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FILMART 2014: visitors share little pieces of home

While Filmart is the biggest market event in Asia by some distance, there are plenty of other industry bashes throughout the year. Several take the opportunity of Filmart to display their wares.

The under new management Asian Film Awards took advantage of Filmart to host its inauguration on Sunday night, honouring a couple of actors as Rising Stars of Asia. The choices promptly opened the AFA to suggestions of nepotism that having a new multi-national organising committee were supposed to dispel.

Both the actors honoured, Chiaki Kuriyama and Kim Nam-gil, have solid CVs but aren’t exactly fresh with the flush of youth. They are Japanese (Kuriyama) and Korean (Kim), which are – coincidentally or otherwise – the nationalities of the two new partners in the AFA management structure, the Tokyo and Busan International Film Festivals.

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Of the larger events elsewhere in Asia, Singapore’s Asia TV Forum (ATF) has long held pride of place in December, handing out early Christmas presents to programming and programme makers from around the Asia-Pacific region at its Asia TV Awards (ATA) bash.

Last year it inherited ScreenSingapore, which was in serach of a new friend after an ill-fated inaugural edition back in 2012. This year the pair, who seem a good fit, get a new parent: the Singapore Media Festival (SGMF) umbrella.

The umbrella will also cover the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) which, like ScreenSingapore, was in need of a bit of love after going AWOL in 2013. The love comes in the form of Yudi Hadi, producer of Anthony Chen’s extremely successful Ilo Ilo, who gets a promoton from festival director to executive director.

The SGIFF will run the length of the SGMF, 4 – 14 December, with ScreenSingapore and ATF Dec running 9 – 12 December and the ATA gongs handed out on 11 December.

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In spring chicken news, both Thailand’s International Film Destination Festival and Vietnam’s Telefilm are excited to confirm second editions.

There was some considerable scepticism last year around the viability of both events and, while that hasn’t vanished, making it to year two demonstrates tenacity and continued access to the governmental cheque book.

The Thai event, travelling as Take 2 … Action! will run 20 – 29 April in Bangkok, celebrating and promoting all that is good about filming in Thailand, including its crews, infrastructure, locations – all spiced with encore screenings of some classic Thailand-shot features.

Vietnam is one of the fastest developing economies in the ASEAN region, and keen to tell that story, especially around tech and infrastructure. Telefilm is heavily tech-focused, which is a smart idea. Unlike the rash of festivals, markets, project markets, which break out across the region as rapidly as avian flu, tech-focused events are not yet overpopulating the regional event calendar.

While the offer is strong, the translation is occasionally entertaining. Content creation can be painful at times, but the seminar “Experience and lesions relating to television production” takes it to a new level.

Elsewhere in the event programme, the thorny issue of monetising video content will rear its head, along with a Vietnam-specific briefing on the country’s current 4G and Cloud capabilities.

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A pair Korea’s flagship festival-cum-festival events, Busan and PiFan, have also made a bunch of announcements, mostly around applications being open for various strands within the events.

Busan’s Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) is open for submissions to its Script Development, Post-Production and Asian Network of Documentary (AND) funds, some of which close next month.

Busan and its sister events will run 2 – 11 October this year.

Earlier in the year, genre festival PiFan, the accompanying Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) and project market It Project run 17 – 17 July. Submissions for the festival close late April (shorts) and early May (features and It Project).

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