek, Selina Tan CONFERENCE WRITERS Lim Jun Xi, Marcus Goh DESIGNER Shellen Teh PHOTOGRAPHY Artgraphy PROJECT MANAGEMENT GROUP PROJECT DIRECTOR Yeow Hui Leng SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER Joyce Chua PROJECT COORDINATOR Jocelyn Phng BUYERS RELATIONSHIP EXECUTIVE Samantha Lee RELATIONSHIP COORDINATOR Bridget Tong EXHIBITORS & PARTICIPANTS SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Phua Meenyi ATF CONFERENCE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Lulu Mendoza ASSISTANT CONFERENCE PRODUCER Leris Leong MARKETING MARKETING DIRECTOR Teo Hui Hiang MARKETING MANAGER Candy Cheah MARKETING EXECUTIVE Priscilla Hendriks DIGITAL ASSISTANT MANAGER Aye Min Thu DIGITAL EXECUTIVE Liew Bi Liang OPERATIONS OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Karen Leong OPERATIONS MANAGER Chua Lai Soon SENIOR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE Karen Liew Co-located ASIA, WINNING FORMATS TRENDING GLOBAL TRENDS, WINNING FORMATS DEC 8 @ MAIN STAGE 1.30pm Introducing the most interesting and ground-breaking IPs & Formats from Asia Bringing the world to Asia, this session presents the latest & best picks of global Formats. Michelle Lin APAC Manager K7 Media Avril Blondelot Head of Content Insight Glance - Médiamétrie DEC 8 @ MAIN STAGE 2.40pm Later today...
DEC 8 @ MAIN STAGE 4.15pm K-FORMATS Brought to you by Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) A SHOWCASE OF OF KOREA’S OF KOREA’S NEXT BIG HITS A SHOWCASE OF FORMAT SUCCESS How a good concept and production can give mileage to an idea for decades. SECRET SAUCE OF DEC 8 @ MAIN STAGE 3.40pm (L-R) Naoko Yano, Producer, Old Enough!, Nippon TV | Yuki Akehi, Director and Head of Marketing, International Business Development, Nippon TV | Daniel Heng, Executive Producer, Mediacorp (looking at the Singapore version of Old Enough!) I WANT Drama – Series REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM South Asia, Middle East, Americas, Europe I WANT OthersJapanese Anime REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM East Asia, SEA Şehnaz Uğur Content Acquisitions Manager Ema
Manager Content Acquisition – Anime NEW BUYERS NEW BUYERS Merzigo Netflix HIGHLIGHTS Later today... NEXT BIG HITS
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY two 8DEC TRENDING WINNING TOP BUYERS Asia’s top buyers look at what influences their buying decisions. DEC 9 @ MAIN STAGE 11am Aaron Mascarenhas, AVP, Content Acquisitions & Partnerships, MX Player Jaehee Hong, VP, Content Acquisition & Partnerships, Rakuten Viki Kim Hongki, Acquisition & Distribution Group Leader, Wavve | Director, Studio Wavve Tom Gennari, CEO, BB Media (Moderator)
Senior Researcher K7 Media The latest updates on some of the biggest Asian kids’ franchises. PLUS! DEC 9 @ MAIN STAGE 12.15pm DEC 9 @ MAIN STAGE 10.30am ASIA, ASIA, DRAMA DRAMA WINNING WINNING TRENDING TRENDING Presented by Avril Blondelot, Head of Content Insight, Glance - Médiamétrie Coming to you tomorrow morning...
SEE YOU @ ATF 2023 6 TO 8 DECEMBER 2023 MARINA BAY SANDS, SINGAPORE www.asiatvforum.com
SVOD IS DOMINATING, BUT PAY TV ISN’T GOING AWAY
• SVOD now dominates most markets around the world
• In the homes, customers are shifting viewing from linear TV to online alternatives
• But homes that subscribe to pay TV won’t simply disappear
BY TONY GUNNARSSON, PRINCIPAL ANALYST, OMDIA, TV, VIDEO & ADVERTISING
After a decade that has seen SVOD truly reach the mass-market on a global level, in 2022 online video has begun experiencing a degree of maturity not seen until today. While subscriptions are expected to continue to grow in real terms for years to come, annual growth rates are likely to be in the low teens or even in single digits over the coming years. And now at the start of a global economic recession, in some markets, households are cutting down on the number of SVOD services. Faltering growth rates for SVOD— and in some instances increased churn rates— has resulted in a nervous industry.
Most dramatically, the world SVOD market leader Netflix is shifting its key business model away from pure paid subscriptions to a hybrid ad-supported model.
Even though online video subscriptions overtook pay-TV subscriptions globally in 2020, come 2027, there will still be more homes with pay-TV subscriptions than online video subscription homes (at 1 billion vs 790 million). The reason for this is that most online video subscription homes will subscribe to more than one SVOD service: On a global scale, Omdia estimates the average number
of services per SVOD home to be 2.42 services (in 2027). By contrast, virtually no homes subscribe to more than one pay-TV service. According to Omdia’s current forecasts, the total number of SVOD homes are unlikely to overtake pay-TV homes on a global level until some point in the 2030s. At the same time, this transformation of households—from pay-TV to SVOD—will happen in most mature markets over the next few years. In 2027, only two regions of the world will remain dominated by pay-TV: Eastern Europe and Africa.
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY two 8DEC
In China, SVOD subscriptions overtook pay-TV subscriptions in 2021. But with an average number of SVOD services per SVOD home at 1.80, there are still more pay-TV households than SVOD households. At current projections, SVOD homes are unlikely to overtake pay-TV homes before the 2030s.
Pay-TV has significant staying power in Japan: The market will have virtually the same number of pay-TV homes in 2027 as it had a decade earlier (2017: 17.9 million, 2027: 18 million). But even so, the market experienced digital cross-over of subscriptions relatively early, in 2019. In 2021, SVOD homes overtook pay-TV homes. At the same time, SVOD homes in Japan have been slow to self-bundle, with average number of services per home staying below 1.40 until 2019. From 2020 onwards, Japanese SVOD homes are rapidly increasing the number of SVOD services they buy concurrently. In 2022, the average is 1.87 services per home; by 2027, it will be 1.85.
While streaming in India captures most headlines, for the vast majority of homes, pay-TV remains the main source of entertainment. Like elsewhere, SVOD subscriptions will catch up with pay-TV eventually, but at current forecasts it is unlikely to happen until 2028—2029. In India, the average number of SVOD services per SVOD home is relatively lower than many other key markets: In 2022, it is 1.25, putting it in the lower end of global ranks.
Like South Korea, pay-TV is still in growth in Indonesia, and traditional pay-TV services will remain a significant part of Indonesian household entertainment for years to come. Indonesian SVOD market has been through a turbulent first decade, with a fair degree of consolidation. At current forecasts, streaming will overtake payTV by subscriptions in 2027. However, in 2027 there will still be more homes with pay-TV services than SVOD: In 2022, there are 14.1 million SVOD homes in Indonesia. On average, each home buys 1.30 SVOD services. By 2027, the number of homes will have grown to 20.4 million, with an average of 1.36 services.
Pay-TV is still a growing market in South Korea, and Omdia expects payTV subscriptions will continue to grow through to 2027. By contrast, SVOD has been very slow to take off in South Korea. Prior to 2020, few South Korean homes bought more than one SVOD service at the same time: Self-bundling of SVOD was a niche. For South Korean homes that currently buy SVOD, self-bundling is now the driving core trend. The average number of services per home is expected to nearly double between 2020 (at 1.20) and 2027 (to 2.33).
Australia is experiencing a slow but steady rate of decline in pay-TV, that will see the total number of pay-TV homes drop below 10 million by 2026. Meanwhile, SVOD subscriptions gather pace: 22 million in 2022 is expected to exceed 30 million come 2027. In 2019, SVOD subscriptions overtook pay-TV in Australia, and SVOD homes are now set to overtake pay-TV homes by 2028. Australian SVOD homes are frequently buyers of multiple SVOD services: The average in 2022 is 3.18 services per home. In 2027, the average will have grown to 3.81 services per home.
EXCLUSIVE For more info, please do contactTonyGunnarssonTony.Gunnarsson@ovum.com
I WANT Drama -
REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM East Asia, Southeast Asia I WANT Pre-SchoolAnimation REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM East Asia, South Asia Chin Su San Assistant Vice President, Acquisition
International Acquisition Director
is a global research leader, formed in 2020 through unifying the depth and breadth of expertise from InformaTech’s legacy research brands:Ovum, IHS MarkitTechnology, Tractica and Heavy Reading.Omdia has decades of industry experience, world-class research and consultancy, and actionable insights in over 200 markets.
Historical Period Drama
NEW BUYERS NEW BUYERS ASTRO-MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn. Bhd.
Beijing Time Flying Fish Culture Media Co., Ltd
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We’re all ready for ATF, and we can hardly wait to see everyone and catch up on all your news. This year is our first chance since 2019 to exhibit in person, and TBS is very excited to present our broadest-ever content portfolio, especially our lineup of unscripted formats.
Love by A.I. is a reality dating show we spent over a year developing with Craig Plestis, producer of The Masked Singer, now in its eighth season on Fox in the US. In this completely new format, a state-of-the-art AI app matches couples and dictates everything from where they go on dates to what they talk about. Will this smooth the path to true love? To find out, keep your eyes peeled for this daring new experiment in dating!
Two decades after its debut, Waku Waku Animal Land has been rebooted in the Netherlands as a panel quiz show featuring quirky questions on animal behavior. It’s already winning hordes of new fans and achieved the strongest ratings for the channel NPO3’s daily family timeslot in years, with viewer numbers up by 78%.
Actor vs. Reactors is a totally new reality game show combining the best elements of two genres: prank show and imposter search. A group of participants spend a day sightseeing, but wherever they go, pranks are played on them. The group includes a secret imposter—an actor who is in on all the pranks and faking their reactions. To win a prize, the participants have to identify the imposter.
2 Many Chefs! is a hilarious in-studio cooking game show where teams compete to cook the best dish and win a cash prize. Each team consists of one complete novice and one master chef. However, the master chef is blindfolded, and not allowed to do any cooking. The dish is prepared by the novice, working alone and guided only by verbal instructions from the master chef.
The Muscle Door is a social experiment reality show about ordinary young men desperate to acquire a strong, muscular physique. The show follows their two-month journey of physical transformation, culminating in a heroic attempt to heave open the three-ton Muscle Door.
For the details of the unscripted formats above, please visit us at booth B12-12 at ATF. Looking forward to meeting you!
SEGAWA, Manager Global Business, TBS
ASIA: TOP 3 WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF TITLES
BY BB MEDIA
Asia is quickly increasing its content offer; being the third continent with the highest number of titles, preceded by America and Europe. When analyzing how it managed to get there, it was found that during the third quarter of 2022, Asia had 667 streaming services offering a total of 453,052 unique titles (which 344,804 are movies and 108,248 are series).
The streaming platform with the most titles in the region is Rakuten TV with
52,842 titles, followed by Naver (38,287), U-NEXT (29,322), Seezn (22,468) and Wavve (22,164). An interesting insight is that most of these streaming services offer the most distributed titles in the continent; these titles are: “Mission: Impossible”, available in 123 streaming platforms, “Assassin’s Creed”, available in 121 streaming services and “Fight Club”, offered in 120 streaming platforms.
An important genre in Asia, specifically in Japan, is Anime. In the Q3 2022, 2,172 anime
titles were monitored and a fact to highlight is that there were more series than movies of this genre. These types of titles can be found in the following streaming services: Amazon video (1,307 titles), U-NEXT (1,178 titles), Rakuten TV (1,157 titles), Amazon Prime Video (700 titles), Docomo (673 titles) and more.
Download BB Media’s full report on STREAMING INASIA —A breakdown of platforms, supply, and demand (50 monitored countries, Q3 2022)
Media is aWorldwideAward-Winning DataScienceCompany, specialized in Media & Entertainment for over 35 years. It monitors over +4,000 streaming services across 240 countries, their prices, plans, bundles, and commercial offers. Plus, all their libraries of movies and series, including normalized metadata. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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A quick snapshot of streaming catalogs in Asia at Q3 2022
MEET US AT BOOTH NO. B20 7-9 DECEMBER MARINA BAY SANDS
SINGAPORE’S BELIEF: THE FUTURE OF CONTENT CREATION IS VIRTUAL PRODUCTION
The global virtual production market size is projected to reach US$5.1 billion by 2027. Recognising the market’s promising growth potential, Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is investing S$5 million to support Singapore’s media industry to develop capabilities needed to harness virtual production technology. The announcement of the Virtual Production Innovation fund was made by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Mr Tan Kiat How, at the opening of the Asia TV Forum & Market | Screen Singapore (ATF | SS) yesterday. Specifically, the IMDA will support virtual productions for short-form content (between 3 to 10 minutes), such as music videos, short films, brand commercials, amongst others, with selected projects receiving funding of up to 50 per cent of the project’s cost.
Virtual production is already widely used and has been seen by millions in productions such as Lion King, and Mandalorian. For a country like Singapore with limited sites for on-location shooting and space to build extensive sets, virtual production technology offers a work around the physical limitations. The technology uses LED screens to display realistic background environments for television or movie scenes powered by a video game engine, so that the camera is able to capture actors and visual effects in real-time. It offers the ability to mix live footage and computer graphics at the same time, enable real-time feedback, and make decisions on the set about the VFX and animation. In short,
productions are no longer captive to issues such as location, road closures, location fees, and permits, as well as the weather, set construction and space rental.
Mr Justin Ang, Assistant Chief Executive, Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, IMDA, said, “The development of virtual production technology in recent years now allows us to create visual effects in real-time without physical set production and with that, overcome the limitations of space, scale and complexity. The impossible can be made ‘possible’, limited only by the imagination of our filmmakers. We are excited to see more innovative and compelling stories resulting from the use of virtual production to strengthen Singapore’s position as a hub for content and IP creation.”
In addition to a financial injection, the IMDA is also investing in human capital by developing talent skilled in virtual production. A partnership with the National Film and TV School (NFTS) in the United Kingdom will see 15 Singapore media lecturers, trainers and industry professionals receive hands-on bespoke training at the NFTS’s virtual production facilities, including virtual lectures. A series of industry-led masterclasses and workshops, conducted by international virtual production experts, will also be lined up over the next year. Guest speakers from virtual production front-runners XON Studios, ROE Creative Display, and Disguise, will conduct hands-on demonstrations and cover topics ranging from best practices in virtual production workflow to creative applications of various technologies in storytelling.
Assistant Chief Executive Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
I WANT Drama - Family REGION I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM Southeast Asia
NEW BUYERS GSAT Global Satellite Technology Services, Inc. I WANT Docs & FactualHistory & Civilisation REGION I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM Central Asia Mirbek Kasimov CEO NEW BUYERS Nomadmen Media + ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY two 8DEC
Philip Chien President & CEO
Junxiang Film Producer
ZHAO WEI FILMS PTE LTD
I enjoyed the range of pitches for their variety and tones and think the stronger pitches sought to convey important themes or messages to its broad audience in a time of much conflict and discourse. This year showcased some incredible talent and fantastic projects.”
I thought it was great to see the issue of mental health as a primary focus in a number of projects. The last few years have been difficult for people of all ages, and I believe we can certainly do more as an industry by bringing such issues to the fore and discussing it openly. Climate change combined with themes of working together for a common goal and friendship were also quite visible, which was nice to see. * Special mention goes to X.O Bots, which was also quite nice and could easily have made the list * Note: Each Shortlist Judge had separate batches to choose their top projects from.
ATF ANIMATION PITCH Catch Finalist Judges Shortlist Judges Finalist Projects
Aoudomphan Content Partnerships Manager True Digital Group Soumini Sridhara Paul Senior Vice President Hungama Digital Media Entertainment
VP VODPPV & Komin
Managing Director Kartoon Channel! Worldwide Rahrang Studio Director: Hossein Valian Iran POISON APPLE Dottodot Ltd Art & Creative, Biz Dev, Mgmt, Prod: Chun-Chien Lien Taiwan METAL CICAN HelloMotion Korporan Indonesia Chief of Master
Wahyu Aditya Indonesia
Jari Vaara Art & Creative: Jari Vaara Japan
118 Paperboat Design Studios Pvt Ltd Director:
MIMING & FRIENDS Miming and Fwends Animation Studio
Chief Creative, CG Generalist & Animator: Jose Ramon Vicente Del Prado Philippines
Brenda Bisner Chief
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY two 8DEC 12.35pm EXCLUSIVE iNSiGHTS ON KiDS @ DEC 9 @ MAIN STAGE 11.40am ON STAGE Brought to you by
Darren Nartey Acquisitions Manager, Films & Kids
ASIA’S TRUMP CARD LIES IN TALENT GROWTH
A wind of change is sweeping across Asia post-pandemic as the world pursues the region for content, collaborations, and consumers. Three media executives from the region weigh in how they have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, and reflect on the shifts and emerging trends in the Asian market.
Justin Deimen, President of 108 Media, described the effect of the global gridlock as “a tale of two halves but with a similar ending”. He explained, “In the beginning, the company had to change gears and move into different kinds of projects, financing, and creative decision-making. There was a lot of wait-andsee. Then, just as the lockdowns came, it lifted just as suddenly. Here’s where the second half comes in – too many productions, with too few resources and manpower available.”
Co-productions and co-financing projects are increasingly becoming chartered routes to efficient investment and risk-management, deepen the rewards, and overall sustainability of the industry. “We’re starting to see the equilibrium and cadence of consumption and production easing back – not to normal – but to a new standard that aligns with the financial clarity of the current market which is snapping back,” Justin added.
Regional co-productions are not new occurrences, reminded Samir Sarkar, awardwinning film producer of Magic Hour Films. They were already happening pre-pandemic, albeit at a slower pace. Post-pandemic, the shared drive to make up for lost ground and the potential of an untapped burgeoning consumer base have fast-tracked partnerships within Asia, while sounding a calling card for collaborations from beyond the region. “The world is today looking at Asia inquisitively and therefore is curious to know more about its unique ideas and narratives. It’s how we put them across to global audiences,” said Samir. For this to happen, Asian content creators must pay attention to the universality of their stories, while keeping it local and fresh.
Vani Tripathi Tikoo noted that traditional structures of storytelling are being deconstructed and reimagined as digital becomes the mainstream. The actor, producer, and board member of the Central Board of Film Certification of India, spent her time in limbo revisiting scripts and going back to the drawing board to tailor narratives in response to an evolving marketplace. “I see realistic storytelling as the new normal in our part of the world. The advent of OTT is the biggest opportunity to be able to reach a wider audience and create intrinsic storytelling as the new content creation paradigm,” she said.
The flourish of streamers in the region have also seen shifts in distribution and production. Platforms are venturing into co-producing with each other to share windows, or co-producing with producers and sharing rights. This could spell the end of the longstanding dynamics of take-it-all commissioning, as Justin sees it. “Production costs have only risen, and production quality has to now compete with
international content while platforms have to start looking at alternative revenue sources, so they have to start looking at actual licensing of their original content on the open market.”
Justin has also noticed larger companies courting regional talent, specifically, producers and production executives with working experience on non-traditional projects of lower budgets and familiarity with diversity in front and behind the camera. He believes that Asian storytellers have the chops to strike it out on their own and compete on the global stage but pointed out that the region’s talent requires a deeper bench of support, beyond just a small handful of gatekeepers. Justin continued, “Asia has brilliant creative minds, but it needs younger, and more dynamic strategic thinkers to bring the industry out of the status quo, who are not shackled by the way it’s always been.”
Samir echoed the view and cited Singapore as an example. Having the advantage of being a
… New and diverse voices are clamouring for attention with global players looking covetously towards Asia. We have to ensure that we’ll be leaders of our industry through training and international collaborations, or we’ll risk constantly being a step behind.”
Justin Deimen President of 108 Media
Drama - Comedy
REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM SEA, Middle East Seung Ae Sohn Head of Content Acquisition and Development - Korea
BUYERS PCCW Viu I WANT Drama
REGIONS I’D LIKE TO
FROM East Asia, SEA, Americas, Europe
Nikky Andriyani Senior Manager Licensing & Acquisition
PT Vidio Dot Com
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financial hub and a preferred destination for global media multi-nationals, the country should focus on creating quality content. Global exposure is what the country’s writers and filmmakers lack, Vani added. “Singapore can do ions to push the agenda for its young content creators. They have everything from an atmosphere to opportunity, what they lack is outreach,” she said.
The solution for the region according to all three executives lies in training and nurturing bright talent, especially producers, directors, writers and ideators. “There’s no better time as we’re currently in an upheaval of the global
content industry and new and diverse voices are clamouring for attention with global players looking covetously towards Asia. I believe we have the personnel to compete and make a difference internationally even in our own backyards. We have to ensure that we’ll be leaders of our industry through training and international collaborations, or we’ll risk constantly being a step behind, Justin said. Talent who harness resourcefulness and strategic thinking to be able to converge differing cultures and criteria together with an even-hand, will be best placed to capitalise marketplace opportunities.
Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Actor, producer, and board member, Central Board of Film Certification of India; Justin Deimen, President, 108 Media; Samir Sarkar, Producer, Magic Hour Films
A whole range of stories were presented at the ATF X Vidio Indonesian Pitch session by seven finalists. It was actually inspiring to watch some of the presenters overcome their nervousness as the confident storyteller emerged from the probing questions fired by the panel of judges. What drives the conflict? How much of it is comedy vs. sports action? What’s the climax at the end of the season? Does it work for Vidio’s audience?
The ideas were certainly unique and it was evident that for some finalists, there was a slice of themselves in the story too. In the end, the one that truly stood out was “Rey” by Liberta Films, a story set in the 1970s Maluku Islands of Indonesia about a young boy’s journey towards becoming a professional boxer. Ms. Linda Wibisono, a presiding judge commented, “The quality of the finalists and the stories they presented were all very good. In the end, the judges settled on Rey because we all felt that this was a powerfully emotional story with the right mix of drama, action and location.”
MENOPAUSE, MISERS, BOXERS & FOOTBALLERS… ATF CHINESE PITCH 2022
Chinese Pitch (Movie) - 异乱奇闻录, Ong Fong Ling, Malaysia (Below)
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY two 8DEC
Chinese Pitch (Drama)- I’m a God, Save Me!, Nicholas Wang, Singapore
IN-DEVELOPMENT CHANGING MINDSETS FOR REAL PROGRESS IN CONTENT TODAY
Winds of change are coming our way. This year at ATF, it blew from Canada. The inaugural ATF Documentary Lab – Setting the Record Straight, featuring Nicolas Boucher, GM of DBcom Media, and Meredith Fowke, Writer—Producer, believe that it is in the best interest of producers and broadcasters to help each find new ways to create and finance content that can be viewed globally by everyone.
“Because rights can overlap, Rights can co-habit, and so can broadcasters,” noted Nicolas.
He spoke about leveraging off the fact that different audiences in different parts of the world are likely not living the same reality, and don’t have the same needs or background. This means that they are not subscribing to the same streaming services and networks and media outlets.
“From a producer point of view, I often ask if our partners and buyers are really using all the exclusive rights they request and tell us they need. I mean, would they not profit from a co-branding approach with everyone else?”
In the end, Nicolas has convinced us, it really is the only way to move forward.
The lab session went on to have specifics on documentary creation and what makes a Doc valuable across borders and markets.
SECURING YOUR FORMATS’ FUTURE
New to ATF 2022, the ATF Formats Lab, powered by FRAPA, set a great precedence for the years to come, as what was once a pure buy-sell event, has now grown in being a platform of education, and advancement in the business of creativity.
A haven away from the madness of the market, the ATF Formats Lab had a good turnout, considering its first run. Case studies were used to bring the point of IP protection home.
A learning opportunity from FRAPA, board members Hwang Jin-woo, Founder & President, and Executive Producer of Something Special, together with Fumi Nishibashi, Business Development, Global Business Dept of Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), imparted their years of experience with sizzle reels, tips like having strategic titling, and the necessity for logging (for use later when developing the Format Bible, and its continued management).
And the 10 steps to protection in a snapshot?
• Write it
• Illustrate it
• Sizzle it
• Title it & Domain it
• Register it with FRAPA
• Keep a Record
• Shop it... Securely
• Refresh it
• “Social” it
• Continue to Manage it
Financiers Get Together for Some Real Talk Across Various Aspects of the Financing Ecosystem
ATF2022 saw a gathering that served to test the waters of whether Asia is ready for a level of financing it has yet to experience properly. At the largest gathering of media businesses in Asia, the message brought to the forefront by financiers, was to address and create solutions for the gaps in the ecosystem here in APAC. A big part of that solution and way forward is in the financing processes and accessibility to cash flows for producers and content providers. It was insightful to hear the almost exclusive discussion between those who have been around the block. The hope is to grow such discussions into a regular meeting of financing visionaries, taking Asian forward.
(On the panel)
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Phil McKenzie, COO, Goldfinch | CCO, MContent; Dr Thomas Kingston, Director, Coherent Media Group; Eric Collins, CEO & Founding Member, Impact X Capital Partners; Steve Rossere, Legal Counsel, 108 Media; Justin Deimen, President, 108 Media (Moderator)
Content Will Always Be King
The Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) roared to life after a three year hiatus in an opening ceremony graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State at the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information.
Mr Tan Kiat How Senior Minister of State Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information
Traditional Financial Models are Not a Strategy for the Future
The harsh reality of content creation is this – one must have capital to create content. But the traditional model of financing, where creators borrow money to fund their project and sell it off later, doesn’t work for women and people of colour. “This is where the inefficiency exists,” stated Eric Collins, CEO, Impact X. “It’s not a strategy for the future.”
“It’s about how we can harness that community, the marginalised, underrepresented voices,” concurred Phil McKenzie, COO, Goldfinch, “by giving the creatives the tools to do it themselves”. For independent producers looking for
financing, Dr Thomas Kingston, Founder, Cyprus Capital Partners & Coherent Media Group, had this advice. “Understanding what an investor needs to see is really important.” A proper management team and a clear return on investment is paramount in this regard. “Many of these investors are impact investors, who want to make a difference with their money,” he shared, “and media and entertainment is one way to do that.”
The financiers shared their views at a session about new financial models, moderated by Amanda Groom, MD, The Bridge.
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY two 8DEC
I WANT Docs & FactualReality/ Factual REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM Global Faradilla Abdullah Co-CEO NEW BUYERS Bitsmedia Pte Ltd I WANT Docs & FactualCurrent Affairs REGION I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM Middle East
Soueid Head Of Documentaries
Eric Collins, CEO & Founding Member, Impact X Capital Partners; Phil McKenzie, COO, Goldfinch | CCO, MContent; Dr Thomas Kingston, Director, Coherent Media Group
NEW BUYERS Al Arabiya Channel
Acquimissions is the New Co-Habitation of Rights
Acquimissions is arising worldwide when it comes to IP and rights. The term is a portmanteau of “acquisitions” and “commissions”, reflecting the convergence between the two models. “It is people coming in early, putting in more pre-sales, but still having some editorial say and equity in the project,” explained Justin Deimen, President, 108 Media (Global) at a panel which explored the co-habitation of content rights across various territories.
Nicolas Boucher, GM, DBcom Media, the moderator for the panel that included Angeline Poh, Chief Customer & Corporate Development Officer, Mediacorp , noted that that is now a plethora of platforms – and “not everyone who wants to be exclusive needs all these exclusive rights” to all those platforms.
Marianne Lee, CCO, Viu, used the analogy of a landlord (Viu) subletting rooms to other tenants (partners.) Viu’s approach to rights is that they prefer to have one partner rather than too many partners. ”It’s not so much co-habitation, but really collaboration, across different territories, through different partners.”
Hopefully, the co-habitation of rights can generate a bigger bang, with its synergy among partners.
I WANT Drama - Romance REGION I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM SEA Damiano
Channels and Contents Director NEW BUYERS Canal+ Myanmar I WANT Drama - Miniseries REGION I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM South Asia
Content NEW BUYERS Tata Play
Spandan Goswami General Manager
(Clockwise) Justin Deimen, President, 108 Media (Global); Marianne Lee, CCO, Viu; Angeline Poh, Chief Customer & Corporate Development Officer, Mediacorp; Nicolas Boucher, GM, DBcom Media
To Exclude Exclusivity
How do we explore the unknown that is APAC? Eric Ellenbogen, multi-decade veteran of the animation industry and CEO of WildBrain, believes that the answer is “to always be on, everywhere”. In this discussion with Janine Stein, Editorial Director of Content Asia, Eric pushed the importance of pursuing omnipresence by having local engagement and opening up to all platforms.
It doesn’t end there, however. Sending feelers into the unknown is vital to critical insights and Eric reinforced that by challenging the convention of exclusivity in content, which he said hurts your chances of exposure to a wider audience — more so when an incredible source of exposure for a young audience is YouTube, a non-premium streaming platform.
Engaging kids through non-exclusive content creates a virtuous circle that leads audiences to premium platforms and prolongs the longevity of IP — a concept Eric has proven through the promotion of animations like Caillou and Teletubbies on YouTube. Eric also stressed that putting content on a nonpremium platform like YouTube can yield vital insight into an unchartered market that can make or break any subsequent expansion.
TikTok: Utility Trumps Entertainment
For TikTok, it’s not about heavy or light users – but utility. “Our perspective is about the utility that you derive from the app,” said Harish Sarma, Global Head of Sports & Gaming Content, TikTok (ByteDance) in a session moderated by Justin Ang, Asst CE, Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, IMDA.
While escapism and entertainment is important, it’s also about deriving value from TikTok. Harish gave an example of the popularity of the #booktalk hashtag. “Early data has shown an uptick in actual interest from all cohorts to pick up reading, including Gen Z,” he shared.
TikTok is also looking at developing the creator ecosystem via the TikTok Creator Marketplace. It helps facilitate connections between brands and creators.
He also spoke about TikTok’s initiatives in Asia, citing the Ramadan campaign in Indonesia, which was done in partnership with the local broadcasters. In such a cultural, interpersonal, community moment, how does one engage the audience and come across as authentic?
The success of this model has led other markets with a significant Muslim population to want to replicate this.
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Eric Ellenbogen CEO WildBrain
(L-R) Harish Sarma, Global Head of Sports & Gaming
Content, TikTok; Justin Ang, Asst CE, Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
The End Is Nigh?
The end is nigh, says Tony Gunnarsson, Principal Analyst of TV, Video & Advertising at Omdia — the end of OTT as we know it, that is. The rise of SVOD across the world has been welldocumented, with OTT platforms usurping the place of linearly-programmed pay-TV options. However, that trend is ending as SVOD providers disdain selling directly to consumers and look towards wooing their ex-rivals with wholesale bundling deals.
This has certainly caused ripples — wholesale numbers of SVOD content is expected to double over the next five years, with more than one third of all SVOD content consumed through bundled deals at present. Tony purports that partnerships between OTT providers and Telcos will deepen to reflect this trend — a situation that deeply disturbs some SVOD providers as a failure of the streaming model.
And yet, while the old new is ending, SVOD providers have found life in adjusting their business model. Relinquishing some content to FAST providers directs traffic to SVOD platforms, while embracing a hybrid AVOD model, are among the tactics that Tony believes companies will adopt in the next five years.
For The Love of The Story
Lee Tae-hyun, CEO at Waave is an impassioned man who embodies the many emotions we have come to know and love from Korean dramas. The name of the game with Tae-hyun was original content that told an original story but struck a familiar note with audience members — a recurring theme in the principles that guided his development and production practices.
Waave is host to an incredible variety of shows, from a wimpy boy who fights against his bullies with carefully calculated geometrical precision, to a man being treated by his urologist ex-lover for erectile dysfunction. In producing shows with stories like these as a producer, Tae-hyun promoted providing maximum utility in SVOD to as many people as possible.
But the artistic pursuit can sometimes be slave to commercial necessities. Producers must be cautious in choosing which originals to produce, said Tae-hyun. Being cost-efficient can make or break a company and fewer sets of high quality content will always trump plentiful but unoriginal content. On finding co-producers, Tae-hyun stressed the love for storytelling and content over business or technical pursuits.
Tony Gunnarsson Principal Analyst of TV, Video & Advertising Omdia
Co-productions - A Great Way To Tie in Different Markets
“Co-production is like travelling,” shared Spencer Thomas, Global Content Strategy, CJ ENM. He extolled its virtues, explaining that it allowed one to learn about other production systems and perspectives, and is a way for CJ ENM to partner with people they admire and would like to work with. “I absolutely love co-productions.”
He gave the example of Love at First Song, a hybrid music and dating show that first aired in Vietnam. “We found that our production partners there were very good at producing in-studio music competitions but a little less familiar with the reality dating segment,” he recounted. But after the first episode aired, audience response was so positive that
another three episodes were ordered. That was when CJ ENM helped them with the reality dating segments and storylines.
It showed Spencer that co-productions were a great way to tie in different markets.
He also expects growth for CJ ENM in scripted formats, as they already have scripts that can be licensed. Partners can therefore go into production quickly, without having to spend as much time in development.
Specialise In Being Special
The birthplace of Extraordinary Attorney Woo, the Korean drama that took the world by storm, is a very unusual place indeed. Kim Chul Yeon, CEO at KT Studio Genie, called the extraordinary precipitation of the show, ‘a perfect exception’. With early access to an amazing script and brilliant casting and direction, it might seem that Chul Yeon and company were simply in the right place at the right time.
In this case, however, there actually is a secret behind the success. Chul Yeon attributes the success of the show, and indeed most shows from Studio Genie, to their tactic of specialisation. By excelling at delivery to a narrow demographic, content can spread organically through informal and fraternal means.
Nonetheless, Chul Yeon indicated that good content had to be at the core of the show for it to succeed. Extraordinary Attorney Woo worked because it deviated from the regional norm of nefarious murder plots and delicately told a story of key societal values and embraced the marginalised, allowing it to be embraced by the few as well as the many.
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Kim Chul Yeon CEO
KT Studio Genie
Spencer Thomas Global Content Strategy CJ ENM
Content Lessons from TVING: Eschew Movies in Favour of Series with Cinematic Quality
What does Jay Yang, CEO, TVING, dream about every night? Plans to bring TVING to Singapore. “One of the reasons why we’re here is to see the reaction we’ll get, how much interest we get [regarding this],” he said. Although such conversations have begun, Jay did disclaim that TVING’s main focus is still on the Korean market.
One key lesson that he has learnt from the twelve-yearold streaming service is not to focus on movies. “Movies are too short [compared to series], and the per minute investment is too big,” he revealed. Subscribers would sign up just to watch the film, then leave the platform.
“Instead, we learnt how to work with movie creators and movie creation systems,” Jay explained. Now they’ll come up with 6-10 episode long shows with cinematic sensibilities and cast, but with a total running time of 5-6 hours long. “It gives us the length we need as an OTT service, with the quality that the customer expects.”
The other focus for TVING is on sports, concerts and live events, a space not occupied by Netflix.
Wonwoo CEO & Chief Creator DITURN
A voice with no face — an unconventional idea for a singing contest that would be a hard sell to most producers, but Park Wonwoo, CEO & Chief Creator at DITURN pulled it off. The originator of The Masked Singer got the show on-air within a month of pitching and attributed its success to every failure that preceded it.
Wonwoo shared that rejection is a creator’s best friend — it pushes them to be the best version of themselves and is a valuable, albeit painful, source of feedback. This is especially true when you pursue original and unusual ideas, he said. The creation of dITurn itself was born out of rejection — seeing the popularity of his show met with unsatisfactory recognition, Wonwoo was spurred to found his own production company that valued the creator and the art above all.
Fittingly, he advised prioritising being flexible and open in collaborations. Besides pitching perfectly packaged ideas purely for funding, Wonwoo exhorted exchanging two-liner concepts with co-producers and making something entirely novel together. Rumour has it that he is now cooking up a musical show… without music?
Jay Yang CEO TVING
SLL’s Strategy: Change is the Only Constant
For Jung Kyung-moon, CEO, SLL (formerly known as JTBC Studios), his secret sauce is that there is no secret. SLL, which has been responsible for hits like All of Us Are Dead, changes their strategy every six months. “Our strength is that we are very adaptable to market changes,” said Kyun-moon.
“I would say our strategy is very simple,” said Kyungmoon in Korean. “SLL’s basic strategy is to focus on the story.” But he reiterated that there’s no specific formula to replicate the success they’ve seen in their popular content.
Kyung-moon also doesn’t believe in co-production. What is more important is to create a sophisticated content production process – and for that, partnership is not a key factor. SLL may not have huge budgets or an established reputation yet, but they have creators –about 150 of them. “We’re very proud of our creators,” gushed Kyung-moon.
And this trust in their creators is very important. “We allow creators to create whatever they want, and leave them to do their job.”
Spare The Slapstick, Spoil The Child
Japan is undoubtedly one of the world’s most adept creators of format television, a title they have held since the 20th century with the advent of Ninja Warrior’s predecessor, Sasuke. From bottom-spanking slapstick to nigh superhuman feats of athleticism, Japanese gameshows have done it all. When you’ve scaled every mountain, what else could you possibly climb?
Two mountains at the same time, according to this panel of format television experts. Moderator Victoria De Kerdrel, APAC Consultant at K7 Media, pointed out this common denominator across the nine format television pitches
from Japan. Uprising from Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, in particular, demonstrated this trend with its unexpected crossover between the cooking format and the comedy format by allowing cooking competition contestants to harass one another in the kitchen with randomly chosen nuisances, from tiny knives for chopping to a giant fan in the face.
While attempts at the dating format still remain, it seems that Japanese producers are beginning to converge on comedy as the primary base for format television, with added novelty in the form of genre and cultural crossovers.
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(L-R) Ryuji Komiya, Head of Non-scripted Format, Fuji Television Network, Inc.; Mariko Maeda, Sales Manager, International Business Division, TV Tokyo; Takumi Nakamura, International Sales Manager, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation; Peter Shireman, Future Planning Division, Yoshimoto Kogyo; Miyuki Nakasone, Sales Executive, Format, TV Asahi Corporation; Kazuki Yokoi, Media Content Sales Department, Tokyo Office, Chukyo TV Broadcasting Co Ltd.; Shuji Maeda, Head of Format, Global Sales, Kansai TV; Nami Komo, Chief of Content Sales, ABC Japan; Miho Takashima, Head of Format Sales, Tokyo Broadcasting System; Victoria de Kerdrel, Global Business Director, K7 Media (Moderator)
Jung Kyung-moon CEO SLL
MORE VIEWS THAN GANGNAM STYLE
When you have a cartoon series that attracts 3 billion views per month, you might think it’s time to rest on your laurels. Not WOA. Riding on Wolfoo’s wave of success, WOA is taking this IP to the next level by launching a premium version of this series for distribution on different screening platforms such as television – right here at ATF. So if you’re looking for a cartoon series with a proven track record, you know which booth to head to!
One of the top 10 companies in Vietnam in the hot emerging sector of animation production, WOA has
KILLING IT AT CANNES
A familiar name in the regional market, ABS CBN is poised to take on the global stage with its hit series Cattleya Killer. The movie marked a milestone by being the first Filipino production to premiere at MIPCOM Cannes. It was also the first ABS CBN series that was produced by assimilating the workflow gleaned from the company’s participation in an American series production. Within three days of its premiere, ABS CBN started receiving offers for distribution. In fact, Ruel S. Bayani, Head of International Production, reveals that an important deal for this IP is being finalised at the ATF as we speak.
Ruel, who is looking for opportunities to forge new co-production partnerships at the ATF, says, “This industry thrives on the excitement and buzz of face-to-face meetings.”
When asked what ABS CBN looks for in a partner, Ruel has this to say, “We’re looking for like-minded and progressive partners whom we can partner not only in the production stage, but in the marketing and distribution stages.” Ruel believes that the timing is ripe for a regional company like ABS CBN to be more ambitious in leading partnerships
produced 11,000 videos using diverse technologies such as 2D, frameby-frame, 3D and live-action since its inception 8 years ago. With its burgeoning talent pool comprising over 700 creatives, WOA is known for its fast and efficient turnaround production cycles.
What’s WOA success formula? Nyugen Thi Ngoc Huyen divulges that WOA regularly conducts exhaustive
PIXTREND TRENDING IN THE ANIMATION INDUSTRY
Pixtrend Inc is back at Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) for its tenth year, and its Chief Executive Officer Yim Do Young is excited to be back. This time, he’s on the lookout for good buyers, broadcasters, partners from OTT platforms and partners looking to coproduce programmes.
This year, Pixtrend also comes to ATF armed with its own IP which is currently in production and is coproduced with a company in France. The company, established in 2005, has under its belt more than 20 Korean animations, three drama series. It has collaborations in Spain for ‘Kambu in Mystery Island’ and in Malaysia for ‘Space Cops’.
Also under its charge is the adaptation of ‘Chubi’s Adventure’, written by Botong Kim and is one of its successful programmes.
HAS BIG PLANS
It is Rights Cube Inc’s first time at Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF). The Japanese film company has proven to be a one-stop shop, handling every aspect of the film – from production all the way to distribution.
One of their most successful films include ‘Baby Assassins’, which was screened at 11 film festivals globally and won the Jury’s Special Award at the Fantasporto Film Festival in April this year. The action-comedy tells the
story centered on two highly trained teenage assassins, who are forced into living together as reluctant roommates and requested to take on part-time jobs. They eventually find themselves banding together against the Yakuza. The film’s sequel – ‘Baby Assassins: 2 Babies’ is currently in post-production and will be launched next March.
Rights Cube Inc is no stranger to having their films distributed globally. The film company’s ‘Bad City’ has also been distributed to markets such as the United States, United Kingdom, Korea, France and Spain.
“It’s all about getting good directors and a good production team,” shared the company’s COO, Yusuke Suzuki, when asked about his secret recipe to finding success in the action genres. “At ATF this year, we hope to be able to meet with distributors who handles the distribution aspect in South Asian regions.”
Yusuke also shared that there is a huge increase in demand for content on VOD. Aside from creating content to satisfy this demand, he is also aiming to create content for social network services such as Tik Tok, YouTube and
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BRIAN COX (SUCCESSION) EXPLORES THE EXTREMES OF WEALTH AND POVERTY IN THE US AND UK, SHINING A LIGHT ON INEQUALITY
See us at ATF / fremantlescreenings.com
FPT PLAY SEEKS CO-PRODUCTION PARTNERS
Vietnam’s top streaming service, FPT Play, returned to ATF 2022 with the aim of securing co-production opportunities to bring fresh content to their 20 million monthly active users. Julie Nguyen, Acquisition Manager expressed her enthusiasm about coproduction opportunities, saying, “We are open to partners from any territory, global, Asian countries, especially those with an overseas Vietnamese population. In fact, we are also excited about the possibility of collaborating with Turkish partners, that’s a novel market for us.”
FPT Play is a family oriented streaming service that is available both through OTT and ipTV and shared that Korean, Chinese and kids content have done very well on their service. While at ATF 2022, Julie is keen to both sell their in-house production content while seeking to acquire new TV series, features and formats to localize. Expressing her joy at being back in ATF 2022, Julie shared that her morning of Day 1 had been filled with meetings. “It is so good to be able to meet face to face, both new and old friends.”
ZOOKIZ ON THE BLOCK
With over 6.3 billion Zookiz motion stickers sent across various communication apps, half a million followers on Facebook and 300,000 views on its webtoon platforms, Zookiz is one of the top 3 fictional character development companies in Vietnam.
Through this three-day event at ATF, Zookiz aims to build more brand awareness outside its home country and to engage in meaningful conversations with potential partners and clients. “ATF is the biggest exhibition in Asia. We’re not newbies in Vietnam but we’re newbies here as it’s our first time at ATF. We’re excited to introduce our company and showcase our products to people from all over the world,” says Du Thi Mai Linh.
The challenge of localising content across different markets is one that plagues every player who wishes to go global. To prepare Zookiz for its debut participation at ATF where it hopes to make its foray into international
markets, Du Thi and her team have come up with two unique localisation strategies for its popular animation series that is targeted at preschoolers.
Instead of dubbing or subtitling in different languages for different regions, Zookiz animations forgo dialogue completely, relying instead on actions and expressive sounds made by the characters to do the storytelling, much like Mr Bean. Given Mr Bean’s international appeal, this seems like a surefire formula for success.
The other trick up their sleeve is making minor tweaks in selected scenes to impart local flavour. So for instance, for the same scene, audiences in different countries would see a character eating different foods: a hamburger in America, a dumpling in China, kimbap in Korea and so on.
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ASIA KEEPS BEYOND RIGHTS BUSY
Beyond Rights’ Joanne Azzopardi, EVP Sales - Australia, NZ & Asia is definitely a seasoned veteran, this being her 13th outing at ATF. The company is the distribution arm for the Beyond International, a global content business company and also distributes third party content. Specializing in Factual, Lifestyle and Kids content, Asia has been an important market for the company. For example, National Geographic Japan has picked up S1 of “On The Road”, featuring awesome cars in incredible locations. Season 2 has also been pre-booked. Joanne has also been kept busy finalizing deals for adventure travel programs such as Extreme Treks and Chasing Monsters
along with How Did They Build That, a science & engineering program for India and several Southeast Asian markets.
Sharing her insights, Joanne feels that Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, China and Singapore have been very receptive for kids content especially those with good STEM or educational angles. For Factual and Lifestyle, she notes that buyers increasingly want to see content that has an Asian angle to it, either the host, cast or the setting. In India, factual content focusing on adventure travel and engineering has proven popular.
IN THE BLACK
Black Studio is a boutique upand-coming animation house that specialises in 2D and 3D animation. Helmed by its charismatic CEO, Mr Han Chang Ill – think bald, muscled, tattooed with an easy-going demeanour – the production house runs on the energy of 6 passionate young animators who, in the CEO’s words “do everything there is to do”.
Mr Chang Ill is thrilled to be at his first ATF where he has the opportunity to present his IPs to potential partners and investors. Besides looking forward to feedback from industry professionals on his product offerings, he is also keen to explore various distribution channels and platforms for his animations. His flagship product, still under development, is called Dinobox. The animation series features a time-travelling delivery man who delivers a surprise (and a lesson) in every box to the children he visits.
In the upcoming short term, Black Studio sees opportunities in the market for animation targeted at children between the ages of three
to five. Mr Chang Ill points out that toddlers at that age share a view of the world that is untainted by culture, creed, race or religion. What this means is that you can produce very short two to three minute clips or reels that capture the attention and imagination of toddlers around the world without the need for “localisation”.
On the technical front, Black Studio is exploring the use of Unreal Engine, traditionally used to create visually immersive 3D environments in computer games, to replace the Maya as the software of choice in creating animations. Using Unreal Engine, rendering is sped up, which ultimately translates to savings in cost, time and labour.
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WATCH OUT WORLD, HERE COMES VIETNAMESE TV!
Vietnam Television (VTV),has been a regular at ATF, historically attending as a buyer. This marks the first time the national television broadcaster of Vietnam is here in the capacity of both a buyer and seller, on the prowl for opportunities to sell their TV series content to other territories in Asia.
“With the appetite for consumption increasing and attention span changing in recent years, VTV has identified an entry point to introducing original TV content to the region, especially family and romantic dramas. We have a good competitive edge because we own the script and take an agnostic approach towards platforms, thus, we’re open to anything from TV to OTT distributorship,” says Nguyen Linh Chi, Editor at Vietnam Television.
VTV has released several game shows and coming-of-age films that have proven hugely popular among younger viewers. Happy Garage, for example, is watched by 8% of their viewers nation-wide, mainly between the ages of 16 to 45.
The broadcaster is present at ATF 2022 to better understand the requirements of the different markets and kick-start meaningful partnerships.
“We think it’s time to focus on exporting Vietnamese culture and talent to the world,” concludes Nguyen.
THE GWANGJU ICT-AVENGERS
GICON is a government agency established to promote the ICT and contents industry in the state of Gwangju, South Korea. The sixth biggest city in Korea, Gwangu is second only to Seoul in terms of output when it comes to animation, games and cartoon production, attributable no doubt in large part to GICON’s efforts.
Since 2020, GICON has disbursed up to SGD54 million in grants to ICT companies to help them level up in terms of technology, production, marketing and HR. According to Team Manager Miss Kim Eun Young, GICON will begin to recoup this investment gradually from next year onwards through profitsharing agreements.
For this AFT, GICON has assembled a crack delegation of 7 ICT-Avengers members. Be sure to pay them a visit at the Buyer’s Lounge!
SAY HELLO TO CARBOT
Studio W. Baba’s representative work is Hello Carbot, one of the most popular animation series in Korea. The franchise has run for 12 seasons on television, and its feature film has been viewed by more than 2 million people. Mr Park In Chan from Studio Baba says that whilst they have had success locally, they are looking to expand Hello Carbot to other countries through the ATF.
“We have focused primarily on creating engaging stories with immersive animations. Developing and creating stories that children around the world enjoy is our core strength and focus,” Mr In Chan adds.
Recently, the company brought a new IP called “Hipduck”. Traditionally, many companies make the animations first before attempting to promote
and monetize the product. For this venture, Studio W. Baba took a completely different route. They worked with F&B operators to promote food products using Hipduck characters. This has enabled to company to monetize the IP from the getgo. This company plans to expand this collaboration to 30 stores in Korea by the end of next year and are currently in discussions with Thai companies to roll out the same strategy.
RECONNECTING WITH ASIAN BUYERS AT ATF IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR NEWEN CONNECT
Newen Connect comes to Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) this year with aims to reconnect with Asian buyers. The company has seen growth in the Asian region for the past three years with the inking of key partnerships for ‘L’Opera’ season 1 and 2 with OTT player U-NEXT in Japan and HIP with AXN Mystery Japan. As Newen Connect’s Nadia Chevallard shares, “We are attending ATF to keep boosting the international sales for both successful franchises across the region.”
The third season of HIP is currently in production with a total of 24 episodes, and has sold to 90 territories worldwide and will see a remake by ABC Studios in the United States. The series has seen over 175 million views.
Nadia added that they are also planning to pitch their Fall 2022 drama
slate, comprising of 13 new drama series to buyers in the Asian market. The key focus for this market are ‘Promethea’, ‘Dark Hearts’ and ‘Polar Park’.
Newen Connect also launched 17 new documentaries, and are looking to focus on ‘Winds, An Invisible Strength’, ‘Paris, the Mystery of the Lost Palace’ and ‘Marty & Doc’ at ATF.
Nadia noted that there is a growing interest and appetite in the region for premium French content across all genres and feels that Newen Connect is well positioned to meet the demand. “It’s been 3 years since we came to Singapore and participating in ATF this year, which is the first post-Covid edition, means a lot to us. We’re happy to be here, and to reconnect with buyers from various countries across the region.”
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MAKING EYES SCREAM
Eyescream Studio, in collaboration with EBS, is the producer of the longest-running animation series, Duda and Dada, in Korea. This series, which has run continuously for three seasons over 10 years and has been exported to over 40 countries, is testimony to the place this beloved series has in the hearts of its viewers, as well as the ability of Eyescream to constantly upgrade and refresh its IP.
The principals of Eyescream have a strong technical
TOONFLIX: THE PLATFORM BRINGING ILLUSTRATED CONTENT TO LIFE
Something to look forward to from IDEACONCERT Co., LTD., a South Korean-based creative content lab, would be the launch of TOONFLIX, a webtoon platform, where registered subscribers can consume and create webtoons. Audiences in Brazil and Indonesia can look forward to accessing the platform in early 2023.
With a magical combination of content and technology, users can also create their own content by using the platform’s authoring tool to turn webtoons into videos. The software would not only lengthen the life cycle of the content, but also bringing illustrated content to life, hence making it more appealing to markets. Content creators will also be able to generate revenue from this.
TOONFLIX also ensures that users can view the platform’s content via various devices such as a smartphone, which has become one of the main devices for consuming content.
background in animation, which enables to company to handle all aspects of animation production efficiently along the entire value chain. Indeed, it was one of the few animation companies in Korea that was able to produce new content during the pandemic. Recently, Eyescream has branched from producing content for pre-schoolers to producing animation for teens. Seoul Palace and The Day I Die are two such examples currently in the production pipeline. You heard it here first at ATF!
Marketing Manager Miss Doona Lee says the biggest plus of participating in the ATF is being able to meet faceto-face with friends and associates in the industry, to reaffirm old ties and establish new ones.
Having collaborated with authors from Brazil which is a big market for the Korean Wave, the platform will also serve as an excellent cultural exchange between South Korea and Brazil. Content on the platform will be served in various languages – English, Korean, Portuguese and Indonesian.
IDEACONCERT’s representative, Rahmadani Cahyaningtyas, highlighted that the company has recently inked a deal with Singapore Airlines (SIA), to provide its passengers with onboard access to TOONFLIX. She also shared that one of her aims at ATF this year is to meet with more partners from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand to discuss more on how they can collaborate.
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SHORT FILMS GO A LONG WAY
The LGBTQ content of Under Sixty, the largest distributor of Korean short films - typically under 60 minutes - has surprisingly found a fan base in South Korea. Romantic comedy ranks as the company’s most popular genre, matched with family drama and shorts infusing themes of social inclusion and commentary about women at the workplace (Don’t Swallow It Today, Too).
“Short films have made a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic and distribution deals for them are more common now than ever before given a strong market. Our top two goals in 2023 are getting on the front foot to sell these short films, which are popular among the younger generation, as it is an incredibly competitive space, as well as to buying other films to distribute across Asia,” says Taegyn Yun, CEO of Under Sixty Corp.
Because of the limited time-frame to tell a compelling story, short films rely on their cast and script to draw in audiences. Under Sixty released a new web series earlier this year, which stars
MOUNT CHIAK ACQUIRED BY WESTEC MEDIA LIMITED
In exclusive news at ATF, Mount Chiak by Seoul production house Hive Filmworks has successfully been acquired by Westec Media Limited, the biggest content distributor in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The film is slated to be distributed in the territories of: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Dubbed as one of Hive Filmworks’ most unique films in the subgenre of action horror, Mount Chiak’s diversely shocking plot combines the employment of an A-list cast with thrilling scenes of mountain biking adventures on rough, off-road terrain, which are atypical of South Korean dramas.
It has a quirky origin story to boot – the original plan was to create a distinct film about mountain bike racing. Instead, this film kicks into high gear, with impactful captures of the high-octane sport weaved into its cinematography.
This challenging but not impossible pivot eventually proved to be critical to its expected commercial success. The film will be released in the early summer of 2023, as part of a series of plans for a wide commercial theatrical release.
“Following this major acquisition, the company will be looking out for opportunities with potential European and American distributors, aiming to close more multi-territory deals. We are at ATF to assess how products are received in Asia’s film markets. Besides investing in products to be filmed in 2023, we are also searching for highquality IPs suitable for remakes,” says Paul D. Kim, Production Director of Hive Filmworks.
The launch of the series version of Girls In The Cage, a female-centric action/adventure film built around the subject matter of Mixed Martial Arts, was met with positive reception, with commercial ads airing during 2022’s World Cup season.
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MORE INTERACTIONS WITH EDUTAINMENT SERIES ‘JOODYSSEY’
This edition of ATF sees COMICCITY bringing popular animation ‘Joodyssey’ to the show floor. Mother of two, CEO Yoojin Lee, founded the edutainment startup in late 2019 with the aim of bringing fun stories to children worldwide. ‘Joodyssey’ has now aired on Korean Broadcasting System and Cartoon Network Korea this year and has topped viewership rating for six consecutive weeks.
The first season of ‘Joodyssey’ showcases 26 episodes, with season two right on its heel, launching in December 2023. The animation targets preschool children and being an interactive content, it allows them to choose how their own story plays out.
Yoojin also shared that the company has recently concluded a deals to distribute the series, with the first being in China, where the series is scheduled to be aired on various channels including Youku.
Another deal was concluded in South America. Yoojin said, “A Spanish version of the series is currently being produced and we are looking forward to an English version in February 2023.’
YOU KNOW IT’S SERIOUS WHEN PAPA’S INVOLVED
Some companies produce animation, some companies produce webtoons, but few can do both and do them well. Sangdan Studio is a rising stalwart in the media industry that is making a name for itself in both genres. Starting off as a production company that does outsourcing animation work for major entertainment companies such as Disney, Sangdan has swiftly risen up the value chain. These days the company focuses on producing original content under its own brand name.
Mr Beom-Yun Kim, Vice President, shares two major exciting developments in the works. The first is Papaman, a 3D animation about the adventures of a superhero family that will likely be Sangdan’s signature IP in the coming years. The second is Fryan, an animation about children overcoming obstacles to fulfil their dreams and ideals. Spoiler alert: this animation stars an impossibly adorable fried egg character protagonist. Central to both IPs is the idea of teaching family values through heartwarming entertainment that both children and adults can relate to, enjoy and appreciate.
Response has been encouraging so far for both IPs, with discussions for coproduction with media companies and licensing agreements for merchandise with toy companies already underway.
opportunities with potential investors and co-production partners. Another objective is to promote Sangdan as a name synonymous with engaging, original content. As of noon on day one, Mr Beom-Yun reveals that
ALO MEDIA DEBUTS EXCITING NEW FORMAT
ALO Media, a first timer at ATF, is excited at the possibility of exporting their highly successful reality TV show format, Whose Chance. Running for the 4th season, the format sees job applicants vying for a position in some of Vietnam’s top companies. After passing through the first two stages, the tables are turned when CEOs of these companies are then pitted against each other to compete for the best candidates. Certainly, this writer thinks that’s an exciting way to get a new job.
Caroline Pham, the Deputy General Director & Head of Acquisition shared her two objectives at ATF 2022. Firstly, to sell her format and second to seek partners to produce new entertainment content. Korea,
MAKES HEADWAY IN THE ANIMATION CONTENT SPACE
Around Effect Inc comes to ATF this year with a bang, bringing along with it The Headers, an animated series telling the story of six cylindrical animated characters who embark on an adventure back to their home in Savannah, after being blown away in a typhoon. Each of the six characters portrays a specific characteristic – namely Intelligence, Positivity, Empathy, Excitement, Laziness and Responsibility.
Targeted at children aged 3 – 5 years, these characters – alongside the lively animations and music – will impart certain qualities that children can learn. The series consists of a total of 52 episodes, with each running for five minutes –the first three minutes focusing on the storyline, and the last two minutes showcasing nursery rhymes.
Chief Executive Officer of Around Effect Inc Jason Baek shares that the IP
will be completed in December 2023 and aired in South Korea.
When asked how the idea for The Headers came about, Jason shares that the design of the animated characters was done 8 – 9 years ago. The aim was to design either a squarish or circular character, but eventually, its cylindrical design was born, and this would enable development for a wider range of products.
Jason also shares that one of his goals for his company would be to become a leader in the animation content space. He would also like to expand The Headers characters into more merchandise such as stationery and to sell more of the character figurines.
At ATF, while not looking into any specific market, Jason is looking to meet like-minded partners from around the world.
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SPANISH CONTENT IS NO STRANGER IN THE MARKET
Spanish content has been in demand worldwide for a long time and RTVE, Spain’s largest public multimedia company, is looking to work on satisfying this demand. The company is no stranger to Asia TV Forum & Market and this year, they come with the aim to increase penetration into Southeast Asia, after having seen success in markets such as Japan, Australia and China.
RTVE’s focus is on fiction, and many of their programmes have made it around the world – ‘Department of Time’ has been aired on China’s Bilibili, and ‘Hit’ has premiered on SBS Australia.
FINDING THEIR FOOTING IN ASIA
As the commercial arm of the public broadcaster, ABC Commercial is keen to make inroads into the growing Asian market. Brian Lee, Sales Manager (Content Sales & Distribution) points out that Asia now is very receptive to native language programming. In addition, with Australia’s ethnically diverse population, the content that ABC produces is one that can travel quite well throughout Asia. In the last 6-12 months, Brian has seen strong interest from Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, although he is surprised that Singapore has not been a particularly active market.
As a public broadcaster, the content from ABC tends to be “safe” but Alex Zhou, Sales Executive sees this as a strength. Factuals and Kids content with a strong emphasis on STEM are some of the best performing programs from ABC and have been popular across markets. Two such kids’ content that have performed well internationally are Beep+Mort and Reef School, both animated series. Brian added that Kids live action programs seem to only travel if it is an established IP. Instead ABC Commercial prefers to focus on animated series for kids programs for now.
The latter focuses on high school problems such as violence, drugs, bullying and more. The third season is currently underway, with eight episodes lined up.
RTVE’s Javier Quevedo Pérez, Head of Commercial International Strategy, believes that due to the increase in OTT platforms such as Netflix, the demand for fiction series will continue to snowball. “It’s easy to consume and also less complicated to produce.”
In the pipeline for the company is ‘La caza Guadiana’ with a new season that will premier in time for Christmas.
Although ABC Commercial
Fantastic Timing Fantasy Romance Drama
Show Window: The Queen's House Drama
Work Later Drink Now 2 Drama
TASTES OF HORROR Horror
Seasons of the wetland Documentary
Peet, The Forest Detective Animation
BTS Music Documentary Documentary
Tayo, The Little Bus Season 6 Children and Family
Perfect City SF Action Thriller
Dr. Evacuation Entertainment Oasis Drama
Good Job Drama
Extraordinary Attorney Woo Drama
Jinxed at First Drama
Weekly Idol K-POP Entertainment
Fanletter, Please ! Romance, Comedy
FUTURE CITY: CHERNOBYL VR XR 4K Documentary
Cheer Up Drama Bargain Thriller
The Garden of Harmony Romantic Comedy, Historical Drama
Dinoman Animated TV Series
Andante of Love Romantic Comedy
MORE PIXELS, MORE!
AUX Media Group holds a very bullish view on the future of virtual production and predicts adoption by studios will accelerate in the next two years. Nicholas Tan, Head Digital Content & Virtual Productions opines that the industry’s awareness on the benefits of virtual production have grown tremendously in the last year as more expertise and knowledge resources become easily available. Domestically, the Virtual Production Innovation Fund announced at ATF 2022, will also accelerate adoption.
Since they started their virtual production studio in May 2020, the team has experimented, failed, learnt and have now perfected their workflows. This was evidenced by their successful execution of the Mediacorp’s Star Awards opening segment earlier this year. AUX Media was at ATF 2022 to also demonstrate their unique capability to deploy LED modules anywhere in a popup studio setting, something that they’ve recently perfected. The recent release of Unreal Engine 5.1 also stress-tested the company’s internal knowledge platform, where appointed team members were tasked to stay abreast of new workflows and be the knowledge.
WHEN VIRTUAL PRODUCTION EXCEEDS REALITY
From unreal landscapes to visuallyarresting environments, the mindset and toolset of virtual production can support not only better creative outcomes, but also significant time and cost savings. This is especially relevant in the context of land-scarce Singapore, where extended reality (XR) would make the “impossible” possible for film.
Singapore-based AUX Immersive Studio is Asia’s first adopter of the use of GhostFrame; One of the latest game-changing trends, GhostFrame enables creators to simultaneously capture multiple independent images on camera by interleaving multiple frames of different content between each regular video frame.
While the technology has been employed globally, AUX aims to put their own original spin on the service. On top of markedly accelerating the
use of real-time technologies, they have created their own Unreal content and have supercharged the application of XR technology to virtual and hybrid productions.
The global market for virtual production is expected to grow by 20 per cent, from US$1.8 billion in 2022 to US$2.2 billion in 2023, according to ˚Deloitte’s 2023 Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions latest report.
“The next milestone is to establish ourselves as an international hub for cutting-edge filmmaking technology and to prime ourselves to captitalise on this growing demand,” says Choong Chyi Kei, CEO at AUX Media Group, which launched amidst the worldwide pandemic when XR became a promising means of circumnavigating filming restrictions.
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Nicholas Tan Head Digital Content & Virtual Productions
AUX Media Group
FINDING TREASURES IN PECULIAR NOOKS
Have you heard of a Japanese illustrated book titled, Real Size Paleontology Picture Book? Authored by Ken Tsuchiya, and Supervised by Gunma Prefectural Museum of Natural History, it’ll be something you’ll definitely be hearing about more of. In an exclusive deal, 108 Media, a global production, financing, and distribution company, has optioned this book for production as a TV Series aimed at young families. Partnering with 20stm Pictures, a Belgian production company with a CGI studio, to bring these stories to life, an image teaser has already been completed.
Released on 21st July 2018 by Japanese publisher Gijutsu Hyoronsha, this unique illustrated book asks the question “What if prehistoric existed today?”. Audiences will discover the real size of Prehistoric creatures in an easy-to-understand way by blending them into our everyday landscape –from dinosaurs resting in a car park to marine creatures propped up with surfboards, and giant mammals peering in through apartment windows.
The first volume of the series became a hot topic of conversation
on social media soon after its release, and Amazon sold out their pre-order allocation. The three editions of the series, Vol. Paleozoic, Vol. Mesozoic, and Vol. Cenozoic have sold more than 100,000 copies, and translated editions have been released in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Malaysia.
CLOSER TIES FOR BETTER IDEAS
PROPELLING PARTNERSHIPS POSTPANDEMIC
The ATF Animation Pitch will get an exciting makeover in 2023. In collaboration with Creative Europe and Ties That Bind, the Animation Pitch will add on a new Lab component led by an experienced curator, in addition to an animation project market comprising European and Asian decision makers.
There will be an equal number of finalist projects selected from Europe and Asia every year, with objectives to promote co-production and collaboration between the 2 regions.
“We are thrilled to enrich the existing cooperation with ATF with a brandnew element: The TTB Animation Lab, which will be focusing on animation and bringing together producers and key players in the field from Europe with their Asian colleagues in Singapore. The Animation Lab is another core element of TTB’s 360° offer for film professionals across the value chain invested in cooperation between Europe and Asia,” said Kristina Trapp, CEO EAVE More details will be released in early 2023.
Two production companies — Studio76 from Taiwan and Weiyu Films from Singapore — signed an MOU at the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), announcing their collaboration to organise RisingStories 2023, a screenwriting competition targeted at media professionals seeking to develop their ideas into feature films or episodic television series for the global market.
Present at the MOU signing were Justin Ang, Assistant Chief Executive, Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore (IMDA) and Mr Izero Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA).
RisingStories 2023 will be open to entries in both Chinese and English. Before submissions open in February 2023, a series of masterclasses will kick off in Taiwan and Singapore, where award-winning industry professionals will share their experiences in the process of content creation and production. Other event partners for RisingStories 2023 are Blintn from South Korea, as well as Group M, Mission Entertainment, Rising Films, and TDI from Taiwan.
SEE YOU @ ATF 2023 6 TO 8 DECEMBER 2023 MARINA BAY SANDS, SINGAPORE www.asiatvforum.com
Somewhat unexpected, yet may be unsurprising, given the company’s ambitious plans, is its foray into the education sector. It has partnered with the National University of Singapore’s Business School and Curtin University on a series of media workshops and academic curriculum with the goal to build a “content creator farm” in Southeast Asia. The partnership addresses a gap in the market, according to Guo, who cited the lack of support for local production and cultivation of talent in the region.
Guo Jing Yu
Executive Chairman & Group CEO
G.H.Y Culture & Media
EXTRACTING VALUE IN A FRAGMENTED MEDIA LANDSCAPE
Measuring success and effectiveness has never been as precise as stakeholders would like. The fragmentation of the media industry with the sheer volume of streaming services and platforms, coupled with the limited data available for on-demand platforms, presents a challenge to get a clear picture of ratings and ultimate performance. To get a read on what is working or not, Spyro Markesinis, EVP and Head of Sales of Entertainment One (eOne), leans into consumer viewing insight and what clients are buying as indicators as to what works for them.
High quality, high budget network shows such as ‘The Rookie’ continue to do extremely well, selling out across North America on linear and on-demand services alike. There is a propensity for police and crime procedurals in Asia, which the company has recently closed sales in Japan, and are discussing further deals for some of its library content in Korea and other Southeast Asian countries.
The quality of productions coming out of Korea, Japan and other countries has not gone unnoticed by Spyro, who feels that it makes for a very exciting time to be collaborating on projects and building partnerships with third party producers. “Scripted remakes are a key part of our strategy in the region. eOne continues to mine Hasbro’s vault of IPs to build and reimagine entire brand universes for iconic brands like ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, and currently developing format opportunities in the unscripted space, including the highly anticipated adaptations of ‘Mouse Trap’, ‘Monopoly’ and more.”
For Spyro, Asia remains an important market for eOne. The company has been active in the region since 2017 where it first set up shop in Hong Kong. Returning to ATF in-person since the pandemic, he expresses a measured optimism: “While the market will be valuable in re-establishing old relationships and cementing new connections, I would expect the overall appetite to be tempered. It’s been clear for some time that the shifting exploitation landscape towards on-demand
Seguin Teremoana Managing Director Harbour Rights
consumption, as well as toughening global economic and market conditions have led to strategic review processes across the industry. Acquisitions have either been paused in this period and/or overall acquisition budgets have been affected.”
Buyers will be judicious as they seek out quality that meets the needs of their clients and/or platforms.
CRIME ON THE RISE IN ASIA
There is growing demand for titles of the crime genre in Asia – from cop shows to true crime documentaries and crime dramas – overtaking science and history-related series, which experienced a soar in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, interest in wildlife documentaries remains consistent, as observed by Seguin Teremoana, Managing Director of Harbour Rights. Also, top on buyers’ lists are non-English speaking dramas, especially European titles, from markets such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
“Thanks to the platform boom, we have seen the Asian buyer’s demand for local content skyrocketing. There is a real growth in intra-
regional business, not only for Korean or Chinese drama. In the factual world, domestic commissions have also benefited the local industry, enabling many new talents and stories,” said Seguin.
The Hong Kong-based company recently entered into an exclusive distribution partnership with New Zealand production company, 2B Media. The deal involves the Harbour Rights distributing 150+ hours of factual and documentary content created by the Martin Cleave-led firm, including titles such as “Code 1 Extreme” and “Living With Tourettes”, and a large offering of hunting and fishing titles.
Spyro Markesinis EVP and Head of Sales Entertainment One
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BUYERS WANT HIGH-END TITLES WITH UNIVERSAL APPEAL
Telenovela, action and costume dramas, as well as biopics are some of the trending genres in Latin America. According to Jesús Iriepar Murillo, International Sales Executive of Caracol, consumers are viewing a gamut of genres and, while specific genres may be in greater demand in one territory or market over others, stories with broader universal appeal and high end production value, helmed by a strong cast, generally perform better. These are some of the considerations for the Asian buyer when shopping for content, in addition to stories that can generate online chatter and viewership.
The company has large international ambitions. In September this year, the company inked a framework deal with Madrid-based Secuoya Studios and exHBO exec James Costos, Los Angeles, to jointly develop, produce and finance original Spanish and Latin American scripted series over the next year. The company’s existing slate includes the successful Colombian telenovelas, “The White Slave” (La Esclava Blanca), created by Eduardo Galdo and María Helena Porta for Caracol Televisión, which was recently sold to South Korea, while “Ana’s Revenge” (La Venganza de Analía) was acquired for Vietnam.
At ATF, Jesús is excited to showcase the company’s musical telenovela based on the genre of reggaeton, “The Queen of Flow” (La Reina del Flow). The series has been wellreceived by audiences in Latin America, North America, and Europe, and Jesús is quietly confident that buyers in Asia, too, will be charmed.
CRIME AND FAMILY DRAMAS POPULAR WITH NETWORKS
Over the past three years, GoQuest has diversified its portfolio from Indian content to include content from Europe and the West. Vivek Lath, Managing Director of GoQuest is keen to communicate the company’s expanded product catalogue and position it as a distributor of global fiction with buyers at ATF.
Vivek noted that crime dramas have been quite popular with platforms and networks this year. Its third and new season of ‘Civil Servant’, a Serbian crime thriller, and ‘Traitor’, an Estonian espionage drama, are two of the company’s titles that have performed well in Spanish-speaking markets, with the former being nominated for the Produ Awards this year in the Best Non-Spanish speaking drama and Best Non-Spanish speaking Actor categories. These titles have also been picked up in India, Japan, and Australia on Disney+Hotstar, WOWOW, and SBS On Demand.
Easy, light-hearted family dramas also travel well in Asia and GoQuest hopes to impress with the multigenerational series, ‘Sacrificiul’ about three sisters separated by birth and reunited years later as adults by the fortuitous connection of their children. Vivek hopes that the story’s universal themes of kinship, love, and hope will charm buyers and believes that the series has the potential for adaptation in various cultures and languages – a conversation he is looking forward to having at ATF.
Lath Managing Director GoQuest
Jesús Iriepar Murillo International Sales Executive Caracol
BRANDED FRANCHISES LOCALISED FOR ASIA
It can be challenging to precisely pinpoint content trends in a territory when one considers that consumer viewing tastes are shaped by a variety of factors such as culture, languages, and market size, amongst others. The love for food is, however, universal and in this space, the ‘MasterChef’ franchise reigns supreme, according to Rashmi Bajpai, EVP Sales Asia, of Banijay Rights. The series that brings together amateur home cooks vying for the coveted title is a global hit and has since been adapted locally in China, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand, to name a few. The culinary franchise has also enjoyed the success of junior and celebrity iterations.
“Asia is such a diverse market and the genres that are in demand vary from territory to territory. Our unscripted catalogue is the strongest, as entertainment shows…perform extremely well as they are easier to localise and are more visual in nature,” said Rashmi. This year, after a long time, the company launched
EXPORTING TURKISH CONTENT TO THE WORLD
Turkish content continues to find a foothold in new territories, with human and psychological dramas, periodic or historical dramas, comedy and action trending among consumers. The third season of “The Shadow Team” that is currently airing in Türkiye, is billed as one of the most important productions in the action genre in Turkish television, having reached double-digit ratings and amassing a large loyal following of adoring fans. “Resurrection Ertugrul”, one of the most successful historical period dramas in Türkiye, has been at the top of the rating charts for five seasons. The highly acclaimed series is currently available in more than 70 countries in 45 different languages.
With Turkish TV series reportedly due to exceed $600 million in sales this year, Mustafa İlbeyli, Head of Advertising and Sales of TRT shared that the company is building up its sales arm as it focuses on exporting more Turkish content to lesser known territories. “TRT content has been broadcasting in the Asia Pacific region since 2010 … [to]
countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. We are eager to expand our reach to our stakeholders,” said Mustafa. Other countries it distributes to include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, and Pakistan. “Our catalog is expanding each year with great content and categories to meet the growing demand. Some of our series have not yet aired, but they have generated a lot of buzz and interest. We are already in discussions with some of our partners about these series and new proposals will be announced soon,” he added.
its first international unscripted format, ‘LEGO Masters Korea’ on free-to-air TV (MBC), alongside ‘LEGO Masters China’ (Shenzhen TV). Localised for the Philippines, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ was closely integrated to an online streaming app, from which virtual auditions and voting was conducted.
In Rashmi’s view, buyers in Asia are not very different from those in other territories; they are looking for a good story and content that can drive viewership and subscriptions. She observes that premium scripted titles, especially European dramas and factual content, perform better in Japan, while factual content is well received in China. Survival, adventure and reality entertainment better resonate in India.
“There are more censorship and cultural considerations in Asia compared to Europe or mature markets like the US, Canada, the UK or Australia. The budgets are vastly different too. So, we need several agreements or large volume deals to compensate for the value. As most of our territories are emerging, or not as economically powerful, there is a lot of emphasis on whether a title can attract sponsorships or formats that have cofinancing opportunities,” added Rashmi.
Rashmi Bajpai EVP Sales Asia Banijay Rights
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Mustafa İlbeyli Head of Advertising and Sales TRT
K-CRAZE SWEEPS ACROSS INDIA
Across India, households are getting caught up in the whirl of the hallyu, or the Korean wave. And it is all thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns in the past year, which had people tuning in to k-dramas. “K-Dramas is a current favourite not only amongst the millennials, but also the mid-age viewers because of its relatability to Indian culture as well as the short episode formats. Viewers can finish a series within a month and start a new one,” said Anil Khera, Founder & CEO of One Take Media Co.
The company’s latest acquisition is the lighthearted spy thriller “My Secret Terrius”, available on the company’s newly launched app, Playflix. The service is currently only available in the Indian market and plans are for an Asian rollout in the future. The proliferation and adoption of foreign language content in Asia comes down to the cultural similarities in the region, which far outweigh the differences. “Asian buyers prefer looking for titles that match their culture and sensibilities. Asian countries have similar values and it’s possible to find relatable content across Asian cultures. Language of the content is also of importance, besides immediate availability of the titles,” Anil said.
The company prides itself in being a first mover of distributing K-Dramas in India and has over 5,000 episodes of Korean dramas, with dubbed options in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali, alongside the original language with English subtitles.
BOY LOVE SERIES TRENDING WITH FEMALE CONSUMERS
Asian buyers, especially OTT platform players, are working on big data and leveraging social media tools to analyse audiences’ needs and demands to aid their content acquisition decisions. “Buyers nowadays do not make decisions based on TV ratings or personal preferences, but use proven data to consider the potential of each content offering. Apart from statistics on the research, a lot of buyers are well aware of cultural aspects, whether the content can blend or be accepted by local audiences,” shared Joe Suteestarpon, CEO of Mediaplex International.
According to Joe, the data points to a growing appetite for the genre of boy love series (BL) with the biggest consumers being young women in Thailand and across the globe. For the uninitiated, Thailand’s boy love series culture is mostly inspired by the popularity of Japanese manga in Asia. “The Thai BL series has been distributed internationally to more than 100 countries all around the world which created ‘fangirls’ everywhere. The success of these series on global OTT platforms is undeniable and the number of fangirls from Asia to Latin America has been immense,” said Joe.
Joe Suteestarpon CEO Mediaplex International
The rising popularity of Thai content has also contributed to the developing soft power of Thai actors who make a huge impact on social media and marketing of the content they are starring in. The legion of fans across the globe play a huge role in spreading the BL culture, presenting new markets and opportunities for this genre and it is exciting to see how far it will go.
Anil Khera Founder & CEO One Take Media Co
LOVE LEADS THE WAY
Genres such as action, comedy, familyoriented drama, horror, fantasy to period titles are in constant demand in Asia. Romance comedies and dramas, in particular, are the most successful crowd-pleasers, according to Surin Krittayaphongphun, President of TV Business of BEC World. These genres tend to be anchored by award-winning casting that draws in the eyeballs. Viewers are also attracted to the chemistry between the actors, and the high quality production values.
Beyond Thailand, the company has found success distributing drama in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and recently, Africa. In the new year, the company is casting its eyes on the Latin American market.
BEC World’s most successful title, ‘Bad Romeo’, starring Thai A-listers, Mario Maurer and Yaya Urassaya, has a simulcast release on multiple platforms in China and Southeast Asia. ‘Love and Deception’, starring Puen Khanin, who is touted to be the next big star in Southeast Asia, has been licensed to numerous markets.
I WANT Branded Entertainment REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM East Asia
Surin Krittayaphongphun President of TV Business BEC World
NEW BUYERS True Visions Group Company Ltd I WANT Drama - Series REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM East Asia, Americas, Europe
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IN FOR A PIECE OF THE M&E PIE
India’s media and entertainment (M&E) industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. According to a report by IAMAI and Kantar Research, India’s internet users are expected to reach 900 million by 2025, while AVoD is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24%, and reach US$2.6 billion by 2025. These seismic shifts in India’s media landscape and its monumental growth are felt by companies beyond the M&E sector.
“The rapid growth of OTT channels, increased emphasis on animated intellectual property (IP) content and larger investments in VFX by studios have provided opportunities for both Indian and international players in the Indian market. The Government is working on creating a strong infrastructure to strengthen the M&E sector in India – it involves a centre various disciplines of the
sector, including animation. This has reaped investment into the sector, which stood at US$9.79 between April 2000 and June 2022,” shared Sandeep Narula, Chairman of the Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotion Council.
For the first time at ATF, the Council is participating with a delegation of companies to showcase its products and services, housed under a pavilion. It has lofty plans to create an institutional framework to grow the number of unicorns in the country and has cast its sights on the media industry, as well as the mobile gaming sector that is projected to reach US$7 billion in India by 2025.
“We are innovating to enter newer paradigms, which we never thought of in the earlier years. We have pioneered programs for empowering the Indian industry to enter areas like IoT, manufacture of chips and a lot more. We are also committed to have a huge presence in the M&E sector, particularly in its exports,” Sandeep said. “Indian films and TV shows have audiences much beyond our geographical boundaries. I strongly believe that is going to be our strength, especially when our electronic hardware sector is catching up,” he added.
NON-SCRIPTED TO OUTPERFORM SCRIPTED FORMATS
Scripted formats are starting to plateau. Based on trends observed by Gary Pudney, Founder and Managing Director of O4 Media, non-scripted content is set to make a comeback in a big way. “From an Asian perspective, we are going to see more content which is lighter and fun-to-watch like studio-based quiz and/or game shows with interactive elements for the viewers at home to participate, rather than those brain-taxing formats. There’s always going to be a place for big blue chip, flagship formats.”
The company has diversified its distribution business – that remains its core – to encompass content aggregation and IP development. For Gary, it is about going the extra mile by helping clients source content globally for local adaptation, assisting broadcasters in sourcing finished
content, and developing formats with strategic partners. “We pride ourselves in identifying unique opportunities in the market, while leveraging our partnerships worldwide through a network of content industry leaders and firms. We are a global team and we are passionate about connecting content creators and producers from the East to the West and vice versa,” he said.
Gary describes the company’s slate as progressive and forward-thinking, with titles like “Euphoria” and “Drag Race” making an appearance at ATF. “Championing formats that acknowledge the LGBTQ community is garnering greater recognition. O4 Media is happy to shine a spotlight on this,” he added.
Sandeep Narula Chairman Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotion Council
Founder & Managing Director
REBOOTED FRANCHISES OFFER LONGEVITY
The past couple of years have seen an influx of reboots, revivals, and sequels, some of which take the form of big-budget franchises. They offer enduring success and brand longevity, standing the test of time, through their ability to remain recognisable while embracing change. As a creative property owned by a company, intellectual property has always been key to programming. “The trend is always IP-driven, and some of our current shows in production are based on classic franchises.,” said Grace Chan, Commercial Director, Content & Experiences – APAC of Mattel. “[We] engage audiences through timely and compelling episodic television content and television movies based
on our iconic franchises. Through our animated content, we want kids to feel empowered to embrace their authentic selves and celebrate what makes them unique,” he added.
Distributors who lean on recognisable franchises are likely to be drawn to Mattel’s refurbished slate. Animated children’s series, “Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go” cops a new look and creative feel. In the APAC region specifically, the title has successfully launched in Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and was widely received with a significant increase in ratings and performance. Mattel has also partnered with
Nickelodeon to co-produce a live-action movie and an animated series for the “Monster High ‘’ franchise for the latter’s linear channel and Paramount+ where it is now available in English speaking markets globally. Other familiar titles making an appearance at ATF include “Barbie Mermaid Power”, “He-Man & the Masters of the Universe”, as well as the new live action movie, “Snowy Rescue”.
In addition to showcasing the company’s new kids’ animated content to current partners and connecting with new platforms, Fred is looking forward to speaking with potential co-production partners for content in the company’s pipeline.
Grace Chan Commercial Director, Content & Experiences – APAC Mattel
I WANT Drama - Crime Investigation REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia I WANT Docs & FactualReality/ Factual REGIONS I’D LIKE TO BUY FROM Southeast Asia
VP Acquisitions & Co-Productions
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Alistair Roseburgh Director of
NEW IPs 2023
The documentary follows the life of Brother Joseph McNally, an Irishman born in 1923 in the countryside of Ballintubber, County Mayo, how he joined the religious Lasallian order and found himself halfway round the world in Singapore where he discovered his true calling; to raise up the neglected arts scene. ‘Brother Joe’ offers an insight into McNally’s life and his setting up of an Arts College in the 1980s with nothing but sheer tenacity and passion.
GO GO GIWAS SEASON 4
An educational 3D animated series that features the life and culture of Taiwan’s aboriginal people, presenting their struggles and experiences through the titular character, Giwas. A girl of the Atayal tribe, Giwas works toward her dream of becoming the leader of the tribe and covers a range of topics and concepts in science and nature.
A group of talented teenagers are determined to get into the most prestigious Academy of Art in the country. Coming from different social classes and backgrounds, they are bonded by the common dream to become a superstar. As they compete against each other for the top spot, their friendship, admiration and love for each other will be tested beyond what they could ever imagine. COMPANY:
COMPANY: THE CURIOUS PANGOLIN PTE LTD
COMPANY: ENGINE STUDIOS LLC
THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO
NEW IPs 2023
THE HEADERS IN WONDERLAND
The Headers are a group of fun-loving animals that live on the Savannah, whose homes are hit by an unexpected typhoon. Caught in the whirlwind, the creatures find themselves far away from their home and band together to find their way home, while overcoming obstacles they meet along the way.
THE CLASH AND COEXISTENCE OF CIVILIZATIONS
PISHACHINI (THE EVIL WITCH)
Inspired by the rich Indian folklore of pishachini or evil witches, the story is of a beautiful, wicked pishachini, Rani, who lies trapped in a vessel by a powerful priest. When a new family moves into the neighbourhood, one of the family members unwittingly frees Rani. In a battle of good versus evil, Rani returns with a vengeance for her captor and everyone who has had a role in the entrapment.
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY TWO 8DEC
COMPANY: AROUNDEFFECT INC COMPANY: PLAYONCAST
‘The Clash and Coexistence of Civilizations’ examines the growth of Muslim countries and the economic rise of the East Asia. The documentary offers an insight into how Muslim communities are preserving their unique culture and traditions, and co-exist in a complex diverse and changing world.
DISTRIBUTION PVT LTD
NEW IPs 2023
WISHING UPON THE SHOOTING STARS
In this heart-warming series, an adorkable, low-confidence 9-to-5 salaryman who just got laid off his job, and a youthful slashie with a sunny personality seeking to escape from his dull jobs, meet on an island under the shooting stars, weaving a fantastical romance of healing and self-rediscovery.
In this story of heartbreak and love, a young woman continues to suffer from the heartache of her split with her boyfriend seven years ago. In hopes of mending her broken heart, she agrees to a blind date set up by her mom. However, destiny would have something else planned for her when a series of funny accidents occur as she mistakes her date for someone else.
NGUYEN’S WELCOME TO KOREA
Exploring the essence of South Korea and its diverse cuisine, this lifestyle series sees Vietnamese–Australian chef and restaurateur, Luke Nguyen embarking on a road trip around Seoul to discover its stunning geographic landscapes, and sample the capital’s humble street hawker fare, to some of the city’s best fine dining.
COMPANY: PARADE MEDIA GROUP
COMPANY: YOIISZ INTERNATIONAL MEDIA LIMITED
COMPANY: CHINESE TELEVISION SYSTEM
NEW IPs 2023
Action film actor, Toshiro is a man with a single goal: to perfect action film acting. But when his samurai-approach to the profession clashes with an industry addicted to wires, CGI and quick edits, Toshiro and his apprentice decide to make their dream film themselves. When actual violence finds its way onto their film set in the form of mobsters looking for a hidden cache of drugs, Toshiro is suddenly thrust into action.
ZOMBIEDUMB SEASON 3
As the moon soars high in the sky, mischievous zombie kids rise from slumber and secretly gather at Moon Street. Back with a third instalment, this ridiculously funny slapstick comedy series features Hana, a human girl and her zombie friends as they go off on adventures with unexpected twists and turns.
This series is an adaptation of the original story of the same title, featuring a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales. The drama unfolds in three different times and locations; the first, present day Tehran, Iran; the second story in present day Istanbul, Turkey; and the third, an ancient world called ‘The World of Imagination’.
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY TWO 8DEC
COMPANY: TOEI COMPANY, LTD COMPANY: ANYZAC CO LTD
INTERNATIONAL ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
NEW IPs 2023
The Austronesian peoples, sometimes referred to as Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of peoples scattered across Taiwan, SEA and the Pacific Islands. But where did Austronesians originate? One theory dates back to the tribes from Taiwan that spread their genetic and cultural legacy. This eyeopening documentary explores the origins of the Austronesians and their connections to communities across Southeast Asia and beyond.
COMPANY: THIRD FLOOR PICTURES PTE LTD
The action-packed adventures of Chubi, an alley cat who comes to the rescue of two humans, who decide to adopt their new feline friend. From stray to pet, Chuli learns to adapt to living in a house, learning valuable lessons along the way, as well as keeping his human companions safe and happy.
In this noir meets sci-fi action thriller, an elite police officer becomes seriously injured and has to undergo a life-changing operation that sees him retrofitted with cybernetics. When he learns that the injury is no accident but a nefarious plot, he finds himself going down a rabbit hole of conspiracy and betrayal.
INC THE FOUNTAINHEAD
NEW IPs 2023
LITTLE DINOSAUR KUANG
Little dinosaur Kuang and his friends travel around the village in their friendly super bus while picking up a skill or two through song and dance.
MEGA RACER ANIMATION, CHILDREN
Go on an adrenaline pounding race of a lifetime with an intrepid crew of friends who circle around the universe to save their friends, families and the world.
THE DAY I DIE
When the largest shopping store in South Korea crashes, trapping people under the rubble, Ian Jeong takes it upon himself to rally survivors and find a way to stay alive until help arrives.
COMPANY: EYESCREAM STUDIO
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY TWO 8DEC
COMPANY: SOUL CREATIVE COMPANY: STUDIO W.BABA
NEW IPs 2023
A hair-raising anthology mini-series that delves into the hidden side of humanity, exploring the repressed, rejected, and taboo aspects of traditionally-conservative societies across Southeast Asia. In this provocative new series, the shadows of five characters from Southeast Asian countries will be brought to light as each of them battle the malevolent “dark sides” of themselves and the cities they live in.
The series follows seven lovely mermaid princesses as they splash their way into mythical underwater adventures. The currents are not always smooth for these royal flippers as the princesses must juggle going to school while searching for enchanted jewels that can help them save their undersea realm from an evil witch.
LU AND THE BALLY BUNCH
Navigating life in pre-school comes with its share of trepidation, excitement and a huge serving of fun! In this animated dramedy, three-anda-half-year old Lu embarks on a brand new social life as she befriends the Bally Bunch. What ensues is a funny and affectionate adventure.
COMPANY: 9 STORY MEDIA GROUP INC
COMPANY: BIRDMANDOG PTE LTD
COMPANY: CAMPFIRE ANIWORKS CO LTD
NEW IPs 2023
BOONIE BEARS: GUARDIAN CODE
Young bear cubs, Briar and Bramble live happily in Crystal Peaks with their mother Barbara, until one day, a fire breaks out. Their mother makes it out alive but goes missing. As grown bears, the brothers are on a field trip, when one of them notices a scientist in possession of an amber stone that once belonged to their mother. Thus begins their journey to find their mother.
RIP HENRY DRAMA
This comedy series revolves around Henry, who is diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour and given just one more year to live. His determination drives him to start a secret battle to find a cure. But as he struggles to maintain his usual air of superiority over his patients and colleagues, he questions if it is finally time to be open about his feelings and be vulnerable.
Set in Los Angeles, California, 1834, Zorro the masked crusader perishes in flames after a heroic battle The people’s hopes for justice are dashed but only momentarily. Hearing the prayers and pleas of the Indigenous American community, the spirits awaken and bless a young man with the powers of Zorro, creating a new masked avenger.
COMPANY: MEDIAWAN RIGHTS
+ ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY TWO 8DEC
COMPANY: FANTAWILD ANIMATION INC
COMPANY: GLOBAL SCREEN GMBH
NEW IPs 2023
Cabeon is a mysterious shape-shifting creature, able to transform from a card into a monster, or anything else that the imagination can conjure. Cute and charming, the likeable creature journeys on a different adventure each episode in this kids’ series that promises to deliver on adventure, fun, and friendship.
Adapted from a novel of the same title, two lovers live in two distant parts of Mount Qaf. A prince who lives in a glorious tower in the nice part of Mount Qaf, robbed of love. On the other side, a woman with a fighting spirit who brings the joy of spring to a poverty-stricken area. Destiny would push them to their breaking points as the couple suffer an inconsolable loss when their daughter is taken away from them.
In this series about a large, close-knit family of sheep that run a small and independent hotel, five-year-old Bella and her older brother, seven-year-old Benny, are only too eager to welcome and greet new animal guests of all sorts, and help their parents transform the hotel into a popular vacation destination.
COMPANY: APC KIDS
COMPANY: DREAM FACTORY STUDIO
COMPANY: SARAN STUDIOS
NEW IPs 2023
BROTHERS IN ARMS
The historical crime documentary mini-series follows the life and death of two notorious gun slinging gangster brothers – The Hassan Brothers – in 1972 Singapore. It examines the circumstances surrounding the brothers’ death, reimaging the gritty reality of Singapore in the turbulent 1970s and its gun laws; where using an illegal firearm means the death penalty!
THE SWARM DRAMA, THRILLER
Strange things are happening in our oceans: whales destroy boats, deep sea crabs attack beaches, an unknown ice worm destabilises continental slopes and triggers tsunamis. A group of scientists come together through their shared sense that something bigger is at play. But hardly anyone believes their findings. And so, the group are forced to undertake a life-threatening mission, tracking the intelligent life force within the Arctic Ocean.
LIVING WITH DAD
This father-daughter toon sitcom tackles the action and routine of an unconventional family revolving around a single dad and his four very different daughters, Baby Bella, Roxane, Ondine and Panda! The series depicts life from the dad’s perspective as he raises his children and navigates their colourful personalities. No two days are alike for this dad!!
72 + ATF 2021 hybrid edition preview ATF 2022 DAY TWO 8DEC
COMPANY: MEDIATOON DISTRIBUTION
COMPANY: PROTAGONIST BY M PTE LTD
BETA FILM GMBH