The next edition of the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) is taking place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from December 5 to 8, kicking off with the ATF Leaders Dialogue before the market and conference.
“Despite the ongoing global challenges, demand for content, especially dramas, remains strong, and with China’s borders being fully opened this year, we are expecting to see a robust market at ATF,” says Hui Leng Yeow, group project director for ATF at RX Global (Singapore). “We are seeing a similar, steady trajectory in terms of confirmed attendance this year, as compared to the strong run ATF had last year. Attendees can look forward to meeting a myriad of buyer representatives from both newly established and existing platforms at ATF. A slew of networking events and content showcases have been put together for buyers to explore fresh content and content successes from different regions, as well as to provide them with opportunities to connect with potential partners. These activities are now open for all buyers to register.”
This year, ATF launched three brand-new initiatives within its In-Development component. In the first initiative organized by ATF and EAVE Ties That Bind (TTB), with the support of lead sponsor Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), sponsors Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO), in collaboration with CEE Animation Workshop, and supported by Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA), the first edition of ATF x TTB Animation Lab & Pitch—looking at adult animation—received more than 110 submissions from 28 different countries and region. Nine project finalists, coming from four European and five Asian countries and regions, have been shortlisted. These finalists are set to pitch their ideas to key decision-makers live on stage at ATF on December 7.
The two other new initiatives, in association with Beach House Pictures based in Singapore to garner submissions from across AsiaPac, the ATF x Beach House Pictures Scripted Pitch received over 70 submissions, and the ATF x Beach House Pictures Unscripted (Documentary) Pitch received over 40 submissions. Ten projects from each of the pitches have been shortlisted for further deliberation by the judging panel, where they will be pitching live on stage. Five projects from each pitch will be selected for further pitching behind closed doors. The winners of these two pitches will be awarded a full consultation and development package worth up to S$30,000 each ($22,000).
The lab and pitches are in addition to the annual ATF IP Accelerator Project Market, organized in collaboration with the SAAVA, supported by 108 Media and AV8 Media and sponsored by RED Digital Cinema. This year’s program scope was expanded to accept global submissions and saw 110-plus propositions. The platform brings together the best concepts that are in development or at financing stages to meet directly with decision-makers for the opportunity to bring them to fruition. Winners will receive up to $50,000 RED Digital Cinema cameras on loan on top of the S$15,000 ($11,000) 108 Media Development Package.
The 2022 event marked a return to in-person physical gathering for ATF, giving strong momentum for this year. “It was apparent that the spark and excitement of interactions and building relationships in person, especially with new connections, cannot be fully replicated with a digital edition,” Yeow says. “The optimum business outcomes are best achieved with a well-curated physical event, complemented by digital tools, such as the ATF Online+, which serves as a platform for sellers to extend their presence, including listing content and setting further meetings online.”
“While buying, selling and distributing continues to play a big part in the business of entertainment, we also see an increasing emphasis on collaboration and co-production,” Yeow continues. “Thus, it is especially essential for attendees to be able to meet and connect face-to-face to explore and discuss new possibilities.”
Positioning itself under the mantra “If it’s Asia, It’s ATF,” the event has solidified its place as a “must-attend entertainment market for any executive who is keen to feel the pulse of the global entertainment content industry within the framework of Asia,” Yeow says. “Now, more than ever, it gathers global brands and executives to connect with one of the biggest gatherings of profiles from every major market. With all Asian markets fully opened this year, programming and market events will swing back to pre-Covid levels. Registrations have been very positive, so we expect a strong turnout and a bustling market this December.”
As the industry is currently at a crossroads, this year’s theme—Re-writing the Business of Entertainment—will address concerns permeating every aspect of the ecosystem. Conversations will address relevant challenges at the pre-market Leaders Dialogue (December 5), the Content Summit (December 6) and the Production Summit (December 7). “C-suite executives and decision-makers are set to descend into the Marina Bay Sands with a focus on exclusive insights and strategic visions for 2024—what this means in the evolution of the industry today, its creative challenges and the ingenuity of business models,” Yeow says.