The second combined ScreenSingapore/Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) event wrapped with organisners at Reed Exhibitions saying attendance numbers were up by the second day of the three-day event.

“Last year we had 3,970-plus attendees and as of our second day [December 5], we had more than 4,300,” said Yeow Hui Leng, senior project director at Reed Exhibitions.

“The vibrancy we see in the market shows in terms of the market numbers and conference speakers. We’ve had positive vibes so far from the industry and the conferences and screenings were well-attended.”

With the film-based ScreenSingapore in its third year and ATF in its 14th, the market floor is still markedly television-heavy. News of the ScreenSingpore/ATF event combining forces with a revamped Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) from next year has given rise to guarded expectations for a more film-focused event.

This year’s ScreenSingapore/ATF played host to 1,126 companies – 553 of which were sellers and 573 were buyers – from a total of 60 countries. Countries including China, Australia, France, Japan, UK, Indonesia and Malaysia opened umbrella stands.

The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) was among the first-time national umbrella stand-takers.

Chris Kim, manager in KOFIC’s International Promotion Center said: “We didn’t have many expectations, but it’s been good. Hong Kong [Filmart] is limited, but in Singapore you get to meet with more buyers from Vietnam and Indonesia, for instance. We thought it would mostly be TV and ancillary rights, but the film markets, also with video rights, can be split up, too.”

The Malaysia pavilion hosted 27 companies including those in post-production, animation, feature films and documentaries.

Raja Khairul Azman B Raja Abdul Karim, assistant director, International Market at the National Film Developent Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) said: “Some have done sales while others are looking for new co-production partners.

“Our programmes are catered for this region so for ATF most of the potential buyers come looking for programmes with regional concepts, but there are some selling for Europe or the Middle East, too. This year there’s been less traffic but in terms of business our companies are still busy with meetings and are having a good response in terms of discussions. We’re looking forward to next year’s combination [with SGIFF].”

Sellers said the market came at a decent time in the year to meet with Southeast Asian buyers.

“It’s quite an important market for us to come meet certain Southeast Asian buyers as they don’t usually go to European or Japanese markets,” said Fumiki Yamazaki, general manager, licensing division, international sales at Japan’s Showgate Inc.

“We’ve met with Singaporean, Hong Kong and Taiwanese companies and so on. December is good after AFM, and good for selling new titles, as well as library titles to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia or Vietnam.”

Exhibitors voiced a concern for the high cost of travel and booth rental without any benefits to speak of and that they would need to evaluate return on their investments after the event.

Yeow added: “For Reed, we are a trade show organiser. If there is business, people will come. Our conferences are interesting. We try to find the right buyers for our clients. You don’t just meet film buyers but TV and internet and all platforms.”