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Giant successes scripted by women. MDA Show Dailies Cover- Day 1_SMF 2.pdf



The pitter patter of little feet with big shoes. 7:51 pm


The way film goes as Europe looks to Asia.

Visit us at ATF 2015 Stand D10


02 Day @ a glance Discover the latest trends and the freshest content from the Formats @ ATF conference

08 great mind shares With the growing spending power youngsters, esteemed speakers at Junior @ ATF tell us exactly what kids want



from the market


Deals and spills from the market floor; the latest collaborations and acquisitions in Asia

Maggie Xiong and Qiu Yuanyuan reflect on successes, inspirations and defying stereotypes








The Film & TV Market at ATF opens in spectacular style

Asian-European CoProduction: Navigating the Path Ahead





What Kids Want, Kids Get... Right?

26 FEATURE Survivor: Reality Television in Asia



Check out what’s on offer at the Market

DAY at a Glance


3 Dec 2015 Thursday FORMATS @ ATF

conference 10.00am–10.30am The Trends of Content 10.40am—11.20am On the Prowl for Asia’s Original Sponsored by

11.30am—12.30pm Freshest Content: What’s Trending In South Korea? Sponsored by

Market EVENTS 9.00am—6.00pm Level 5 Film & TV Market Southeast Asian Film Financing Project Market

2.00pm—2.40pm Case Study: Localising “Gogglebox” in Asia 2.50pm—3.30pm Keeping Audiences on the Edge of Their Seats Sponsored by

3.40pm–4.20pm Formats Masterclass: Creating The Perfect Format Bible 4.30pm–5.00pm Formats Masterclass: Creating & Protecting Formats 5.15pm–6.00pm Formats Masterclass: When TV Formats Meet Digital

Editorial Director Lunita S V Mendoza On Site Editor Mark CHEN Designer Zoey LIM

10.30m—12.00pm Singapore Pavilion E08/H08, Screening Room BUSINESS-MATCHING (TV)

Photographer Justin ONG

2.00pm—3.30pm Singapore Pavilion E08/H08, Screening Room BUSINESS-MATCHING (Film)

Project Manager Joyce CHUA

(By invitation only)

(By invitation only)

1.15pm–1.50pm Kids-Led Formats

Editorial & Production Team

2.00pm—4.00pm Room 4812/4813 BEIJING RADIO AND TELEVISION BUREAU NETWORKING RECEPTION 4.00pm—5.00pm Singapore Pavilion - E08 UK-SINGAPORE CO-PRODUCTION PANEL DISCUSSION 5.00pm—6.00pm Singapore Pavilion E08/H08, Screening Room SINGAPORE HOUR (FILM) 5.00pm - 6.00pm Japan Pavilion & Regions of Japan - A10, B30 SUSHI & COCKTAIL PARTY QUOTE OF THE DAY

“This is always a very productive market for Lionsgate in Asia, especially in new media platforms, and there are ample opportunities to showcase our new shows to a lot of potential buyers. We value the market.” Annie Yim, VO, Sales, International Television & Digital Distribution, Lionsgate, Hong Kong

Project Management Senior Project Director YEOW Hui Leng

Marketing Senior Corporate Marketing Manager CHUA Yee Ling Marketing Manager Monika AU PUBLIC RELATIONS Senior Account Manager Diana LOW Assistant Account Manager Samantha NG Buyers Research and Delegate Program Executive Genevieve CHEW Exhibitors & Participants Account Manager PHUA Meenyi Project Coordinator Chrystia LIEW Conference Executive Producer Lunita S V MENDOZA Operations Operations Executive Amelia KHO Operations Executive Bryan LAM Published by REED EXHIBITIONS, a division of Reed Elsevier (Singapore) 2008 Pte Ltd

from the m arke t


Exclusive Children’s Programming CoProduced to Air on WebTVAsia Fred Chong, Group CEO of Prodigee & WebTVAsia, Faridah Jaafar, Director of FINAS, and Edmund Chan, Managing Director of Animasia at the Creative Malaysia Networking Reception

Fred Chong, Group CEO of Prodigee & WebTVAsia remarked, “Localised children’s content with high production and educational qualities are in great demand in Asia. Combining Prodigee’s creative knowhow and WebTVAsia’s extensive digital reach, I look forward to partnering Animasia in creating a successful Asian kids digital channel brand.” The programme will feature a series of animated nursery rhyme videos starring popular characters from Animasia’s current library with original songs in various languages, produced by Prodigee. WebTVAsia will globally release on digital platforms such as YouTube, Dailymotion, Tencent, Youku-Tudou, LeTV, as well as Whaley TV.

Top Asian production houses Prodigee Media and Animasia Studio announce a partnership to co-produce short form children’s programming targeted to the Asian market. Asian digital multi-platform network

WebTVAsia will have the exclusive distribution rights to the completed content and it is expected to air on their new kids channel brand that will be named during its planned Q1 2016 launch.

Edmund Chan, Managing Director of Animasia said, “Capitalising on new emerging trends in digital media with a partner like WebTVAsia will help expand Animasia’s portfolio of popular children’s content brands globally. We also believe Prodigee’s proven music production capabilities will complement our animation expertise very well.”

who’s got the LATEST SEASON OF ‘OGGY AND THE COCKROACHES’? Cartoon Network in Asia Pacific has snapped up the fifth season of Xilam’s slapstick animation, Oggy and the Cockroaches, which is slated for a 2017 premiere. The acquisition follows the coproduction agreement between Cartoon Network and Xilam for Season 4, which is currently airing exclusively on the network.

Oggy and the Cockroaches (Xilam)

Fast-paced, zany, and rip-roaringly hilarious, the award-winning series tracks the prankish misadventures and confrontations between a chubby cat named Oggy and three pesky cockroaches, Joey, Dee Dee and Marky. Soon to boast a library of more than 115 half-hours, the series has been seen by an estimated 600 million households in 150 countries.


“Over the past few years, Cartoon Network has become known as the ‘Home of new Oggy’ and with Season 5 now secured, I’m happy to announce that this is set to continue for a long time to come,” said Mark Eyers, Chief Content Officer for Turner’s Kids Networks in Asia Pacific. Marc Du Pontavice, Founder and CEO of Xilam, added, “Oggy’s worldwide success continues to hit new highs and we are thrilled to announce that Cartoon Network is committed to being the show’s broadcaster of this brand new season in Asia Pacific.” Oggy and the Cockroaches Season 5 will be available in Ultra HD.



UK indies. Stand K32 Amelia Ritchie, Sales Executive amelia.ritchie@zodiakrights.com


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Ta Tung Jacob Chang takes in the exhibits at the Taiwan Pavilion

WAKUWAKU JAPAN Extends South East Asia Footprint with StarHub TV

Old Friends, New Ideas J.LEAGUE (©J.LEAGUE PHOTOS)

Taiwan’s representative in Singapore, Ta Tung Jacob Chang, has only been here since July, but he already has many good things to say about the country during the Taiwan Pavilion’s networking reception party at ATF 2015.

A new Japanese content channel will commence airing on StarHub TV in January next year. WAKUWAKU JAPAN will present a blend of programming across genres, including dramas, anime, culture, sports and documentaries, satiating audiences’ curiosity and love for all things Japanese. With this latest partnership, WAKUWAKU JAPAN will now be available on a total of ten platforms across Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar, extending its potential viewership by 3.5m households. Mr Masafumi Kawanishi, President & CEO of WAKUWAKU JAPAN Corporation, a SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation company, expressed, “We are delighted

to announce the launch of our channel on StarHub TV, the leading pay TV provider with a strong market presence not only in Singapore but also the whole Asia. We would like to inspire StarHub TV subscribers and audiences in Singapore by introducing wonderful Japanese content.” “We are excited to embark on this new partnership with WAKUWAKU JAPAN Corporation. Japanese culture retains a strong following in Singapore, not just among the Japanese community but also Singaporeans. We look forward to bringing WAKUWAKU JAPAN to StarHub TV customers next year,” said Ms Lee Soo Hui, Head of the Media Business Unit at StarHub.

He admires the island republic for the ability to put up a large-scale exhibition of Asian film and television and is excited about the prospects of the nine Taiwanese animation companies that have come to showcase their expertise here. “While animation in recent years has begun to gain popularity in Taiwan, this is an area that we feel we can encourage growth amongst our young and aspiring creative minds,” he said He also notes that Singapore, as well as the surrounding Southeast Asian countries, have good demand for Taiwanese content, especially drama serials but hopes that they will embrace animation arts as readily. The Taiwan Pavilion has been a regular feature at ATF for eight years running.

Jack Neo announces a new Ah Boys to Men movie at the Singapore Pavilion

Jack Neo and mm2 to make more men from boys


At a press conference announcing mm2 Entertainment’s multiple collaborations, one director stood out. Renowned for his local feature-length film, “Ah Boys To Men”, veteran local artiste-turned-director Jack Neo revealed that the latest “Ah Boys To Men 4” would be ready in 2017 to coincide with NS50, the fiftieth anniversary of military conscription service here in Singapore. “We have not decided which vocation to select for this film yet,” offers Neo. “We are talking to MINDEF (Ministry of Defence) now to see which vocation is available to assist us in making this movie.”

A new cast with new faces is also on the cards, and an open audition will be held next year, according to Neo, “We need to offer whatever opportunity we can to aspiring actors.” In another twist to the filmmaker’s plot, he also announced a sequel to his short film contribution in the 7 Letters format, launched earlier this year in conjunction with seven directorial efforts, including his own, to commemorate Singapore’s 50th anniversary. The sequel slated for launch in 2017 will continue the love story between the two characters some three to five years after they meet again.


from the m arke t


Predict My Future - The Science of Us (Flame Distribution)

Mad About You to Find New Audiences in China with Adaptation Deal

Multi award-winning comedy hit Mad About You will be adapted for audiences across China after deals were struck be-

tween Sony Pictures Television, Huaso Film/TV Digital Production and Croton Media.

to the series, with episodes available on the streaming platform shortly after the satellite TV premiere.

The new comedy, Xin Hun Gong Yu, follows a city-dwelling newlywed couple looking to sustain their marital bliss despite many hurdles including their careers, families and friends.

“With Xin Hun Gong Yu, we have combined SPT’s expertise in Hollywood storytelling with strong local writing talent to create a comedy that captures the spirit of the original series in a way that is authentically Chinese,” said Andrea Wong, President, International Production for SPT and President, International for Sony Pictures Entertainment. “We are pleased to be working with both Dragon TV and Youku Tudou to bring this series to a broad Chinese audience.”

Shanghai Media Group has acquired the exclusive, first-run satellite TV rights to the series, which will debut in January 2016 on Dragon TV. In a separate deal, Youku Tudou has secured the online video rights

Mediaprima SECURES Broadcasting Rights

mm2 Entertainment announces new project

Diamond Lover (China International TV Corporation)

Leading South East Asian film producer, marketer, distributor and financier mm2 Entertainment announced a series of international collaborations and exciting insights to various local projects for 2016 at the MDA Pavilion yesterday. Headquartered in Singapore, the company’s success at the first MovieMaker 2015, in partnership with Fox International Channels, provided the springboard necessary for a larger expansion of the short film competition into a larger Asia market.

Malaysia’s leading fully integrated media group, Mediaprima bought the broadcasting rights to the 68 episode television drama series Diamond Lover. The series features Korean super star Jung Ji-Hoon better known as Rain and Chinese actress and model Tang Yuan (唐嫣) as lead characters. Diamond Lover is a romantic idol drama that gained huge traction in China. Rain takes on the role of Xiao Liang, the CEO of the world’s largest diamond company. He is a reserved, strict and miserly young man who insists that relationships are not worth his time. He then meets Mi Dou,


portrayed by the actress Tang Yuan. Mi Dou is a woman who turns his life upside down as she shows him what it means to be alive and happy. Diamond Lover will be broadcasted on 8TV, a private television station in Malaysia, which targets the youth and Chinese audiences with unique local content and high quality foreign programmes similar to that of Diamond Lover. This is not the first time Mediaprima and CCTV have made such deals, and the continued relationship will bring more foreign programming to the Malaysian audience in the future.

Chief Executive Melvin Ang then spoke about the importance of the short film format in developing young and creative filmmakers. Although there has not been a commitment model as to the details of this project, Ang mentioned that three Singaporean directors will be given the opportunity to work on films in Hong Kong with the support of Fox International. “Singapore is one of the key markets for Chinese channels and original productions and we hope that grooming budding directors can provide a new direction for filmmakers in SEA,” said Cora Yim, Senior Vice President at Fox International Chinese Channel.


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Children’s International Hits and TV Consumption Patterns By Jacques Balducci, International Sales Director, Eurodata Worldwide

To breakthrough, content is the key. Friendship, ordinary and extraordinary heroes remain at the core of kids’ favourite shows, but innovation will inspire more content creators to use technology to engage with the show. Animated series still clearly dominate top rankings worldwide. This trend is even more present in Asia, where international hits share top ranking with local popular animated series. Apart from animation, live action series and entertainment shows are – most of the time – local.

It is a well-known fact that children live in a connected environment where screens are multiplying. However, TV remains the first screen in households throughout the world, and TV consumption is still very important in countries such as in North America, where kids are big TV fans and watch on average, 3:20 hours of TV every day.

With regards to channels, the past year has witnessed strong competition between kids’ channel leaders and breakthrough challengers. Even in this highly competitive market, which includes international giants, local kidcasters dominate in many countries, sometimes at the expense of generalist channels.

CAT INVASION: OGGY STRUTS HIS STUFF AT JUNIOR@ATF Visiting ATF this week from his studios in France is Xilam head and animation stalwart, Marc du Pontavice. In an open conversation, he revealed the many secrets behind the success of Oggy and the Cockroaches, one of his most endearing and enduring - comedy productions. Yesterday’s session at ATF Junior was also the platform to announce Cartoon Network’s exclusive acquisition of Oggy’s 5th season for Asia Pacific in 2015. After all, the network is quickly gaining a reputation as the home for blue characters!


Many people may know how popular Oggy is across Asia Pacific but perhaps few people might realise that this hapless blue feline has been a part of our lives for 17 years, with some 350 episodes – making millions of kids laugh along the way. Some of the other talking points that bubbled to the surface included a discussion on the renaissance of comedy animation, the power (and challenges) of non-dialogue shows and why traditional animation techniques are still the cat’s meow!

"FRESHEST CONTENT : WHAT'S TRENDING IN SOUTH KOREA?" 03 Dec 2015, 11:30-12:30, Level 4, ATF Conference Theatre Visit Korea Pavilion @ ATF Booth #H10/H20 02


How a good game of poker can help your story’s structure! Writer/director Danny Stack (Thunderbirds Are Go, Octonauts, Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg?) put on his best poker face to highlight a fun structural technique that helps strengthen and clarify stories, not just for children but for all ages! Danny’s session gave the classic three-act structure a modern twist, breaking its five main beats into the key stages of a poker game: • The inciting incident is when you (the hero) are dealt a hand • The end of act one is when you decide to bet • The midpoint of act two is when you go all in (all or nothing/point of no return/ stakes & jeopardy to the max) • End of act two is when you seemingly lose • But in act three & the final twist/denoue ment you get the result you want and/ or need. Danny claims to have got this poker analogy from a Pixar executive who made a brief tweet about the subject. Unfortunately,

The Ultimate Audience – Discussed by the Ultimate Panel that Dubit research had determined that up to 60% of kids between the ages of 2 and 15, at times found it difficult to find appealing content. The key issue was discoverability. Given the diverse markets covered, each had very localized issues. Mitsuaki from NHK Japan, indicated that scheduled content still resonated with Japanese children. This was at odds with other Asian markets.

Adam Schoff from Dubit Limited, a kids strategy and research company, joined Mitsuaki Furuya, NHK, Sean Chu of WeKids Asia and Charlie Han from BiG Taiwan on stage. Discussion centered on the notion that kids had never had it so


good in relation to the amount of content available to them. Although it was agreed that there was an enormous amount of content available to kids, Adam Schoff pointed out

The panel was keen to point out that there was no such thing as a typical Asian kid. Each Asian market needed to be treated differently and take in to account local issues around culture and market structure. It was also noted that Asian markets differed greatly from markets such as the UK and US. This was not just cultural difference, but driven by technological differences such as Android and iOS ownership. It was ultimately agreed that kids had never had it so good, but work was needed to allow kids to really benefit from the amount of engaging content now available to them.


the tweet/account has disappeared, and no-one at Pixar seems to be aware of the original source! Whatever the case, this “Pixar poker structure” is almost essential for any commercial stories/films (audiences are hotwired to enjoy films in this three-act structural way), but naturally, it’s more flexible for arthouse/indie fare.

In the session, Danny also highlighted the “5 key elements of a good screen story”: 1 A hero we care about 2 Who has a compelling problem/ opportunity/or goal 3 But faces difficult obstacles and/or an antagonist 4 If they win, they’ll gain something they didn’t have (stakes) 5 If they fail, they’ll lose something pre cious to them (jeopardy) Danny used to be a script reader/story analyst for some of the world’s leading film companies (Working Title, Miramax, etc) and has read and assessed thousands of screenplays. This experience has enabled him to realise the importance of structure and how the five key elements of a good screen story come into play.

WHO WE ARE We are the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), a labor union made up of the thousands of professional writers who create the television shows, movies, new media/digital content, documentaries, animation, videogames, news and radio programming that keep audiences constantly entertained and informed.

Writers Guild of America, West 7000 W 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 T: + (323) 951-4000 T: + (323) 782-4501 E: contracts@wga.org FAX: (323) 782-4707

www.wga.org Represenative attending ATF: MELODIE SHAW Field Representative/ Organizer

Our members write every genre of audiovisual content creating some of the most popular and profitable entertainment in the world. If you are producing English-language theatrical motion pictures, television shows, or new media/digital programs and want Hollywood-style storytelling, our members have the skills you want. Many of our members are multilingual and culturally diverse giving them a unique edge for creating content with international appeal.

WHAT WE DO • Negotiate with studios, independent producers, networks and new media/ digital companies to improve writers’ compensation, benefits and creative rights • Enforce contracts • Protect financial and creative rights • Determine and protect writers’ credits • Process residuals payments • Provide portable pension and health benefits • Foster networking and educational opportunities • Engage in public policy advocacy directly and through our political action committee If you have questions about the important work being done by the WGAW, the largest labor organization of its kind in the world, visit the Guild’s website at www.wga.org.



Danny has successfully used these techniques regularly in his own TV writing and more recently with his live-action feature film, Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg?, which he wrote and directed with Tim Clague (the film enjoyed its world premiere at the London Film Festival in October this year!).



How to make a marriage work – or ‘Making Western Collaborations a success!’ tle Airplane and UYoung have been able to pioneer what is hoped will be a model replicated many times in the future. Not to be out done Gulshan David was able to clearly articulate how Toonz has evolved from a service model to IP owners in their own rights. This is a journey completed over a number of years, achieved through diligence and the selection of key partners. This is a story mirrored by Wizart Animation, the company represented by Maria. Maria spoke of their success developing the Snow Queen franchise and their recent decision to build on the success of the first two movies through a coproduced third movie with a Chinese partner. Again communication and dedication to the task were credited for the partnership’s success. This was a really lively discussion around how you can successfully develop collaboration between Asia and the West. Sharon Thomas of Little Airplane, James Chen of UYoung, Gulshan David from Toonz Animation and Maria Stalchenkova were led by Adam Schoff of Dubit in the discussion. Discussion centered on various case studies looking at successful collaborations.


“It’s very good so far. The market has been very busy. The companies I have never heard of are here and there are opportunities of doing new business. Prior to attending ATF, we had done business with primarily one company in China with our content. So, we got to be here and meeting with new companies from the Pacific and finding new opportunities for us and market ourselves.” Owen Davies, Head of Distribution, Visland Media, Canada

It was great to hear from James and Sharon as they discussed the success of their partnership with P.King Duckling. It is the first wholly owned Chinese IP to have a Series acquired by Disney. This is where the analogy of marriage was first introduced. The key (and all married participants should take note) is communication. It must be open and transparent. All development decisions must be jointly owned, and a prenup is essential. With all that in place, the teams from Lit-


It is great to come here because we want to enter the Asia market, and that has been quite hard for us to meet new companies all over Asia. There has been great welcome and there has been great meetings with some TV stations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Korea.” Maria Garcia-Castrillion, International Sales Manager, Boomerang TV, Spain

Key learnings: • Marriage is hard work, but well and truly worthwhile in the end. • We are all in the business of making money, and successful collaborations can greatly increase your chances of succeeding in that ambition. • Ultimately a well-executed collaboration is more likely to deliver content that is relevant in a global market.


“I am looking for very strong stories and filmmakers who are able to produce a product with limited budget. This is more interesting than established production houses who are more interested in larger broadcasters.” Kevin Balhetchet, Chief Executive, Hub Media Group Pte Ltd, Singapore




The Balance of Greatness By Lunita S V Mendoza, ATF’s Executive Producer & Editorial Director

Hailing from two of the biggest media companies in the business, one would imagine it peculiar that at the beginning of a renaissance-like age in television in China, giant successes are being scripted by women.

Just when you think a woman needs to be masculine to find equivalent success in today’s male-dominated corporate world, you need only look east. Joining Youku Tudou in 2009 and eventually becoming one of the founders of its content acquisition system, Maggie Xiong defined and started its whole partnership process in the international market scene surrounding drama, variety show, animation and documentary. The years have seen her now settle in Youku Tudou Group’s Drama Center as Senior Director of International acquisitions and producer. The highlights for Qiu Yuanyuan in her rise to the top has been the constant changes in the roles she has taken on and thrived at. From a journalist, anchor and producer of an English news programme to a business manager operating a business with annual revenue of RMB300 million (US$ 46 million), Yuanyuan has never lost that will to succeed. She recalls the difficult struggle to survive as a very small department within a huge corporation, then having a huge hand in seeing it go global, achieving the dream to expand its presence around the world. “This was really the most challenging and most exciting part of being at JSBCi,” Yuanyuan mused, already making a mark in JSBC International in 2004. She has no qualms telling you how it all began; as the director of a small department of only two people. Today, as President of the company with six subsidiaries and around 200 employees, she runs the international copyright trade business, encapsulating international co-production, international media operation to services of global My Inspiration…

It is my mother who was born in the ‘50s, a time lacking of materials and education resources. Her entire life has been one of hard work. Her kindness and strength has always inspired me. Your interview reminded me that when I was a kid, I watched TV shows with my mother on the black and white television every Chinese family owned. Then, nobody could imagine how this country would change, and how that little girl sitting in front of the black and white television set would eventually play an integral role in the new online video industry. It is a miracle. Maggie Xiong, Senior Director of International Acquistions, Youku Tudou Inc.



The best thing about being a woman in business today in China…

As far as I am concerned, the best thing about being a woman in business today is that on one hand, my daughter and my family can give me the power and courage to move forward and never stop. On the other hand, I believe the path I am on will allow my little girl and many others like her know that they can expect greatness in life being a girl with dreams. Qiu Yuan Yuan, President, JSBC International Co., Ltd.

education, international training, global travel and international events, among other things. No doubt, Maggie and Yuanyuan have been privy to the provoking ebb and flow of the Chinese media landscape, more so in the last few years. One trend in the TV series market, according to Maggie, is the shift of dominance from TV stations to Internet platforms partaking in the buying. The latter have become major forces, driving the creation of content and how TV series are aired. Another trend is that as pay walls – an obstacle in the past in China – have eroded and better content offered have seen users switching from the free advertised based model to subscription video on demand (SVOD) and more recently, transaction video on demand (TVOD) , these drifts are accelerating the creative leap in Chinese TV content production. With the trend of globalisation and the extensive application of the Internet, more and more Chinese viewers, especially the younger generation, are watching international content or Chinese content developed on the basis of international formats on all kinds of screens. Many of the most high-rating shows in China are actually based on imported formats, like I Am A Singer, The Voice of China, King of Mask Singer, and Running Man. “Of course, there are still many young and creative people who are still working very hard to develop attractive formats of our own, such as Super Combat Teams, which has just been nominated Best General Entertainment Programme at the upcoming 20th Asian Television Awards, and Celebrity Battle, winner of the Best Music Programme at the 19th Asian Television Awards,” Yuanyuan emphasized. “This makes us realise that global vision and Chinese creation are of equal significance in our future development. We are thus seeking the possibility of establishing an R&D centre in both Europe and Africa by acquiring local production companies, while seeking liaison with local media operators,” Yuanyuan continued. Having co-invested with PCCW in the Now Jelli Media Limited, which is currently running channels in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand, JSBCi is also seeking partners in the US to co-establish global media platforms for both Asian viewers and mainstream English-speaking population. “It is our believe that to join hands with international media players with great ideas who know the



preferences of various markets, have the existing channels and resources required for local distribution and marketing, and own professional expertise in research, development, production and distribution, will promise us much greater markets with more business opportunities.” Within China, however, American content is losing traction, in favour of going local. “American TV in the global market, including China, is known for having the most successful TV series because of their long established history,” said Maggie. “For American content creators, all elements are there; the mechanisms of the content creation industry, the external environment, cost and the popularity of US culture.

“The downside of these key elements ATF 2015happens to be restricting the developSapporo ment of China’s content industry. There still remains a big gap between the two Show Daily 01(DAY01~DAY02) markets, but we as investors in the conSize: 244W 164H and broadcast platform, tentXindustry Scale 1/1have a strong will and confidence to promote the Chinese content forward. Youku Tudou consistently held a rough content mix of 30 percent international

versus 70 percent local. However, this year, the media giant has seen the number of international content fall, under the new national strategy for international content. This trend will continue, says Maggie, who believes international acquisition of finished programmes in general will be replaced by co-production. “We recently announced a partnership with the American digital entertainment company, RocketJump to bring their content to China, as well as future plans for co-productions between Youku Tudou and RocketJump,” Maggie affirmed. Power with Grace Such hard-hitting facts allow Maggie and Yuanyuan to make million-dollar decisions. Rather intimidating for some, yet incredibly inspiring for those who harbour ambitions to be catalyst for change. It was therefore unexpected when asked what their biggest obstacles were in their rise power as women in a man’s world. “To be honest, the biggest barrier is only myself,” Maggie admitted. “I don’t think gender impacts career development in a modern Chinese company. I have been

to some countries and observed those business women, and I found that China is the most open and tolerant country with regards to this issue. I think I am very lucky to be born in this country.” For Yuanyuan, the difficulty is a global one: “balancing my career development and personal life as a daughter, a wife and a mother.” With a mother already in her seventies who needs to be taken good care of, a husband who is also vigorously developing his career, and a seven-year-old daughter who has just entered elementary school, Yuanyuan constantly hopes to spend more time with her family. “I believe the balance between career and family will always be a challenge for career women. But compared to the past, things are getting easier for career women these days, as my supervisors, families, colleagues, friends, and society in general are much more supportive, and are more likely to recognise the talent and the capabilities of women. I will say I am very lucky.”



Official opening of the Market

At the Market The crowd at the registration counter for Day 2

Singaporean actress Zoe Tay arrived at Asia TV Forum & Market


From left to right: Desmond Ngai of WebTVAsia, Fred Chong of Prodigee Media, Faridah Jaafar of FINAS, Edmund Chan and Raye Lee of Animasia


Taiwan ambassador, Ta Tung Jacob Chang, with an exhibitor at the Taiwan pavilion



What Kids Want, Kids Get… Right? By David W. Kleeman, Senior Vice President, Global Trends

Asia’s future in children’s media appears to be in the pockets and backpacks of its youth, if the kids and teens of Malaysia are a good indicator. A recent study of 500 families by Dubit, a Global strategy and research firm and digital studio, found a strong leap over television to mobile media in terms of time spent. They are using apps for entertainment, reading and gaming for nearly 30 hours a week on average. In contrast they spend just over 11 hours a week watching TV shows as broadcast. Of course, it’s hard to generalize across Asia, given its many diverse countries and cultures; however, the foundations are in place for a mobile revolution. In many countries and regions that have big geographic differences, it becomes more convenient to bypass fixed or wired technologies in favor of small devices that are

“Mobile is the all-in-one solution for communication, connection, education, exploration and play.” becoming more and more powerful, and increasingly affordable. Mobile is the allin-one solution for communication, connection, education, exploration and play. Like kids worldwide, when it comes to mobile games, it’s the massive global brands, not really made specifically for kids that dominate. Candy Crush and Angry Birds far and away are favorites, quite interesting in that they are neither character nor narrative driven, something that is usually necessary to children’s entertainment. Interestingly, Minecraft doesn’t rate as highly with Malaysian youth as it does

in Australia (also 500 families, surveyed at the same time), where it’s a chart-topper with both boys and girls. When it comes to television for children, Asian programs fare somewhat better. More than in many other regions and countries Dubit has surveyed, homeproduced brands and stories were among children’s favorites, especially Upin & Ipin and Running Man. Counter to the US and UK, in the mobile race, Samsung outpaces Apple among the devices young people own or can



access. When Dubit asked what devices families own, Samsung products were named as 54.2% of their tablets and a massive 66.7% of their smartphones. In the US, UK and Australia, Samsung devices never rose above 37.4% of tablets (USA) and 46.9% of phones (Australia). This difference is significant because there are far more apps in the iOS store at present, so those who use Apple devices have a wider range of content to choose from. If other Asian countries follow Malaysia’s pattern, producers might think carefully when choosing distribution strategy for mobile. Even more than kids elsewhere, Malaysian children “often or sometimes” have trouble finding content they want, on TV or mobile. Over 85% say this in Malaysia, compared to just over 60% in the US, UK and Australia. There are two potential explanations: they don’t know what they’re looking for, or they can’t find what they are looking for. Either way, it’s absolutely critical that creators and distributors make their content more discoverable, and be clear and engaging about what they have on offer for kids.

“... it’s absolutely critical that creators and distributors make their content more discoverable...” 21




Survivor: Reality Television in Asia Reality TV has been a staple in broadcasting schedules all around the world, but with a recent decline in ratings within the United States, how is Asia faring and what does the future hold?

MBC’s pilot of The King of Mask Singer first premiered in 2015 February

A Real History Reality television has done unsurprisingly well in Asia. At its core, reality television brings together a heady mix of interpersonal drama and schadenfreude, delivered in a supposedly unscripted, documentary format. For a region with a long history for producing complicated, drawn-out family dramas and hilariously wacky variety game shows, it seems inevitable that reality television would land on these shores, and find audiences already well attuned to these “foreign” television formats. Productions like Iron Chef (1993) and Ninja Warrior (1997) bear a striking familial resemblance to the reality game shows that would be welcomed into Asia in the following decade. And after the startling global success of American Idol, MasterChef and


The Voice, it was only a matter of time before these reality television greats would have their own Asia editions. China’s fourth largest broadcast network, Zhejiang Radio and Television Group may have found a goldmine with The Voice of China. Having completed four seasons and now working on a fifth, the series has consistently earned top spot in national ratings for its time belt. Korean reality shows have always been long favoured by both regional and international audiences. With the immensely popular reality series, We Got Married, by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, the show pairs up Korean celebrities to show how they go through life as a married couple to the latest, King Of Mask Singer,

where the performers display their vocal prowess while wearing a disguise. “MBC’s pilot of The King of Mask Singer first premiered in 2015 February as a Special New Year Show. This pilot marked the outstanding rating performance and it became a regular show from April 2015. Any celebrities from all different fields could sing on the stage competing for one final KING among all the masked singers. The performers’ identities are hidden behind the masks, which won’t be exposed until the competitors become either the KING or the loser. The viewers are attracted to hear the new voices and to guess who the performers are. This show was already remade in China and Season 1 aired on China’s Jiangsu TV from July 2015”, shared Min Chul-gi, the producer of The


King of Mask Singer at Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation. Rejecting Reality But not all is well in the house that reality television built. In the US, spiritual home of reality television as we know it, television ratings declined 9% in 2014, three times more than in 2013. By then, reality programmes had already captured a tremendous share of television viewership, so a drop in overall ratings would also hit reality television just as hard. Maybe even harder. One time darling, Survivor, drew over 50 million viewers in its prime, but its 2014 season has been anaemic, struggling to cross the 10 million mark. American Idol hit a high note in 2003, sweeping 38 million viewers during its season finale. A decade later, Idol only managed to deliver a pitchy performance with just 6.7 million viewers in 2013. While today’s audience numbers are by no means small, they pale in comparison to the halcyon days. Part of the decline is due to increasing competition, with clones and newer, more innovative formats sapping away the strength of reality television stalwarts. After more than a decade of the same,

“One time darling, Survivor, drew over 50 million viewers in its prime, but its 2014 season has been anaemic, struggling to cross the 10 million mark.” viewers are simply no longer as engaged, more easily lured away by the next big thing. Even relative newcomers, like The Voice, are beginning to see dips in ratings. Is the novelty of reality television beginning to tarnish? Or is this merely a side effect of external pressures, as maturing Internet infrastructure promises viewers new ways to consume entertainment? Reality Bites Asia Whatever the causes are, Asia does not yet seem to have been affected by the malaise. Reality television, both locally produced and localized spin-offs from international formats, continues to draw audiences. These viewers, as a percentage of the television consuming audience in Asia as a whole, are smaller, but this may actually be good news for reality television in Asia.

Spin offs like Asia’s Got Talent, MasterChef Asia and Asia’s Next Top Model have also found purchase with Asian audiences, alongside original titles like Running Man, a runaway success for Korea, Shibuhara Girls, One Million Star and The Comedian. Language and cultural differences force producers to create hyper local content, which resonate more strongly with local audiences, while pan-regional reality television game shows have the ability to tap into national identity as a hook for audiences. “There is a demand for content that is fresh, focused and relevant,” says Derek Chang, Managing Director of Scripps Networks Interactive, Asia Pacific - the company that conceptualised popular local series such as Must Try Asia (AFC), The Amazing Food Challenge: Fun in the Philippines (AFC) and Food Wars Asia (Food Network).



“As the leading producers of lifestyle content in the home, food and travel category, we have built a diverse library of Asian based programmes across Asian Food Channel, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel, that continuously prove to resonate with our local audience. Despite launching a little less than a year ago, HGTV will premiere its first original production with House Hunters Asia early 2016”. He adds “Scripps Networks has also grown its digital presence, offering a robust range of original web series and digital only content across its many platforms as it strives to meet the demand of its viewers for access to its content anytime and anywhere.”

In one of the latest premieres of reality programming, Asia’s Got Talent topped ratings amongst English payTV channels across Southeast Asia. In Malaysia and the Philippines, AXN, which carried the series, it reportedly scored more than an 80% share across all English General Entertainment channels during the premiere, and a 93% share of all English General Entertainment channels during its finale on 7 May. Facebook reported over 10.5 million related posts, comments, likes and shares were made about the show during its nine-week run, with 4.7 million people contributing to social conversations and engagement. “Asia’s diversity means it cannot be treated as a singular, monolithic market. We


The Internet, Friend or Foe? Yet this rosy outlook for reality television in Asia is shadowed by the spectre of the Internet. The Internet, the argument goes, will drive audiences away from the television screen. Despite this, recent studies have shown that social networks on the Internet have a two-way causal influence with television viewership – at least in the US. A new independent study by Nielsen provides information on how Twitter activity drives increased tune-in rates for broadcast television, and vice-versa. The study showed that live television ratings had a meaningful impact in related tweet within 48% of the programmes sampled, showing that the volume of tweets also caused significant changes in live television ratings among 29% of the episodes. Of the 221 broadcast primetime episodes sampled, over 44% of them were from reality television titles, taking almost half the share. By virtue of its “real time” sensitivity, reality television actually drives viewers to broadcasts as they happen. Unlike scripted television programming, where the narrative is self-contained, reality television is very closely tied to conversations, online or offline, and to the freshness of the content, not merely the format. It’s not that one can’t follow Ruben Studdard’s ascent to American Idol status a decade after it happened – it would just be… unreal.

Reversed perspective - Unreal Is a provocative drama that gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating reality TV program

Going local has also paid off for Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation, China’s third largest television network. Its dating show format If You Are The One is widely acknowledged as the most successful Chinese dating show to date. The show broke ratings records in its debut year, pulling in nearly 50 million viewers each episode, helped along by a string of controversial contestants. The format was changed after the first six months to address some of criticism, but the show continues to pull tens of millions of viewers five years later.


are able to find formats that are the right fit and feel for each respective market and by being so targeted we are able to keep the content fresh for viewers. In addition, non-fiction series continue to reign in popularity overall throughout Asia. Like Europe, though much less culturally homogenous, Asia’s natural proximity makes it easier for viral ideas to migrate from one country to the next.” Glen Hansen, Vice President, International Content Sales, Asia Pacific, A+E Networks. All of these factors lend themselves to a slow, but unrelenting, momentum and a long shelf life for reality television.

However, this virtue of reality television alone isn’t enough to forestall a premature breakup with audiences. With the benefit of being late to the game, developing markets across Asia are able to play technology leapfrog when it comes to Internet infrastructure. In more than a few instances, entire communities will leap right past television, desktop computers and payTV, and onto mobile screens and streaming video – a potentially terrifying prospect for anyone producing linear content in 60 minute time belts. While the appeal of reality television in Asia will likely live a long, healthy, productive life, it is very likely to outgrow the platforms that deliver it far, far quicker than in the West. For reality television content in Asia, therefore, it becomes critical that the franchises themselves seek extensions on the Internet – from embracing companion screen technology and multi-platform storytelling, to real-time, always on broadcasts. After all, what is a reality television audience, but a particular sort of voyeur?



Asian-European Coproduction: Navigating the Path Ahead How does the European film industry view contemporary Asian filmmakers and producers? European film professionals are often surprised by the ability to produce quality films in a very cost efficient manner. There is also an emerging generation of Asian creative producers with the talent, ambition and good understanding of market and co-production mechanisms. Ties That Bind, a producers’ programme, aims to accompany and develop this emerging group. Through it, Asian and European producers can exchange experiences about their co-production projects and best practices. It creates a community of professionals who develop a common vision of the role of a producer and a better understanding of each other to better work together and nurture each other’s cinema. What are the biggest obstacles that European content producers face in coming into Asia? Euro-Asian co-productions are not as developed as Euro-Latino co-productions for example. I think both sides tend to fear cultural gaps, despite a reciprocal cultural interest. Financing is also different. Europe mainly relies on subsidies and the market while Asia relies on private investment, sponsors and product placements. In your opinion, what would the ideal co-production structure be for an Asian-European project? The ideal structure will come from a subject mixing naturally Asian and European cultural elements. This way, artistic, technical and financial elements from both sides will be combined to tap on the market potential on both sides. Asia and Europe shares some commonalities in history and in their culture. So scriptwriters, directors or creative producers can certainly find a good subject. What are the opportunities that the European film producer has to look out for in Asia, especially in Southeast Asia? Original film projects from established or emerging talent and the opportunity to contribute diversity to independent cinema or to take part in the creation of a cinematic vision of places we rarely see in world cinema. The TTB and SAFF catalogues holds projects from emerging places like Myanmar, Laos and up to Bhutan on top of those from bigger countries like Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. On financing, Asia is a region with many private investors and funds that have interests in international projects with market or festival potential.

How do you see creative producer associations like EAVE and SAAVA coming together to help build creative and financial bridges in Europe and Asia? Asian and European cinemas have so much to bring to each other and Ties That Bind offers that bridge. With more than 1,000 European producers in its network, EAVE has found a perfect partner in South-East Asia with SAAVA, one of the rare pan Asian organizations, to support and sustain each other’s industries for the good wealth of independent cinema. Beyond co-producing with each other and developing the film market, we can help to develop more incentives for independent cinema, to the advantage of every filmmaker in both regions.


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HARLAN COBEN’S THE FIVE | Harlan Coben’s The Five is a compelling mainstream thriller that follows a group of friends - Mark, Pru, Danny and Slade – who are united by a tragic childhood incident. Mark’s annoying younger brother, Jesse, mysteriously disappears after the group tells him to “get lost”. Twently years later, the friends are forced to revisit the past when the Jesse’s DNA turns up at the scene of a murder.


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4-7 April 2016 // Cannes // France




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