Dated: 13 December 2006
The Asia Media Festival 2006 closed on a high note with US$47.1 million in transactions and a record 4,700 local and international participants from 49 countries, for its trade events from 28 November to 1 December 2006. Hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and organised by Reed Exhibitions, the 2006 Festival’s total transactions set a five-year record since its inception in 2002 at a modest US$6.3 million and US$33 million in 2005. The number of sellers participating in the Festival also saw a growth of 25 percent to 257 this year, with an increase of 44 percent in participation by Asian companies as compared to 2005. (Please see Appendix A for more details)
Said Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, MDA, “Again the Asia Media Festival’s showcase of Asia’s diversity and rising talents in the media industry has seen significant deals and trade done in the week long trade event. This demonstrates the growing presence of Singapore as a crucial media hub in Asia for business networks and international collaborations.”
Significantly, Singapore signed three separate Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the following organisations to advance media collaborations: Canadian National Film Board (NFB) Finanziaria Laziale di Sviluppo SPA (FILAS) of Italy Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) of Thailand
MDA also announced a slate of exciting film and TV co-production deals with the following local and international players:
*MDA, Fortune Star Entertainment (HK) Limited, and Singapore companies Innoform Media and Boku Films, to co-produce Rule Number One. Written and directed by Kevin Tong (of The Maid and Love Story fame), this full-length Mandarin action thriller film is targeted to start production in mid 2007.
*MDA, Sitting In Pictures (Singapore) and FremantleMedia Enterprises (UK) to co-produce a nine-episode TV series featuring celebrity chef Kylie Kwong in China. Scheduled for launch in 2007, this is the first time that FremantleMedia Enterprises will be collaborating with a Singapore production house on a project for international distribution.
*MDA and I Media Entertainment (Singapore) to produce True Singapore Ghost Stories, a 13-episode TV series based on the successful and widely-distributed book series by Flame of the Forest Publishing (Singapore). It will be distributed by CJ Media (Korea) and will feature directors and artistes from Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and and the Philippines.
*MDA and the Korean Broadcasting Institute to co-produce three High-Definition TV projects for international distribution in the third quarter of 2007.
* MDA and Peach Blossom to co-produce Taoshu &Friends, a Chinese spin-off of The Warrior Boy targeted at five to eight year olds.
In addition, the following collaborations were sealed at the Festival:
* Mega Media (Singapore) and Omnicron Media Freasi (Indonesia), established a S$3 million fund to co-produce 10 digital features over the next two years.
* Buena Vista International Television-Asia Pacific made several announcements at the Asia Media Festival this year, including a significant multi-year movie video-on-demand (VOD) IPTV agreement with Asia Pacific’s leading VOD channel, ANYTIME; a package deal with Indonesian terrestrial JAK-TV consisting of Grey’s Anatomy, What About Brian and Ghost Whisperer;a multi-year programming deal for library content with Indian film channel, Filmy, operated by the Sahara One Network;and new licensing agreements with terrestrial broadcasters in Vietnam and Brunei for a wide range of ‘live’ action series and Jetix-branded titles.
* Canadian-based company Distraction Ltd tapped Singapore-based Theatre Red Ltd to represent its catalogue in several key markets in the region. Theatre Red Ltd, headed up
by Ian Hogg and Mei Yee Ng, will represent the Distraction catalogue in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and India.
The Asia Television Forum and Asia Film Market and Conference, anchor trade events of the Asia Media Festival which were held from 29 November to 1 December 2006, saw increased participation from the Pacific, North Asia, Western and Eastern Europe, as well as North America. There was significant participation from Central and Eastern Europe with Mosfilm Cinema Concern, Kazakh Cinema Distribution and RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council), participating for the first time. The two events also saw the inaugural participation of all four major Korean broadcasters - Educational Broadcasting System, Korea Broadcasting System and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation and Seoul Broadcasting System.
The Festival continued to garner strong support from the five Hollywood majors - NBC Universal Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Television International, Buena Vista International Television, CBS Paramount International Television and Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. Australia, France, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan were also represented with national pavilions at the market.
Mr Ed Ng, President of Reed Exhibitions, Singapore-Malaysia, said, “We are excited that Asia Media Festival 2006 has grown in international stature, and our media market at Asia Television Forum, the anchor trade event of Asia Media Festival, enjoyed solid participation from 49 countries, up from last year’s 43 countries. With delegates from the Asia Pacific region, Americas and Europe, we saw greater buzz and more business deals at our market. Total transactions jumped 42 percent, with US$47.1 million sales generated.”
He added, “The presence of major financiers, industry players and partners from around the world and their strong support and commitment made Asia Media Festival this year a resounding success. We will continue to evolve, flourish and maintain Asia Media Festival’s key position as the leading platform for Asia’s vibrant media and entertainment industry to do business with other international industry powerhouses.”
A total of 38 projects was submitted for the Media Financing Forum this year, signifying a 40 percent increase over last year. Of the 38, 34 were shortlisted for potential financing. The Forum creates opportunities for budding producers, directors and creative executives to meet up with financiers, government agencies and commissioning editors, to pitch their ideas to potential investors.
This year’s one-on-one sessions with financiers saw funds of more than US$250 million on the negotiation table from industry big-wigs, such as Peter Graham of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame (USA), Susan Ho from Standard Chartered (HK) and Mark Buyers from Quixotic (USA), to name a few. Among the international companies selected for potential funding were Le Brocquy Fraser Production (Singapore), Make Believe Productions (UK), Toonz Animation (India), iNext Creator (Taiwan), Pixtrend (Korea), Tai-Saduak (Thailand), Beijing Chenrui Film (China), and Golden Scene (Hong Kong).
According to one of the financiers, Ms Parminder Vir, OBE, Consultant, Igenious World Cinema, Idenious Media Investments Limited, UK, “There was incredible energy between the audience and the panelists, and the learning was two-way. The questions out of the sessions were searching and deep, which shows interest from the local talents. My one-on-one sessions were also excellent, a source of brilliant projects with local, regional and some with international appeal. I look forward to building on many of the relationships I have established at the Festival.”
Another highlight of the Asia Media Festival was the two SuperPitch competitions, which were part of the annual Asia Television Forum (ATF) and Asia Animation Conference. Little Production House (Australia) took home top honours at the ATF SuperPitch, while Anya Animations (Thailand) was named champion of the Asia Animation SuperPitch competition. Both SuperPitch competitions offered contestants in the television and animation industries a chance to present their projects to a panel of eight to 12 commissioning editors, broadcasters and funding companies from media channels across Asia Pacific. Each five-minute pitch was followed by a question-and-answer session with the judges. This year, a total of 11 pitches were selected from entries around the region, including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.