UNIJAPAN Forum Puts Focus on Asian Trends


While the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival starts a busy weekend full of screenings, networking receptions and green carpet celebrity spotting, speakers from Hollywood and Asian markets will also gather in a series of forums by UNIJAPAN, the festival's organizer, to figure out the latest market trends in the region.

To get an overview of the Asian film scene, producers, policymakers and festival directors from China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan will give a broad sketch of entertainment industries in each region on Monday at "Presentation of East Asian Contents."

A number of seminars during the festival look at the potentials and practical challenges of coproduction as a rising option for expanding the market.

On Monday, Jeremy Thomas, an Oscar-winning film producer who has coproduced a number of hit films with Asian companies including Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor," shares a story behind the shooting of Takeshi Miike's "13 Assassins," which premiered during this year's Toronto.

The next day, at the Asian Casting Forum, Asian producers including Jonathan H. Kim (South Korea) of the blockbuster Korean film "Silmido" and Shin Sugimoto (Japan) of Stardust Promotion will look into the trends of Japanese talent agencies who are curious about overseas markets.

Much of the forum series will also focus on the exchange of experiences in Hollywood and Asian market among the experts in the field.

In "Can Indies Beat Hollywood? How Independent Films Are Marketed in Hollywood" Yuko Sekiguchi the editor-in-chief of Variety Japan will interview Phoenix Pictures president and COO Arnold Messer, who produced such hit indie films as "Zodiac" and "Shutter Island." Messer will share key film developing, financing and global networking strategies for indie films in a global market. On Wednesday, film journalists will explore ways in which world cinema can break into a Japanese marketplace where domestic films have traditionally surpassed foreign films.

Also on the same day, experienced developers from the American animation market including Jay Bastian of Original Series at Warner Bros., will participate in a session to share tips when pitching animation.

Other sessions look into the potential for new media in the Asian market. In "The Rapidly Changing World International Content Distribution: From Broadcasting do Digital Multi-Platforms," media experts will discuss digitalization in broadcasting and the market for international content.

One of the forums' key interests also lies in the rapidly changing Chinese film market and potentials for foreign companies to break into the region.

On Tuesday, Kelvin Wu, CEO of Orange Sky Holden Harvest Entertainment, will share his experiences in the market and possible co-productions between Hollywood and Asia. On the TV side, producers in TV co-production will look at the case study of "Sokyu no Subaru" (The Pleiades), a Japan-China co-produced drama, which was written in Japanese and directed by a Chinese producer. Separately, Zengde Yu of Shanghai Midaslink and Hiroyasu Niyama of Channel Young SiTV will discuss issues surrounding mobile streaming and digital broadcasting in China at "New Wave of Chinese Media."

UNIJAPAN Entertainment Forum runs Tuesday through Thursday at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).

comments powered by Disqus