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Asia Media Festival opens with 30% growth in participation

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SINGAPORE: The excitement was palpable at the opening of the Asia Media Festival in Singapore this morning. The hustle and bustle of TV and animation professionals rushing to get them registered for the numerous conferences, and as sellers made the lobby of the Shangri La Hotel on Orange Grove Road, just off the island state's famed Orchard Road, look overcrowded. And it appears that it indeed is.

As Reed Exhibitions Singapore president Ed Ng disclosed at the opening ceremony, when he said participation for the Asia Film Market & Conference, Asia Television Forum, Asia Animation is up a healthy 30 per cent. Among the new exhibitors figure Beuna Vista International, CBS/Paramount, Lions Gate, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures. And it attracted participation from more than 3,500 international sellers, buyers, speakers, delegates from 38 countries.

Ng pointed out that the Festival this year has three major special showcases on animation, interactive TV and locations.

Singapore senior minister of state for information, communications and the arts and health Balaji Sadsivan set the tone of this year's festival when quoted Irving Berlin in his opening remark that "there's no business like show business." He was emphatic that Singapore has to be presented to the world as a world centre for media business.

Sadasivan made quite a few announcements during his speech, like pay per view an Asian Food Channel being launched in 2005 from Singapore, an agreement between the Media Development Authority (MDA) and Peach Blossom Media to produce seven animation series in partnership with international companies, in a deal which will see Singaporean companies owning their content.

He pointed out that the National Geographic Channel and the MDA would be producing High Definition TV programmes for a global market. He added that MediaCorp is starting a pilot project which will see locally made dramas being streamed for 3 G mobile phones.

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