Jose Mari R Abacan
First VP, Program Management, GMA Network, Inc & Project Director, GMA Network Films, Inc (Philippines)
Jose Mari Abacan has been involved in the television and film industries for more than 27 years. Among other achievements, he paved the way for GMA-7 to become the pioneer in Koreanovelas, Thai series (Lakorn) and Turkish dramas in the Philippines. Early in his career, he was the supervising producer of award-winning GMA Telesine Specials (made-for-television movies), and today spearheads the DTT (digital terrestrial) channels of GMA Network, Inc. (Heart of Asia, I Heart Movies, HallyPop & DepEd TV).
Thai content sales in the region have exploded in the past three years, driven by bold bets being made by JKN Global Media and BEC World, a greater willingness by Thai creators and rights owners to speak about their strengths, the rise of streaming platforms and the halo effect created by greater awareness of Lakorn, its story lines and its stars. As Thai drama makes its way around the region and the world, we discuss its challenges and advantages and look at what Thailand could or should be doing to follow in the footsteps of Korea's Hallyu?