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Event Preview: ATF Online+

Another edition of the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) kicks off on December 1, with an invitation-only event taking place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore running through December 3 and the virtual ATF Online+ running through June.

“We first launched ATF Online+ last year as part of ATF’s digital pivot at the height of the pandemic,” says Hui Leng Yeow, group project director at event organizer RX. “It served as a platform to connect sellers and buyers online, in lieu of a physical event that couldn’t happen. While we couldn’t fully replicate the face-to-face experience of a physical event, attendees to ATF Online+ managed to facilitate meaningful connections via the platform.”

This year’s hybrid format is “part of our plan to resume in-person trade events progressively, while taking into consideration that some travel restrictions remain currently in place, including in a few Asian markets,” Yeow adds.

This year’s event will kick off with an Opening Day on December 1, with Singapore-based executives invited to the Marina Bay Sands for a day of in-person discussions led by industry leaders based in the city. The marketplace, networking activities and rest of the conference sessions will continue via ATF Online+.

“ATF Online+ this year will be an enhanced 2.0 version based on users’ feedback,” Yeow says. “It will remain online until June 2022 and includes features such as algorithm-based business matchmaking and program directories, as well as industry insights via our ATF dailies and editorial.”

With the experience and feedback from ATF Online+ in 2020, the event organizer made technical adjustments for this year, including upgrading the interface for a better user experience and integrating new software to improve the precision of its matchmaking. It is also curating more bite-sized content showcases to expand the diversity of fresh content “so that buyers are motivated to spend more time on the platform,” says Yeow.

The 2021 edition will also remain available for a longer duration: from December 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, and will continue to stay relevant with new content via thematic events in March (drama and kids) and June (formats and docs).

“Consistent with ATF’s mission of celebrating the best-in-class in Asian storytelling, we continue to cast the spotlight on Asian brands,” Yeow says. “Our conversations will center around the theme ‘Re-imagining TV: Vision 2022.’ ATF happens at the end of the year, and it is timely while the industry discusses a landscape that has been innovating, converging and repositioning to monetize.”

Key session highlights include the ‘Mornings with Industry Leaders’ fireside chats, which will feature senior executives from Asian platforms such as iQiyi, KKBOX Group, Migo, Taiwan+, Tencent, TVING, Wavve and Zee Entertainment. The ‘Production Afternoons at ATF’ is headlined by Erika North, head of Asia Pacific originals at Amazon Studios; Wonwoo Park, CEO and chief creator of DITURN; and Arjan Pomper, COO of ITV Studios, who will provide insights into programming priorities for 2022. With Covid-19 still reshaping the production process, ATF is also presenting a special segment on virtual production led by film director, writer and producer Alex Proyas, who owns the virtual studio Heretic Foundation in Sydney.

Valencia Herliani Tanoesoedibjo, the director of digital media at one of Indonesia’s largest media groups, MNC, will provide insights on the company’s strategy during the ‘Lunchtime Buying’ session. The ‘Coffee Hour Content Showcase’ sessions will see fresh content presentations and market-specific updates from China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey.

Pitching opportunities will be present throughout the event as well. “ATF has always been about providing Asian talent and creators with a platform to propel their ideas further for development,” Yeow says. “Continuing our efforts, we’ve consolidated a panel of seven industry judges for the Animation Pitch and have shortlisted six projects from Kanaban Graphics (Japan), One Animation (Singapore), PT Aneka Cahaya Nusantara (Palari Films) (Indonesia), Parijat Animation Films (India) and Studio Amarana (Indonesia).”

The six Formats Pitch finalists, selected by a panel of six judges, are AASIA Productions (Singapore), Christian G. Gamboa (Philippines), Fuji Television Network (Japan), Gamaliel (Indonesia), Qontent Formats (Turkey) and TV Asahi Productions (Japan).

Finalists for the Chinese Pitch and the SEAScreen Project Market will be announced by the end of November.

Also coming back is the ATF Speed Dating on Co-Production program, which is part of the In Development initiative. “This platform offers content creators and producers with projects already in development to meet co-producers and/or commissioners in an arranged setting, giving them the opportunity to meet with potential partners,” Yeow says. “We’ve got 11 partners on board, including 108 Media, Alibaba’s Youku, China Bridge Content, Discovery India, Drive Media Rights, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Kidoodle.TV, Taiwan+, Tencent Video, WildBrain and ZDF Enterprises, who will be spending time with these creators, and we really appreciate their strong support toward this initiative.”

Besides staying connected, the organizers hope that participants will be able to gain valuable insights on the latest that Asia has to offer and set the tone on what to expect in 2022, according to Yeow. “The Online+ editions in 2020 and 2021 set the stage for a future-ready ATF for the years to come. With the progressive resumption of in-person activities and the relaxation of travel restrictions, ATF 2022 is ready for an in-person comeback December 7 to 9, 2022. We are looking forward to delivering a refreshed ATF that taps the best practices from our in-person and digital experiences.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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