ATF Online+ Opens


ATF Online+ officially opened today, with the 21st edition of the Asia TV Forum going fully virtual amid ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The opening ceremony saw Chien-Ee Yeh, president for the Asia Pacific at Reed Exhibitions, and S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, speaking from a new hybrid broadcast studio at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Yeh noted that the pandemic, despite the challenges it has brought, has also served as a “catalyst to motivate and challenge us to find new ways to collaborate and connect among business partners.

“ATF Online+ aspires to bring the world to Asia virtually,” Yeh added.

Key highlights of this year’s event include a spotlight on China, keynotes with leading execs on strategies for 2021 and an In Development component “designed to provide producers and creatives with a special platform to get content discovered and developed at a regional and international level. We have invited a strong list of key decision-makers, commissioning editors, distributors, co-producers, investors and talent agencies who are ready to offer budding talents the opportunity to take their projects to a bigger and broader stage.”

More than 1,200 companies from 58 markets are participating at ATF Online+, Yeh said, including 15 official pavilions.

Iswaran also noted that the pandemic “has catalyzed innovation and generated new and exciting opportunities. The theme of the festival, Asian Storytelling Reimagined, captures this sense of change and renewal.”

The Singaporean government has taken a key role in helping the media industry deal with the challenges posed by COVID-19, Iswaran explained. “This crisis will pass and when it does, we have to emerge from this stronger, with our capabilities not just intact but, where possible, enhanced.”

He referenced a “substantial growth” in demand for Asian content, “fueled by fast-growing access to the internet and mobile devices in the region.”

Iswaran continued, “As much as consumers enjoy big international blockbusters, they’ve shown an appetite for stories and content that is tailored to our regional culture and tastes. Consequently, global media players like Netflix, Amazon, Tencent and ByteDance have turned their attention to the Asian market and expanded aggressively in Singapore in recent years. So there is much promise in the Asian media market, and there are opportunities for us here in Singapore. With our quality digital infrastructure, high technology penetration and vibrant multicultural society, we are well-positioned to capitalize on these trends and stake our claim to remain a key hub for both international content and for Asia-centric material. We are making a concerted effort in three broad areas: developing a robust digital infrastructure, supporting innovation and nurturing talent.”