Record-Breaking Attendance and Deals at ATF


SINGAPORE: This year’s Asia TV Forum and Market (ATF), which ended in Singapore on Friday, saw a record number of attendees and business deals.

A total of 3,917 individuals from 52 countries were in attendance, marking a 14-percent increase from last year’s market. For the first time ever, the conference, which took place from December 4-7 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, was held in conjunction with ScreenSingapore, a global filmed entertainment event that launched last year.

More than 1,000 companies made deals totaling $203.57 million, up from last year’s $188.83 million involving 951 companies.

MyChina Channel and Shanghai Media Group’s Toonmax teamed up to acquire, produce and distribute the first Mandarin-language children’s channel in Southeast Asia. HBO Asia and India’s Eros International partnered to release HBO Defined and HBO Hits, two new ad-free film channels, in India. Malaysia’s Youth Jump Animation revealed a co-production deal with Motion Pictures for Pumpkin Reports, an animated show. Clover Films, J Team Productions and mm2 Entertainment picked up the regional pay-TV rights for Jack Neo’s Ah Boys to Men and Ah Boys to Men 2 with Fox International Channels’ SCM (STAR Chinese Movies). Additionally, Singapore’s Moving Bits is collaborating with China’s Intercontinental Communication Centre (CICC) to develop and produce the docuseries The Eagle & the Dragon: Stories from Inside China for the U.S.

Global and local stars, such as Chow Yun Fat, Sophie Marceau, Kathy Zhou Haimei, Kara Hui, Yolanda Yuan, Weng Tzymann, Kai Ko, Yao Yao and Elanne Kwong, made appearances at the ATF/ScreenSingapore, which also featured the world premieres of The Last Tycoon and The Wedding Diary II, as well as the Southeast Asian debut of Happiness Never Comes Alone. Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution also debuted The Americans and Graceland. Speeches were made by Bona Film Group’s Yu Dong, Fox International Productions Group’s Sanford Panitch, Marvel’s C.B. Cebulski and Rovio Entertainment’s Nick Dorra, among others.

Michelle Lim, the managing director of Reed Exhibitions Singapore, commented: "As a marquee event in Asia, we have to continue to evolve as the entertainment content industry is constantly evolving. The co-location of ATF and ScreenSingapore has proven to be a step in the right direction, bringing about great synergy for both TV and film players. With the inclusion of digital innovations and new media content, it is truly an unmissable event."

"ATF is like the TV market of Asia, giving an insight of next year’s trends. We have attended ATF since its very first year and this year, we are continuing our search for entertainment content across all platforms with more focus on formats," remarked Krissada Trishnananda, the assistant manager and head of international program acquisition for the program and content department at Bangkok Broadcasting & TV Co, Ltd.

"ATF is an essential international trade festival not to be missed. I would like to encourage cooperation between Asian film market and TV stations in Taiwan by participating at this splendid pageant," said Janice Kuo, the senior manager for Fox International Channels in Taiwan.

"This is the only time for us to meet our business partners from Asia. This year, we have actually met about 16 potential buyers from Indonesia and this is definitely a significant increase from last year," noted Cheryl Freeman, the president and CEO of Engine 15 Media Group.

"We’re particularly interested in the online video aggregators. We believe that there is a real appetite for online channels to acquire high-quality content in volume and it feels like Asia, and in particular China, is ahead of the game here. [W]e are doubling our efforts to sell content to new players who are using emerging platforms," added Damian Keogh, the managing director for Skyworks in the U.K.