Monday, July 2, 2007

MDA enhances collaboration between media companies in Korea and Singapore

Singapore, 21 June 2007 – In a move to pave the way for more collaborations among broadcasters and media companies in Korea and Singapore, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has entered into an arrangement for the co-production of broadcasting programmes with the Korean Broadcasting Commission (KBC) today.

The Arrangement -- signed between the Chairman of KBC, His Excellency, Dr Cho Chang Hyun and MDA Chairman, Dr Tan Chin Nam -- took place at the fringes of BroadcastAsia 2007, an event under the Infocomm and Media Business Exchange (imbX) event in Singapore.

The co-production arrangement between KBC and MDA ensures approved television co-productions between producers or broadcasters of Korea and Singapore would be considered as national productions of the countries, and hence qualify as local content in fulfilling local content programming hours by broadcasters and for schemes of assistance for co-productions.

Both countries have also committed not to impose discriminatory restrictions on the import, distribution and exhibition of television programmes. The scope of the agreement covers television programmes, including animation, dramas and documentaries and provides for new forms of broadcasting and audio-visual production to be subsequently included through an exchange of letters.

Said Dr Cho: “This is a win-win partnership for media companies and broadcasters from both sides as they are now able to pool resources and talents for co-productions easily. This, in turn, creates a larger distribution network for quality exportable media content in each other’s domestic markets as well as for the international market.”

Dr Cho further explained: “The co-production arrangement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MDA and KBC on 19 January 2005, and will come under the framework of the Trade in Services Agreement, under the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to be concluded soon and signed at the 13th ASEAN Summit in November 2007 in Singapore.”

Noted Dr Tan: “Our ongoing collaborations underscore Singapore’s long-standing relationship with Korea. The co-production arrangement on broadcasting programmes between KBC and MDA will further cement the strong ties between our governments and media industries. The arrangement is expected to generate new opportunities for our media industry to enter into television co-productions with their Korean counterparts to leverage on each other’s talents, resources, scripts, technical expertise and financing to come up with engaging television programmes for each other’s audiences as well as for the international market.

“Our efforts do not stop here and we expect to sign more media co-operation MOUs later this year with various Korean agencies such as Korean Culture and Content Agency (KOCCA), the Korea Games Development and Promotion Institute to facilitate industry collaborations in the area of games and animation for co-productions, training exchanges and attendance at each other’s trade events and festivals,” he added.

This latest arrangement between KBC and MDA joins the growing list of Government-to-Government co-production agreements which Singapore has entered into with other countries, including Canada, Japan and New Zealand and have reaped results in the form of projects such as The Tattooist, a co-production between Eyeworks Touchdown (New Zealand) and MediaCorp Raintree Pictures (Singapore); The Future is Wild, a 3-D animated TV series by Nelvana (Canada) and ST Electronics (Singapore) and Clang Invasion, an animated TV series by DECODE Entertainment (Canada) and Scrawl Studios (Singapore). Similar agreements with Australia and Italy are expected to be signed later in the year

For more information, please contact:
Ms Sharon Tan
Manager, Communications
Tel: +65 6837 9011

Ms Phoebe Seow
Assistant Director, Communications
Tel: +65 6837 9369

About Media Development Authority of Singapore
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) was formed on 1 January 2003 to champion Media 21, a blueprint to transform Singapore into a global media city. Media 21 seeks to create a vibrant media environment by establishing Singapore as a media exchange, exporting Made-by-Singapore content, internationalising local media companies, nurturing local media talent and developing digital media. More information on MDA can be found on

About Korean Broadcasting Commission
The Korean Broadcasting Commission (KBC) is an independent, governmental agency, sole policy-maker and regulatory authority for the broadcasting industry of Korea. The Commission administers all entities in the broadcasting industry that includes terrestrial, cable, satellite broadcasting, digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) and all program providers. KBC promotes the Korean broadcasting industry by initiating and expanding broadcasting cooperation and exchange on the international level. The Commission takes part in various bilateral FTA Agreements and multilateral service trade negotiations such as the WTO DDA. KBC makes efforts to strengthen global networks with regular media delegations. KBC also hosts the annual BCWW Conference in Seoul, participates in international organizations, conferences, and exhibitions.
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Saturday, June 30, 2007

मीडिया फ्रेअक्स कार्टून्स Pte Ltd

Media Freaks

Malaysian Companies Secure Deals Worth Over RM200 Million At MIPTV 2007

May 15, 2007 17:04 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 (Bernama) -- A trade mission led jointly by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) managed to secure deals worth over RM200 million at MIPTV 2007, the world's largest audio-visual content market.

MDeC said today that 30 Malaysian companies took part in the five-day event held in Cannes, France, last month and 10 memorandums of agreement were signed between the country's MSC status companies and industry players.

It said in a statement that the first agreement was signed between Creative Licence Sdn Bhd and Southern Star Entertainment (Australia) Pty Ltd for a co-production and worldwide distribution agreement of a two-dimensional (2D) animation series of 52 episodes with the title, "Hairy Legs", with a market value of US$10 million (RM35 million).

The second agreement involved Les' Copaque Production Sdn Bhd and China's Zhejiang Zhongnan Group Animation Video Co Ltd on a co-production venture for a 90-minute 3D animation feature titled "Essential Art of War", valued at US$7.0 million (RM25 million).

Les' Copaque also signed an agreement with Latvia's Voxell Group for a distribution agreement for the USSR territories on a Malaysian 3D animation title, "Gang", valued at US$300,000 (RM1.0 million).

The third agreement was between Elemental Ventures Sdn Bhd and Entara Ltd of the United Kingdom for the global distribution of a 2D/3D hybrid animation series of 26 episodes, "Zoorocco", with a market value estimated at US$8.0 million (RM28 million).

Vision New Media Sdn Bhd reached an agreement with France's NPTV, a leading European provider of television software solutions, to launch a joint venture company, New Vision Partners.

The joint venture company will provide solutions to create instant downloadable rich-media applications for Java-enabled mobile phones for the global market, MDeC said.

Three of the agreements signed were related to game contents, including MyGo Solutions Sdn Bhd which was involved in a deal with Greece's Manach Ltd to distribute and license Malaysian interactive games for the Greek and other European markets, with an estimated market value of US$15 million (RM53 million).

Rocket Fish Sdn Bhd and Creative Fuzion Sdn Bhd signed an agreement with Singapore's Mediafreaks Cartoon Pte Ltd to co-produce 72 episodes of a new pre-school series, "The PUPU Squad", with an estimated market value of US$8.0 million (RM28 million).

Rocket Fish Sdn Bhd also finalized another game content deal with Canada's Kahani World Inc with a co-production venture for a 66-minute flash animation DVD title, "Warriors of Chaos", valued at US$5.0 million (RM17.5 million).

Inner Esteem Sdn Bhd signed a distribution and licensing agreement with Spain's Interclic SL for its markerless motion capture systems with an initial value of US$3.0 million (RM11 million).

In another deal, KRU Capital formed a new joint venture company with Freja Gudsdotter TV of Sweden to co-produce and manage a television drama series, "Freja", valued at US$6.4 million (RM22 million).

The last agreement was signed between Backbone Entertainment Sdn Bhd and Germany's Peppermint Enterprises Ltd & Co KG on a worldwide distribution venture for a Malaysian flash animation television series titled "Sugar Pal", valued at US$2.0 million (RM7.0 million).

MDeC said in addition to the 10 agreements, a total of US$2.2 million (RM8.0 million) was generated from sales of digital contents at MIPTV 2007 by Makmur Megah Sdn Bhd, Peppermint Asia Sdn Bhd, Inspidea Sdn Bhd, Grand Brilliance Sdn Bhd, Imagine Animation Works Sdn Bhd, Creative Fuzion, and Elemental Ventures.

MDeC head of creative multimedia department, Kamil Othman, said Malaysian companies benefited from the exposure received at the trade show which saw more than 10,000 audio-visual content visitors from over 100 countries participating.

"The support received from the organiser Reed-Midem was also an important factor in securing deals and positioning Malaysian-made content and intellectual property for the global market," he said.

With the encouraging results, MDeC and the MSC Malaysia team look forward to securing more deals throughout the year and to further enhance ties with the creative industry worldwide, he added.

MDeC is next expected to lead a Malaysian digital content delegation to the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival and Market 2007 from May 23 to 27 and Shanghai TV & Film Festival and Market 2007 from June 12 to 14.



Singapore an island of buzzing creativity?

Singapore an island of buzzing creativity? June 24, 2007
Posted by le monde du voyage in Creative Industries, Investment, Policy, Culture, Singapore. trackback

It is a little hard to take the Mediacorp news stories ‘Surprise Singapore’ (in ChannelNewsAsia and TODAYonline) without the proverbial grain of salt.

The article reports the findings of a Media Development Authority (MDA)-commissioned international panel, which suggests that creativity in Singapore is alive and well.

Yet does its statement that creativity will ‘continue to flourish in spite of the political climate’ come from the panel being asked directly whether ‘restrictions on political expression would impede the development of a creative culture and Singapore’s aspirations to become a global media hub’?

The answer given skilfully yet obviously avoids answering that sensitive question: “Singapore will continue to be hard on itself and keep asking searching questions like: ‘Are we creative?’ Of course, you are.”

The answer, given by Stanford University professor Paul Saffo is right. Naturally there is significant evidence of creativity in Singapore, and a growing entrepreneurial innovativeness that is relying less on tried and tested business models, and less on would-be entrepreneurs wanting to ‘bring in’ or sell under license a product in Singapore they have seen overseas.

But to the answer of will restrictions on political expression impede the development of a creative culture, the answer may well equally be ‘of course it will.’

This is not to say it will stop creative or cultural development, but it will certainly impede it.

One key question is how much of the “renaissance” that has been taking place in the arts scene over the last five years according to MDA chairman Dr Tan, has been driven by government direction and public funds? Many nations around the world have (heavily?) subsidised arts sectors, but the combination of significant public funding and restrictions on political expression do not bode well for creative development. Perhaps if there was more private sector investment (or even philanthropy) then any lack of political freedom may not be such an issue?

Some of the insightful findings reported include:

North Korea as a major player in animation industry? May 16, 2007

North Korea as a major player in animation industry? May 16, 2007
Posted by le monde du voyage in Copyrights, Korea, Animation, Content. trackback
While North Korea more often makes headlines for nuclear tests and programs, economic sanctions, and human rights violations, the nation often described as reclusive and impoverished appears to have an emerging animation industry, according to an article from December 2006 on the Radio Free Asia website. The article indicates that North Korea is becoming a “significant player in the global business of animation and cinema—exporting cartoons throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.”

According to the article, the state-run SEK studio is one of the largest in the world, employing 1,600 staff who work with “state-of-the-art equipment.” The North Korean studio has worked on Pororo from South Korean, and US animated features such as The Lion King and Pocahontas, as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.

The article also reports that South Korean animators have been collaborating with North Korean animators to produce some of their animated TV episodes.

The volume of these cross-border transactions (any data on exact numbers??) makes sense on a variety of fronts. From an outsourcing (both economics and supply chain manangement) perspective, North Korea uses the same language, is in close geographic proximity, has cultural similiarities at least historically. Vitally, one would expect enormous cost savings for South Korean firms to outsource animation work to the north. Politically, the South Korean Government has been eager to engage with the North so we could hypothesise at least that firms would face few political roadblocks on the Southern side. Political issues and transparency issues in the North not withstanding, the only key issues left would be quality of workmanship and the ability to communicate clearly to contractors what work is required.

On the quality front, animators featured in the article seem to think there is no problem:

Choi Jong-Il, president of Iconix Entertainment believes the technical skill of North Korean animators is well developed.

Animation « DISCONTENTS:

Animation « DISCONTENTS:: "An article in contentSutra states while Indian animation is attracting investment with tie-ups with US content firms (Turner [see MSNBC article] and Disney [see Variety article]) and Japanese animators, there are not enough animators to compete with competitive animation production centres such as the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan.
The article reiterates a claim in the Economic Times that India needs 10,000 professional animators of international standards.
But India faces a problem with quality, according to director Samanth."

Lucrative business and paying peanuts. Again, there is substantial evidence to suggest that animation subcontracting is not the most lucrative business to be in, precisely because of what it pays: peanuts. This comes despite it being generally perceived as a high-growth high-value sector that policymakers are looking to bolster.

Original research sourced by DISCONTENTS on the animation industry in Tokyo suggests that the industry faces a cost/quality dilemma not too dissimilar (on some levels) to what these news articles depict in India.

Subcontractors face being squeezed by broadcasters and production houses for deadlines, which place emphasis on completion rather than quality. Given this low-cost environment, they can’t afford to train new animators, who are likely to leave if they are offered better (albeit still meagre) compensation. Despite industry reports such as those from JETRO stating that there are shortages of animators, there appears to be a fairly hefty supply of aspiring animators, with many willing to sacrifice higher wages in order to work in the animation industry. What there is a demand for is expert animators, which are in short supply. Given that most animation is for terrestrial broadcast, the vast bulk is based on existing manga characters and stories, meaning production companies get much little share of the copyrights, and have little capacity to risk investing in developing their own intellectual property. Broadcasters are more interested in their core business of satisfying domestic markets and earning advertising revenue so have little incentive to explore international markets with any degree of fervency. Finally, ‘OVA’ (original video animation) has managed to tap a profitable niche market that caters to otaku, which with its proclivity for disturbed and graphic sex and violence, has little hope of rising to mainstream popularity overseas, and is more likely to continue reinforcing stereotypes of Japanese animation as…weird.

This leaves feature-length anime as the most ‘promising’ market, yet with its high upfront costs, long development timelines, and uncertain returns on investment, it is a market that is often too risky for investors and too small to house the bulk of those currently employed in the industry.

Indian Animation Industry stats:

Predicted to reach $869 million by 2010, (compounded annual growth rate of 25 percent over 2006-2010).
Current industry has 300 small, medium and big animation companies employ approximately 12,000 people in India.
“Could use 3,00,000 professionals in content development and animation by 2008, up from 27,000 in 2001″
[NB these figures are from the Economic Times article but I can’t vouch for their accuracy]

Friday, June 29, 2007

Media Development Authority - Singapore companies inked US$128 million worth of international deals at MIPTV 2007

Media Development Authority - Singapore companies inked US$128 million worth of international deals at MIPTV 2007Singapore companies inked US$128 million worth of international deals at MIPTV 2007

Singapore, 7 May 2007 – Made-by-Singapore content is increasingly making its mark on the global stage with Singapore media companies securing US$128 million worth of co-production and distribution projects at the recently concluded MIPTV, one of the world’s largest audiovisual and digital content markets. This figure is more than double the US$54 million clinched by Singapore companies at MIPCOM 2006.

Said Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, MDA, “Singapore companies have risen above their size and shown mettle to achieve success on the international stage. The newly established networks at MIPTV provides more collaboration opportunities for exportable Singapore-made programmes and firmly establishes us as a major player in the international television and animation production industry and beyond.”

Highlights of Deals Sealed
From animated television series to documentaries to dramas, Singapore companies inked a slate of collaborations that testified to Singapore companies’ ability to create exportable content with strong international appeal. They include collaboration by Singapore Technologies Electronics with Canada’s Nelvana Studios to co-produce three animated TV series and 10 DVD movies. Worth about US$100 million, the projects will be completed over the next four years. The first two DVD projects in the partnership will be Puff the Magic Dragon and Franklin the Turtle, estimated between US$5 - 10million each.

Other successful deals include BIG Communications’ US$6.5 million collaboration with Australia’s Flying Bark Productions and Canada’s Thunderbird Films on Zigby, The 3-D animated series, based on HarperCollins’ popular literary children’s character, will be distributed internationally by EM.Entertainment GmbH and broadcast on ABC network, Australia’s national broadcaster, and Canada’s Treehouse TV next year. The company has also inked an MOU with South Korea’s Sieundesign to co-produce two 3-D animated TV series The Chronicles of Oujo and Rpeng Bini. Another animation company, Mediafreaks Cartoon Pte Ltd, has secured MOUs to co-produce with US/Malaysia’s Rocket Fish Studios for The Pupu Squad and with Omens Studio for Sedo Dog. Both are estimated at US$2.6 million each.

On the distribution end, Character Farm’s Katakune has secured representation by Spain’s Neptuno Films for the European market; while Scrawl Studios’ Nanoboy will be distributed by Canada’s Cookie Jar Entertainment for North America and Europe. Nanoboy has also been sold to Mediacorp TV12’s Kids Central. In addition, Scrawl’s Milly, Molly was pre-sold to worldwide broadcasters such as Australia’s ABC Network, Canada’s TV Ontario, Portugal’s Aquaris & Auqris Ltd (Radiotelev), and Hong Kong’s ATV World; with deals in negotiation with Finland’s YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company, Norway’s NRK Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and France’s TPS Jeunesse.

Aside from animation, Singapore-made TV content also forged ahead successfully at MIPTV with Upside Down Entertainment’s collaboration with Korea’s Dreamville Entertainment and India’s Clapstem Productions on Asian Crisis Centre, a US$5 million adventure drama series. Mega Media, content management company Six- Six-Eight and France’s Project Images Films will also be collaborating on the first ever Singapore-France TV series Déjà Vu. The US$4.1 million youth fiction series will feature four episodes shot on location in Singapore.

Full details of the deals sealed at MIPTV are in Annex A.

Media Development Authority of Singapore
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) was formed on 1 January 2003 to champion Media 21, a blueprint to transform Singapore into a global media city. Media 21 seeks to create a vibrant media environment by establishing Singapore as a media exchange, exporting Made-by-Singapore content, internationalising local media companies, nurturing local media talent and developing digital media. More information on MDA can be found on

For more information, please contact:

Ms Tessa Monteiro
Manager, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: +65 6837 9757

Ms Phoebe Seow
Assistant Director, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: +65 6837 9369