ATF 2018: An overwhelming success story bringing together important minds from the Asian content industry

Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) is the region’s leading entertainment content event – it is the platform of the calibre to acquire knowledge, network, buy, sell, finance, distribute and co-produce across all platforms. It is the premier stage in Asia to engage with the entertainment industry’s top players from around the world. It is where the best minds meet and the future of Asia’s content is shaped.

 The 19th edition of Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) was a tremendous success with 58 countries and regions, 19 pavilions, more than 5,600 executives and over 313US$ million deals made during the four-day event.

ATF also offers the opportunity to discover vital trends, crucial statistics and significant foresight in TV’s digital, kids and formats arenas. Its business matchmaking opportunities open doors to some of the best new offerings in the region.

The market was equally vibrant and rich this year, with the latest content for multiple platforms from content sellers and buyers from over 60 countries. Additionally, networking activities on the market floor provided opportunities for buyers and sellers to meet their desired counterparts.

ATF officially opened on 5 December with Singapore Media Festival chairman Robert Gilby, Reed Exhibitions president of South East Asia/Australia Debbie Evans, Reed Exhibitions president of Asia Pacific Paul Beh, Ministry of Communications and Information, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Senior Minister of State Sim Ann, Infocomm Media Development Authority CEO Tan Kiat How, CEO and Reed Exhibitions managing director, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia Michelle Lim, inaugurating the event.

The Content Connection, (5 December) presented Asia’s best, uncovering strategic opportunities in dynamic market conditions, and showcasing scripted and unscripted formats from the region’s powerhouses of India, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey.

The first session on smashing K-formats enabled the audience to witness the most trendy and unique formats from South Korea. The panel included KBS Media’s Dongcheol Moon, MBC deputy director of global business team Ella Song, CJ ENM development producer Helena Chang, JTBC global business team manager Minju Kim, SBS global production business department producer Seungha Heo and K7 Media founder and CEO Keri Lewis Brown as the moderator.

Few formats that were shown during the event are: ‘Fandom Survival of the Fan’, ‘Big Picture family from SBS; ‘Cooking Box’, ‘ 300: War of United Voices’ from CJ ENM and ‘My ID is Gangnam Beauty’, ‘I’ve fallen for You’ from JTBC.

The following session found market leaders discussing and ‘Managing the change in a dynamic market’ with Warner Bros. senior VP and general manager Malcolm Smith, Twentieth Century Fox TV executive VP (APAC) Richard Samuels and Locomotive films India co-owner/ partner Sunder Aaron on the panel. They tried to evaluate new landscapes and overcoming evolution in the fast lane.

The next session focused on ‘Fresh content from India 2019’. The panel includes noted names from the Indian TV and content industry such as Green Gold animation content sales VP Bharat Laxmipati, The Viral Fever global business and content head Rahul Sarangi, Kinsane Entertainment chief marketing officer Pranab Punj, Greymatter Entertainment founder and CEO. Chandradev Bhagat, Discovery Kids head Uttam Pal Singh, One life Studios managing director and business head Rahul Kumar Tewari, with Indian Television Dot Com founder, CEO and Editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari as the moderator.

The slate of fresh content that was showcased in the event from the exciting market of Asia included Mighty Bheem, I’m Mature, Yeh Meri Family, Street Stars, Little Singham, Fruits vs Veggies and Chandragupta Maurya.

The following session focused on ‘What Indian Buyers want?’ with Wanvari returning as the moderator with Applause Entertainment head of content and business operations Manasi Darbar, Voot content head Monika Shergill, One Take Media founder and CEO Anil Khera, Eros digital CCO Ali Hussain and Goquest Media founder/ managing director Vivek Lath as the panelists.

India’s vastly expanding in TV and OTT ecosystems continue to demand oodles of content even as new players launching their channels and platforms. With competition running rife, the panellists took a closer look at what Indian buyers want from the standpoint of international distributors. Few Pointers:

One Take Media has identified Korean formats as important and one of the most popular genres. They are the biggest importers of Korean content and provide the same without any ad breaks like Netflix and Amazon. They’re introducing Turkish content that will roll out in January 2019.

Eros Now has recently announced to launch 100 originals in 2019. For which they have come to ATF to look for partners and distribution options in South East Asia.

Voot is moving on to Subscription-based video platform from AD based video platform. For originals, they’re looking for a bigger canvas and were in talks with few Spanish and Korean guys.

The fresh content from Thailand showcased few talents coming down to ATF and giving a live performance. The actors were a part of one of the most famous movies, Nakee, which had the greatest collection at the box office ever in Thailand, 50$ million US so far. Nakee revolves around a giant serpent returning to avenge the wrongdoings done to her.

Production Day (6 December) saw formats experts and creative leaders discuss relevant issues and explore case studies, in a bid to grow industry capabilities and advance industry proficiency.

Key speakers of the day were Red Arrow Studios chief creative officer Michael Peter Schmid, CJ ENM director of content Jin-Woo Hwang, ITV Studios Global Entertainment VP of Global Formats Sales Pascal Dalton and Nippon TV head of format, Fusako Nagashima who spoke at ‘East Meets West: New Business Models to Develop Asian Format Exports’.

K7 Media founder and CEO Keri Lewis Brown revealed top fresh content from Asia based on market intelligence at The Content Connection and Production Day.

HOOQ Chief Content Officer Jennifer Batty’s keynote presentation covered ‘Content Today – Adapting and Staying Relevant’; as well as iflix global director of content Craig Galvin delved into ‘The Importance of Local in a Global World’ at his keynote session.

The ‘360 Kids: The Certainty of Educational Content’ discussed education being holistic where the main purpose would be to educate children without them knowing about it and having fun. The authentic approach and storytelling should include suitable writing and execution.

The panel consisted of Disney Southeast Asia executive director of Media Networks Leslie Lee, Sony creative products licensing manager Takehiko Ohya, Gulli & Mezzo managing director Caroline Cochaux and Eurodata TV worldwide head of content insight Avril Blondelo as the moderator.

Pitching Competitions – 

As Asia’s leading content market, ATF believes not just in presenting the best content, but also in supporting outstanding talent through three competitions.

The ATF Chinese Pitch is a partnership with GHY Culture and Media. Targeted at Asian content creators, this pitching competition will bring innovative concepts for new and original scripts for theatrical or online movies, or online drama series to fruition in China.

With the tagline “DREAM. BELIEVE. AND FINALLY… DARE”, the ATF Animation Pitch is the premier Asian pitching competition catered to individuals, students and small-medium sized companies with new and innovative concepts in animation that target at kids. This is a platform that showcases Asian originality and exposes ideas for export and development outside of the region. Hosted by Green Gold Animation, the pitch saw Circus from New Zealand (Jack of All Trades), Floating Co. from China (The Cootie Academy), Kumata Studios from Indonesia (Galli Leo Lei), Anima Istanbul from Turkey (Robot Mobot) and Infinite Studios from Singapore pitching their exciting and unique formats. Galli Leo Lei emerged as the winner.

For creators and producers of new and original non-scripted entertainment formats in Asia, the ATF Formats Pitch will showcase the best of Asia and expose ideas for export and development both inside and outside the region. Seranade, from a Malaysian female duo won the pitch which was about impressing a celebrity by six seranadors.