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Summary of 2022 ACBS @ Filmart Online Event

Updated: Aug 4

Due to the persisting pandemic, the 2022 HKFilmart was once again organised as an online event. Following last year's success in the ACBS Filmart Online event, this year, ACBS put together a packed 2-hour event with a whopping 19 different guest speakers from not only Asia, but Saudi Arabia, under the theme of "A New Era of Asia Co-production".

The live event welcomed nearly 350 viewers and hundreds more watching it on-demand (you may revisit the full event here).




Guests

Hong Kong – HKIFF

Dr. Wilfred Wong, GBS, JP

Chairman of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society


Japan – TIFF

Mr. Hiroyasu Ando

Chairman of Tokyo International Film Festival


Korea – BIFF

Mr. Lee Yong-kwan

Chairman of Busan International Film Festival


Japan

Mr. Toshifumi Makita

Deputy Secretary General & Director for Film & Video Dept., Data Base Service Dept. of Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO)


Mr. Kazutaka Watanabe

Producer, E.x.N K.K.


Singapore

Mr. Joachim Ng

Director, Media Industry Development & Singapore Film Commission, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)


Mr. Huang Junxiang (JX)

Producer, Zhao Wei Films


Thailand

Mr. Sirisak Koshpasharin

Expert of Audio-Visual Ministry of Culture, Thailand


Mr. Kohei Ito

Producer, Telecom Animation


Ms. Pinyada Ratanasungk

Creative Manager & Animation Producer of Shellhut Entertainment

Malaysia

Mr. Kamil Othman

Executive Director, Petra Media Malaysia


Mr. Bradley Liew

Producer and Director


Indonesia

Mr. Agung Sentausa

Head of Film Financing Facilitation of Indonesia Film Board and the Founder of Akatara


Saudi Arabia

Mr. Fred WANG

Chairman of ACBS and Salon Films Group


Dr. Essam Bukhary

CEO of Manga Production


Mr.Shimizu

Toei Animation


Hong Kong

Dr. Wilfred Wong, GBS, JP

Chairman of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society


Mr. Chen Liang

Vice Chairman of Shanghai Television Artists Associations


Guangzhou

Mr. Liang Shougang

Vice Chairman & Secretary General of Guangdong Radio and Television Association


Shanghai

Mr. Yu Zhiqing

Secretary General of Shanghai Broadcasting, Film & Television Producers Association







Event Recap (prepared by METI Japan)


Welcome Remarks/Announcement

Moderator: Ms. Mika Takagi, Director of Media and Content Industry Division of the Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, METI, Japan


Opening remarks (by Ms. Mika Takagi, METI)
  • Declaration of the ACBS conference at HK Filmart online 2022.

  • Asia Content Business Summit (ACBS) was established in 2008. It engages in dialogues among its members and in collaborations with other countries.

  • The theme of the conference is “A New Era of Asia Co-production.”

  • More resources have been needed for co-production and Asian countries have a lot of potentials due to its common and unique culture.

  • Introductions and welcome speeches by the three chairpersons of the International Film Festival.


Welcome Speech (by Dr. Wilfred Wong, GBS, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society)
  • ACBS aims to connect Asian countries and promote each of their unique advantages and business opportunities in the film and media industries.

  • He hopes that this conference will highlight market demands and trends, inspire productive and innovative partnership to benefit the industries of Asian region and the world.

  • Hong Kong will be celebrated the 25th anniversary of its return to China and marked the start of 14th Five-Year Plan approved by the National People's Congress.

  • Hong Kong has been a hub for art and culture exchange between China and the rest of the world and it has a record as a pioneer in both film production and co-production.

  • Hong Kong is positioned through its traditional role in trade and finance to act as an important conduct and channel for the creative industries and will enhance its status as an international centre for innovation and technology.

  • Investment about 14 billion USD will made on innovation and technology. Supporting young generation to study, work and start business will help to strengthen exchange and cooperation.

  • He wished ACBS further development and cooperation with Hong Kong.


Welcome Speech (by Mr. Hiroyasu Ando, Chairman of Tokyo International Film Festival)
  • ACBS has been working hard to promote the development of the content industries in Asian country since 2008, despite the disaster of Covid-19.

  • He was involved in the co-production agreement between Japan and China concluded in 2018.

  • Japan is continuing to pursue possibilities of co-production as it has a lot of advantages such as sharing knowledge and cultures with partners and securing larger budgets to expand their market.

  • TIFF (Tokyo International Film Festival) has screened many excellent co-production films and provided the place where filmmakers from Asia and other countries can meet and discuss many topics of common interest including co-production.

  • Asian countries are still in the process of promoting but have a bright future as they have common culture, ability of creativities and large population.


Welcome speech (by Mr. Lee Yong-kwan, Chairman of Busan International Film Festival)
  • ACBS has created the space for private and public sector in the industry to gather and share their insights about the future of content business focusing on both Asia and the rest of the world.BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) and ACFM (Asian Contents and Film Market) decided to launch the story market and aim to be a starting point for all contents.

  • BIFF and ACFM will strive an ecosystem for all Asian content creators to develop their innovative strategies.

  • Co-production can lead the creation ingenious content preceding the changing digital trends.

  • They are firmly consonant to ACBS's agenda last year "Embracing digital transformation" and trial and error "Going virtual"." They look forward to hearing from this conference.

  • BIFF wish to broaden its role beyond a film showcase and prepare to launch and establish an online network for cultural content exchange year-around.

  • BIFF will open door to TV series and simultaneous screenings with Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

  • “The worst crisis is the best chance” (Korean proverb). He believes that Asia has possibilities to be leaders and ACBS/BIFF efforts will direct us to that goal.

Co-Production Policy and Case Introduction
Moderator: Ms. Helen Chan, Co-founder and Director of Salon Media Lab.

Japan:
Mr. Toshifumi Makita (Deputy Secretary General & Director for Film & Video Dept., Data Base Service Dept. of Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO))
  • VIPO is a non-profit organization established in 2005 to support the content industry, mainly in the areas of talents development and market development competitive and contribute to the growth of the film and other content industry.

  • Examples: A producer workshop, collaboration with many international film markets, and offering some useful databases for international producers.

  • Current co-production supports are subsidy projects by METI, called “J-LOD2” and support by ACA (Agency for Cultural Affairs), and Pilot Project on Location Incentives for international audio-visual productions.


Mr. Kazutaka Watanabe (Producer, E.x.N K.K.)
  • "ALONG THE SEA" was produced under the VIPO's subsidy project for co-production and got some international/domestic awards.

  • It is a co-production with Vietnam, starring Vietnamese and shot on location in Japan.

  • Since the film was shot in a rural Japanese town, the cooperation of the local people was essential.

  • Although there were no famous actors, the film was a success. When its world premiere was held in San Sebastian, many sales agents got interested in it.

  • Finding partners and sharing same aim with them are vital.

  • It is important that you always talk about a project by yourself so that you can find appropriate partners.

Mr. Joachim Ng (Director, Media Industry Development & Singapore Film Commission, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA))
  • Grants to establish partnerships with media MNCs to create contents for local/global market and to support high-potential media talents.

  • 20 co-production projects have been already founded with various Asian countries.

  • New project is collaborations with media Giants such as Netflix, Disney, and HOB.


Mr. Huang Junxiang (JX) (Producer, Zhao Wei Films)
  • Co-production film "Folklore" has been successful in the global market and was screened in many international film festivals.

  • As a producer, he thinks that more important thing is mutual cultural understanding through working with different countries.

  • International collaboration is a very complex and demanding task. To be successful, it is needed to communicate in simple English so that each country understands what is required.

  • Co-production allows producers what international audience demand, where excellent filmmakers are in other countries, expanding international knowledges.

  • Communication with co-production members and trusting them are also important.


Thailand:

Mr. Sirisak Koshpasharin (Expert of Audio-Visual Ministry of Culture, Thailand)
  • Thailand is open to co-production in the content industry.

  • He introduced the incentive measures such as max 20% rebate on co-production.


Mr. Kohei Ito (Producer, Telecom Animation)
  • Thai and Japanese animation studios collaborated on fostering young talents.

  • Many of Japanese animation studio face a shortage of young talents.

  • Veteran Japanese animators mentored young Thai CG artists. As the result, 4 animators, 8 background artists and a 3DCG team were trained.

  • What he requires for ACBS is to focus on training young people, to create co-productions in the Asian region, and to increase the number of countries participating in ACBS.


Ms. Pinyada Ratanasungk (Creative Manager & Animation Producer of Shellhut Entertainment)
  • T&B Media Global is collaborating with partners around the world such as Japan, China and Australia.

  • Co-production “Last idle” is Reality TV Show to discover idols like Japanese idol group called “AKB48”. This project was successful, and the idol group created in this project made a big success as well.

  • "Start it up" is co-production comedy with China, starring Chinese and Thai actors. It will be screened this year.

  • The Australian co-production's animation has been featured in over 100 media outlets and signed with distributors around the world.


Malaysia:

Mr. Kamil Othman (Executive Director, Petra Media Malaysia)
  • Among the benefits of co-production, the most important one is exchange of talents.

  • Potential Sectors for co-production are multimedia content industries, cultural arts industries, Entertainment industries, Skillsets Development Centre and Education Content.

  • International Competitions, Festivals for showcases by Asian youths and more vignette type productions are needed.


Mr. Bradley Liew (Producer and Director)
  • Benefits of co-production:

1. Financial

More financial opportunities through non-recoupable grants, tax incentives, funding support of each country.

2. Artistic + Technical

Participating in bigger productions, creative collaborations with international crew, international stars and stories, and location-based decisions.

3. Tactical:

More distribution opportunities and chances for new markets via the film's nationality, controlling and ownership of your film's artistic journey and IP rights, versus private investors/studios.

  • “WHEN THE WAVES ARE GONE”, co-production film which 4 European countries and Philippines collaborated, fundraised using each countries’ private/public supports.


Indonesia:

Mr. Agung Sentausa (Head of Film Financing Facilitation of Indonesia Film Board and the Founder of Akatara)
  • International investments came to Indonesia in 2015 for the film and any audio-visual industries.

  • In 2020, there was a shortage of talents and contents due to the pandemic and the government support focused on giving grants and financing to local film makers and content creators.

  • In 2021, Indonesia started national economic recovery program (104 billion IDR) including 3 million USD granted on any co-production films which have been already funded by international funds.

  • Indonesia has 66 million subscribers, 3.5billion hours of streaming, high demand for contents, and it is the most ad-tolerant in south Asia.

  • On the other hand, there is a shortage of human resources, and this is an opportunity for international co-production.


Saudi Arabia:

Mr. Fred Wang (Chairman of Salon Films, Chairman of Asia Content Business Summit)
  • Co-production by Saudi Arabia and Japan created the animation film which based on Arabic story-telling and Japanese animation technology.

  • ACBS conference is a good opportunity to present the film and promote the international market.


Dr. Essam Bukhary (CEO of Manga Productions)
  • Manga Productions is a subsidiary company of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman "Misk" Foundation. It focuses on animations, TV shows and video games.

  • The film industry is growing rapidly in Saudi Arabia, and the government is providing a lot of financial support for co-productions to foster young talent.

  • Many partners all over the world, including Square Enix, Kadokawa, Toei Animation, are encouraging the development of young Saudi Arabian talents.

  • This film is unique as it is the first anime involving Saudi writers, artists, production, and co-production crews in co-operation with Toei Animation.

  • Despite the geographical, linguistic, and cultural challenges of co-production, the film was a success and received high acclaim both nationally and internationally.

  • In this new era, it is their desire to invest, co-produce, and inspire the world together with Asian countries.


Mr. Shinji Shimizu (Toei Animation)
  • Toei Animation was established in 1956.

  • The commission to produce “Journey” was an honour but making a film about the story of the Arabian Peninsula was very difficult for the Japanese.

  • They went location hunting first and had weekly online meetings. The production period lasted three years.

  • During that time, they hosted 20 Saudi interns, which is a great memory.

  • Despite the pandemic, they are very pleased that the film was released in Japan and 10 countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.


Hong Kong:

Dr. Wilfred Wong, GBS, JP (Chairman of Hong Kong International Film Festival Society)
  • New Asian generations are exposed multi cultures, working with people all over the world. We should create the environment for them to feel free to work each other.

  • Due to the pandemic, the world including Hong Kong and China reduced productions. On the other hand, we have high demand for contents and governments and stakeholders must make up for the gap.

  • Each country should let the talents who create the contents flow free to the different countries to work together.

  • By definition of data which the Ministry of financial has and standardization for filmmakers/producers who seek for financial supports, they will be able to make up financial gap easily. As every country has a different report and accounting system, it makes more difficult to execute.

  • Hong Kong Asia film financing forum since 2000 brings many professionals together across the world and look at the new projects.


China:

Mr. Chen Liang (Vice Chairman of Shanghai Television Artists Association)
  • In China, Shanghai and Hong Kong serve as the starting points and the leading force respectively at different historical stages in the content industry by encouraging international exchange through holding events like international film and Television festival, Book fair and Design week, etc, and attract and enhance cultural creativity.

  • While Shanghai is building a digital city and intelligent metropolis, it also proposes to become a high-tech movie city.

  • However, compared to Hong Kong, Shanghai gets behind in modernisation and has to learn from Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

  • There are advantages in mainland China, which are not only the vast potential in the market but also the rich history, culture, ethnic and geographical diversity and more.

  • Shanghai wishes collaborations with Asian countries as well as working and bringing Asia culture to the world.


Guangdong:

Mr. Liang Shougang (Vice Chairman & Secretary General of Guangdong Radio and Television Association)
  • The Topic is "A preliminary Study on Film Education and Studio Construction in the GBA Region."

  • Government policy proposes to jointly build a "Cultured Bay Area," promote the development of the media, film, and television industry in the GBA, and also the inheritance and development of traditional culture.

  • 9 cities will be set up as “Cultured Bay Areas” with the help of Hong Kong.

  • The main question is how to build an innovative studio in the GBA, and to provide professional industry services for the growing content industry.

  • Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis plans to 40 world leading studios for the development of film industrialization.

  • Taking digital technology as a core feature will make the film studio very competitive. Guangdong focuses on this and introducing first class film technology into China, to build research and development platform in GBA to play a leading role.

  • China has a shortage of talents, lack of innovation and international competitiveness due to the restrict to the global market.

  • Guangdong needs to Honk Kong’s help to be a leader in the content industries and hope to collaborate with Asian countries.


Shanghai:

Mr. Yu Zhiqing (Secretary General of Shanghai Broadcasting, Film & Television Producers Association)
  • Topic is "Development of one-stop Production System and Integrated Services in the Yangtze-River Delta region."

  • Shanghai has been a birthplace of Chinese film over 100 years.

  • In 2014, the government released a policy that aims to promote the film industry including financial support, tax incentive, talent training, land policy and collaboration stimulus.

  • One of the supports is to build a database of film and TV companies, locations, and talents. It will help companies understand the guideline and communicate with the government and provide related shooting services.

  • Shanghai started to provide complimentary consultants to companies who have intention to shoot in Shanghai including 116 various services. It is a big success.

  • Collaborations and alliances among different regions enhanced the integration of resources and brought many advantages.

  • Online service to apply for shooting permission and the database to provide information such as locations, talents and shooting policies, are working effectively.

  • In 2021, film industry has been recovering quickly and it has been restructured system more efficiently.


Closing remarks (by Mr. Fred Wang, Chairman of Salon Films, Chairman of Asia Content Business Summit)
  • Appreciation to all stakeholders.

  • Content industry will bring us together and more collaborations in the future.

  • Looking forward to meeting all members/speakers in person when time permits.


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