ATF Animation Pitch winner announced; jury members share future expectations

After an exciting round of on-stage pitches where producers from all over Asia presented their ideas, winners of the inaugural ATF Animation Pitch were unveiled today. In total, 61 entries were received from all over Asia out of which five were shortlisted for finals.

“The finalists did a great job of presenting their idea to the judges, explained their concept clearly, prepared the pitch bible well, knew their target audience and also prepared an animation clip,” said Green Gold founder and CEO, and this year ATF Pitch sponsor Rajiv Chilaka.

After a tough competition between the five finalists, Reed Exhibitions and global partner Green Gold Animation announced studio2 Animation Lab (Taiwan) as the winner of the first-ever ATF Animation Pitch. The animation concept, titled The Western Journey of Pigsy, wowed the on-stage jury for its creativity and strong appeal to children.

From left: Grace Chuang and Chiu Li Wei from studio2 Animation Lab receiving cash prize from Rajiv Chilaka

“I am thrilled and excited to be named the winner of the inaugural ATF Animation Pitch.  We had a unique concept and we felt that it allows viewers to experience the Journey in the West story in a contemporary way. Moving forward, we will work towards developing the script for the concept,” said studio2 Animation Lab director Chiu Li Wei.

The line-up of judges, which comprised some of the biggest names in kids’ animation and entertainment, also saw strong potential for the concept to be exported and extended to a series.

Talking about the pitch of the finalists, The Walt Disney Company acquisitions, programming and media networks head Anand Roy, who was a panelist, said, “The animation standard was very encouraging. Some of the concepts were very fresh, and there was a little boldness to the way they were pitching the stories.”

“I think every single pitch had a very strong redeeming value about it that made it very hard for the judges to make a decision,” stated Auroro Media managing partner Justin Deimen, who was also on the jury panel.

Roy mentioned, “The winner was decided on the basis of vision and ambition of the idea in terms of scale to which the idea could be executed, and animation ability.” Chilaka added, “Some other parameters considered were: uniqueness, universal appeal and L&M possibilities.”

And what more were the jury members looking for? “What I would like to see moving forward is more attention to story arc, and how the characters are evolving and growing through the journey,” Roy replied.

“We were looking for something which had a strong foundation,” added Deimen. “I think for any good pitch, a producer should always talk about the lasting value that any project brings to the audience, not just how much money it will make or how nice it looks. I would love to see that coming out more in the next years.”

Chiu Li Wei and Grace Chuang from the studio received a US $19,000 prize from Green Gold Animation. This includes a US $2,500 cash award, and a consultancy package worth US $16,500 that is tailor-made for them to further develop the winning animation, making it ready to pitch to broadcasters.

“Industry supporting industry is the cornerstone of growing whole ecosystem. I’d would like to thank Green Gold for taking a lead on something like this. And people from finance and production like Aurora would love to support projects like this and producers as well who want to go out and pitch,” added Deimen.

With such a strong backing from the stalwarts of the industry, fresh animation content from Asia does not seem too far away. Just a little polishing, and we will be there!

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