The organizers of the Asia TV Forum & Market (AM ensure that there are enough timely events at the 14th annual gathering in Singapore to attract a large number of program buyers from Southeast Asia, who in turn will draw more sales companies to promote program sales, which, of course, is ATF's raison d'etre.
New to ATF this year is MIPAcademy Singapore, produced by the Paris-based Reed MIDEM (organizer of MIP-TV and MIPCOM) and Singapore-based Reed Exhibitions Singapore (ATF's organizer), in collaboration with the Berlin-based The Entertainment Master Class. MIPAcademy offers a full-day suite of master classes held as part of the ATF conference slate. It will take place on December 6, the last day of the four-day conference.
The ATF Animation Lab is also new this year. It's a three-day matchmaking platform dedicated to Asian animation producers seeking co-production and funding opportunities. Pitches from finalists will be conducted December 4-6, Finalists will present to a group of seven executives (commissioners and investors) behind closed doors.
In addition, ScreenSingapore returns to ATF with four days of comprehensive conference sessions. A few years ago, the "Screen" began as an independent event held in Singapore in June. After a shaky start, last year it was taken over by Reed Exhibitions and was combined with ATF, thus adding a film element to the TV market. The only requirement for ATF participants is that buyers have to indicate their interest in the "Screen" in order to attend the film premieres, ScreenSingapore's key element.
Apparently, the aforementioned events have stimulated the interest of international distributors to the point that, this year, there is a record number of around 55 first-time market exhibitors, including Italy's Mondo TV, the U.K.'s TCB, Canada's 9 Story Entertainment, Malaysia's Artakus and many more. At press time, some 180 exhibitors had registered and organizers anticipated over 4,000 attendees representing 17 countries. Last year, ATF drew 3,917 international participants from more than 50 countries. Ultimately, though, sales volume is what will determine the success of the market, regardless of the success of its sideshows.
Todd Bartoo, senior manager of Worldwide Sales and Acquisitions for the Los Angeles-based Starz, explained that though the company has attended Filmart in Hong Kong in the past, it has never attended ATF before. They're optimistic though, as they have "heard good things about this market."...