ATF 2020 - Show Daily Day 1

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THE 2020 OFFICIAL – 1 Dec 2020









3:23 PM

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DECEMBER 1—4 @ 10:30AM–12: 30PM MORNINGS with Industry Leaders @ 12:30PM–2PM LUNCHTIME Buying @ 2PM–5PM

Smurfette trending the new masking up culture: The Smurfs comes to ATF Online+ with great new content and surprises in the mail this year.

@ 3:30PM–5PM




IN Development


Opening CEREMONY & FIRESIDE CHAT with Singapore’s Minister for Communications & Information, S Iswaran



An Event of

COFFEE HOUR Content Showcase


CONFERENCE – Southeast Asian Film Financing Forum (SAFF)




SPECIAL Section – The Spirit of Kokoro: Virtuosic, Breathtaking, Instinctive, Inspirational



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FE SCR ATURE E D Full ENING Epis S Ava ode ilab s le! (via AT

Scre F’s Libr ening ary)

Production AFTERNOONS @ 5PM–5:30PM Southeast Asian Film Financing Forum Speed Dating Sessions SAFF Project Market Speed Dating Sessions COFFEE HOUR CONTENT SHOWCASE Daily from 2pm–5pm

Variety in Genre & Formats





INDIA: WIN FOR RE-INVENTED “TOM AND JERRY” The world’s most famous chase cartoon – Tom and Jerry – is the subject of a local experiment to localise the show in India. WarnerMedia’s Cartoon Network has added a local-language narration track to The Tom and Jerry Show in order to broaden its appeal and provide increased resonance. It seems to have worked because in the latest data from the launch week, the show occupied the top slot for the entire kids’ category*. In many series iterations over its 80-year history, Tom and Jerry has been a non-

dialogue show – with voices provided by the characters in only some series. However, in the new India version, for the first time ever, a commentary-style audio track has been added. Season 4 of The Tom and Jerry Show (26HH, 2019/2020) is airing daily on Cartoon Network in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. And now that the fan-reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, the local programming team is looking to introduce the new dub to other seasons.

* Data source: BARC, India Urban, Kids 2—14, 13:30-13:59, All Days

ATF Online+ sees a large contingent of Chinese participants this year, inspiring a slew of impressive offerings across this year’s compelling conference sessions. A first this year, the China Pavilion partners ATF to present diverse content and facilitate connections with key Chinese brands under the special “Focus on China” segment. From exclusive statistics on China’s media and entertainment industry, to the participation of China’s biggest names in traditional and digital platforms, the sponsorship titled “Focus on China” offers a unique look into the advancement of the country’s talent ecosystem to its creative collective. There are 40 Chinese exhibitors taking part in this year’s ATF – hitting a record high, bringing over 300 outstanding Chinese content to ATF, including over 120 TV dramas, about 120 animations, 20 documentaries, and 40 shows of other types. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore.

EARLY 2021: GLOBE’S HBO GO BOOST IN THE PHILIPPINES WarnerMedia and Globe, the largest mobile network operator in the Philippines, have jointly announced that Globe customers will have a new and easy way to subscribe to HBO GO, WarnerMedia’s streaming service in Southeast Asia, from early 2021, giving Filipinos access to thousands of hours of non-stop entertainment on the go on any connected device. Currently, Globe Prepaid users may go for an extra 1GB for HBO GO with GoWATCH10 on top of their favourite 04

Go promos via the GlobeOne app to enjoy HBO GO. New Globe at Home postpaid subscribers and plan upgraders starting December 1, 2020, can receive three months of the streaming service. Coming soon in 2021, Globe Postpaid and Prepaid customers will also be able to subscribe to the service via the GlobeOne app, with Globe Platinum customers able to charge their subscription under their monthly consumable allowance.



IN DEVELOPMENT @ ATF MAKE IT WITH US… “Our priorities in promoting the media industry are to encourage the production of ‘MadeWith-Singapore’ collaborations and strengthen the capabilities of our local media SMEs and talents through initiatives such as the Capability Partnership Programme; build greater synergy between Singapore’s distinguished pool of media and tech companies through projects which will harness creative media and tech capabilities to drive positive economic outcomes; and provide platforms such as SMF where the successes and achievements brought about through these initiatives can be showcased to a global audience.” – Howie Lau, Assistant Chief Executive, Media and Innovation, Infocomm Media Development Authority

Man of the media, Howie enjoys current affairs programmes on Channel NewsAsia, and usually catches them on television or online at Mediacorp’s streaming platform, meWatch.

HI-TECH WITH A HEART The age-old tradition of storytelling continues to be relevant in the digital world. Indeed, it is the heart and soul of any successful content, regardless of how shiny a skin it receives or how fast it is delivered to the masses. The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation in the industry and widened the consumption gap between digital and traditional channels. For example, in the US, the CAGR (compound and annual growth rate) of time spent on media between 2018 and 2022 is expected to be +5% for digital channels and -2% for traditional channels. In fast-growth markets such as China, the gap is even larger with 8% annual growth for digital channels and an annual drop of 3% for traditional channels (World Economic Forum, 2020 Future of Media Report). As audiences move to digital platforms, companies will shift their business models accordingly to capture these segments. “Despite the gradual decline of traditional channels, its platforms still enjoy a wealth of credibility with consumers as they do not face the issues, which comes with digitalisation such as the proliferation of fake news, and unauthorised personal data collection,” said Howie Lau, Assistant Chief Executive, Media and Innovation, Infocomm Media Development Authority. “As the world shifts to a digital landscape, it is important to strike 06

a balance between digital and traditional mediums as a means of communication.” With this in mind, Howie noted that digital technologies, in no uncertain terms, are becoming an integral part of society today. “They have brought about many conveniences, such as online shopping and accessible entertainment, as well as other benefits including a greater ease in navigation, new ways of learning and fostering deeper connections with family and friends. “As Singapore becomes increasingly connected through technology, it is important that no one is excluded from these benefits and opportunities provided by technology in their day-to-day lives,” Howie expounded. “We have in place several efforts that aim to equip our citizens to use technology actively, responsibly and confidently.” Howie also noted that the programmes Singapore has invested in reach out to individuals, schools and communities across all ages. “It provides them with access to technology, digital literacy skills and knowhow, as well as the experiential opportunity to try their hands on a myriad of frontier technology to understand how they can impact the way we work, live, learn, and play,” Howie continued, giving examples of some initiatives launched to encourage a digitallyinclusive society.


The advent of 5G makes content more readily available for consumers. Advanced 5G technologies promise surfing speeds 20 times faster than what 4G networks offer and the ability to connect 1,000 times as many devices. This also results in a much lower latency between a streaming source and the viewer. “As media and entertainment becomes more accessible, we expect an increase in media mobile consumption. “These dramatic improvements in speed, quality, and reliability during media consumption will lead to radical innovations in premium content, such as dedicated virtual reality sports channels and multiplayer mobile games.

This includes Seniors Go Digital – launched in May 2020 to reach out to and with the aim of raising digital skills of 100,000 seniors by March 2021; and Hawkers Go Digital – launched in June 2020 to help hawker stallholders adopt digital tools such as e-payments, with more than 5,000 stallholders offering e-payment services as of August 2020.



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A Catalyst, Not a Cataclysm Striking a note of realistic optimism, the ATF Online+ Opening Ceremony held at the Marina Bay Sands Hybrid Broadcast Studio, saw a healthy dose of confidence despite the global pandemic. Officiated by Yeh Chien Ee, President Reed Exhibitions APAC and S. Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, the main message throughout the Opening Ceremony focused on the catalytic effects of the pandemic in hastening transformations in the media industry that were already happening. Minister Iswaran also affirmed the Singapore government’s faith in the industry and urged the preservation and enhancement of the industry’s capabilities to emerge stronger postCovid-19. Singapore, in particular, is well placed to continue to be a living lab for the convergence of media and technology with its hyper connected, multi-cultural society.

An ATF first: As ATF goes online this year, the new norm today meant having a ball of a time being amidst new digital toys. Stunning screen wowed the audience at the physical Opening Ceremony of the ATF Online+ at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

A Positive Outlook for the Media Landscape Guest of Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore, kicked off the inaugural Mornings with Industry Leaders segment “In Conversation” with moderator Steven Chia, Presenter/ Senior Editor, CNA. The session provided insights to manoeuvring the challenges faced by the industry.

remains the same. He noted that the challenge would lie in taking a good story and positioning it for the kind of technological innovation where platforms are so diverse. In addition, while the pandemic has quickened processes and brought about certain trends, it is difficult to be definitive about how the industry will change.

The challenge would lie in taking a good story and positioning it for the kind of technological innovation where platforms are so diverse.”

Despite the uncertainty in the current media landscape and it becoming more competitive, Minister Iswaran remains optimistic about prospects for the industry. He emphasised that what industry players should be doing, as an economy, is not to pick winners, but instead, position themselves to participate in and contribute to broader trends.

It is, however, heartening to know that there is an abundance of talent within

– Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore

During the conversation, moderator Steven also highlighted some uncertainty as to what will connect with audiences, and more so, with a convergence of media and technology, whether certain business models will or will not work. However, a good story has undeniable appeal that cuts across segments, and as Minister Iswaran had rightly put it, the creative aspect 10

the Southeast Asian region, where the rate of adoption of technology is very high among the younger generation. It then becomes essential to energise this broad base of talent and not only encourage them to generate content, but also aggregate the content in some way. A point to note though, is that although the barriers of entry to content creation has lowered, criteria for success remains the same.

Extending the conversation on digital readiness and creativity, Minister S Iswaran looks set to be further invested in Singapore’s growth in the content and technology realms




Despite the crowded OTT space, Archana is on top of her game, seeing how Zee5 had the foresight to expand globally before the trend. She spoke candidly to moderator, Akul Tripathi (left)

For entities to go global, they need a global platform and licensing rights across the globe. ZEE5 was fortunate that they were the first Indian media organization to establish a series of offices around the world, while they were still doing linear programming. ” – Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global

Plan, Prepare & Adapt: Zee5 Global is No Stranger to Rolling with the Punches Launched in February 2018, ZEE5 is an Indian VOD service. Archana Anand (Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global) spoke candidly about their success and what OTT platforms need to expand. For entities to go global, they need a global platform and licensing rights across the globe. ZEE5 was fortunate that they were the first Indian media organization to establish a series of offices around the world, while they were still doing linear programming. By the time they launched in the OTT format, they had already built a global consumer base and they did not need to market aggressively. Archana noted that the current OTT space is crowded, and with so many players jostling for eyeballs, consumers are spoilt for choice. Standing out in this scenario is one big challenge. For ZEE5, the Indian content they have resonated quickly with neighbouring


markets – they shot to number one in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka within three weeks. They were also well-received in APAC, and particularly the Middle East. After establishing in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, they were well poised to move onto Europe and North America. Another challenge is the need to create and serve top tier content, as global players have raised the bar on the quality and nature of content. Moreover, the average consumer would have numerous choices but would likely only commit to a couple of apps on an annual basis. Platforms will need to pinpoint what that consumer is watching, for how long, and importantly, what he’s consciously willing to pay for. Even with all the preparation and data, Archana stressed the need for flexibility and to be able to roll with the

punches. Even without the pandemic, changes are rapid and disruptive. “You have absolutely no way to forecast what tomorrow holds beyond the point,” Archana said emphatically. As it was, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns had been a bonanza for video streaming. With people confined to their homes and bored, video streaming spiked and services reacted quickly to capitalize on that opportunity. ZEE5 marketed their annual subscriptions aggressively and saw an increase of about 85% on their subscriber update. Even after lockdowns eased in different parts of the world, likely because they had made that financial commitment, many viewers are still using their subscriptions with way more engagement than pre-COVID times.




CONFERENCE Staying Nimble in Pandemic Headwinds In this engaging session, Priya Dogra, who recently took over the role as President of WarnerMedia EMEA & Asia (excl. China), spoke about the company’s recent reorganization and shifts in business models. Notably, WarnerMedia created an international unit to house all of their commercial activities, international programming, operations, and distribution. Previously, the different units (Turner, HBO and Warner Brothers) operated independently, but WarnerMedia decided to integrate these separated units, for cohesion and simplicity, into regional structures. There have already been an erosion of the pay TV ecosystem and box office, and a shift of advertising from linear to digital and streaming. Priya noted that the pandemic had accelerated all these trends. However, as people have found ways to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, markets have seen some recovery and the current outlook is actually cheerier than it was in March. Still, the industry on the whole is facing secular headwinds and there remains a lot of uncertainty about how the pandemic will play out. However, Priya opined that WarnerMedia has tightened their structure to prioritize and enable strategic choices for the future. Further, by streamlining, WarnerMedia aims to create an organization that can have the kind of nimbleness and agility in decision making, traits which


New leader: Uplifting and fresh, Priya gives WarnerMedia a new perspective on structure and mission in the new year and beyond. The session was moderated by Vivek Couto, Executive Director & Co-founder, Media Partners Asia (right)

has proven crucial in the turbulence of 2020. Another shift in business models has been from B2B to D2C. With more consumer data comes a deeper understanding of what viewers want; marketing will be able to take a more targeted and efficient approach. Priya discussed the various ways WarnerMedia is getting their product and content to the viewer. While trends on the whole have showed a movement from one delivery mode to another, it does not necessarily mean that certain modes extrapolate towards a fixed end-date. Rather, a variety of ways

While trends on the whole have showed a movement from one delivery mode to another, it does not necessarily mean that certain modes extrapolate towards a fixed end-date. Rather, a variety of ways of consuming content exists because viewers still choose them.” – Priya Dogra President of Warnermedia EMEA & Asia (excl. China)





of consuming content exists because viewers still choose them. Viewers may decide they no longer want to consume in a certain way – in which case those businesses will plot a certain trajectory – but until then, all these choices are still valid ways in which businesses interact with their consumers. She noted that the main challenge in content delivery is not technology, or lack of capability. Rather, the challenge is that businesses are already entrenched in certain business models, and if businesses want to develop a different model, they would have to make different decisions, and these take time.





A breath of fresh air: Speaking face-to-face, IMDA’s Howie led an enjoyable and highly pertinent session

Digital Innovation: The Importance of People & Being Woke Digital technologies have proven a useful and necessary tool to ensure continuity of businesses during the current pandemic. The technologies that enabled this shift already existed; however, it took a while for people to adjust to working with these digital platforms. Michael Gryseels, president of True Digital Group, presented a lucid and insightful keynote on the role and impact of digital technologies for businesses and consumers. The media and entertainment industry had always been the frontrunner in digital and related technologies. Michael said there has been massive demand for streaming services, for online education search, for consumer to consumer communications. In the short term, there had been massive demand for streaming services, consumer communications, and e-commerce. There was an imperative for companies to provide virtual


experiences and digital interfaces for their consumers. In the longer term, as consumers move online, they will be asking new questions. For instance, where does the chicken they buy come from? The pandemic has fuelled an increased awareness of health and consumer become more preoccupied in knowing how their food is sourced. Answering these questions requires new technologies that facilitate traceability in value chains because current value chains are disaggregated. End-to-end value chain optimization will become increasingly important. In addition to the disruption of supply chain by the pandemic, escalation of geopolitical dynamics has increased uncertainty as well. These factors point to the increasing need for endto-end visibility, both for consumers and businesses, which will drive the demand for different technologies that will facilitate this visibility.

There are lots of opportunities in digital, but the impeding factor is the lack of skilled people. ...even prior to the pandemic, the demand for people with digital skills was four times higher than the number of graduates with relevant skills.” – Dr Michael Gryseels, President of True Digital Group

Beyond new digital technologies is the innovative intersection of different proficiencies. Michael provided examples in commerce, telemedicine and farming, where the value lies in “creating innovation in sectors that have not seen innovation”. However, Michael was adamant that people are the determining factor to success of digital technologies. He had previously said that “90% of digital transformation is with people”. There are lots of opportunities in digital, but the impeding factor is the lack of skilled people. He noted that even prior to the pandemic, the demand for people with digital skills was four times higher than the number of graduates with relevant skills. This gap will not be filled by universities, but by training the existing employees. To develop innovative solutions, we need people with different skills.





CatchPlay’s expansion into the Asian region is received with open arms

These days, creatives are encouraged to play with different subjects and to tell stories in different ways. Investors, too, are becoming more adventurous.” – Daphne Yang CEO of CatchPlay

Challenging the Traditional: Trends in the Drama Industry Audiences are becoming more adventurous; they expect more than just traditional varieties, such as romantic dramas. Recent popular dramas such as CatchPlay’s “The World Between Us” and Netflix’s “Queen Gambit” have proven unlikely stars. Who would have thought that a show about a board game like chess could provide such riveting action? This recent trend thus expands the drama industry’s creative license to explore topics that would not have been touched in the past. These days, creatives are encouraged to play with different subjects and to tell stories in different ways. Investors, too, are becoming more adventurous. They are moving from funding content that are traditionally known to be popular, to asking for novel content that could create an impact with audiences.


Audiences are also becoming savvier. With increasing penetration of OTT platforms, people from different regions are exposed to a wider variety of stories. The standard of storytelling is ever rising and the challenge to producers is, ever, what more can you do with the story? Daphne Yang, CatchPlay’s CEO described the company’s role as a ponder staying half a step ahead of the market. They work to bridge creative teams with what audiences want. The focus of the creative team may need to expand or narrow, depending on context. For instance, a team that is focused on the local market may need help in expanding their work to appeal to other audiences, while a team that is already very regional may need advice on what would resonate with local audiences. CatchPlay also brings

financing and distribution structure to the project, allowing the creative team to focus on creating. These knowledges of the regional territories are particularly important for regional local players to survive when international OTT players are coming in. Asia is a complex market with many differences between territories in terms of culture and languages. Southeast Asia alone might be separated into over 20 markets, simply based on cultural and language differences. Would remakes of the same story in different languages for each of these territories be a smart decision? Smaller players would not have the economies of scale. Yet, these are also markets with a lot of energy – CatchPlay sees their business in Indonesia growing around 100% every year.






Not so different: An insightful conversation between an interesting mix, with points-of-view from Brunei, India and Turkey

Winning Trends in Dramas: What Buyers Want In this informative discussion, the three experienced panellists described and contrasted content acquisition in their respective countries. Mariani Abdullah (DM Don Square Entertainment, Brunei) commented that viewers in Brunei love dramas, such as romantic comedies and youthoriented shows. As Brunei is a Muslim country, the government has strict rules on foreign content. Mariani gave the example of a title that was initially approved some time back. Shortly after, they rejected the show because the protagonist’s business was wine making. Adem Uysal (TV+, Turkey) noted that genres such as action, drama, crime, mystery sci-fi are popular in Turkey. While Turkish viewers do enjoy local content, Turkish viewers are also receptive to a wide variety of international shows, including Spanish, German and Nordic dramas. “The Untamed” (China) was well-received, as were Russian dramas. Asian dramas with a Western-style storytelling, such as “A Suitable Boy”, might be popular as well. Turkey and Asian countries share enough cultural similarities, promoting content exchange. Aaron Mascarenhas (MX Player, India) agreed, commenting that Indian viewers have enthusiastically received international content from Turkey to


Korea and China. Cultural similarities

promote content exchange, and it is unsurprising that Turkish dramas tend to do well in Asia and vice versa. As well, Asian dramas are appealing to Brunei audiences because of similarities in way of life traditions. It is hard to acquire in India because it is an emerging country, but also extremely competitive – there are thousands of Indian channels. Aaron described the prices as “either too high or too low”. However, they produce their own content, so they know the market benchmarks of price

Cultural similarities promote content exchange, and it is unsurprising that Turkish dramas tend to do well in Asia and vice versa.” – Aaron Mascarenhas, Sr. Director, Content Acquisitions & Alliances, MX Player

points. Moreover, MX Players targets a different market segment from other OTT players. OTT players such as Netflix have been producing local content in Turkey for about two years. Consequently, Adem noted an urgency to keep up with competitors because if they want to engage their audience, they need to produce their own local content; something they aimed to start. Acquisition prices in Turkey are increasing, but budgets are limited. The tendency then is to acquire the least risky content, but they do marketing around new series as well.

















Cathy opens up about where Banijay Rights is heading, after its acquisition of Endemol Shine Group and going into 2021



Remaining Relevant While the pandemic has been on everyone’s minds, 2020 had been an exciting year for Banijay Rights for more positive reasons. The French TV production company recently completed the acquisition of Endemol Shine Group in early July. Since then, the company has been focused on integration. Cathy Payne (CEO, Banijay Rights) revealed more about the deal. This acquisition makes Banijay the largest international content producer and distributor, comprising 200 companies across 22 territories spanning from the US and Latin America, to Europe and Asia. Banijay also launched a new Banijay rights distribution business, their new combined catalogue and website viewing platform online. While both companies have rich experience in non-scripted production, Endemol’s strength lay in English scripted production, particularly in the UK and US. Banijay, on the other hand, focused a lot more on non-scripted and non-English scripted production, with more spread than Endemol. Endemol also brings to the table production outfits from the UK, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Latin America. 22


Unsurprisingly, the pandemic had affected Banijay’s production and distribution. Non-scripted has been the first to resume production, in varying stages in parts of Europe, though Cathy expects scripted to resume next year. Production in Asia has been mixed. Many of their major shows are back in production, such as “Big Boss” (India). Formats that rely on traveling, such as “Survivor”, remain stymied by COVID delays. Large scripted shows such as “Peaky Blinders” will also be delayed. While distribution has been affected, Banijay has the advantage of a large library (88,000 hours). When asked about content strategy, Cathy noted the one factor that catches Banijay’s attention is, if a non-scripted show had cracked the big markets. They also look for formats that can be scalable. Banijay’s production will then look at a format and what adaptions may need to be done for that local market, while maintaining the structure and discipline of that format.

Nonscripted has been the first to resume production, in varying stages in parts of Europe, though Cathy expects scripted to resume next year.” – Cathay Payne, CEO, Banijay Rights

Cathy sees their biggest growth markets in Asia as the VOD segment, both subscription and AVOD. They are interested in pan-regional deals, and multi-territory deals. Big markets with good growth include India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Thailand remains an important market, and they would like to achieve more in South Korea and Japan as well.





CONFERENCE Key Success Drivers for Unscripted Shows Seo Hye-jin was the brainchild behind the phenomenal reality shows, Miss Trot and Mr Trot, which set the highest ratings record (35.7%) for unscripted shows in Korean television. This session explores how strong content, as exemplified by Miss Trot and Mr Trot, could serve as potential drivers in the industry. Trot is a genre of Korean popular music that is distinguished by its use of repetitive rhythm and vocal inflections. Trot has been around for almost a century, and though its unique singing style is constantly evolving, it was regarded as old-fashioned in the wake of K-pop’s rise in the 1990s. More recently, there has been renewed interest in the genre and young singers helped popularize it among young listeners. Hye-jin, who holds a PhD in Social Science, noted that although the target audience for these Trot shows was not the young generation viewers, they were able to reach this audience through OTT and YouTube. They realized the two-way influence OTT had on TV programmes, as well as how traditional TV itself also affected the content of OTT platforms. Other reasons for the success of Miss Trot and Mr Trot were the audition format, and the fact that the contestants were not professionally trained. Instead, the crew drew on previous experience in training ordinary people in the entertainment industry to turn these ordinary individuals into stars. That unique facet further distinguished TV Chosun’s Trot shows from other Trot audition programs. TV Chosun recently launched a new extreme version of a reality programme called “We Got Divorced”. Inspired by Netflix series like “Selling Sunsets” and “Real Housewives”, these programmes investigates items, issues and events, and are planned in self-regulated episodes. While audition programmes hold great potential, they require capital investment for success. Extreme reality programmes do not require as much capital.


A rare session to have Hye-jin speak on TV Chosun’s unprecedented success with their format, Miss Trot and Mr Trot. Moderated by Hwang Jin-woo, this is the first time Hye-jin has spoken on an international stage

Hye-jin commented that it is important to consider cultural and social context. Koreans, for instance, are drawn to dramatic settings. Korean viewers love audition programs with competition and melodrama, as well as extreme reality programs in regular life settings. She opined that the shows that succeed on OTT platforms

It is important to consider cultural and social context. Koreans, for instance, are drawn to dramatic settings” – Seo Hye-jin, Executive Director, TV Chosun

are those that are emotionally provoking, and what is key is what kind of emotions are raised. Content developers need to be cognisant of what emotions and how they are going to evoke these emotions in their audiences.




Exclusive insights into the world of drama, Avril expounds on the lucrative drama genre that has propelled Asia to the top

The diverse array of dramas coming out of Asia showcases these differences, yet there are threads of similarities as well. Morals are present and Asian dramas often present a strong sense of family and community. ” – Avril Blondelot, Head of Content Insight, Glance

Medical Dramas Soar Amidst Pandemic Avril Blondelot (Head of Content Insight, Glance) spoke about the effect of the pandemic on the industry, and the winning dramas in Asia. It is inevitable that the pandemic had a huge impact. The number of new scripted series has trended up year-on-year, but this number dipped by 6% compared to 2019. All markets have been affected, with the most severe declines found in India and Singapore. However, crises can be important triggers for creativity. While there had not been an increase in the number of medical dramas released this past season, medical dramas have done very well this year.

Notable dramas include, “The Gone Game” (India), “Nhung Ngay Khong Quen” (Vietnam), and “With You” (China). The last title had been very well-received in China and Japan. Avril highlighted Japan in particular, with the greatest number of medical dramas launched, and the top-performing drama, “Unsung Cinderella”, which revolved around a pharmacist. Asia is a very wide region with very different social norms. These norms are showcased in love stories and relationships. Dramas are also a bellwether to evolving social norms. “Iron Lady” (Hong Kong) explored topics rarely seen on Hong Kong television, such as egg freezing, same-

sex relationships, and sex addiction. However, homosexuality is not taboo in Thailand, where boy love remains a strong trend. Instead, “My Ride” (Thailand) explored the issues of social inequality within two men. The diverse array of dramas coming out of Asia showcases these differences, yet there are threads of similarities as well. Morals are present and Asian dramas often present a strong sense of family and community. What was notable about 2020’s launches were the inclusion of nontraditional forms of family, and how the family was intertwined in times of conflict and differences. Asian dramas are now playing on a strongly rooted sense of community and family in creative ways. In Asia, there are growth opportunities in format adaptation, which represent only 2% of total launches. Yet, adaptations do well – the adaptation of Netflix’s “Dr Foster” was very well-received in South Korea. JTBC just signed the rights to adapt BBC’s “Undercover”. While most scripted series number over 24 episodes, there has been an increasing trend towards 12—24 episodes. This trend has been pushed by OTT platforms, particularly in China and South Korea. Short series of under 12 episodes are popular in certain countries such as Japan, though still rare in other Asian territories. While the vast majority of episodes range from 30—60 minutes (85%), short format (under 30 minutes) are also on the rise (6%).





Real speak with Abhi Rastogi (left), looking at the industry’s changing landscape, now that traditional buying periods have been affected. The session was moderated by Yeo Kok Siew, Director of Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA)

“Buy Less but Buy Quality” Abhi Rastogi (CEO & Founder, 108 Media) was part of an insightful discourse that looked at the changing landscape of content buying. For the past few decades, content buying in the industry was centered around the transactional nature of trade shows. Buying patterns used to peak during specific time periods, for instance for film businesses, these periods included the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and various international film festivals. Now, buying is yearlong. Buyers buy when they need to, and not when markets or market trends force them to. For streaming platforms, some with pretty deep pockets, they first have to decide if they want to produce the content or buy it. Moreover, Abhi noted that streaming platforms focus on buying quality content. However, 28

in current pandemic times, quality content has become a little sparse. Producers now have to figure out how to make projects in their local markets to create the quality content that global platforms will need A fallacy is that with the current focus on content from well-known streaming platforms, there is a displaced sense that the average content must be worth a lot, and that those content is high quality simply because there is a bigger demand for it, which Abhi disagreed. Midtier content is then diverted to the AVOD business. Abhi stressed that this category of content was not bad; rather, it was appropriate for the AVOD model. Abhi’s advice for producers when they plan a project is to think about

Certain types of premium content will need subscription platforms for initial financial support. Producers should know where suitable audiences are at and be open to slice their rights to be able to monetize and maximize.” – Abhi Rastogi, CEO & Founder, 108 Media

their audience. Are they looking for the most economic impact, or the most eyeball impact? Of course, some content achieves both aims. Specific content could be more suited on an AVOD platform, where over a year or two, the content can draw millions of views, which can translate to a fairly substantial amount of economic gain. Certain types of premium content will need subscription platforms for initial financial support. Producers should know where suitable audiences are at and be open to slice their rights to be able to monetize and maximize. Yet, the myriad of ways in which content can be delivered also creates issues with licensing. One unique challenge cropping up in pandemic times is the guarantee of delivery, particularly with talent that is spread out.





Looking for Content that Can Resonate with Indian Audiences

The key to content buying from global markets is to find content that matches the audiences’ palates, shared Mansi Shrivastav. Having seen success with Korean, Turkish and Chinese content, MX Player is now on the prowl to expand its international content focus both within the Indian territory and global markets.

ANIMATION SUCCESS: THE STRATEGY OF IP EXTENSIONS There is strong demand for Russian content, and the key to success, according to Victoria Bolotova, Head of Media International Sales at Digital Television Russia, is to define appropriate strategy and select the best partners that have a large library of content for both TV and digital to achieve wider coverage. “High-quality content never gets old. In order to understand your audience, you have to look closely to meet their needs and not be just in line but be ahead of trends.” The company started collaboration with Asian partners a couple of years ago and has sold over 45.5 hours of TV shows for kids. 32

The main idea is to create not just a standalone TV show, but a brand that will be a part of the audience’s life on TV, online and offline. Then, you can build a whole ecosystem of products and services around it. Victoria Bolotova Head of Media International Sales Digital Television Russia

“We will be looking for content that can resonate with Indian audiences in their locally dubbed languages. In the digital universe, content that can be translated and brought to viewers in their relevant languages can work well – regardless of its origin,” she added, revealing keenness on exploring more territories across Asia for shows and movies that can travel, and find a home in newer languages with the Indian Diaspora. While neither pre-sales nor exclusivity is a pre-requisite, their aim would be to source for content that is relevant and has high viewership potential.

“The main idea is to create not just a standalone TV show, but a brand that will be a part of the audience’s life on TV, online and offline. Then, you can build a whole ecosystem of products and services around it. DTR has cartoons for multiple screens and platforms, offline events, toy stores, books, etc., all built off of our animation brands.” More than pushing their catalogue, which contain characteristics that appeal to the Asian audience, the company sees ATF as the platform to develop its individual brands and positioning.

Mansi Shrivastav Head - Content Acquisitions & Partnerships MX Player



Sreda’s Managing Partner and Producer, Ivan Samokhvalov has a strong belief that Russian TV series productions should not be limited to Russian viewers only. “The boundaries for content no longer exist, thanks to a dramatic increase of OTT platforms worldwide,” Ivan shared. “We are committed to expanding our reach to international business contacts at ATF. For us, Asia is one of the most significant markets in the world.” With a strong catalogue rich in drama and thriller series, Sreda will join ATF this year with a slew of new series. “The thing about Asian buyers is that they have their own focus and vision the type of content they want. This is understandably so, as it’s traditionally the culture to approach things a certain way.” Having produced drama projects for the last 10 years, 2020 saw the production company expanding its offerings with two comedies. He believes that the trend now is leaning towards high-quality scripts with interesting characters. “Strange, unusual, yet attractive characters which you want to follow for hours. As always, we hope to surprise both at the storytelling level and in the visual sense.”

Ivan Samokhvalov Managing Partner & Producer Sreda

RAISING THE BAR: HIGH QUALITY ANIMATION WITH INTERESTING STORYTELLING Asia is increasingly enamoured with animation content from Russia, and Wizart Animation has found working with Asian companies is a truly fruitful endeavour. “In Asia, our releases with partners were accompanied by really large beautiful marketing campaigns, and our partners found it helpful that we are also building a 360-degree support of the brands,” shared Nina Generalova, International Sales Coordinator for Wizart Animation. ATF has also become important for the company given its individual approach for each participant. Nina also believes that high quality animation with interesting storytelling

will always be a factor that makes any content successful around the world. Its new animated TV show, “Backpack” – centred on a 3-year-old boy and his three friends who discover something new in his backpack every day – will be introduced at ATF. Another studio TV project the Asian buyers will get to see is, “The Snow Queen: Keepers of Wonders” and its fourth feature, “The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands”. While the company is in the midst of negotiating with an undisclosed global multimedia platform in order to cover large-scale territories, they are still open to considering new offers on the content presented at ATF.





Fumina Koike Deputy manager International Program Sales NHK Enterprises

WINNING COMBO OF ACTION & COMEDY NHK Enterprises regularly attends ATF to ensure that they stay current with demand trends, especially for an Asian market that is still affected by the pandemic. Sharing their insights, Fumina Koike, Deputy Manager,

International Program Sales said, “To-date we’ve seen demand not only for new titles, perhaps because of the lagging supply of new content amidst the pandemic. ‘The Twelve Kingdoms’, a series we released back in 2002 is actually getting a lot of interest.” Another area of demand is in animation and dramas adapted from popular manga or novels. On the technology front, with the start of 5G in Asia, NHK Enterprise has seen increasing demand for 4K content in various genres. The company is proud to state that it boasts a vast library of 4K and even 8K

content, making it well placed to meet the needs of buyers. At ATF this year, they are promoting a lineup of original non-scripted formats such as “The Late Night Show with Nitty & Gritty” and “Chiko’s Challenge”. While countries/ regions such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea – some of which have specialized Japanese channels – continue to be an important market for NHK, they are also paying attention to the Southeast Asian region, as they believe it is a mature market with a potential to grow even further.


A Focus on Local Stories Infused with Cultural Themes

Anime’s huge fanbase in Asia has catapulted the genre’s success for POPS Worldwide. They will be actively looking for a mix of both longform and short-form content, across both traditional and interactive video. 34

“Given that we are focused on Asian entertainment, local stories infused with cultural themes would be standout pieces for us to acquire or partner up with,” said Marissa Hanafi. “We’re definitely open to the notion of presales of IPs. It comes down first and foremost to the relevancy of the story for our users. Our goal is to be an aggregator of the best Asian stories in a variety of formats, which can be either a pre-sale or a finished product.”

Marissa Hanafi Head of OTT & Content POPS Worldwide







Looking for Foreign Animation Content for Greater China

In a content market that is quite mature, China Mobile International has developed their own high-tech, multitenant content system, “iShow” as a global content business. Attending ATF for her first time, Jeron Cheung shared, “We are excited to secure foreign animation content to introduce them to the huge Greater China market. Largely, we need rights on a case-by-case basis, but we require exclusivity for the Greater China region.”

FLYSOUND: VERSATILITY IN THE MAKING “We hope to enter the Southeast Asian market. Co-operation and exchange of experience will be beneficial both for Southeast Asian partners and for Flysound, along with the Russian market as a whole,” said Andrey Belchikov, General Manager, Supervising Sound Editor, Re-Recording Mixer, Flysound. “The industry is constantly changing. In response to these changes, especially this year, the production process is shrinking and focuses on many platforms at once, namely cinema, television, streaming. The Russia-based company has been operating since 2018 and has provided its sound services 38

The industry is constantly changing. In response to these changes, especially this year, the production process is shrinking and focuses on many platforms at once, namely cinema, television, streaming.

Other forms of content that has been successful in the past for CMI includes, TV soap operas and movies. While the company remains flexible to cope with the rapid changes in market conditions, one thing is clear for their strategy, coproduction is not something that they will consider. Jeron also shares that while online meetings may fill the gaps now, faceto-face meetings over lunches, as well as gatherings are much better ways of doing business with partners.

Andrey Belchikov General Manager | Supervising Sound Editor | Re-Recording Mixer Flysound

for projects to giants such as Netflix. A challenge that Andrey foresees would be diversifying the company’s range of services to make it as vast as possible. “That is the direction the industry is heading – production has to become versatile. There is a need for universal solutions, as producers are not sure which platforms their products will be released on. At the same time, the overall level of production is increasing; series are produced with sound quality common for cinema. Some of the major changes include moving from the usual regulations of production in terms of quality, time, and ways of team interaction, among others.”

Ka Wan Jeron Cheung Senior Product Specialist China Mobile International Limited




Having been active in the Asian markets for a while now, Onza Distribution’s Sales Manager, Laura Fornelio opined that “the Asian market is becoming more global, and they are betting on content they never used to buy. It’s no longer dominated by Japanese, Korean, US or local content”.

This obviously bodes well for Onza Distribution with its broad slate of documentary series and over 100 hours of content across topics such as current affairs, history, gaming, sports and even an Emmy nominated telenovela, “On Thin Ice”. Another change that she’s experienced in the markets is that they are striking longer deals and making deals faster. Indicative of current consumer trends, she noted that TV channels are requiring more content and on a faster cycle than before. Long running telenovelas appeals to popular TV channels who need to fill airtime, while comedy series and current affair documentaries are favoured by platforms. However, the types of deals have mostly remained the same among platforms, even though they are demanding even more content. To meet the demand of Asian buyers, Onzo has also wagered a bet, creating English versions for their titles to hike its appeal to these buyers.

Laura Fornelio Sales Manager ONZA distribution

BULLDOZING AHEAD WITH ADDED CONTENT IN TOW In the past one year, One Life Studios has expanded its catalogue from mainstream Indian GEC to an array of content across all genres and territories. Apart from the company’s larger-than-life content, they have invested in direct acquisitions of new titles which include international fiction and have partnered with broadcast studios that have content across a wide variety of genres spanning thrillers, documentaries and more.

This year, One Life Studios attends ATF for the fifth time, and while they are not limited to selling specific content to specific territories, Southeast Asia remains a prime market. Rahul Kumar Tewary Producer & Managing Director One Life Studios

“The growing market in India requires a lot of content. We are seeing a trend of adaptations and remakes of hit international shows as well as good originals being churned out from Indian producers. People are only interested in viewing good content. It could be in any language, which has never been a barrier across the world,” said Rahul Kumar Tewary,

Producer & Managing Director, One Life Studios. In addition, Rahul believes that crime series are the most popular type of content across the world. However, he noted that any good story told in an innovative way will always be appreciated by viewers. This year, One Life Studios attends ATF for the fifth time, and while they are not limited to selling specific content to specific territories, Southeast Asia remains a prime market. “ATF has helped us not only to take our brand and present it on a global circuit but also to develop great relationships across the industry. It is of great importance for us to be able to meet and work with the right partners.”


THE SPIRIT OF KOKORO: VIRTUOSIC, BREATHTAKING, INSTINCTIVE, INSPIRATIONAL Recently, the media environment in Japan has been undergoing major changes due to the rise of internet distribution, and the influx of content from overseas. The number of Japanese broadcasters and content holders, who actively engage in content production and overseas expansion, has been increasing. This trend has been spreading not only to the major metropolitan cities of Tokyo and Osaka, but also to regional vicinities. And so, this year at ATF Online+, the Japanese Pavilion will bring together 30 of these broadcasters and content holders from across Japan to participate in the event. The Japanese Pavilion is run by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Broadcast Program Export Association of Japan (BEAJ), and The International Drama Festival in TOKYO led by the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association(JBA), in collaboration with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) . It is an “allJapan” pavilion operated by these agencies in cooperation. “Although the spread of COVID-19 has made it difficult for Japanese broadcasters to expand overseas, companies are making various efforts to bring their content abroad.” said Kimio Maruyama, president of Chukyo TV, and chairman of the content overseas development committee of the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association. While exhibitors have voiced their concerns such as “The number of business meetings decreased compared to that of face-to-face shows,” and “It has been difficult to find new business partners.” in the past several online content markets, Mr. Maruyama said, “While some hope

for face-to-face shows to be held again, this is a good opportunity to consider and implement new ways to do business. Mr. Maruyama aims to listen to the voices of many businesses and create “New Normal online content markets in practice” that is more in tune with the current situation. “With many of the world’s content markets now online, it is not easy to meet new business partners, but with many Japanese broadcasters looking to expand in Asia, and meet new Asian businesses, it is significant to have a presence at one of Asia’s largest content markets. We are expecting to make new discoveries,” he said. This is certainly an unprecedented situation, but the fact that people are spending more time at home can also bring opportunities to the content industry. The unprecedented success of “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” he underlying strength of such Japanese content, “This year’s exhibitors are not only presenting their fresh content including drama produced amid COVID-19 times, but will also be bringing unique content to showcase, using their own production capabilities to introduce the attractions of industries and cultures from all over Japan. We hope you will visit the Japanese Pavilion and experience the best this imaginative and inspired assembly embodies.”





KNOWING HOW TO SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: EVOLVING TASTES & RIGHTS ATF veteran, Fantawild Animation has found that success in Asia comes from knowing the differences in consumer demands in each market. “Some countries like Singapore prefer edutainment gentle titles for young kids, while some other countries like Indonesia prefer exciting and interesting types of shows for kids. “Markets of course change, so it doesn’t mean that a show or genre in demand today will still remain popular in five years. Thus, keeping our ears close to the ground helps us be more responsive to partners looking for that perfect show,” shared Maggie Cheng, Distribution Market Manager for Fantawild Animation. The company uses ATF not just as a platform to bring in sales results, but also stay in touch with the evolving industry and markets. Staying true to their belief of changing tastes, “Boonie Bears”, which has historically shown good results in Asia, is also keeping up with the times. The company is close to completing the English version of “Boonie Bears: Monster Plan” series, a spinoff from the “Boonie Bears” sequel. Meanwhile, “Curiosity Club” is a brandnew edutainment program aimed at preschoolers (2—4 years old).

Maggie Cheng Distribution Market Manager Fantawild Animation

DRUMMING UP INDIAN-NESS ACROSS THE GLOBE Indiacast / Viacom18 is turning up the heat with a slew of new launches, including, “Molkki (A Bought Bride)”, “Pinjaraa Khubsurti Ka (Beauty in a Cage)”, “Barrister Babu (Life of a Child Bride to Barrister)” and more, at ATF this year.

Debkumar Dasgupta SVP & Business Head Syndication, ME & Africa Indiacast Media Distribution Pvt Ltd 42

There has been a resurgence in fantasy/ costume drama series – including historical, supernatural and horror stories and, according to Debkumar Dasgupta, SVP & Business Head - Syndication, ME & Africa at Indiacast Media Distribution Pvt Ltd, set against larger-thanlife backdrops and with mysticism at its core, this genre instantly finds a connection with the viewers. “While our content is symbolic of the core culture and diversity of India, our approach

has always been global. “Indian-ness” appeals magnificently across the globe and we seek to captivate audiences from all walks of life.” From an evolution of Pay & multi-channel television, the global markets are at a cusp of a big explosion – which will benefit all stake holders – platforms, advertisers and content providers. Therefore, there is tremendous headroom for growth for international content, particularly Asian content. “Our focus is on how we can meet the aspirations of our viewers and focus on delivering different concepts and good stories to cater to the needs of both live and ondemand videos across different devices.


RUSSIAN VFX EXPLORES INROADS INTO ASIA The level of Russian VFX is rather high and competitive, with some Russian VFX studios having already taken part in Chinese film productions and are continuing to develop further collaboration within the Chinese industry. While VFX studios are still underrepresented in terms of self-promotion on different festivals and film associations, that is all about to change. Enter Main Road Post (MRP), one of the leading visual effects production studios. New to ATF, the Moscow-based studio is looking to actively enter international markets, with the Asian market considered to be its highest priority, according to Arman Yahin, Chief Executive Officer, Main Road Post. “We are in the process of exploring new markets, and it’s necessary to learn more about these markets and how we can adjust. Our main goal is to make high quality products and at the same time, aid in solving the challenges faced by clients.” Currently, the company is looking to assist its specialists to adapt to a new reality post-

Arman Yahin Chief Executive Officer Main Road Post

pandemic, without losing creativity and health, and to set up new working structures and frameworks that have been significantly changed in recent months.

In addition, aside from remaining purely as a company providing its services, MRP is also heading in the direction of creating its own IPs — both for animation and feature films.

ABACUS MEDIA RIGHTS: GETTING TO KNOW ASIA’S INS & OUTS Having had success in territories such as Japan and Korea, Abacus Media Rights is now aiming to make inroads into China, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, and India, exploring new territories across APAC. A new player in the market, Anton Romalijskij, Director of Sales at Abacus Media Rights is encouraged to find that Asia presents a growing opportunity, as more international companies are investing in Asian content. We believe that due to the strong growth of local production, Asian buyers have slightly shifted gears to more Asian-oriented content because it’s readily available and of excellent quality.

Anton reflected, “Asian content has become somewhat of a phenomenon. For example, Korean dramas are entering the international market very strongly through platforms such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon.”

Anton Romalijskij Director of Sales Abacus Media Rights

“We believe that due to the strong growth of local production, Asian buyers have slightly shifted gears to more Asian-oriented

content because it’s readily available and of excellent quality. As we bring in our English language original programming, we have tried to make sure we have a relevant offer that fits alongside and can add to these local productions in schedules.” Keen to make contact with new partners, Anton believes that due to the growth of AVOD and SVOD platforms, content that fits both SVOD/pay TV and free TV markets are trending. “Our tentpole series, “Trickster” is a perfect example of that. “We are also seeing increased growth in the market for documentary and non-fiction series. People’s appetite for hard-hitting, interesting, trendy docs has increased, alongside the production values of this programming.” 43




UNRELENTING POTENTIAL OF ASIA: THE SECRET LIES IN MARKETING While JKN Global Media has already established itself in Asia, this leading Bangkok-based distributor still sees so much potential across the Asian markets. With Asian audiences thirsting for more local content that they can easily connect to in a cultural sense, Thai dramas have been traveling extremely well in Southeast Asia since 2019 and ratings have been skyrocketing. “We have been doing repeat deals, which only means that the content from Thailand does work. We made entry into the Korean market last year with our fantasy and period/costume titles,” shared Anne Jakrajutatip, Chief Executive Officer, JKN Global Media Public Company Limited. An old hand at curating the best Thai dramas for foreign markets, Anne emphasises on being strategic and smart when investing in content. On the flip side, when acquiring foreign content for Thailand, the company’s focus in the last 4—5 years has been on Indian and Filipino content. What exactly is the strategy to successfully bring non-Thai content to meet audiences’ tastes?

Anne Jakrajutatip Chief Executive Officer JKN Global Media Public Company Limited

Anne has just the answer for that. “We invested a lot of money and time in localising this content to meet Thai audiences’ tastes. Success lies in marketing. We bring in the talents from the series to Thailand so the Thai audience can interact with them.”

Things for JKN does not stop there. The company has plans to produce its own original productions and are looking into non-scripted formats and drama series production. Alongside its recently acquired local production company, food and reality shows are also in the works.

PROMISING FORMULAS & DIFFERENTIATION FOR BETTER REACH As ATF 2020 comes to past, the world has witnessed a year of significant changes in the industry. Some of the most prominent changes in the industry has been the increase of Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) and Video on Demand (VOD). This, according to Sony Pictures Networks India’s Head of Networks Licensing, Malvika Prabhu, has had consumers becoming active participants in the content selection process.

Malvika Prabhu Head – Networks Licensing Sony Pictures Networks India 44

“Increasingly, content has transcended geographical boundaries and is now consumed by a more discerning audience. Content licensors today are directing efforts towards providing differentiated content and positioning it for a specific audience segment. As long as the differentiation is marked and is adequately complemented by price and ratings, the probability of conversion and consumption is higher.”

For the company, key regions including Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam are on the radar at ATF, with hopes of reaching out to prospective partners, and revitalise dormant discussions with existing clients. In India, non-Indian content has seen a substantial increase due to the undertaking of strong marketing activities to increase awareness and build recognition around the title and the star cast. “Dubbing content from English to regional Indian languages catapults the reach. In order to attract viewership for the discerning Indian audience, a strong narrative with high production value, backed with a potent marketing plan and made available on a popular platform, is a promising formula.”


POSITIVITY IN A TIME OF UPHEAVAL Celebrating your 20th anniversary in 2020 may not feel much like a celebration with all that has transpired, yet Bertrand Lossignol, Senior Sales & Acquisitions Manager of Terranoa maintains a very positive outlook. Admitting that although 2020 has been a tough year, they are still optimistic about meeting Asian partners online at ATF and points out to some titles that have been successful, such as “Wonders of Northern Europe”, a follow up series from “Japan from Above”. The company has long standing clients in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, but is really focused on multi-territory platforms and local, national players at ATF as part of its expansion strategy. “The documentary genre doesn’t seems to be a big priority for major broadcasters this year. Understandably many have redirected their budgets to local productions to cover the local health situations and co-productions,” added Bertrand. For VOD players, Bertrand noted that they can be very demanding in terms of the documentary genre and quality, while the economic and revenue models with VOD players are still in an experimental stage for them.

Other finished titles that Terranoa will be featuring at ATF includes, “Immersive World”, a series that explores new ways of experiencing storytelling – and “United Nations of Dance” that was co-produced with Arte lin Brazil. The series explores the beauty and meaning of dance across cultures and geographies through the personal stories of the dancers and people.

The documentary genre doesn’t seems to be a big priority for major broadcasters this year. Understandably many have redirected their budgets to local productions to cover the local health situations and co-productions. Bertand Lossignol Senior Sales & Acquisitions Terranoa

ASIAN CLIENTS SHINE THROUGH: NEW DEALS FOR A NEW NORM The growing stable of Asian clients for Arait Multimedia has made ATF become one of their most important markets to attend in the last five years. Aitor Garcia Merino, CEO of Arait Multimedia proudly shared, “Asia was our most successful region for us during this difficult 2020 and we hope to keep or improve on those results during 2021.”

Aitor Garcia Merino CEO Arait Multimedia

Nonetheless, they are aware that TV channels have had to reduce their budgets and looking to fill certain time slots with low cost content. Fortunately, producers also do understand the current situation and thus are more open to accept lower prices than before, especially if

acquisition was done in volume. Aitor shared that they recently concluded some deals that would be impossible in the past based on the license fees offered by the broadcasters. At ATF this year, Arait Multimedia aims to highlight “The Haunted Heart”, a Taiwanese drama series that premiered in September and would soon be released on HBO GO. With its diverse portfolio, the company also will be featuring a European animation series targeting kids (4—8 years old) and a new drama line up from Turkey, Russia, Spain and Portugal.






VIACOMCBS GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION: VAST LIBRARY OF CONTENT It’s common knowledge that the ViacomCBS Global Distribution is tantamount to quality, and that it is well positioned to meet market needs. The company has under its belt, strong offerings and a vast library of content, including world-class films and television series across all genres. “At ViacomCBS, we don’t focus on any particular genre since we have such a deep library of content to offer. From global blockbuster films and fanfavourite television shows to beloved classics, we have a tremendous array of offerings for all kinds of clients,” shared Jonathan Greenberg, EVP Regional Sales Asia Pac, ViacomCBS Global Distribution. Jonathan also highlighted that while the company recognises that local films and television series are increasingly popular across Asia, there is also a continuing demand for global content from Hollywood, of which they are always looking to meet.

Nicole Sinclair VP Client Relations, APAC ViacomCBS Global Distribution

One of the company’s brand-new series in the pipeline is a new adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand”. “While the theatrical marketplace has been disrupted by the pandemic, we are looking forward to some exciting films coming

Jonathan Greenberg EVP Regional Sales Asia Pacific ViacomCBS Global Distribution

in 2021, including the highly anticipated sequels to ‘Top Gun’ and ‘A Quiet Place’,” shared Nicole Sinclair, VP Client Relations, APAC, ViacomCBS Global Distribution.

MORE RUSSIAN ACTION @ ATF Are you up for some Russian thriller? Ready yourself for “Run”, one of the latest projects that Revolution Film/Magic Fair will be presenting at ATF this year. With sci-fi, fantasy and action as the company’s most popular genres, it is no surprise that the company comes armed with a slate that includes “Petropolis”, which is currently in production, with completion expected in 2021.

Ksenia Volochkovskaya Head of Sales Revolution Film/ Magic Fair


The story tells about a conflict between the aliens and the superpower minds of Planet Earth. Negotiations between both parties have failed and the Apocalypse can be only prevented by the protagonist, a psychologist that studied the aliens and knows something about their true nature.

For Ksenia, she strongly believes that Asian buyers are more interested in genres such as action, thriller and sci-fi, and is also working towards offering the films of high production quality and with original concepts matching each market’s genre preferences. “For us, ATF is very important, and the Asian market is always a priority. We have worked a lot with clients across the region.” Ksenia also shared that she is currently relying more on TV and VOD sales as the situation with cinemas is still very unpredictable.


PIONEERING INDIAN CONTENT: UNMATCHED STRENGTH IN DEPTH & BREADTH ZEE is no stranger to what works. Their stint of more than 25 years has equipped them with knowledge for setting a trend in the realm of content creation. “ZEE has been the pioneer in creating an appetite for Indian content across the globe. We pride ourselves in setting trends, telling stories that are inspiring, relevant, and that truly can travel boundaries,” remarked Vibha Chopra, Business Head - Global Syndication & Intl Film Distribution, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited. For ZEE, while the world has become its oyster, its focus is on emerging markets of Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, as well as non-traditional markets for Indian content like Korea, Japan, Australia and Philippines. “We feel that these markets show a lot of promise for Indian content. A lot of focus in the past has been on Western content. However, there is so much diversity and richness that Asian content can offer – in that it is unique, rich and unexplored at the same

Vibha Chopra Business Head - Global Syndication & Intl Film Distribution ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited

time. In the past few years, I feel buyers across the markets have now been able to find this hidden gem and ensure that Asian stories are able to travel the world.”

In terms of selling rights, Vibha believes that buyers do not look at ZEE’s content for flexible pricing, but its unmatched strength in the depth and breadth of content offered.

THE ASIAN CULTURAL BRIDGE CONTENTS SEVEN comes to ATF this year looking to meet sellers from Asia and Europe with a rich catalogue of historical dramas. Founded 20 years ago, the company still holds true to its desire to revitalise the world with Asian content, becoming a hub for East Asian content.

Dubbing services are expensive in Japan, hence, they prefer using subtitles. Another development that Chilryong highlighted was that VOD services are becoming the main focus in today’s markets. Sung Chilryong President CONTENTS SEVEN Co Ltd

Working as a bridge between cultures, the Japan-based distribution company has established itself in territories, including South Korea, and launched a subsidiary – Studio Seven – in Seoul to start producing dramas. Similar efforts are underway in China and Taiwan, to develop a business with an eye on the East Asian content market by connecting the original works, screenplays, productions, and castings of Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan. When it comes to dubbing, Sung Chilryong, President, CONTENTS SEVEN Co Ltd shared that dubbing services are expensive in Japan, hence, they prefer using subtitles. Another development that Chilryong highlighted was that VOD services are becoming the main focus in today’s markets. 49




SNIFFING FOR TURKISH DELIGHTS @ ATF? Sera Film Services considers formats as their core expertise and are primarily focused on format rights in all genres. After attending ATF’s PLUGGED-IN SERIES – the online webinars that took place in mid-2020, the company believes they are now better informed about what Asian buyers are looking for.

They’ve noticed Asia mostly focuses on producing local contents in local languages and thus feel that there is room to invest in an idea that is co-produced with partners. Sera Film Services thinks that this is the best way to bring the best talents, flexibility and adaptability to Asian markets, especially in the creation of new IP. Sharing her objectives at ATF 2020, Idil Belli, General Manager of Sera Film Services said, “ATF is an entrance to the Asian market and positioned as a business gateway to the Asia region. This year, we hope to get acquainted with various producers, broadcasters, distributors from different Asian countries and share our formats with the clients and networking with stakeholders.” One such new format is “Guest Masters”, an idea that evolved from their oldest formats created in 2008, now refreshed for a different touch and transformed into a lifestyle challenge.

WHEN KIDS CALLS THE SHOTS Undeniably, the economic growth of many Asian economies has led to a boom in population growth and disposable incomes. Thus, Young Toys has its sights set on Indonesia and China, two countries with a young population and massive kids’ audience. The 40-year-old, but still a child at heart, South Korean toy company was one of the first to start their own toy IP and animation. Brian Cho, Senior Manager for Licensing & Merchandising at Young Toys highlighted that these two dynamic markets offers them many opportunities to testbed different ways of selling their Media and Merchandising


business based on their IP. He also observed that most Asian content that are created for kids focused on Preschool and Boys Action genre in the past. However, as the market matures, there is an increasing number of IPs that are focused on a demographic older than pre-school. One of Young Toys’ most successful IP is TOBOT, an iconic boys action genre with transforming robot characters. With 5 seasons over the last 5 years, the IP has travelled to over 100 countries with 1,200 licensed products and 16 million in toy sales globally.





GOQUEST EXPANDS ITS CONTENT OFFERINGS TO NEW TERRITORIES & PLATFORMS Over the last two years, GoQuest Media has focused on transitioning from being an Indian distributor of home-grown Indian content to becoming a global distributor of international premium dramas and formats. This change, according to Vivek Lath, Managing Director, GoQuest Media, has been challenging as it has required convincing and bringing on board international suppliers and global talent. “Whilst Indian content is part of our international catalogue, our core focus, now, is on stories coming from non-English speaking countries, such as the Ukraine, the Czech Republic for example and creating a portfolio which has a higher hit ratio.” The company has witnessed tremendous attraction and growth for melodramas and crime dramas, which include its new Czech series, “RATS”, an explosive multi-cultural crime thriller on the Vietnamese-driven drug trade, and Ukrainian melodrama, “Ruby Ring”, centred around two sisters’ lives after a tragic event. The melodrama was licensed to over 35

Vivek Lath Managing Director GoQuest Media

countries, with its remake in Indonesia being a resounding success. “Asian buyers are now more receptive to remakes, which traditionally wasn’t the case. The Asian buyer has also become more price conscious – the quality bar for demanding a higher price is only going up.”

At ATF this year, the company hopes to introduce their catalogue to OTT players. “Our focus is on Southeast Asia and South Asia, two of the fastest growing markets. ATF is also beneficial in connecting us with key buyers across Asian regions.”

GOLDWATER’S JOURNEY TO FINDING GOLD IN THE ASIAN MARKET Goldwater Media’s owner, Peter Hille, is in the market for its new and finished programmes. He currently has his eye on Japan for its animation content and Korea for its various programmes.

market. Because of global platforms like Amazon and Netflix, content from Asia gets more and more popular in Europe in general, and is therefore easier to place nowadays,” said Peter.

“My main concern is my home market in Germany, and I am looking for programmes that might fit into that local and domestic

While he has not sold anything to Asia in the last few years, he is keen to learn how the behaviours of buyers have changed. He also shared that every foreign programme that is shown to a broader German audience needs to be dubbed. This has given rise to the number of dubbings, and prices have hiked drastically over the past 2—3 years.

What used to be ancillary rights gets increasingly more important nowadays and “windowing” is making business a bit more demanding. Peter Hille Owner Goldwater Media


On the rights front, Peter shared that, “What used to be ancillary rights gets increasingly more important nowadays and “windowing” is making business a bit more demanding too.”

It’s a Virtual NATPE Miami, and VideoAge

will be on every Buyer’s Virtual Door





NEW TERRITORIES IN ASIA ON THE RADAR FOR GROWTH “This is our first ATF in our 14 years of business,” said Erika Kao-Haley, Managing Partner of MultiVisionnaire Pictures. Yet, they have hit the ground running within Asia, with a demand for soft erotic and LGBT content in territories like India. The event is now on their radar as they have turned their attention to exploring the Asian region. “We are focusing on regions with room to grow, such as Southeast Asia and Latin America with new platforms wanting international content.” Armed with the tried-and-true genres such as action driving films and feel good family films, MultiVisionnaire Pictures sets itself apart by providing a marketing angle, compelling marketing material, and identifiable target audience for each film or programme they sell. “Buyers know exactly what they’re buying and where they can place the films without ambiguity and concern, which helps speed up the time to market.” As well, Erika is of the mindset that content needs to incorporate different cultural nuances, with compelling visual stories and still needs to stay within the popular genres. “We are splitting up the rights and shortening the licensing terms, in order to sell to more channels and platforms and produce more income streams, rather than selling, say, a 10term all rights deal.”

Buyers know exactly what they’re buying and where they can place the films without ambiguity and concern, which helps speed up the time to market. Erika Kao-Haley Managing Partner MultiVisionnaire Pictures


Looking for Finished Content: Animation, Factual, Documentaries & Formats Animation has proven to be rather successful for Circular Media. Headquartered in Uruguay, the company works across the entire value chain from production to distribution. This ATF, its Director, Nicolás Valdés is keen to


explore finished content in genres ranging from animation series for children and factual, to documentaries and formats. In addition, exclusivity is not a pre-requisite. With the company’s buying mechanism having changed over the years, Circular Media is also receptive to partnering for co-productions. Nicolás shared that on the European and American content front, factual series, documentaries and animations have by far performed the best for them.

Nicolás Valdés Director Circular Media








A remake of the Hollywood romance comedy, 17 Again, Hong Daeyeong was a hot teenager in high school but destroyed himself by drinking and smoking. Nevertheless, he thought he was an average middle-aged man – until he got divorced, then fired, and was left with nowhere to go. He goes to his high school and makes a wish by throwing a basketball. As if the heavens listened, Dae-yeong discovers that he’s 18 again! Given a second chance, Dae-yeong starts his new life.

Sportania is a children’s animation series, which involves sports and a healthy lifestyle. The series features animated content, comics, and songs. It is suitable for manufacturers of children’s products, sports goods, soft drinks, and any products related to children, sports and healthy lifestyles. COMPANY: MEDIA FOUNDATION



BEST MISTAKE Model student, Yeondu, uploads a fake boyfriend picture to get away from her stalker. The stalker finally stops contacting Yeondu, but she faces a bigger issue. The fake boyfriend picture was of Yeondu’s infamous classmate, Ji Hyun-ho. Hyun-ho gets furious that Yeondu pretended to be his girlfriend. To redeem herself, Yeondu volunteers to do his errands. While Yeondu tries to fix things between her and Hyunho, the two slowly fall for each other. COMPANY: WHYNOT MEDIA


Takeaway a latte & settle in for a 30-min spot shot


Dec 2, 2020 @ 4.30pm—5pm


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AEROVER (RETURN OF THE SPACE DRONES) In the near future, the “Aerover World Championship” becomes the symbol of world peace with the end of the drone war! Shawn, who has just entered middle school, has big dreams of becoming an Aerover pilot, someone that flies competition drones. And perhaps even becoming a world champion someday. Shawn, with great passion and enormous effort, grows steadily as an Aerover pilot, as well as a person. Shawn and his Phoenix teammates, his trusted friends, venture on towards the World Championships!

KID LUCKY Saddle up for a wild ride and head to the best playground in the Wild West! The town of Nothing Gulch is the greatest playground in the Wild West! Kid is a slingshot ace who is destined to be the world’s greatest cowboy. Kid and his friends always have an adventure, whether it be riding Kid’s horse Jolly Jumper or helping the Sheriff. Whenever there’s an injustice, Kid will be there to save the day – and have a laugh along the way! COMPANY: MEDIATOON DISTRIBUTION



LIE AFTER LIE Eun-soo, a woman convicted for her husband’s murder, had to watch her mother-in-law take her daughter away while she served time in prison. After her release, she is devastated by the news that her daughter is dead. However, Eun-soo finds out that her daughter is not only alive, but was adopted into a new family, and is currently living with a single dad, Ji-min. To win her place back as a “mother”, she attempts to marry Ji-min. Who would have known, the fake love she started out with a purpose turns out to be genuine? COMPANY: CHANNEL A


Care for a cuppa French coffee press with your 30-min all-French content?


Dec 2 @ 4pm

• Program Listings • Daily News • Digital Editions and much more…








Armored Saurus is a series about Jin, a boy with a destiny – a destiny to pilot the invincible Red Dragon, a weaponized T-Rex. Together, Jin and Armored Saurus lead the battle against invading forces of fullymechanised extra-terrestrial dinosaurs bent on destroying Earth!

Curiosity Club is a colourful and dynamic interactive show for preschoolers. Kids ages 2—4 will enjoy the adventures of Watkins the dog, Bridget the rabbit and Jimmy the chicken, as they accompany children in the wondrous world of learning and fun.




SULTAN’S DISHES TABLE A well-seasoned Chef and a true connoisseur of good food, Chef Extraordinaire Haldun Z. Tuzel is a man of many talents. Chef Extraordinaire Tuzel has been interested in culinary arts ever since he walked into his mother’s kitchen, following impeccable and inescapable smells of good home cooking. His late mother saved time-honoured recipes from Sultans Imperial Kitchens, and improved them with her unique skills. Who says we can’t eat like kings? COMPANY: TT INTERNATIONAL MEDYA SAN.TIC A.Ş.


Asia Weekly Receive all the critical news of the week from the original and most formidable entertainment business news source since 1905. There’s only one Variety.

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TOKKAI -BAD LOAN SPECIAL COLLECTION UNIT Collect 6.8 billion dollars from bad debtors! Set in 1996, after the collapse of Japan’s asset price bubble, the series is a stunning financial thriller about a Bad Loan Special Collection Unit, Tokkai, tasked with confronting unscrupulous merchants, real estate mogul and mafias to collect non-performing loans and outstanding debt. The series is adapted from the novel by Hidetoshi Kiyotake and stars Hideaki Ito in the lead role with Setsuro Wakamatsu and Yoshinori Muratani as directors.

TEAM S.T.E.A.M.! Team S.T.E.A.M.! is an upbeat series filled with high adventure, humour, and heart. These kids are a tightly-knit team who genuinely like each other, enjoy solving problems and sharing knowledge by using STEM curriculum, such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, with Athletics and the Arts thrown in for good measure. And really, nothing beats an adventure show that makes learning fun! COMPANY: GUANG DONG WINSING COMPANY LIMITED



THE QIN EMPIRE IV “The Qin Empire: The World” is a long historical TV series. It tells the epic story of the Warring States Period from the viewpoint of the state of Qin. It depicts how the state of Qin gets strong through political reform, competes with the other six states for supremacy, and goes into extinction in the end. The Qin Empire becomes the first dynasty of Imperial China, but subsequently collapses due to disputes over legitimacy of heirs. COMPANY: FUTURE TV CO LTD


2.30pm for your shot of Korean animation!

More Dalgona, more Korean content?






CAPTAIN PENGU & HIS FRIENDS They all come together to protect the nature. Captain Pengu, Mandarin, Misket and Pelican face environmental pollution, global warming, disasters and harsh conditions. But nothing will stop them from cleaning up their home! In this journey, with lots of laughter, although sometimes sad, adventures and excitement await our heroes who aim to restore nature and do their best to maintain its balance, while learning about the environment, nature and friendship. Come join them on this adventure! COMPANY: SIYAHMARTI ANIMATION STUDIOS


MASTER OF SENSE Estimate and compete using nothing but human senses! In each episode, contestants with “Master of Sense” will compete in categories measurable by human senses – weight, volume, length, taste, and more. Six challengers who pass the preliminaries will use their heightened senses to take on six different challenges and compete for a chance to win the finals. The final challenger will attempt to win the title of “Master of Sense” and take home the $30,000 cash prize. COMPANY: SOMETHING SPECIAL


LAST MADAME Shrouded with secrets and mysteries, a run-down shophouse in Singapore draws attention to banker Chi Ling who returns from Hong Kong to claim its inheritance. As she discovers the drudgeries and intrigues of her great-grandmother’s world – in a brothel set in early 1940s Singapore – she is pushed to decide the fate of the building and to reconcile with her roots and history. COMPANY: MEDIACORP PTE LTD

COFFEE HOUR CONTENT SHOWCASE China Special! Daily @ 3pm!

Grab a coffee for your daily China fix on:


Dramas @ Dec 1 Documentaries @ Dec 2 Animation @ Dec 3


> 4007 Participants > 1512 Buyers > 125 Countries > 701 Cities > 6435 Site Sessions > 9271 Video Reproductions THANKS FOR BEING PART! www . pre n s ari o . n e t








Jennifer Abbott’s new documentary, The Magnitude of All Things, merges stories from the frontlines of climate change with recollections of the loss of her sister, drawing intimate parallels between personal and planetary grief. Like ash from a distant fire, grief on this scale touches everything. But coming to terms with the brutal reality of climate breakdown requires more than empty words and gestures. When hope is lost, the real work begins.

Did you know that body temperature changes according to your emotions? Thanks to scientific developments, we are now able to visualise in real-time and in detail how they affect us. This opens up many opportunities to understand how our emotions work, as well as how one can manipulate them or even create them for AI. This series of four episodes explores how emotions impact not only our well-being, but also our entire life.




NOTHING BUT THIRTY Nothing But Thirty is a 2020 Chinese drama television series that follows the story of three vastly different urban women who have reached their thirties while facing challenges at a crucial stage in their lives, as they leave behind their youthful, carefree 20s to embrace the “adult” life of a 30-year-old, and ultimately decide to take matters into their own hands. It is one of the biggest female themed hit dramas in 2020. COMPANY: HANGZHOU IX MEDIA CO LTD


Get that Dalgona coffee for your 30-min show on:


20 brand new content! Documentaries galore! A wide range of genres that will touch the hearts of people globally!

+ 66

Dec 2 @ 3.30pm

Telling you what’s going on with content in Asia and what it all means. On the ground in Asia. All day. Every day. C



For more info, please contact 67




MOLANG Molang and Piu Piu’s timeless friendship goes back a long way. From the Stone Age to the 20th century, from Greek Antiquity to the Royal Court of Versailles, our much loved and acclaimed heroes take over History with their invariable wit and good spirit. A true friendship standing the test of time, which reminds us that we can find happiness at all times! COMPANY: MILLIMAGES


MAGIC EYE IS BACK In Magic Eye’s previous venture to Earth, he stumbled upon some earthlings who became his buddies. They were amused by Magic Eye’s personality and amazed at his magical antics. However, Magic Eye had to return to his home in Outer Space, but he promised to return on a certain date. In this season, his buddies wait eagerly for his return. Upon their reunion, more amusing tales take place between Magic Eye and his friends on Earth. COMPANY: ZOLAND DISTRIBUTION


DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN (THE PHILIPPINE ADAPTATION) Descendants of the Sun (The Philippine Adaptation) tells the story of a soldier who is a superbly trained and efficient soldier. He meets and quickly falls in love with the doctor, a dedicated surgeon. They learn to count on each other in lethal situations and support each other as each recognises that their respective love affairs must somehow factor into how they juggle their personal and professional lives. COMPANY: GMA NETWORK INC


2pm Taiwan hits!

Grab a coffee (bubble tea?) for your 30-min fix & watch:


Dec 1 & Dec 2 @ 2pm!

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