The 24 edition of Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) closed its doors for 2023 on an exceptional note this December 8, with a congregation of 4,511 trade professionals, including 911 buyers from 55 countries and regions, reflecting the industry’s continued confidence in the annual Asian event.
Yeow Hui Leng, Group Project Director of ATF said, “Despite industry uncertainties, Asia remains an important region. The diversity of content and networking events presented this year, the myriad of MOUs and projects announced, in addition to a strong presence of global executives, demonstrated ATF’s veracity as the voice of Asia“.
A total of 15 pavilions led by various content agencies from around the world were presented at the market, in addition to the strong presence of studios such as iQIYI, Linmon International, Mono Streaming, NBCUniversal, Paramount Global Content Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Discovery.
Celebrities from around the region also made appearances to promote their latest content. These included ABS-CBN’s launch of its new series, The Bagman, graced by multi-awarded Filipino actor Arjo Atayde, Thai actor Esther Supreeleela, who made an appearance at the 1001 Frames content showcase session to promote the scripted series, The Fairest Lady, and China’s superstar talk show host Jin Xing, who was in town to promote her new joint venture.
Based on the survey with buyers, ATF 2023 facilitated an estimated USD243.7 million in projected deals, an increase of 3% over 2022.
This, in conjunction with a myriad of deals and partnerships ATF announced, including:
- Central TV from Mongolia picked up NBCUniversal Formats’ music/comedy variety show, “That’s My Jam”, for local adaptation.
- iQIYI and Singapore Tourism Board signed an agreement for an extension of an existing partnership.
- Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation (JSBC) revealed multiple collaborations, joining forces with Singapore’s Mediacorp and Starhub, as well as the UK’s ITV to enhance co-production of documentary and entertainment programmes, foster talent exchange initiatives, and establish licensing agreements.
- Mono Streaming Company Limited and KT Studio Genie (Korea) entered a partnership that hopes to create ground-breaking content that transcends borders.
- NHK has secured the rights to Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF)’s live-action children’s comedy series, Hardball.
- Oceanus Media Global (OMG) inked 3 partnerships, including an MOU with Iskandar Malaysia Studio (IMS) to enhance virtual production for immersive experiences, and with DAS UNIVERSE to jointly pursue international business opportunities, comprising immersive art exhibitions, co-production of VR/XR contents and commercial metaverse.
- Public Television Service (PTS), Taiwanese public broadcaster, and Mediacorp signed a contract to jointly commission a new railway-themed infotainment series, Rail Life Story.
- Red Arrow Studios International entered into an exclusive agreement with Bomanbridge Media to represent its programme catalogues in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
- Singapore Film Commission (SFC) has joined the Taiwan Creative Content Agency’s (TAICCA) Emerge initiative for the first time to support Chinese-language original film development.
- VR Films acquired another 4 seasons of All3media International’s BAFTA-winning teen drama, “Skins”, bringing the total to seven seasons of the drama on the OTT platform.
Attendees from the market floor, including exhibitors, buyers, and participants, shared their feedback about the market and conference:
- Sam Eigen, CEO, Shoreline Entertainment: “I am happy to attend ATF for my 8th time. ATF continues to be an important part of our annual market routine and provides us with both access to new regional buyers, as well as to regularly follow up with our many regional clients we have been able to garner over the years. ATF is perhaps the best organized market in the industry, and the MBS conference centre lives up to all its awards and accolades.”
- Hendra Wardi, Managing Director, Bawah Tanah Sdn Bhd: “When deciding where to showcase Kisah Bawah Tanah—our new animated comedy series, featuring reimagined Southeast Asia mythology, there was only one market in mind; ATF 2023—where industry players from Asia and the rest of the world convene for one week to celebrate Asian stories for the global market.”
- Krishi Dutt, Joint Managing Director, VR Films & Studios Limited: “ATF has been a very important market for us, in fact when the TV market is concerned, it’s the only market I attend every year. It makes a lot of business sense for us to attend ATF as it allows us to acquire a huge variety of good quality content in various genres from leading companies from all over the world, under one roof, in 3 days. We always meet our objectives and achieve what we come here for.”
- Ron Halpern, EVP Global Production & Talent Management, Studiocanal & Judge for ATF x Beach House Pictures Scripted Pitch 2023: “The selection (of project submissions at ATF x Beach House Pictures Scripted Pitch 2023) this year was very diverse, every pitch was good, and to choose even five of the 10 was difficult – we had a very long discussion before we were able to determine a winner.”
- Prashant Gaonkar, Head Business Development, NH Studioz: “NH Studioz greatly benefited from the unwavering support from the ATF team, networking opportunities, potential business orders, and assistance in expanding Bollywood into the delightful Asian Market. We’re enthusiastically looking forward to even greater collaborations.”
- Aileen G. Samson, Syndication and Affiliate Sales, MQ Worldwide: “ATF keeps getting bigger and better, with more participants coming from all over the world. Attending ATF 2023 was the perfect time for our team to introduce MQ Worldwide as we reconnected with our past contacts-turned-friends face to face. We also met a lot of potential new clients handling various platforms and territories. As we grow and offer more high quality, innovative, and engaging Filipino content and channels worldwide, we learned trends and discovered insights from the sessions throughout the event. As early as now, we are already looking forward to returning next year.”
- Eiji Han Shimizu, Director & Producer – Something Great, Sumimasen Pte. Ltd. – Winner of ATF x TTB Animation Pitch 2023: “ATF is a great platform to get to know like-minded filmmakers and industry peers… people from all over the world come to Singapore, so you get to know them all at once. The extensive training (at the ATF x TTB Lab sessions) prior to the pitch was also of tremendous help on project presentation and to polish up on our proposal.“
In line with ATF’s commitment to nurturing Asian talent and in collaboration with industry players and associations, the ATF x TTB Animation Pitch, ATF x Beach House Pictures Scripted Pitch, ATF x Beach House Pictures Unscripted (Documentary) Pitch, along with the 2nd edition of ATF IP Accelerator Project Market named 7 projects as winners.
The award winners at ATF Pitches were:
- ATF x Beach House Pictures Scripted Pitch (USA + International Edition!) – Feng Shui Romance by Lee Sua (South Korea)
- ATF x Beach House Pictures Unscripted Pitch (USA + International Edition!) – The Yani Tseng Story by Select Entertainment (Taiwan)
- ATF x TTB Animation Pitch
People’s Choice Award
- Something Great by Sumimasen Pte. Ltd. (Singapore/Japan)
- ATF IP Accelerator Project Market
108 Media Development Package
- My Chef in Crime by My Shot, Co., Ltd. (Thailand)
RED Digital Cinemas Cameras on loan
- Pushkar by Two Lefthands (Singapore)
- What Do Mums Cook in… Asia? by MZP Asia (Thailand)
Film Bazaar Award
- Love Letter to Laos by Kopnoi (Laos/Canada)
ATF will celebrate its Silver Jubilee 3 to 6 December 2024 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (3 Dec: The ATF Leaders Dialogue, 4—6 Dec: Market & Conference).
Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) is an event of the Singapore Media Festival (SMF), hosted by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). 2023 marks the 10th edition of the Singapore Media Festival, rallying Asia’s most passionate media professionals, industry leaders, talent and content creators to “Make It Here”!