We’re back in the JKN Global Media Auditorium for day two of the 2021 ContentAsia Summit. This morning is all about the people shaping Asia’s best stories and how they see this universe unfolding.
We start the afternoon with ContentAsia Women’s LUNCH WITH… the second in our new series of lunchtime conversations with women making a difference in Asia’s original content space.
We’re spending the rest of the afternoon talking to commissioning editors, producers, writers and directors about the how, why and when of specific original productions, including WarnerMedia’s “Folklore” season 2, “The Mole: Undercover in North Korea”, and last year's ContentAsia Awards' winner for Best Director, Erik Matti, about his latest projects. Plus a look at the pressures, challenges, innovation and investment choices facing post-production houses as they deliver on Asia’s upsized entertainment promise.
Today's live line up closes at 5pm, but The platform is open 24/7, so feel free to browse and catch-up on anything you missed for the past two days ahead of the finale tomorrow.
Explore the Expo Hall with WarnerMedia, chat with distributors of everything from comedy to current affairs, network in the Viu Lounge, discover amazing entertainment at the Dolby Experience Lounge, check the conference agenda at the JKN Global Media Auditorium, brush up on who’s who in Asia in content suites and booths, and get set for three full days of the best conversations about content in Asia.
Korea’s Naver-owned story-telling platforms – Wattpad and digital comics service Webtoon – merged their studio divisions in June this year, creating a multi-format production business that unites about 100 existing projects and a wide network of global partnerships. The newly formed Wattpad Webtoon Studios, with a combined audience of 166 million people, went live with US$100 million development and production funding. Veteran Wattpad Studios’ head, Aron Levitz, who leads the united entity as president, talks about a new story-telling giant and what it means for Asian story-tellers. This session is followed by a live Q&A with Aron
Aparna Purohit, Amazon Prime Video Head of Originals in India, is behind a killer slate of premium content – think "Mirzapur", "The Family Man", "Mind the Malhotras", "Tandav", "Four More Shots Please", to name a few – driving a new entertainment era in India. She talks about finding and telling stories with the power to connect people, cultures and values; about managing a slate that sprawls across style and genre; how she gets the best out of India's writers, producers and directors; and how she sees premium content creation developing in India.
Indonesia's MD Corp is at the centre of Southeast Asia's streaming hotbed, with at least 13 feature films streaming across platforms, five new original series, and titles sold to virtually everyone: Disney+Hotstar, WeTV, Viu, Netflix, Vidio, Migo and Telkomsel Maxstream. The company's founder and chief executive, Manoj Punjabi, talks about dealing with the surge in demand, how he views the shifts in release windows, production partnerships, and what comes next after a quarter in which MD Pictures' revenues were up by more than 200% and gross profit rose 500%.
In June this year, Japan's TBS Group leaders renewed their vows to a grand 10-year vision called "VISION 2030" that aims to deliver "timeless content and services to the world, respecting diverse values and striving to make a positive contribution to society” by 2030. Included in the three pillars underpinning these goals is a global outreach the pushes TBS programmers and producers far further forward and much faster than ever before. Which brings us to "Deep Crime Unit", a new premium scripted procedural co-developed with Israel's Keshet and Canada's Facet4. There is also an alliance with Korea's CJ ENM, another alliance with India's Zee Entertainment , and a partnership with Smart Dog Media in the U.S. "This is a new era of Japanese co-development," says Fumi Nishibashi, who is part of TBS' upsized International Business Development team. He joins us at this year's ContentAsia Summit to speak about what that new era looks and feels like and what's involved in turning vision to reality one episode at a time.
Applause Entertainment just released its 25th premium show, "Mayanagari: City of Dreams 2" on Disney + Hotstar. The four-year-old production house, powered by a content war chest that could top US$500 million in the next three to four years, has also just announced the adaptation of British drama, "Guilt" along with its first foray into animation and its first movie slate. Applause has also started marking its territory in the documentary space. And that's all hot on the heels of "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story", a risky project Applause Entertainment CEO, Sameer Nair, had on his production wish list for 10 years. Ahead of Indian adaptations of "Fauda" and "Luther", Nair returns to our stage to talk about the real impact of the rapid rise in streaming adoption on indie producers, servicing an entertainment market where niche audiences translate to 40 million people, diversity on and off screen and how the greater sensitivity to broader social issues translates to fiction, and the essential questions he asks and answers before agreeing to projects.
Malaysia's newest streaming platform, sooka, went up in early June this year with a strong sports promise and a plan to create a hub for sports lovers with high value and flexible purchase options, and promises of fresh content for the country's young audiences. Chief content officer, Mark Francis, talks about carving out a new and unique space.
Regional streaming platform Viu is looking at a strong slate for the rest of the year, including the premier of its latest Korean original, "Now, We Are Breaking Up", and a super-sized Chinese drama offering, and anime blockbusters. The platform's newly appointed Chief of Content Acquisition and Development, Marianne Lee, talks about how she's thinking and what she's planning.
Malaysian filmmaker Lydia Lubon describes herself as an "impact storyteller", using storytelling skills across multiple activities, from producing and directing to public speaking about climate change. Recognised for everything from producing Operation Sumatran Rhino (2016) to her social contribution as an environmental educator, Lydia has worked across major global brands such as DW, Al Jazeera, National Geographic and Unicef. She joins us for the inaugural Lunch With... series to talk about social responsibility, panic buying, her first job as an intern for an Animal Planet series shot at the Singapore Zoo, why she thinks real people are more fascinating than fiction, connecting with environmental icon Jane Goodall, gardening and her work for NGO the Free Tree Society.
Like every other sector, post production houses across the region have been pressed and pressured to keep up with platform demand and expectations along with figuring out a whole new virtual production environment. We explore the innovation, investment and tech in Asia behind delivering on the upsized entertainment promise.
Cartoonito is coming back, Tuzki and Lamput are hanging out, and girls and families are being embraced as Cartoon Network evolves. WarnerMedia's Carlene Tan and Christopher Ho talk about programming ambidextrously, what redrawing their world looks like, and tapping into a treasure trove of memorable characters.
Malaysia remains in the grip of Covid-19 control measures that are wreaking havoc across the production spectrum. Revolution Media's Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zainir Aminullah, talks about life on the coalface of indie production, finding lifelines and figuring out how to make the most of the country's burgeoning streaming environment.
Two men – former chef Ulrich Larsen and former French Foreign Legionnaire and ex-convict Jim Latrash-Kvartrop – risked their lives to get up close and personal with North Korea in an undercover operation that went on for 10 years and eventually resulted in new documentary, "The Mole: Undercover in North Korea". The series written and directed by filmmaker Mads Brugger is on its way to Asia in a deal with Sonia Fleck's Bomanbridge Media. In an exclusive conversation for the ContentAsia Summit, the four of them tell their story...
WarnerMedia returns HBO Asia original anthology series "Folklore" this year, extending the franchise across seven more episodes and promising to dial up the horror. "Folklore" creator and executive producer, Eric Khoo, joins Japanese singer/songwriter and actress, Seiko Matsuda, and WarnerMedia's Garon De Silva, in a session that looks at everything from life as a first time director, the meaning of fear, and what Asian folktales add to the growing HBO Originals slate.
A version of Erik Matt's Filipino crime thriller, “On The Job”, heads to Venice in September as the only Asia film screening in competition. At the same time, a six-episode series, with previously unseen and remastered footage, will stream on HBO Go across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong Kong and Taiwan. All this eight years after the first two episodes debuted as a feature film in Cannes. Inspired by true events, “On The Job” centres around crime syndicates, controlled behind the scenes by sitting politicians, which release prison inmates to carry out political assassinations. Our conversation with Erik Matti, winner of the ContentAsia Award for Best Director last year, goes behind the scenes of a long-lived/multi-life production.
Online creators continue to rise up through the ranks, with top talent a magnet for brands, creator networks continuing to build scale, and professional management and processes reshaping the influencer marketing model. In a world where YouTube consumption dwarfs all other online habits, Bloomr.SG's Diogo Martins talks about scaling to 1,000 creators, the changing world of the social content creators, and the the latest demands of a branded content universe.
In the second part of our focus on social content creation, OML's Chief Executive Officer, Gunjan Arya, speaks about building a diverse community of social content creators, from comedians and musicians to financial literacy, and maximising end-to-end opportunities in the online and offline space.
And it's a wrap on Day Two of this year's ContentAsia Summit. Join us tomorrow for a look at Asia's booming audio entertainment environment and, of course, for the ContentAsia Awards tomorrow night Live on Facebook from 6.30pm. The ContentAsia Summit virtual platform is open around the clock and will be until 27 September, so feel free to stay and explore. See you tomorrow!