The Asia TV Forum is going on in Singapore as we speak. While we plan to offer you a straight-from-the-floor account later this week, we thought we’d start with a Q and A with Yeow Hui Leng, Project Director for Reed Exhibitions.

She filled us in on everything we needed/wanted to know about the ATF.

1. What are some of the biggest opportunities facing content owners and creators when it comes to the Asian market?

The growth of the television and film industry in Asia offers new business avenues for content owners and creators worldwide. The biggest opportunities are probably in co-productions and cross-collaborations.

For example, in China, the Bona Film Group very recently struck a multi-picture deal with Fox International Productions (FIP) for Chinese-language films. The two companies have agreed to develop, produce and distribute films throughout China.

FIP also has a hit each in South Korea and India and work is in progress on further follow-up productions in those two countries. I believe Asia recognizes that there are production strengths outside of Asia that it can tap to grow its own industry and therefore welcomes the opportunity to partner with foreign production experts.

On the TV side of things, the Asian market also has a growing interest in licensed formats and localization. The recent successful launch of The Voice China is a good example and that’s a topic that will be covered at the ATF Conference.

Other such examples: All3Media’s The Cube will be launched throughout South East Asia and Israel’s Keshet Media Group, through its global distribution arm, is bringing a slate of winning formula TV to Asia.

There is certainly a hunger in Asia for winning formats and competition is strong among the broadcasters to be the first to localize a proven program. So license owners of translatable formats have a ready market here for their products.

Further, with Asian governments keen to invest in and support their content, media and entertainment industries, it is a given that there will be lots of opportunities for content providers and sellers here.

2. How does ATF help foreigners tap into those opportunities?

ATF is a well-established marketplace in the region, having served the industry for the past 13 years. The industry knows that it is a one-stop platform for companies around the world to tap for trade opportunities and exposure in Asia.

At ATF, you can expect the heads of Asian broadcasters, leading content creators and key deal-makers. Not only are there business opportunities at the market but the insights these industry leaders bring to the conference will undoubtedly heighten the delegates’ understanding of the playing field in Asia. Networking opportunities abound and, as can be expected, are also invaluable. Indeed, as we like to say, it’s where you need to be.

3. How has the event grown through the years?

ATF has moved beyond content offerings on the market floor in 2000 to a more comprehensive media and entertainment market this year.

We added a one-day Pre-Market Conference on December 4 and now have a robust four-day program, taking place at the Marina Bay Sands Ballroom.

The Pre-Market Conference was designed after feedback from ATF participants indicated that they too would like to attend our conference sessions. Previously, they were not able to do so as they would be busy on the market floor.

We have also added a film dimension to the conference program this year with the co-location of ScreenSingapore, and will now be presenting the best of TV and film content under one roof.

And needless to say, we continue to attract the biggest names in the content market, from both the East and the West. This year, participants can look forward to hearing from representatives from the A+E Networks, Bona Film Group, DreamWorks Animation Classics, Marvel, Rovio Entertainment, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation and Seoul Broadcasting System among others.

4. What’s completely new this year?

As mentioned, this year for the very first time, Reed Exhibitions Singapore is adding ScreenSingapore to the mix, to create the complete TV and Film content event in the region. The co-location of ScreenSingapore with ATF will provide our delegates and participants with a more inclusive and comprehensive experience at the show.

Additionally, we have also expanded our conference program to include a Pre-Market day. With the stellar roster of industry leaders delivering a myriad of keynotes during the event, we will continue to deliver on our promise to provide fresh and exciting information, knowledge and insights for conference delegates.

Also making its debut at ATF 2012 is the International Emmy Award Nominees showcase. This is a partnership between ATF and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences where ATF will honor the current year’s International Emmy Awards nominees from Asia by showcasing their work and discussing their experiences.

5. How many participants are expected? Where will the largest contingent come from?

We are expecting about 4,000 participants from 60 countries, an increase from the 3,500 participants from 53 countries in 2011. There was a significant increase in buyer participation from South Korea, Hong Kong and China and we also have attracted buyers from new markets like Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

There will be 12 international delegations from China, France, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan as well as new entries from Australia and the U.K.

The largest contingent, after Singapore, will be from France with a delegation of more than 100 participants.

6. We’ve heard that the number of Latin companies planning to attend has decreased. How do you plan to make up for the loss of Latin attendees?

Actually, the number of Latin companies attending our show has remained steady over the years. Certainly some companies may choose not to have a booth each year but they still come to the show as participants.

On the whole, we’ve had good representation from these companies, including the key ones, such as Telemundo Internacional, Televisa Internacional and Globo TV International.

7. What are some goals for the 2012 event?

ATF 2012 aims to continue to be the premium content marketplace across all entertainment platforms. Further, ATF also marks a new milestone this year with 52 speakers from 13 countries in our conference program,. This is evidence of our seriousness in providing an enhanced learning and knowledge sharing experience for all our delegates.

Overall, technological evolutions have and are still transforming the entertainment and media industry and our goal is to transform along with it to ensure that we stay relevant to our supporters.

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