Wednesday 28 August 2019
3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289
William/Pickering Ballroom, Level 2
Master illusionist, Indonesia's The Sacred Riana, previews her new drama, The Sacred Riana: Bedtime Stories, an anthology entertainment series inspired by folklore and urban legends from across Asia and crafted by Fremantle and Indonesian production house Wahana Kreator to deliver Asian horror to worldwide audiences. The original production, featuring 10 self-contained episodes, is part of Fremantle’s expanded Asia production remit under Australia/New Zealand/Asia chief executive, Chris Oliver-Taylor, out of Sydney and the Jakarta-based team led by co-managing directors Sakti Parantean and Victor Ariesza. The Sacred Riana, who released her theatrical feature "The Sacred Riana: Beginning" in March this year, broke records for Facebook’s top video of all time in August last year with more than 500 million views on the back of her appearance in the Sony Pictures Television talent series for AXN. Performance followed by ….
Chris Oliver-Taylor, Fremantle’s CEO leading production in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India and China, Sakti Parantean, Co-Managing Director for Fremantle Indonesia, and Salman Aristo, Chief Executive of Indonesian production house Wahana Kreator talk about extending The Sacred Riana brand beyond stage, theatrical screens and social media, and leveraging her outsize popularity across new platforms and opportunities for Indonesian content at home and around the world. The shift into premium drama marks Fremantle Indonesia’s move into the world beyond long-running iconic game shows and family competitions such as "The Price is Right" and "Family Feud".
Charged with continuing Star’s super-bold content strategy in a vastly changed and even more competitive environment, Star TV’s Hindi Entertainment President, Gaurav Banerjee, talks about storytelling trends, influences and his unshakeable belief in story; building an entertainment pipeline across streaming and linear platforms; next-generation production relationships and the content partnerships giving rise to new kinds of programming; and how Star’s deliberate focus on diversity and social issues is playing out.
Listed Thai broadcast powerhouse, BEC World, has a whole new approach to its regional and global profile. The company's president and director, Ariya Banomyong, talks about initiatives to strengthen BEC World's footprint for content (including co-production) around the region and also around the world, expanding partnerships and alliances at home and abroad, evolving terrestrial service Channel 3, and experiences in the domestic streaming environment.
In the past two years, Mediacorp Chief Executive Loke Kheng Tham has reconfigured the public/commercial broadcaster’s place in Singapore’s media world, expanding online alliances and subscription options, signing onto YouTube’s publishing platform for the first time, encouraging different types of production partnerships, digging into the nation’s roots for content inspiration, consolidating broadcast channels, and rocking radio. And now what? That’s what we’ll be talking about…
Content investment in India, Southeast Asia and Korea was 12% up last year to US$10 billion, online video content investment rose 60%, and growth is accelerating as competition for audiences and talent escalates, according to Media Partners Asia’s (MPA) latest Video Content Dynamics report. But opportunities are not equal in every market, investment is being constrained, and much of the content ecosystem could do with an overhaul. MPA Vice President, Stephen Laslocky, outlines the opportunities and the challenges.
Netflix’s latest Southeast Asia originals are about to drop, capping a year or more of effort that is part of the streamer’s bigger bolder plan for the region – to contribute to the growth of a broad, vibrant, inclusive and healthy production ecosystem that will boost quality and capacity on home ground in Asia.
As legend goes, Sameer Nair was in the room, at the beginning of the region’s pay-TV history as we know it, when Rupert Murdoch hammered his hand on the table and said he never ever again wanted to see a chart that showed Star trailing at number three with a 2% viewership share. He was also, the story continues, the one who put the “crore” into Kaun Banega Crorepati (India’s chart-busting version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire), steered Star’s entry into Hindi programming and bore witness to more than two decades of content development in a mammoth market of 1.2 billion people. At this year’s ContentAsia Summit, Nair talks about once again being at the beginning of an era, where streaming platforms have opened up unprecedented opportunities for stories out of India, where the appetite for premium drama seems insatiable, and where, as the head of the Aditya Birla Group-backed Applause Entertainment, he is once again forging new content paths with shows such as "The Office", "Hostages", "Criminal Justice", "Mayangari – City of Dreams" and "Mind the Malhotras".
Super-indie producer/distributor all3media and its international unit, all3media international, has made significant investments in high-end productions and production houses around the world, driving premium global shows, including "White Dragon", which was shot in Hong Kong. The company also has more feet on the ground in Asia than ever, upping drama co-development and leveraging its IP in, among other countries, Japan, India and China. International CEO, Louise Pedersen, talks about what’s driving the latest production investment, what goes into selecting shows with universal elements, the benefits of a vibrant independent production sector, what needs to happen for an indie ecosystem to grow and thrive, and about Asia's rising international role.
Indonesia’s film industry is on fire, with north of 100 films a year since 2014 (and growing) across everything from slapstick to teen pregnancy, upwards of 50 million admissions in 2018, and the expectation that the country’s theatrical screens will almost double from last year’s 1,700 to around 2,500 by 2020. Somewhere in there is a treasure trove of rights that could, with the right conditions, power Indonesia’s nascent direct-to-consumer streaming industry. Falcon Pictures’ H.B. Naveen talks about the rise and rise of Indonesian moviemaking, including his blockbuster "Warkop DKI" franchise and the local adaptation of Korea’s "Miracle in Cell No. 7", his opinion on Indonesia’s changing content environment, what he thinks the rise of streaming services with some outsize budgets and global audiences means for the production industry, and his plans for his own streaming platform Klikfilm.
Turner breaks new ground with Mandarin co-pro, "The Haunted Heart", dialing into demand for high-end Asian drama and ramping up its bet on owning IP. The series, currently in post-production in Taiwan, is the network’s largest investment in original Asian drama to date. Marianne Lee, Turner Asia Pacific’s Vice President of Content, General Entertainment, speaks about her Asian content and originals strategy, and joins Taiwanese writer, producer and director, Li-ju Xie, behind the scenes of the 30-episode fantasy/action/romance about a young video-games tester who, because of her incredible brain power, has the ability to communicate with ghosts.
ContentAsia looks at the state of formats in Asia – including the significant rise in scripted formats – for the first half of 2019, what’s up/down/doing best/trending.
Independent, glamorous and unflappable detective, Miss S, debuts in China in spring 2020, breaking new ground for Australian scripted drama adaptations and upping indie distributor all3media international’s involvement in the region’s booming scripted formats environment. The 30-episode Mandarin version of high-end Australian drama “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”, set in 1930s Shanghai, stars Ma Yi Li as the eponymous Miss S. Distributed by all3media international’s Singapore-based regional office, the series is produced by the Shanghai 99 Visual Company in collaboration with Tencent Penguin Film and artist management company Easy Entertainment. The show was created by Australian production house Every Cloud Productions; Miss Fisher creators Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox are creative consultants on the Chinese adaptation. They join series Producer and Head Writer, Jin Weiyi, and Shanghai 99 Visual Company Vice General Manager, Wu Xiao, to talk about the Miss Fisher journey, including why they chose this particular series, translating ideas and themes, their experiences making modern TV’s cheekiest detective work in Chinese for China, and what this landmark production means in broader terms in China and abroad.
Thai production powerhouse Workpoint’s newest talent search series, "The Social Icon Thailand", premiered on digital service Workpoint Channel in Thailand on 19 August with a simultaneous live stream on Facebook. The hunt for online video creators, with a cash prize of a million Thai baht, is part of a blossoming #facebookXworkpoint relationship in Facebook’s top market in Asia. What that looks like and how it works is what we will be talking about.
Chinese co-developments of scripted series Humans, Younger and Broadchurch, along with a slate of co-developed entertainment formats, are on their way to mainland screens as part of hard-won agreements between Endemol Shine’s China team and local broadcasters, platforms and production houses. At the same time, an international version of Chinese mega-format, The Nation’s Greatest Treasures, is being readied for a debut at Mipcom in October along with a slate of new Asian content. William Tan, Endemol Shine’s Beijing-based Managing Director, talks about a business and creative approach able to rock super-sized entertainment demand and roll with the punches.
When the Banijay Asia joint-venture opened its doors in Mumbai at the beginning of last year, Deepak Dhar joined the ranks of indie producers re-shaping India's content ecosystem. 18 months into it, Dhar talks about a roll-out strategy that spans everything from old favourites such as "Nach Baliye" to the first YouTube India original, "ARRived", in between inking alliances with, among others, Talpa Global and GroupM's Motion Content Group.
Thai production house Zense Entertainment has a two new shows on air that speak to the next phase of content development in Asia – bigger, bolder, more confident in its own abilities and readier to take risks on things that haven’t been done before. The first series, "Block Out Thailand", for leading Thai national free-TV network Channel 7, is the first version of a new comedy format developed by Japan’s Nippon TV with Europe’s Red Arrow. The other is the first adaptation of "Singer Auction", a format developed with NBCUniversal International Formats. "Singer Auction" premiered in Vietnam in July, boosting Zense Entertainment’s regional ambitions and international hopes for home-grown formats. Zense Entertainment boss Varavuth Jentanakul talks about what’s involved in this enhanced phase of co-development and production.
Scripted formats and development have taken on a whole new life in Asia for Gary Pudney, Keshet International’s GM for Asia. Four of the of the 11 formats he has on air or commissioned for Asia in the first half of this year are scripted, and there’s enough on the boil – particularly in India – to drive record levels of optimism about a raft of successors to "Prisoners of War" ("POW – Bandi Yuddh Ke" for Star India), "Baker and the Beauty" and "The Stylist" (Viu India), "False Flag India" and "Deep Crime Unit" in Japan. The scripted uptick is driven by a mix of OTT and traditional platforms, he says. There’s also a more open, collaborative, out-of-the-box approach to development, which in turn is driving the creation of new formats involving Asia that can then be sold around the world.
Singapore-listed mm2 has a strong filmography that includes the "Ah Boys to Men" theatrical franchise, "DreadOut: Tower of Hell", and television series such as "Fried Rice Paradise" and Netflix original "Triad Princess". It has also produced award-winning films such as "A Land Imagined" and "Kuang". Ng Say Yong, mm2 Asia’s Chief Content Officer, talks about priorities in developing the pipeline; life as a regional studio spanning everything from movies, financing and web series to sponsorship and distribution; and keeping the production home-fires burning in Southeast Asia alongside the attraction of the more lucrative North Asia market.
There’s never been a better time to own IP. And yet, going boom – despite these boom-times – can be more troublesome, and is definitely more complex, than it has ever been for some, equally difficult for others and mixed for the rest. The only simple answer is that there isn’t one. Somewhere in between the revenue-share proposals (some even with caps on earnings. Seriously. You couldn’t make this stuff up) and the outsize deals that give platforms ‘original’ naming rights, are the everyday decisions and challenges distributors in Asia face in getting their shows out there. This session involves a conversation about the challenges of a fragmented environment, and what the trends and opportunities are as Asia’s original production expertise rises, under-pressure broadcasters carry on shaving whatever they can off acquisitions budgets, and the hunt for innovative solutions continues.
Very few people in Asia’s pay-TV industry don’t have a story about Star. The characters. The crazy. The risks. The bets. The flying by the seat of your pants-ness of the early (and maybe not so early) days. Author Vanita Kohli-Khandekar has gathered the India pieces in her new book, “The Making of Star India - the amazing story of Rupert Murdoch’s India adventure” (Penguin Random House), out this week. Kohli-Khandekar, who has tracked India’s video industry since it was state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan plus some cables thrown over trees, interviewed more than 100 people and spent about 18 months researching and writing the book, which opens with a scene from a fractious meeting in early 2000 in Mumbai, seven years after Murdoch bought Star from Hong Kong’s Richard Li. The 200-page book ends with inevitable questions about Star’s future under Disney, a company it has always dwarfed in India. This book is about more than Star,” she says, adding: “It is the story of Indian broadcasting with Star playing the main role”. Vanita Kohli-Khandekar talks about what went into telling that story, followed by a book signing.
This year’s Asia Media Woman of the Year is Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, Chief Executive Officer of listed Thai company, JKN Global Media. Jakrajutatip founded JKN Global Media as an independent company five years ago and listed on the Thailand Stock Exchange in November 2017. Her ongoing commitment to expanding the footprint of Thai content abroad is paired with her determination to open up new markets in Thailand for a range of Asian content. In addition, Jakrajutatip leverages her position as a media leader to promote gender diversity issues – including the formal launch in July of the non-profit Lift (Life Inspired for Transsexuals) Foundation, founded last year to promote acceptance and inclusivity for transsexuals in Thailand. JKN distributes programming from Asia (specifically from India and the Philippines) as well as feature films across multiple platforms in Thailand. JKN is also involved in content production, global content distribution and licensing management. The company’s business units include: JKN Channel Co Ltd, which owns and operates JKN Dramax, a cable/satellite TV channel focusing on Asian fantasy, Hollywood hits and specials. JKN Dramax produces the Anne Show and mega showcase events in Thailand. JKN IMC Co Ltd provides integrated marketing solutions, including advertising, production and airtime media buys. JKN News Co Ltd produces global financial news and business updates in Thai via a partnership with CNBC. Past recipients of the Asia Media Woman of the Year Award are Ellana Lee (CNN International); Jane Jimenez-Basas (Cignal TV, Philippines); Janice Lee (PCCW Media, Hong Kong); Tham Loke Kheng (Mediacorp, Singapore/PCCW Media, Hong Kong/TBC, Taiwan/StarHub, Singapore); Charo Santos-Concio (ABS-CBN, Philippines); and Rohana Rozhan (Astro, Malaysia).