A much-improved ATF market pleases sellers; comparison is made with Hong Kong mart.

Position:Asia TV Forum Review

"It is much better than last year," commented Televisa Internacional's A Mario Castro, at the end of Asia TV Forum's first market day on Wednesday, December 7. "We were thinking of canceling after last year's disappointing market," continued Castro, "but so far ATF is proved much improved."

The three-day event, in its 17th annual edition, was held at the traditional Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and was preceded by a full day of seminars on December 6. The Screen Singapore conference portion took place on Friday, the market's last day.

As usual, VideoAge focused on gathering market information and in this respect its reporters were surprised to find European buyers, like YLE's Johanna Salmela, who was looking to acquire Asian TV series, "with limited number of episodes to be subtitled in Finnish."

Conversely, the local media focused only on the conference portion. For example, Singaporean daily The Straits Times, noted that Screen Singapore is now in its sixth edition and reported that on the opening day the Minister of State Communications, Chee Hong Tat, announced the launch of WritersLab, a scriptwriting masterclass in collaboration with the local Lasalle College For The Arts and sponsored by the city-state Info-communications Media Authority, which also supports the ATF market.

In line with this edition's theme of "Content on Every Screen," the market floor featured a virtual reality stand, promoted as a "showcase of the latest and most innovative technologies." However, VideoAge reporters did not see such a display of technologies paraded around.

What could be seen clearly was an increase in participation that, according to official statements, reached 5,000 attendees and a record 738 exhibitors, with all U.S. studios in attendance, which this year, for the first time, included Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.

A sign of increased participation was evident even before the floor opened: during the premarket seminars, according to ATF officials, 900 copies of VideoAge issues displayed in the magazine bins were taken in just a matter of hours (other copies were distributed throughout the market).

ATF also boasted a large presence of Turkish companies that even included the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and an increased number of pavilions, which reached 21, even though the Canadian "pavilion" consisted of a small stand with the logos of participating companies displayed on a board. However, some Canadian distributors, such as...

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