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THE 2020 OFFICIAL – 3 Dec 2020
108 MEDIA: INFINITY & BEYOND
STUDIO76: TAKING TAIWAN FURTHER
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HIGHLIGHTS CONTENTS 04
MARKET News Special: China’s GREAT STORIES
CONFERENCE @ ATF
CONFERENCE – Southeast Asian Film Financing Forum (SAFF) FEATURES PRODUCTS
DECEMBER 1—4 @ 10:30AM–12: 30PM MORNINGS with Industry Leaders @ 12:30PM–2PM LUNCHTIME Buying @ 2PM–5PM COFFEE HOUR Content Showcase @ 3:30PM–5PM
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 The sock scandal: Provoking excitement with a flash of ankle, S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Communications & Information, must be a member of the Trudeau Sock Club. According to a 2014 Harvard Business Review study, people who appear to adopt non-conforming behaviours tend to be held in higher regard than their counterparts. The study, titled the Red Sneaker Effect, says items such as “crazy socks” can act as a “particular form of conspicuous consumption” that prompts people to view others more favourably. (Personally, we feel Minister Iswaran should adapt a red pair for the holidays)
An Event of
Southeast Asian Film Financing Forum Speed Dating Sessions SAFF Project Market Speed Dating Sessions COFFEE HOUR CONTENT SHOWCASE Daily from 2pm–5pm
EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION TEAM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Lulu Mendoza WRITERS Priscilla Hendriks, Suhaimi Saini CONFERENCE WRITER Serene Ong DESIGNER Shellen Teh VIDEO PRODUCTION Lim Eu-Jin (Reel Productions HD) PHOTOGRAPHER Hairol Salim PROJECT MANAGEMENT GROUP PROJECT DIRECTOR Yeow Hui Leng SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER Joyce Chua PROJECT COORDINATOR Amanda Koh, Samantha Lee BUYERS RELATIONSHIP MANAGER Lim Li Min EXHIBITORS & PARTICIPANTS SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Phua Meenyi ATF CONFERENCE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Lulu Mendoza PRODUCER ASSISTANT Chua Jia Yin MARKETING MARKETING MANAGER Hairol Salim MARKETING EXECUTIVE Priscilla Hendriks OPERATIONS OPERATION EXECUTIVE Felicia Wong
Variety in Genre & Formats
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A Record of 80 Days in Jinyintan Hospital
The Blue World
The Survival Guide on Mars
CHINA’S GREAT STORIES Panayiota Pagoulatos (Managing Director, Pink Orchid International) presented a tantalizing array of some documentaries China has to offer. Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic was majorly the subject of work produced this year. Two documentaries tell the stories of those who were affected even before the
Footprints in the Snow 04
coronavirus epidemic became a global pandemic. “Life Matters – Inside Wuhan’s Redzone” (SMG Pictures and WingsMedia) follows the doctors and nurses who travelled to Wuhan to help during the peak of the city’s outbreak. “A Record of 80 Days in Jinyintan Hospital” (Shanghai Bilibili Technology Co.) traces the events in a Wuhan hospital in the early days of COVID-19.
These documentaries focus on the human stories, and of extraordinary achievements by ordinary people. On a more light-hearted note, “The Blue World” (CITVC) showcases China’s incredible seas in all four seasons, from the frozen Bohai Bay to the tropical South China Sea. “The Survival Guide on Mars” (FAB World Culture & Comms
Ltd.) is a documentary type of reality show. In this intriguing format, the producers are inviting three families from very diverse backgrounds around the world in a completely different environment. The goal: to survive. The location: China, Gansu, Mars Base 1. Panayiota also highlights two cultural documentaries. “Footprints in the Snow” (Future TV) follows professional and amateur winter sports athletes as they follow their passion. Tea holds a long cultural and historical heritage in China. “One Cup, A Thousand Stories”
(Migu Co.) traces the human story of tea in China over a millennium, as well as globally. Finally, “Africa’s Business Heroes” (Youku Information Technology) captures the stories of three African entrepreneurs, as they strive to turn their goals of entrepreneurship into reality. The film follows their participation in the first Africa Natpreneur Prize iInitiative (ANPI), hosted by the Jack Ma Foundation.
One Cup, A Thousand Stories
Africa’s Business Heroes
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MARKET VIUTVSIX SECURES MORE THAN 40 HOURS OF PRIMETIME DRAMA ViuTVsix, the free TV channel arm of ViuTV has bought more than 40 hours of primetime drama from all3media International. The deal marks an ongoing collaboration between all3media International and ViuTV that has seen a number of package acquisitions across a diverse range of titles, including factual and drama series. The new acquisition covers a series of scripted and non-scripted package deals, including the true crime drama, “Des”, featuring David Tennant as serial killer, Denis Nilsen.
ALL3MEDIA INTERNATIONAL’S “MISS S” INTRODUCED TO NEW TERRITORIES all3media International announced that it has signed three new deals for “Miss S” – the Chinese scripted format adaptation of globally popular drama “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”. The detective drama set in 1930s Shanghai, will be heading to Japan
following an acquisition by distributor Intervision International and to South Korea with content distributor Lian Contents Co. In Australia, “Miss S” will make its debut on public broadcaster SBS.
NIPPON TV ANNOUNCES NEW SCRIPTED FORMAT Nippon TV announced that it will be offering for the first time its new scripted format titled, “A Girl of 35”. The drama series, which is currently airing on Nippon TV in Japan, follows a young girl who gets into a freak accident when she was 10, and is left in an unconscious state. 25 years later, she miraculously awakes with a 35-year-old-body but the mind of a 10-year-old.
MARKET NEW AWARDWINNING TITLES FROM OMEN STUDIOS Omen Studios’ announced that it will be presenting season one of “Argo’s World” at ATF. The STEMbased infotainment programme is scheduled to air on Amazon Prime in early December. In addition, the animation company will bring along its slate of award-winning series, which includes season four of CGI animated hit “Counting with Paula’ – finalist at this year’s Venice TV Awards for the Children / Youth category and Nominee for Best Preschool Programme at the Asian Television Awards – as well as season two of “Leo the Wildlife Ranger”.
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iQIYI has made major strides across Southeast Asia, since the Founder & CEO gave the opening Keynote at ATF last year. 2020 has seen the hiring of country managers across the region and we wait for its next move come 2021. Pictured here (L—R) Kuek Yu-Chuang, Vice President for International Business, iQIYI; Zhang Minsi, Director of Content Marketing, iQIYI International; and Yang Xianghua, President of Membership & Overseas Business Group, iQIYI
The platform has also started expanding local offices worldwide, mainly in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. These offices will include content and production teams. Looking ahead to 2021, their priority will be on bringing high quality Asian dramas, and on telling local stories from various parts of Asia.” – Yang Xianghua, President of Membership and Overseas Business Group, iQIYI
iQIYI: A Cornucopia of Amazing Asian Content iQIYI, a Chinese online video platform, launched into the international scene in 2019. Though 2020 has been a challenging year, iQIYI reported encouraging growth and their content was well-received globally. For instance, “The Bad Kids”, a suspense thriller, took back Best Creative and Best Newcomer award at this year’s Busan International Film Festival Asia Contents Award. Competitive talent shows like “Youth with You 2” garnered much attention on social media worldwide, attracting over 300 million views on YouTube alone. Yang Xianghua (President of Membership and Overseas Business Group, iQIYI) commented candidly that there had been initial reservations that iQIYI’s Chinese content would not be attractive to the international market. On the contrary, the shows’ performance in 2020 showed increasing mainstream appeal because of their universal themes and
storylines, which carried well across language and cultural differences. However, iQIYI is more than Chinese content. This year alone, the platform brought 29 Korean series and kickstarted multiple partnerships with leading Southeast Asian content providers. As a matter of point, they had finished shooting their first Southeast Asian original drama, Ferrymen: Legends of Nanyang, which feature Singaporean and Malaysian cast members. The platform has also started expanding local offices worldwide, mainly in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. These offices will include content and production teams. Looking ahead to 2021, their priority will be on bringing high quality Asian dramas, and on telling local stories from various parts of Asia.
Zhang Minsi (International Director of Content Marketing) noted key content pillars and genre types that have done well. “Lights On” is a unique iQIYI category. Similar to suspense and thrillers, Lights On focuses on the hidden sides of society and humanity, exposing society issues and human fragility. Many of the shows were adapted from popular novels, who already carry a large fanbase. The aforementioned “The Bad Kids” is an exemplar of this category. Another well-loved category is period romances. Though located in historical settings, the relationship tropes are timeless and relatable. At another chronological extreme is NextGen genre of variety shows, which targets the next generation. These are shows that provide a 360 experience for viewers with fanservice.
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Always a pleasure to listen in on, Justin Deimen, President of 108 Media, sat with the Director of One Triple Four Communications, Joan Leong, to deliberate on the growing opportunities, as current topography demands expansion beyond normal geo boundaries. Justin shared his predictions of 2021, and the top 3 areas that made, or continues to make it a steep uphill climb, being a Singaporean company at heart, and competing with those beyond the shores of Singapore.
The Truth of the Matter is… Bridging the Gap & Breaking Conventions With the unforeseen disruption of COVID-19 in 2020, people are keen to know what we might expect in the next year for the production industry. This issue and more are explored in an engaging session with Justin Deimen, President of 108 Media, a global IP and media asset investment TMT firm headquartered in Singapore. As head of a company that spans the range of the content ecosystem, from IP to marketing, Justin is well-poised to take the wide view. He noted that one issue in content creation and production is the separation between the creative and corporate sectors, the gap which 108 Media aims to bridge. Looking ahead to 2021, Justin predicted two upcoming trends. Firstly, co-productions are going to be more important. To lower their risk, the big companies are going to be looking 12
at more co-productions with smaller companies. Moreover, content and distribution deals are changing. What had happened in the film industry, particularly the indie movie segment, will be echoed in the TV industry: there will be an increasing number of partners in co-productions. Again, this trend is another source of opportunity for smaller companies to break in. As a company that straddles the range of content ecosystem, Justin said 108 Media is poised to “play in the middle” of the intersection of various companies. Secondly, these co-productions will need to be properly structured. With travel restrictions likely to continue well into 2021, producers will need to rely on people on the ground, so local presence and trust relationships are especially crucial. Work processes will need to be carefully thought out.
One issue in content creation and production is the separation between the creative and corporate sectors, the gap which 108 Media aims to bridge.” – Justin Deimen, President, 108 Media
The structure and details of distribution and financing contracts, too, will be unequivocally crucial. Commenting on government support for the production industry, Justin pointed out that governments need to focus on insurance. Companies will want to know “which countries are backing me up if something goes wrong”. With more players in productions, Justin called for greater openness from both the corporate, as well as the creator sides. “We’re all in this together.” For the corporate side, for instance, this might mean looking for opportunities beyond what they would have normally done. They ought to look for new ideas and for people with different experiences, and to do this, there needs to be an openness to different creators.
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A fascinating session with a veteran of the Taiwan scene, Dennis Yang, CEO of Studio76.co, was integral in the founding of KKTV. Today, he continues to affect the industry as it evolves to one of the most prolific in the Asin region. Moderated by Yeo Kok Siew, Director, Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA), the session was as insightful as it was enjoyable
The Changing Landscape of Taiwan’s Entertainment Dennis Yang, CEO of Studio76, gave an engaging overview of the changes in Taiwan’s entertainment industry. Prior to founding Studio76, he was cofounder of KKTV in 2015. In the intervening five years, the landscape in Taiwan had changed considerably. Both regional and international players such as HBO and WeTV were muscling into the OTT scene. While some services faded away, new niche-based services like GagaOOLala popped up. Taiwan has always been an open market, welcoming international services and content. As a result, though small, the Taiwan market is also crowded and dynamic. Dennis created Studio76 in 2018 when he saw opportunity for short and medium format scripted premium content. Data from KKTV showed good appetite and feasibility for short
dramas, lasting 15—20 minutes per episode, with five to six episodes per title. In this unique format, soundtrack albums were also promoted concurrently with the dramas. Studio76 has already carved a reputation in the horror and sport genres. Dennis gave an example of how Studio76 takes a targeted approach. For instance, the horror genre is popular with young females (25—35 years) in Taiwan. Targeting this group, they found stories by web novelist Skypoem on online forums, who already had a solid fan base in Taiwan and China. Interestingly, the writer was a judge by day and horror writer by night. Studio76 bought the adaption rights and remade four short stories into a series, “Tin Can of Fear”. Stories are told such that they can be watched during commutes or over lunch, when the viewer’s attention might be slightly distracted. The
in Taiwan had changed considerably. Both regional and international players such as HBO and WeTV were muscling into the OTT scene. While some services faded away, new niche-based services like GagaOOLala popped up. Taiwan has always been an open market” –Dennis Yang, CEO, Studio76
story will need to be simpler. It is often centered around a strong, main character, with focus on one genre. Cognizant of the size limitation of the Taiwan market, Studio76 is export-oriented. Thus, decisions have to consider if the story can be universal, if the genre can travel. OTT platforms have actually provided good opportunities to introduce their content globally. The studio had received requests as far-flung as Mongolia and Nigeria, who saw their trailer on YouTube. While their primary market remains the Mandarin-speaking markets: Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, the studio also sees opportunities in non-Chinese markets. Taiwan has always punched above its weight in content and music production. Despite the pandemic challenges of 2020, Studio76, and indeed Taiwan, continue to see good growth of content.
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Down-to-earth, real business insights as buyers from Indonesia, China and India discuss the challenges and realities of acquiring and monetising kids’ content with moderator Will Anstee of TotallyAwesome
the best and fastest way for newcomers who aim to penetrate these countries’ markets is to work with local distributors. Local partners can help newcomers understand the local market, aid with promotion at various levels, and provide professional services such as dubbing.”
Buyers Speak: Slicing the Kids’ Market Pie – China, India & Indonesia China, India and Indonesia comprise three of the top five markets globally on kids’ expenditure and content, growing 3—6% year-on-year compared to more mature markets like the US and the UK. In India and Indonesia, for example, 27% of the population are aged below 14 years; this shows the importance of the kids’ market in these populous countries. In this panel on kids’ content, three content buyers from each of these three countries describe what they are looking for when they acquire content. Vivek Bhutyani (Lattu Kids) said that while Indian broadcasters tend to focus
on local content, they are trying to bring in more diverse programs as kids are open to international animations. That said, Hendy Lim (IEG Media) added it is extremely important for shows to be available in Bahasa if they are to succeed in Indonesia. Indeed, he found from experience that local content punch above their weight as compared to non-local content, and that content from non-major studios perform better than content from Hollywood or major studios. Lena Ni (Shanghai Senyu Media) noted that while the price of animation acquisition is dropping in China, the budget of digital platforms is
WILL ANSTEE, CEO
LENA NI, DIRECTOR OF ACQUISITIONS (ANIMATION)
SHANGHAI SENYU MEDIA CO LTD
VIVEK BHUTYANI, CEO
HENDY LIM, CONTENT & CHANNEL VICE PRESIDENT
INDONESIA ENTERTAINMENT GROUP (IEG)
also decreasing. Nonetheless, they remain committed to buying high quality content, as success of the program depends greatly on the quality of the content; something the other panellists agreed with. Lena said that beyond strong content, they are also interested in content with high potential for licensing and merchandising, such as toys and stationery. The panellists also agreed that the best and fastest way for newcomers who aim to penetrate these countries’ markets is to work with local distributors. Local partners can help newcomers understand the local market, aid with promotion at various levels, and provide professional services such as dubbing. Vivek pointed out that Indian consumers are very price sensitive. They are used to watching free content and only starting to get used to subscription services. New content may not be monetizable right away but getting a foothold in India’s sizable market will pay off in the longer run. The pre-school market holds particularly rich potential. Lena said edutainment for pre-schoolers are highly sought after, particularly shows with high educational value. Vivek noted a similar demand in the preschool segment in India, and Hendy pointed out that the preschool market forms the biggest share of the kids’ market in Indonesia.
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A great session to catch up on what Facebook is up to, and how successful cases have attained incredible KPIs in followers/viewership by strategically using this social to their advantage
Five Ways to Connect with Audiences on Facebook In this session, Evelina (Head of Regional Marketing, Facebook) discusses the increasing role video plays on Facebook. Facebook Watch launched in 2018, is a tab within Facebook built specifically for using video. Today, there are more than 1.5 billon users who engage with the app. Over the past year, Facebook has changed their ecosystem to reward high quality original content. Evelina shared five ways in which Asia’s media leaders have connected with audiences using Facebook video. The first way is by collaborating with other media organizations and creators. For instance, Nas Daily and Erwan Huessaff collaborated to launch a new show on Facebook Watch in September 2020, called Asia’s Superhumans. They have amassed over six million followers and one of their most popular episodes racked over 20 million views. The second way is by broadcasting heritage TV events on Facebook and adding a social spin through a celebrity profile. Evelina highlighted Alice Ko, a popular Taiwanese actress, who brought fans along on her journey to the Golden Bell Awards in Taiwan. 18
Alice amassed an additional 1.3 million viewers. The third way is by editing and posting videos in ways that grabs an audience on social and utilizing in stream ads, by repurposing old content and creating new stories from the cutting room floor. When the COVID-19 pandemic halted production of Vietnam’s Next Top Model, the media house kept audiences engaged with never-seenbefore footage of previous seasons. By using in-stream ads, JSC increased revenue by an astounding 2,000%.
Over the past year, Facebook has changed their ecosystem to reward high quality original content.”
for what’s happening around them.” She gave the example of Trans 7, who racked up 83 million views with his series on Ramadan during the fasting season.
– Evelina Lye, Head of Regional Marketing, Facebook
The fourth way is to grab audiences quickly, instantly, and frequently. To do this, producers need to recognize that video for TV cannot simply be exported to social media but needs to be edited in ways to hook their attention. And finally, the fifth way is by bringing audiences together and connecting through shared cultural moments. Evenlina noted that “cultural moments are hugely topical on Facebook and it’s our biggest platform differentiator as people come to Facebook daily
Evelina Lye gives 5 tips on how to get your content going on Facebook
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CONFERENCE Nomin Chinbat, CEO, MongolTV Carlotta Rossi Spencer, Head of Format Acquisitions, Banijay Group
Hwang Jin-woo, Founder & President, Something Special
Mike Beale, MD, Global Creative Network, ITV Studios
Justin Deimen, President, Prod. & Acquisition, 108 Media
Cindy Chino, Asso. MD, Int’l Business Dev, Nippon TV
Justin Scroggie, CCO & Partner, The Format People Group
2020 saw the ATF Formats Pitch go virtual. Believe it or not, Zoom sessions were rather intimate and judges gave more focus to each entry. Camaraderie was apparent as industry veterans were social and warm during deliberation. The final results cam down to an almost split decision, with the last judge tipping the results in favour of Blog Wars
Michel Rodrigue, CEO & Partner, The Format People Inc
ATF Formats Pitch 2020: Continued Strong Entries There were five finalists for the ATF Formats Pitch 2020. Two Island (Indonesia) “Blog Wars” pits influencers against each other, on a whirlwind race around their home countries in search of their nation’s best food experiences. Competitors must arrange their itinerary, organize their travel, and most importantly, plan and execute a series of posts that fulfil the brief and they need to get it all up online in real time. It is a fast-paced reality travel food blog competition that is highly scalable and easily adapted to other territories. MNC Studios International (Indonesia) presented “CollaborAction”, a talent competition, where contestants have to combine two different types of talents into one performance to present a harmonious combination, such as ballet and violin. There is a twist: after
four episodes of elimination, the next episode will present a shuffle of the remaining talents. Kansai TV (Japan) presented a game show format based on the ‘sushi go round’ style restaurant. In “Quiz Go Round”, the choices of quiz answers move on a big conveyor belt past participants, who must literally grab the correct answer. It is a fun and extravagant take on regular quiz shows. In “The Master” by Sean Li-Wen Cheong, imagine “Survivor” meets “MMA”. It is a competition where the fighters have to live with each other in a dojo. Contestants start by learning the martial art of the week from a grandmaster. They progress through training challenges to a final challenge where they have to integrate everything they’ve learned in combat.
The winning entry is “Blog Wars’. One of the judges commented that the format is “appealing because it’s like a microcosm of our everyday life surrounded by social media”. Factors that appealed included the incorporation of social media, sponsor friendly, scalable budget, and the returnability of the series.” – Cindy Chino, Associate Managing Director, International Business Development, Nippon TV
Christian Gamboa presented “Rich for It”, a game show where the only goal is to reach a bag of cash that is hanging from the ceiling. However, the only way to do this is by stacking different objects on top of each other to which the player can climb to bring them closer to the prize. The player builds a stack by answering a series of questions with an innovative stack of rules. The winning entry is “Blog Wars”. One of the judges commented that the format is “appealing because it’s like a microcosm of our everyday life surrounded by social media”. Factors that appealed included the incorporation of social media, sponsor friendly, scalable budget, and the returnability of the series.
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An exclusive peek into the world of kids today, post quarantine, and what it means to be on top of the metaverse.
Arrival of the Metaverse Michelle Ching (Commercial Director, TotallyAwesome) presented keen insights into how kids are consuming media, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected these trends. Building on trends already seen in the past decade, social media such as WhatsApp, Tik Tok and Instagram have become even more deeply embedded within children’s lives. Having grown up with these tools, this generation of ‘digital natives’ are highly skilled at using such tools despite their young age. Kids and teens flock to digital platforms where they can play and hang out together, as evidenced by the successes of games such as Fortnite, Animal Crossing and Roblox. The metaverse, where real life and online integrates, is here. Video calling apps, such as FaceTime, Zoom and Teams were not built with children in mind. However, the pandemic has forced a rapid uptake of video calling across all generations. Michelle noted that 2020 “could be defined as the year B2B interfaces were pulled into the family home”. These apps will remain entrenched in family lives and become as commonplace as 22
picking up the phone was for previous generations. Quarantines and these apps are also changing the way we think about schooling, creating a generational workforce that is skilled at becoming self-starters, and working remotely. The use of technologies in the classroom has also been accelerated by the pandemic. Another interesting outcome of quarantines is an increase in co-viewing habits; as families now spend more time together, parents spend more time monitoring their children’s viewing habits.
Kids and teens flock to digital platforms where they can play and hang out together, as evidenced by the successes of games such as Fortnite, Animal Crossing and Roblox. The metaverse, where real life and online integrates, is here.”
and individuals. YouTube remains the most relevant platform for kids, though DRC models look set to disrupt this trend. Kids like variety and interactivity. As many kids play mobile games and watch content online, having a brand presence in both activities is necessary to reach this audience.
– Michelle Ching, Commercial Director, TotallyAwesome
TotallyAwesome, a kids-centric digital media company, interviewed 4,482 kids aged 4—16 years, together with their parents. The respondents were recruited from 14 APAC markets, and split evenly by gender and age. Among their findings, Michelle noted the rising role of influencers. Influencers greatly impact kids’ choices, and yet data suggests that “we have not reached peak influencer yet”. Brands must learn from influencers to maximize the influence of platforms
Michelle Ching once again delivers, as she offers an important dimension of kids as viewers/consumers
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CONFERENCE Responding Nimbly so That it’s NIMBY While safety have always been important for production crew, the pandemic has added additional layers to the issue of safety practices. Anthony Tulloch (Iskandar Malaysia Studios) spoke about the measures they have taken to mitigate risk so that the coronavirus is ‘Not In My BackYard’ (NIMBY). Even prior to the pandemic, the film industry has always been quick to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. Virtual studios enable productions to be more efficient and more controlled. Shooting can be done remotely. For instance, a director in New York can be looking at a crew shooting in Malaysia. Or, with a camera mounted on a dolly, the camera operator can operate the camera over Wi-Fi.
ANTHONY TULLOCH, GENERAL MANAGER STUDIO OPERATIONS (FILM SERVICES), ISKANDAR MALAYSIA STUDIOS
Anthony said that one of the more difficult issues is shooting scenes requiring physical contact. Intimate or fights scenes cannot be done at the moment. Everyone has to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs), observing good hygiene and social distancing; the tension is finding the balance between maintaining such practices and yet being able to get the production done. Interestingly, Anthony recalled that even as early as January, they had started to take note of the media surrounding the outbreak, and they noticed a gap in their own safety procedures. They quickly worked out an alert status system that goes from no alert to low, medium or high alert, and implemented that system in February. So even before the government made it mandatory to, they had the hygiene and distancing processes in place. Malaysia issued a movementcontrolled order on March 18, which lasted until June 9. Anthony recalled that they were back to filming in June, and that people were adapting sensibly to the new rules. They had to manage manpower, stagger their crews and
LEON TAN, PRODUCTION/POST-PRO EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, 108 MEDIA
stagger their movements according to health authority’s advice. Fortunately, the spaces they have for filming are more than generously sized enough for their crews. Anthony noted that there are random police visits to ensure that they are complying with health regulations.
Even prior to the pandemic, the film industry has always been quick to adapt to new technologies and ways of working” –Anthony Tulloch, General Manager, Studio Operations (Film Services), Iskandar Malaysia Studios
Drawing on previous experience with SARS, Southeast Asia was able to respond to the COVID19 pandemic fairly nimbly. Importantly, the pandemic had also forced a rethink of the ways they can optimize their processes.
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STEAMROLLING AHEAD ON KIDS’ CONTENT
At the ATF market, the exhibitors are not only hoping to tap into Asian buyers, but to showcase Asian made content to the European and American market. Winsing Animation from China, a kids’ animation content producer, has made breaking out of Asia a priority and to do this. They’ve tapped into writers, designers and artists from Europe and America in the pursuit of high-quality content. In 2019, their first 4K animation TV series – Team S.T.E.A.M.! – was shortlisted at the MIP Junior Project Pitch and will be properly launched at ATF this year. A STEM-based program designed to appeal to a worldwide audience, the program encourages kids to explore problemsolving using Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths with athletics and arts thrown in for good measure.
Echo Gu, Vice President of Winsing Animation said, “We have confidence in breaking into the European, American, African and CIS markets for our content. Covid-19 has of course caused some challenges, such as changing procurement strategies and collaboration models on top of decreasing content budgets.
Echo Gu Vice President Winsing Animation
“To meet these challenges, we believe that we need to start becoming more diversified, creating new titles to match needs of different countries and regions, while being more flexible in cooperation modes. We believe though, good content should not be measured by price, and it is not our strategy to attract buyers merely with low prices.” W H AT D O B U Y E R S WA N T?
Looking to acquire IP to enhance slate targeting children & families
When sourcing for IP, a challenge for WildBrain includes finding ones not overly specific to a region. At ATF this year, they are looking to acquire IP that will enhance their 30
slate targeting children and families, for linear and digital distribution. “WildBrain has seen significant success working in the digital space with creatively distinct short-form content,” said Richard Rowe, who revealed that they are open to acquiring rights to IP that has been presold, as long as the remaining footprint is wide enough to make sense financially. WildBrain has also enjoyed co-production relationships with Asian partners, and are always open to becoming a co-production partner.
Richard Rowe Director of International Acquisitions & Co-Productions Wildbrain
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Dubbing and translation becomes a very important part of the long process of creation... they are very careful about it and always double-check the translation with the filmmakers to make sure the integrity of the film is respected. Gorka Gallier Head of Distribution & Acquisition Cinétévé
W H AT D O B U Y E R S WA N T?
Looking for Animation, Drama & Pre-Sales
Japanese and Korean content has proven a success for MNC Contents. With a content collection of over 300,000 hours and growing by over 35,000 per year, MNC Contents has distributed to many countries for platforms, such as free-to-air, Pay TV, VOD and OTT. The range of content distributed span from drama and nondrama to movies, formats and more.
SCIENCE NEVER FAILS, HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF Keeping up with the times, Head of Distribution & Acquisition at Cinétévé shared that the company is currently co-producing a documentary entitled, “The Spanish Flu – The Invisible Enemy” with France Télévisons in time for Spring 2021. Sharing the reasons behind it, he said, “History programmes with new angles and curated archives works extremely well. The programme is a global historical investigation, thanks to access to rare and previously unseen archives and the use of the international press, photos and personal diaries of the time, will offer both deep insight and a chronological analysis of one of the major collective catastrophes of the 20th century.” 32
Ryan Oktavianus Setiawan shared that while they are not looking for any specific content at ATF this year, their focus would be to source mainly for animation and drama. They are also open to sourcing for pre-sale IPs.
One does wonder, if in the future, Cinétévé will produce one about our current pandemic. Adding on, he shared that science content is very much in demand for Asian territories. On top of factual content, Cinétévé also carries a portfolio of feature films and dramas. While popular around the world, dubbing and translation becomes a very important part of the long process of creation. Gorka shared that they are very careful about it and always double-check the translation with the filmmakers to make sure the integrity of the film is respected. Cinétévé is also looking forward to meeting with co-producers, broadcasters and financiers at ATF for their new projects.
Ryan Oktavianus Setiawan Head of Acquisition & Channel MNC Contents
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BRINGING IN THE LAUGHTER FROM JAPAN
Japanese gameshows are famous for their sometimes over-the-top challenges and Nippon TV (NTV) certainly is putting on their best game face. Sayako Aoki, Manager, International Business Development grinningly shared, “’9 Windows’, ‘Mute it!’ and ‘Red Carpet Survival’, are three of our gameshow formats that were immediately optioned for US and European territories.
“In these crazy times, gameshows with a fun atmosphere are something that can keep people entertained. The rights for Asia are still available, so we are keen to find a partner in this region.” Unsurprisingly, with so much global troubles around the world in 2020, Sayako shared that the keyword from buyers this year has been content for family viewing, lighthearted entertainment and “nothing too dark”. Stories that depict characters who persevere in life despite trials and tribulations are also good content, as it is uplifting. While traditional players remain as important as ever, NTV is also focusing on regional players and new platforms in the aim of realizing more collaboration in the digital space. Noting that license fees that can only be decided and agreed after considering various factors, such as the various conditions of the client, industry situation, and the scheme of each project, NTV stated that they are therefore always open to discussions.
Sayako Aoki Manager International Business Development Nippon TV
MARKET REALITIES: OF QUANTITY, PRICE & REVENUES Eager to penetrate the Asian markets with its slew of creative documentaries, Anais Clanet, Partner, Head of Sales Acquisitions shared that Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong have been buying the most, especially for her art and culture documentaries.
Anais Clanet Partner, Head of Sales Acquisitions Reservoir Docs
Despite the increase in volume, Anais noted that Asian buyers have been very picky on quality, and while they pay lesser for programmes, they make up by buying more. Thus, Anais strives to ensure that the prices always fit the market’s reality and is always ready to negotiate with clients based on the strategy where clients can bundle
documentaries for theatrical release and also for TV. Interestingly though, despite the rise of VOD in Asia, she finds that her revenues from this segment has not increased as much. To broaden her reach into Asian markets, Anais shared, “It is absolutely essential for me to attend ATF this year. In particular, our new true crime series, “Welcome to Norway” that explores an intriguing crime of a Norwegian businessman who was stabbed nine times by his American guests and yet, was the one arrested. We’re excited to share the trailer confidentially on demand to buyers attending ATF.”
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BETTER DATA EQUALS BETTER BUYING EXPERIENCE According to Murat Yavan, Co-Founder and General Manager of Blue Media from Turkey, VOD platforms have better insights into their consumers, and this helps him analyse their needs, and match them more accurately with their content catalogue. With such data in mind, he is more confident in presenting the right content for his target markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, Japan, Korea, China, Australia and Singapore. “We want to make the buyer experience easy,” explained Murat, who also highlighted the company website, which offers a platform that is user-friendly to help buyers access relevant content through the use of intelligent filtering. “For VOD platforms who are in a breakneck competition to offer the most relevant and varied content, this really helps them quickly discover and secure content.”
Having exhibited at ATF before, Murat believes that the market gives him the best opportunity to strengthen current relationship and start new ones. Among some of the titles that he will be presenting to the right buyers are, “Stories from the Hidden Worlds”, a big budget documentary showcasing extreme places, unique lifestyles and different cultures that are rarely ever seen; “Abandoned Places”, which features the vestiges of human civilization, from abandoned hospitals, temples and graveyards, and sometimes cracking open the door to tragic memories.
Murat Yavan Co-Founder & General Manager Blue Media
STEP-BY-STEP TOWARDS GLOBAL DOMINATION Kevin stated that their preference is to do business with companies who can understand and share the values towards a total “brand approach to IP”. Such a company will be one who completely understands their markets, as well as the monetizing of IP in various ways, such as through toys, merchandising, media and licensing. Kevin Min Head of International Business & Development / Creative Producer SAMG Animation
Despite Korea’s outstanding public health response to the Covid-19, the country’s animation industry has been hard hit still. Therefore, SAMG Animation counts itself lucky that the company is “100% operational” with many greenlit projects under development. “I cannot deny, it was possible because of the many reliable partners around the 36
world, many of whom we have met at ATF over the years, from the time that we were just a small CGI animation studio. So, ATF is THAT important to SAMG,” enthused Kevin Min, Head of International Business and Development / Creative Producer. While their shows perform better in the Asian market today, SAMG is looking to strengthen its global presence.
Seeing it as a collaborative relationship to build “a brand cluster network”, SAMG is willing to offer very good deal terms to potential partners who share this vision and promises that they will be a company that “sells and stays alongside” the buyer. Potential partners who share this vision will be glad to know that SAMG is bringing their best to the table. The “Miniforce” series, which has been successful in East Asia and Southeast Asian territories with 3 seasons thus far, is being committed to an intense schedule of 1 season biennially, a feature animation annually, and different toy line up every half season.
THE APPEAL OF DOCS & FACTUALS & THE CHALLENGES IN A REVENUE SHARE MODEL Christophe Bochnacki, President of Balanga from France has been a regular face at ATF, given how important Asia has become for his company. He thus considers it important to still participate in the digital version of ATF in order to connect with existing and new clients from around Asia. For him, history documentaries and true crime factual series are trending content, as these stories are universal and captivating. In terms of change, Christophe opined, “I have observed that the biggest change in the region in the last few years, mostly with platforms, is the move to a revenue share model. “This is a big challenge for the future, because this model doesn’t allow producers to invest in creating new content. I hope this will evolve as soon as these new platforms grow and become able to share risks with producers and distributors.”
Christophe Bochnacki President Balanga
One of Balanga’s new science series at ATF is a highly relevant program called, “Triggers” that tells the story about the biggest inventions of modern history, such as the development of vaccines by Pasteur, the harnessing of electricity by Tesla, and the theory of relativity by Einstein.
“Tank Tech: Evolution of a War Machine” is another piece of content that shows the blurring of lines between TV content and the gaming world. Created in partnership with the video game, “World of Tanks”, it delves deep into one of the important inventions in modern military history.
LUKARN: LOOKING TO STRENGTHEN TIES IN THAILAND, KOREA & THE PHILIPPINES This year, Lukarn is focused on building its relationships with market players in Thailand, Korea and the Philippines, which, according to Sandrine Frantz, General Manager, Lukarn, are territories the company is not strong enough in. Sandrine believes that the French-based company’s strength lies in its 4K history, science and knowledge documentaries with CGIs, and that it is the content that
The international economic situation is very stressed, and we do feel the same with our current clients that have more and more limited budgets. But they are still looking for the best, so it is something that we have to manage. Sandrine Frantz General Manager Lukarn
needs to step up to the plate to appeal to an international audience, especially in the current market situation. On that note, Sandrine also added that animation seems to be the genre that travels well, while documentaries or performing arts content might not be as popular. When asked if today’s situation hamper buyers’ purchasing behaviours, Sandrine is ready to discuss any offer that comes along. She added, “For sure, the international economic situation is very stressed, and we do feel the same with our current clients that have more and more limited budgets. But they are still looking for the best, so it is something that we have to manage. We hope to continue our relationship with our faithful clients, but we also wish to further touch base with and meet new companies in the Asian region.” 37
DOCUMENTARIES & THE GROWING SOPHISTICATION OF ASIAN MARKETS Only Distrib, a French distributor of documentaries with an emphasis on Science, Green and Lifestyle, is a veteran in the Asian market. Over the years, they have noticed that the market has grown significantly in terms of number of broadcasters, both linear and nonlinear, as well as in the sophistication in terms of content and format that is sought after Technical requirements for 4K formats have also grown. In order to remain attentive to the editorial, technical and economical evolutions of their clients, Only Distrib always try to be involved in the production of new content from the start so that they can ensure producers can meet the demands of international broadcasters. This has also guided them on new types of acquisitions to suit the programming needs of the region. Laurene Voilliot, Head of Sales & Acquisitions shared, “Our 4K catalogue has been growing due to the demand of customers. This year, we are featuring several new 4K shows, such as “Dr Brain”, which studies the way our brain
Laurene Voilliot Head of Sales & Acquisitions Only Distrib
works by tackling topics like memory, pleasure and pain, sounds and music, or “Amazon Taste”, where a chef travels the Amazon region to taste the most emblematic ingredients of Amazon gastronomy.”
Noting that lighthearted content is also needed in today’s environment, “Pick Your Costume” is a travel show that celebrates the carnivals of iconic cities, such as Rio and Venice.
“TASTY” CONTENT GIVES ODIN MEDIA A LEG UP When it comes to presenting quality content on Russia, Odin Media LLC takes the cake, having some of the most unique footages of picturesque places in Russia, as well as old archived chronicles that have not been published anywhere. Take for example, “The Great Exploration of Siberia”, which will see the most reserved corners and natural miracles of Siberia alongside its history and archaeology, and, “The Great North Way”, where viewers discover the Russian North.
Yulia Musatova Head of International Department Odin Media LLC
Having only launched their business six years ago, the company comes to ATF for the first time with more than 1,500 hours of content under its belt. “There are certain opportunities in cooperating with South Korea, China, Japan,
and more. We started production in 4K three years ago, and now have a strong 4K lineup in our catalogue. In light of recent deals, we see interest in such products among buyers,” remarked Yulia Musatova, Head of International Department, Odin Media LLC. With an eye on interesting topics and market trends, Yulia believes that buyers have become more selective in their search for content, focused only on the interests of their region and on products that give high ratings in a particular market. “We are ready to work on a multi-platform basis, and we try to be as flexible as possible in negotiations. Our main priority is to build a win-win relationship with our partners.”
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NO SLOW DOWN IN DEMAND Even during these complicated circumstances, France TV Distribution’s role is to continue exporting worldwide and supporting such great original French productions. “The pandemic has not negatively affected our sales. In fact, it’s been the opposite: during the lockdown, all audiences “tuned into their TV sets,” either in real-time (linear TV) or via VOD. “There’s a new desire in terms of content and thanks to our strong line-up, we’ve been able to successfully adapt to this period,” shared Lucille Ract, International Sales Manager at France TV. Highlighting further that documentary series tend to be more popular than single episode, the company has also shifted to ensure it can support the market’s needs. In the wake of the success of the “Apocalypse” collection (CC&C), highpotential brands have made their mark with series, such as, “Mysteries of the Giants” (French Connection Films - 6x52’), “Extreme Lands” (Pernel Media - 6x45’) and “The Real War of Thrones”.
At ATF 2020, the company is also keen to seek pre-buy partners for some of their projects such as the documentary “Earth, A Living Body” (Mona Lisa Productions - 1x90’), or for the animation series, “Ana Pumpkin” (Folimage/Les Armateurs - 52x5’), and “Disco Dragon” (Mondo TV - 52x13’); as well as to find partners for format adaptations for several of their drama series.
Lucille Ract International Sales Manager France TV Distribution
KEEPING UP WITH THE K-WAVE, & QUALITY MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE For Hansol Shim, Assistant Sales Manager / Content Business Team, AK Entertainment Co Ltd, the retro trend seems to making a new wave, seeing that the company recently worked on classic and nostalgic Korean dramas, such as, “Boys Over Flowers” and “Birdy Buddy”, alongside its US partner.
In keeping up with the demand for K-content, the company’s main focus has been on the APAC region, with a strong catalogue of webdrama, entertainment, film, and animation.
Hansol Shim Assistant Sales Manager / Content Business Team AK Entertainment Co Ltd
“This year, we are offering “Bangle School”, which is a light comedy-themed 3D animation, featuring nine students who are invited to a strange Bangle School by a suspicious teacher. “Issuemakers” is a short-form rom-com drama that deals with romance and friendship
revolving around a trendy startup called, Issuemakers.” When it comes to foreign content entering the Korean market, although Hansol acknowledges that there is an influx of Chinese and Thai dramas, she highlighted that these are still considered new to the majority of Korean consumers. “It has become increasingly important to go viral on social media platforms to be chosen by Korean consumers from among tons of content that is available. As content gets diversified more than ever, and access to various kinds of quality Asian content has been available on global OTT platforms, it seems that the language barrier isn’t a big deal for viewers. What matters would be the quality of the content.”
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CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AT ATF! It seems that not only consumers are in the mood to shop. “ATF is perfectly timed for content buyers to do yearend shopping for the current year, as well as plan acquisitions for the year ahead,” shared Samantha Wong, Head of Global Division of Zoland Distribution. The company that has traditionally specialised in animation production and distribution has also broadened its scope in 2020 to include all genres, such as live action dramas, movies, documentaries and lifestyle programmes. Sharing what has been popular with buyers, she added that comedy for animation has been the flavour for several years, while non-dialogue animation is also popular as it is cost effective, needing no translation or dubbing. One such property under Zoland is “Gob & Friends”, which has been successful across multiple languages in Southeast Asia. Continuing with the feel-good season, “Betsy The Bear Car” is another pre-school series
centred on family values and bonding across three inter-generational Bear Cars. Looking ahead, Samantha shared that in a fast-evolving technology scene, staying ahead of the game is challenging. Content that was previously produced in Standard Definition format is less favoured in light of the rise of 4K screens and faster Internet connectivity.
Comedy for animation has been the flavour for several years, while non-dialogue animation is also popular as it is cost effective, needing no translation or dubbing. Samantha Wong Head of Global Division Zoland Distribution
A TOUCH OF SPAIN Although it is his first time at ATF, Ricardo Iglesias, International Manager, NYX Channel, believes that Asia is part of the company’s strategy, taking steps forward in marketing its catalogue worldwide. “The love for cinema, the big (but heterogeneous) size of its market, and its progressive sophistication, are maybe the four big reasons to be here. They match our concept of a boutique cinema.”
Global buyers, especially VOD platforms, are looking for more and better content, special things to satisfy and surprise the audience. Ricardo Iglesias International Manager NYX Channel 42
One change that Ricardo believes is appreciated in some business models, is the increase in VOD platforms. The subscription model seems to show signs of exhaustion and could be replaced by the advertising model in the short term. In the end, it is always the consumer who decides. “Global buyers, especially VOD platforms, are looking for more and better content, special things to satisfy and surprise the audience. In that sense, there’s a progressive sophistication to the market, on the one hand, but on the other, there’s also a market saturation. Little by little, the offer will stabilize and the prices will too.” According to Ricardo, while the Spanish audience follows the same consumption patterns as other markets, there seems to be room for content like those that Asian production companies can offer, such as Korean series, Japanese anime, Chinese comedies, and more.
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OTT HELPING ASIAN CONTENT GET DISCOVERED Electural is a creative studio in South Korea that develops original characters, and animations around these characters. At ATF this year, they are looking for partners who can co-produce and fund the “Genius Detective
LaBong” animation project that is currently being planned. This project is a comic adventure animation series targeted at kids age 7—11 and will be produced in 11 minutes X 26 episodes. The project tells the story of the adventures of Labong, a genius detective cat who infiltrates the zoo, digging into cases with his wacky friends, Luzzi and Kuri. The company hopes to convey the message of friendship, consideration, harmony, and cooperation to children through the story of solving cases of various animals in the zoo.
Jiwan Yoon, CEO of Electural, is bullish about Asian original animation, especially with the rise of OTT. Jiwan shared, “Today, buyers can utilise various channels, as well as traditional channels, so they want more diverse formats, unique stories, and more quality content. “And they also hope that unique Asian content will emerge in an international market. With the growth of international OTT today, Asian content is becoming increasingly more popular and influential. And it is a trend that people want new and diverse cultural contents that they can relate to together.”
W H AT D O B U Y E R S WA N T?
Looking for Formats that can Reach a Broad Audience For Motion Content Group, “MasterChef” – although initially a touch-and-go on whether or not there would be a new season – has been successful for the company this year. Local drama such as its Pakistani series, “Churails” for Zee5, has worked as well. 44
The company is always on the lookout for a wide range of things for its broadcast and OTT platform partners. As always, solid formats that will reach a broad audience are in demand. “This year, we are also looking for content that will specifically work with our ecommerce partners. Exclusivity is preferred, but we can be flexible in some cases,” said Steven Murphy. He is also open to co-productions.
Steven Murphy Managing Director Motion Content Group
BBC’S SECRET INGREDIENTS TO UNIVERSALLY COMPELLING CONTENT The UK may be heading for Brexit, but BBC’s content has been busy making its entry all over Asia. In an exclusive interview with Andre Renaud, SVP Global Format Sales at BBC Studios, ATF’s Show Daily digs into what makes BBC’s content successful across the world, and in Asia in particular. “We’re fortunate that, from around 2018, we have been seeing an increased appetite from broadcasters and producers wanting to work with us to localise scripted formats based on original British stories. Shows like Luther, Criminal Justice, Life on Mars and The Office have translated into local versions across countries such as India and South Korea, for example. We are especially proud of the success of Doctor Foster in the region, too, where a second season has been commissioned in India and where it has become the highest-rated South Korean cable drama of all time,” shared Andre. What makes BBC’s stories successful in Asia, in Andre’s opinion, boils down to building stories centred on full, fleshed out individuals whose lives shift as a result of an event or a series of events. Such stories contain themes of trials and tribulations, the rise and fall of individuals that makes it immediately relatable across cultures. “These character-focussed stories, where we meet them in an important moment in their lives, is really at the heart of many of the ideas that have travelled recently,” added Andre. Despite these “universal themes”, Andre emphasised that it is still important to localise the stories and nuances to suit each region and cultural norms. This can even be down to minute details, such as a character’s job or family environment and it has to be done in a collaborative fashion with the local partners. “In scripted adaptation, what’s crucial is being able to share the original ideas for characters and storylines and what motivates these individuals to take the decisions they do in order to inspire our partners on how this might adapt in their own community. We want to ensure that we’ve given partners the full background into a character in order for them to be able to make these choices that ultimately may influence a character’s journey,” explained Andre.
In scripted adaptation, what’s crucial is being able to share the original ideas for characters and storylines and what motivates these individuals to take the decisions they do in order to inspire our partners on how this might adapt in their own community. Andre Renaud SVP Global Formats Sales BBC Studios
In responding to the current and future challenges facing the industry, Andre’s hold to the mantra, “It’s never a no until it’s a no”, emphasising that it is important for both parties to listen to each other’s needs and challenges, and try to find a compromise. He has acknowledged however, that sometimes, it just won’t work out, but both parties can walk away knowing that they’ve all tried their best and can move forward in a positive way, and hopefully find another way in future projects. This has held true with BBC’s format sales business that has required them to be even more flexible with partners, as production schedules are thrown into disarray due to Covid-19. 45
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RED ARROW STUDIOS INTERNATIONAL: A CONSTANT HIT WITH FORMATS For Red Arrow Studios International, scripted and formats have been the company’s key genres, but this year has also seen factual content working well. Joyce Droese, Sales Manager, Asia, Red Arrow Studios International, comes to ATF this year with key format titles in tow, particularly the extreme adventure format, “How to Become Superhuman”, in which a group of celebrities try to unlock their own superpowers in order to achieve the impossible. Another title high on her agenda list is, “Beat the Channel”, a primetime entertainment format in which two popular presenters get the chance to win a 15-minute live broadcast slot and has been a consistently massive hit on ProSieben in Germany over four seasons. “Two of our premium drama series, “Vienna Blood” and “Departure”, have done
Joyce Droese Sales Manager, Asia Red Arrow Studios International
particularly well this year, selling to territories, including Australia, Japan, Korea, India, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia, so we are delighted that both have been commissioned for second seasons, which will be delivered in 2021.
Joyce also highlighted that ATF enables them to keep in touch with regular clients, as well as meet new ones. “ATF provides a great opportunity to catch up on any unfinished business for the year, as well as plan ahead for the next one.”
CO-PRODUCTIONS & PRE-SALES: NEGOTIATING FOR MUTUAL WINS
Ilan Sarfati International Sales Executive Kwanza
The growing appetite of Asian audience for factual programming has led them to become more involved in early stage discussions for co-productions and pre-sales, something they hope to achieve at ATF with existing and new partners. India, China and Korea are interesting markets for them with a momentum to co-produce or get involved in larger scale documentary projects.
On the rise of VOD in Asia, Ilan elaborated, “We almost never do deals for all-TV rights anymore on a territory; we’ll always get the broadcasters to pay an additional fee if they want to retain exclusivity (and even nonexclusive VOD rights, and especially SVOD). Similarly, we never give our content solely on the basis of revenue share to SVOD platforms, but only work with MG or flat fee.”
In seeking co-production partners, Ilan Sarfati, International Sales Executive at Kwanaza explained, “Our co-production partners can be any broadcaster looking to expand the size of their productions with international partners with better access to capital. Or conversely, broadcasters willing to take part in ambitious European productions and grow their profile, such as having their name in the credits, alongside a pool of international broadcasters or a say in the final cut.”
Nonetheless, the company does note that one way to get the prices down is by making substantial package deals with clients. At ATF this year, Kwanza will also be presenting several new documentaries, one of which is “Dreamcatchers” that follows a young couple, Phil and Iva on their boat journey through Indonesia, Borneo and Philippines. In “Maya: Ancient Metropolis”, the miniseries recreates the world’s first metropolis through CGI and re-enactments of the Mayan civilization.
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BREADTH & STRENGTH MATTERS FOR SONY Despite a challenging year, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) believes that the strength of its content and ability of their teams to understand partners’ needs puts them ahead in many ways. “What truly makes our content stand out beyond the production itself is the amazing post-sales client servicing and marketing support that we provide our partners to ensure they obtain maximum ROI for their acquisitions from us,” shared Julius Toh, Vice President at SPE. This focus on client servicing is also why ATF remains important to the company, as they believe that their team members will benefit from the workshops and presentations, on top of the sales opportunities that presents itself to SPE. Through ATF, the company also keeps itself abreast of the constantly evolving definition of usage rights, as broadcasters now incorporate more varied ways of allowing their consumers access to their content. In terms of its blockbuster TV content this year, SPE is particularly excited for “Coyote” and “Leonardo”. The former stars Michael Chiklis and is an action drama about life
on both sides of the US-Mexico border. “Leonardo” is a fresh take on the life of Leonardo Da Vinci with breath-taking sets and costumes. On the silver screen, “Monster
Hunter”, based on the global hit video game and starring Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa, will be hitting the big screens at the end of the year and is a must-watch for all ages. Standby for some a** kicking action!
UP & COMING PLAYER IN THE CONTENT BUSINESS Although Robi Axiata Limited is new to the content business, Monisha Kaiser, Manager, Content and Streaming, is all geared up to showcase its Binge Original content in a global arena and attract potential buyers. While the platform Binge, which launched in June 2020, is only available in Bangladesh, where its original content is in the Bengali language, the company has received positive response thus far and hopes to appeal to the South Asian audience, particularly India and Pakistan.
Monisha Kaiser Manager, Content & Streaming Robi Axiata Limited
“We believe our content also has great potential to attract audience residing in Malaysia, Middle East, North America, etc. Moreover, we can provide subtitling, and dubbing rights, and our content are relevant in the Asian cultural context.”
Based on the company’s market scenario and understanding, thriller content that are based on true events are highly welcomed by viewers, and for Binge, thriller genre is its forte. Furthermore, with the advent of various OTT platforms, consumers now have access to not only local, native language contents, but also content that are from other cultures. In terms of pricing, Monisha emphasised that the company is driven by passion and that they will be flexible. “We are here to build relationships, therefore trying to offer more convenient options and pricing for buyers. To make it easier for buyers, we may offer non-exclusive rights as well. We are looking forward to a win-win situation.”
It’s a Virtual NATPE Miami, and VideoAge
will be on every Buyer’s Virtual Door
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BIG STEPS FOR JAPANESE CONTENT “Globalisation has made it easier for consumers to access new information from overseas. Demand for foreign content is increasing in Asia as a whole,” shared Natsumi Hayashi, International Sales Manager, Business Development Div., My Theater D.D., Inc. With a wide range of productions spanning live-action and animation to drama and documentary, the company experienced a breakthrough with its action film, “Crazy Samurai Musashi” premiering at the European Film Market just this year. “Up until now, Asian content is usually shunned and often requires some sort of “credit” to be acknowledged, for example, being selected in Cannes Film Festival. With the global expansion of video streaming services, there has been an increase in opportunities to view Asian content, and I feel that people are finally beginning to recognise that Asia has a lot of creative and quality content.”
including having subtitles and dubbing. She understands that creating English as a first touch point and, sometimes even Spanish, are key to selling widely in all regions.
Natsumi’s words are echoed by the company’s strategy of spending to localise their content,
In terms of selling rights, more and more offers are being made for digital rights only.
Natsumi Hayashi International Sales Manager Business Development Div. My Theater D.D., Inc.
“For anime, there’s a lot of negotiation not only for the anime itself, but also for event rights, merchandising rights, and game adaptation rights because of the increase in the development of media mixes.”
RUSSIAN TALES PUTS WOMEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT mostly interested in streaming platforms in China, especially because we already have experience cooperating with iQiyi, Bilibili, Gate2Doc.” “Dramas based on real-life events are particularly in demand nowadays. Viewers appeal to true-event stories because they can relate to them – they might have read about them in a history book and they feel like they already know the characters.” Julia Matyash Director Sovtelexport
Demand for Russian content has seen a boost in recent years and according to Julia Matyash, Director, Sovtelexport, ATF is the perfect opportunity for Russia Television and Radio / Sovtelexport Distribution Company to expand its content distribution in Asia. 50
“The demand for our content is stable. All over the world, the number of digital platform subscribers is growing, which leads to the demand for new content and its diversity. It offers new opportunities to increase the digital rights sales. In the Asian region, we are
The company’s new titles include ones based on true events and put women in the spotlight, depicting how these strong-willed female characters fight for their right to be happy against all odds. “The Blood Widow”, a spine-chilling thriller telling the story of the most notorious female serial killer in Russia; and “Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes”, is adapted from multi-award winning novel by Guzel Yakhina; “On the Edge”, is an action series about three young women who fight for their lives and freedom.
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R MEDIA LLC: MUCH MORE OF RUSSIAN CONTENT IN THE WORKS Russian audiences are very fond of foreign cinema, and, according to Olga Ryzhikh, Sales Coordinator / Production Assistant, R Media LLC, this has evolved, with consumers now showing interest in Asian cinema as well. The company is currently in the works of developing a new project, with part of the filming taking place in Japan. Hence, at ATF this year, the primary focus for them will be building more inroads into the Japanese territory. R Media LLC also offers a package deal to optimise conditions for its buyers. “We are always open to all proposals and are ready to pursue a flexible pricing policy for fruitful and close co-operations.” Olga noted that these days, war films, along with action and adventure films, are in great demand. Moreover, Russian cartoons seem to be popular in the Asian market. “We hope to penetrate the Asian market to find new partners for co-production for our projects, as well as build strong relationships. This year, the global film industry is faced with a difficult situation, but we hope to get out of this crisis next year and establish more film productions and distributions.”
Olga Ryzhikh Sales Coordinator/ Production Assistant R Media LLC
BUILDING ON A FAMILIAR FRENCH FOCUS From wildlife and art and culture to lifestyle and history, Arte France Distribution aims to highlight diversity and commitment, spreading different voices, and unexpected views of the world to its audiences. The company comes to ATF this year with a rich line-up of 40 new programmes in tow.
Lydia Kali Sales Manager Arte France Distribution
“Arte Distribution has built strong relationships with new actors in the Asian media landscape, especially the Chinese digital platforms. We signed our first coproduction deal with Bilibili last year, and we’re convinced it’s just the beginning,” shared Lydia Kali, Sales Manager, Arte France Distribution, adding that the company is currently in discussion to expand its
collaboration with co-production and pre buy projects. For Lydia, it is also heartening to see that Asian audiences have gotten more receptive to French content, which, a decade ago, would have been challenging. She also noted a significant upgrade in French production value. “The French market has also gotten competitive, but there is always room for new stories, new narratives, new angles, and new formats. French viewers are very curious and open-minded, but we – me included – are also very selective!”
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HUMARIWALI GOOD NEWS
Do you know your neighbour? A unique gameshow with an added twist of a talent contest, celebrating ordinary people doing extraordinary things. In this fresh comedy gameshow, nine people are given their chance to shine, taking centre stage and sharing their hidden talents, to impress their neighbours, viewers and the rest of the world! This format is co-produced by Nippon TV and The Story Lab. COMPANY: NIPPON TV
The story revolves around the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law and their relationship with each other. What started as a love-hate relationship, turns into a story of friendship, fun and laughter. Kavya believes that motherhood completes a woman. However, she realises that she cannot conceive. After exploring all the possible options, she finds hope in Mother-in-law, Renuka, and father-in-law, Mukund. Their life changes completely when Renuka agrees to bear a child for Kavya. COMPANY: ZEE ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES
MINI FORCE: SUPER DINO POWER Mini Force Super Dino Power! Transform! Captain Power Man, the most powerful villain in history, has a special ability to turn ordinary objects, like trash cans, shoes, and more, into fearful monsters! With Super Dino Power and Super Dino Robots, Mini Force must defeat Captain Power Man and save the Blue City from chaos! COMPANY: SAMG ANIMATION
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DAY 3 ONLINE
100 SIGHTS OF ANCIENT CITIES This is a programme which hands down the inheritance of their ancestors to the next generation, such as precious traditional events, entertainment, crafts and wisdom of everyday life in Japan. COMPANY: NIHONKAI TELECASTING CO LTD
PONGPONG DINO This show features five kids living in a fantastical world where veggies, fruits, breads, snacks, jellies, and chocolates appear magically with exaggerated proportions. These foods are so huge that the kids are not only able to bite into them, but also ‘play’ with them. From swimming in enormous watermelons and bouncing up and down on mushroom trampolines to using juicy lemons as water guns and jump roping with stretchy cheese, the five kids explore foods in their own way using their senses and creative mindsets. COMPANY: DREAM FACTORY STUDIO
MANHUNT: UNABOMBER The first instalment of the true crime anthology series, “Manhunt: Unabomber” tells the dramatic and gripping true story of the FBI’s hunt for the Unabomber, the deadliest serial bomber in history. The story focuses on FBI Agent and criminal profiler, Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald, who pioneered the use of forensic linguistics to identify and ultimately capture the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. Tune in to piece together the pieces and uncover the face of the real UNABOMBER. COMPANY: LIONSGATE
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DAY 3 ONLINE
RANAH 3 WARNA
Dongu and Yeolmoo have just moved to a new town with their families. But there is a strange rumour surrounding their new houses. People say that they are haunted! What could be haunting their houses? As it turns out, they are not ghosts, not monsters, but Tinkars, the living toys in search of children to play with! Tinkars can change their shapes and sizes and use their magic powers to make an ordinary day turn extraordinary. Moreover, Dongu and Yeolmoo are just the friends to share the fun!
Never ending obstacles seem to block Alif’s path to his dream, which is to study in Bandung and to see America. The hardest thing he has to cope with is the sudden death of his father. At his lowest point in life, Alif begins to question his beliefs and almost gives up, until two “mantras” resurfaces and gives him the willpower to fight. These two mantras are – “he who gives his all will surely succeed”, and “he who is patient will be fortunate”. COMPANY: MNC CONTENTS
COMPANY: RETROBOT ANIMATION STUDIOS INC
SEABELIEVERS SeaBelievers is the first kids’ ECO-tainment show in the world that tells stories that will thematically matter and empower kids. Each animated episode leads kids on an ECO-adventure. Be it in the sea or ashore, the positive SeaBelievers characters, with their distinct seaweed hair, seashell nose, sea-coloured eyes and webbed hands and feet, problem-solve and take action around key environmental issues. Each SeaBeliever carries a Magic Sand Dollar, which ignites his or her unique superpowers – fuelled by their self-belief! COMPANY: STUDIO100 MEDIA GMBH
COFFEE HOUR CONTENT SHOWCASE China Special!
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FRESH CONTENT CHINA Urban Dramas Dec 4 @ 3.30pm
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DAY 3 ONLINE
ONOSHIMONO NO DOKODEMO QUEST 2
SUNNY GIRL NO.23
Daisuke Ono and Hiro Shimono are back as the strongest pair! Eager to conquer Hokkaido, Daisuke Ono and Hiro Shimono enthusiastically take on a quest loaded with random unplanned events provided by the staff. Overcoming rain, strong wind, and even absurd requests from the staff, they once again face the challenge together. Will they be able to weather the trials headed their way and come out victorious in this quest? Will they be triumphant in conquering Hokkaido?
The leading character is named Niu Naitang. Her name is in the combination of her Dad’s surname Niu and Mom’s surname Tang. She is a student in primary school with student ID number 23, and she is, coincidentally, usually graded 23rd in exams. While she is not outstanding in grades, you can easily feel her sincerity, warmheartedness, and kindness. She is surrounded by a bunch of friends from different backgrounds with interesting characteristics.
COMPANY: MAHO FILM CO LTD
COMPANY: HUNAN GOLDEN EAGLE CARTOON MEDIA CO LTD
ANIMAL RESCUE Animal heroes “Animal Rescue” gather to save endangered animals all over the world. Due to urbanisation, animals are in danger of extinction. The journey begins with “Animal Rescue” to protect animals as well as the environment from the selfishness of humans. “Animal Rescue” portrays the difficult environmental situation the animal characters are in. It helps us have a deeper perspective on global environmental issues that we need to be updated on. COMPANY: HONG DANG MOO CO., LTD
COFFEE HOUR CONTENT SHOWCASE
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DAY 3 ONLINE
THE DEEP MED People have been travelling there for thousands of years, not knowing that The Mediterranean has its secrets. Far below its surface lies vast unexplored territories, luxurious gardens worthy of the finest tropical coral reefs. These natural wonders are inaccessible to the traditional diver, in a twilight zone, between 60m and 120m, where there is less than 1% of sunlight. If diving at such depths is always a challenge, staying there is a fantasy; a utopia that becomes reality in Planet Mediterranean. COMPANY: ARTE DISTRIBUTION
DANGER-LESS DETECTIVES Solve a brutal crime… Never! And avoid risk at all costs. Why? Because it’s not worth the time and effort. Introducing a detective drama for the new Reiwa era, featuring two hot detectives who are the most passive you’ll ever see in a detective series. They never solve any crime, yet they’re super cool. It’s a story of two suave policemen who never face any danger! COMPANY: MAINICHI BROADCASTING SYSTEM
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD A ragtag group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a bloodthirsty, flesh-eating breed of monsters who are ravaging the East Coast of the United States. Directed by the maestro of the zombie genre, George A. Romero, the movie is a seminal entry and cult classic among horror and zombie movie fans. COMPANY: NYX CHANNEL
DAY 3 ONLINE
GLORY AND DREAM
TEO THE AMAZING LION
The story begins with the founding of the first National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It provides an analysis of the historical process of the Chinese society in the 1920s and 1930s, where Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Zhu De who established the red regime under extremely difficult circumstances, led the Red Army in strategic transfer, fought against the Japanese bravely, and finally liberated all of China.
Teo the Amazing Lion is an animation show, suitable for kids ages 6—8 and is a 2D comedy. Mae is a half-fairy-human girl born and raised in the city. She is training to become a fairy, under a strict master, an immortal lion, named Teo. COMPANY: MAPLE TOON ANIMATION STUDIO
COMPANY: PERFECT WORLD PICTURES CO LTD
AMUSEMENT “Amusement” is a programme developed for dogs and cats to assist in building their emotional stability and to satisfy their curiosity, such as Frisbee, Popping the balloon and Tug-of-war game. These programmes are produced based on ethology and other scientific researches and studies. COMPANY: HAPPY DOG TV LTD
COFFEE HOUR CONTENT SHOWCASE
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DAY 3 ONLINE
DIVER – SPECIAL INVESTIGATION UNIT The spread of criminal organisations around the city is out of control – Kyoto police are forced to take action. A special task force has been set up and elite undercover operatives known as DIVER are sent to infiltrate the underworld and conduct dangerous undercover investigations. Inspector Kurosawa, a man with 100 faces and a talent for martial arts, is the most respected and feared agent on the team. COMPANY: KANSAI TELEVISION CO LTD
WILD HUNTERS Wild Hunters is a gripping documentary series of nature’s greatest predators: bears, felines, canines, snakes, reptiles, raptors, spiders, and more. It is a comprehensive and spectacular 4K documentary series that show the struggle for survival of the different species within animal families around the world: the mating of the lynx in the northern regions and the lion of Kenya; the breeding process of the Australian Morelia Viridis and the nesting of the king cobra in India; the social behaviour of the wild dogs of Namibia and the Iberian wolves. COMPANY: WILD STORIES DISTRIBUTION SL
SWEET THING In New Bedford Massachusetts, a dysfunctional family, portrayed in all shades of black-and-white, lead forgotten lives. One eventful summer, in an act of liberation, the kids Billie and Nico set off on their own adventure into the fantastical and poetic world of childhood, unseen by the adults around them. COMPANY: URBAN DISTRIBUTION INTERNATIONAL
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05 Dec 18 DAY 1