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Essel's E-City to exhibit at MIPCOM 2002

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PARIS: Following a trend that started at the last MIP TV in April, Asia at MIPCOM 2002 (7 October - 11 October, Palais des Festivals, Cannes) will again show that it is a key region in the international television industry, with over 100 exhibiting companies signed till date. Japan and South Korea are among the top 10 countries with the highest number of stands (Japan ranks 4 and South Korea 9).

A large number of companies from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore, will exhibit for the first time at MIPCOM (International Film and Programme Market for TV, Video, Cable and Satellite). Many companies will also take up space on umbrella stands from Taiwan and South Korea, an official release says. In total 12 key territories from Asia will be represented at MIPCOM 2002: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Making its presence felt for the first time is E-City Entertainment, a subsidiary of Subhash Chandra's Essel Group, within which comes the Zee Network and as well as major theme parks. E-City will bring a line up of movies and television programmes of various genres.

With an aim to promote Taiwan's digital entertainment industry, via the "Digital Year One" program, Taipeh Hsien Computer Association will set up a collective stand. It will shelter Central Motion Picture Corporation, a leading player in the country's film business, Bright Ideas, a producer of interactive content in the arts, and CGCG Inc., the first Taiwan company selected to show its productions at SIGGRAPH, the annual conference on leading-edge theory and practice of computer graphics and interactive techniques, held in the US.

Three companies will exhibit for the first time on the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) group stand. Peach Blossom is a television and new media production house that develops world-class animation and live-action projects with international partners (such as Tomato Twins with Hong Kong's Animation Enterprises/Agogo for Nickelodeon).

Sunrise Entertainment, which has produced over 100 hours of quality programming and has strong co-production ties with producers such as the BBC and Discovery, represents a full catalogue of internationally produced programs for distribution in Asia. Tape Link has been instrumental in launching 29 terrestrial and satellite channels and houses over 100,000 reels of broadcast videotape and film including blockbuster movies, award winning series, children's programmes and documentaries.

Three new exhibitors from China will attend MIPCOM: Guangzhou Beauty Culture Communication, The Movie Channel and Wuhan Jiangtoon Animation, an animation production facilities with offices in Shanghai, Wuhan, and Chengdu. Jiangtoon Animation offers the full range of services from pre-production to licensing and merchandising, for TV episodes, feature films and webisodes, with a capacity in excess of 1,500 animation minutes per year.

Hong Kong's newcomer Colorland, which has moved from providing production services to developing its own content, has 2 projects for the market. In Search For Santa (76' 3D CGI animation), the story of two penguin sisters and their pole-to-pole journey to find Father Christmas, and Oh Max, (3D CGI and 2D animation, 26 x 30') which features an overgrown accident-prone, recently adopted puppy with an overactive imagination.

Following the introduction of commercial satellite broadcasting in South Korea, 72 new channels have been launched since March 2002. With 32 exhibiting companies at MIPCOM, South Korea is clearly a key player in the global television industry. A wide number of companies will exhibit through umbrella organizations such as KOCCA (Korean Culture & Contents Agency) and KIPA (Korea Independent Productions Association).

KOCCA, the public organization that promotes South Korean cultural content including Animation, Music, Character Merchandising, Cartoons, Games, Mobile and Internet content, will play host to over 30 animation-related companies (more than twice last year's number of companies). Many of these companies are seeking to develop joint productions with international partners. Among them are leading animation company Sunwoo Entertainment, WildOX Enterprise, Karma Entertainment, FX Digital, Rainbow Korea, Iconix, Characterplan, I-Mong, OCON, Rainbus Studio, Vooz, a leading character development company, Gyeonggi Digital Art Hive, Asiana Licensing, Digital Emation, Dreampictures 21, Itasca Studio, J Team Studios, Korea Visuals, Lukfilm, Main Stream Studio, Paradigm, ReadySoft, Roi Visuals, Tonglom Animation, and VR Graphics (which will market new animation series Shadow Fighter for kids 6 to 10).

The organization will hold a special launch "Spotlight on Korea" event on 6 October at the Carlton to maximize exposure of Korean content as well as foster new international CO-production initiatives. KOCCA will also hold an investment road show throughout England and Spain to help South Korean companies find investments and joint productions. KOCCA president and CEO, Byung-Moon Suh, will be at MIPCOM.

KIPA (Korean Independent Producers Association), a new umbrella stand from South Korea, brings together S-Medicom and Sam Hwa Productions. S-Medicom will launch a line up of documentary and animation. Through the story of its heroes, Chinese Opera brings the magic of China's most famous stage art that blends song, word, action and acrobatics.

MIPCOM is, with MIPTV, the leading international television programme market. Last year it featured 9,943 executives, 2,783 companies including 1,228 exhibiting companies, the release says.

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