ATF Animation Pitch 2021

Believe. Dream. Dare

What is the ATF Animation Pitch?
The ATF Animation Pitch is the premier Asian pitching competition for individuals, students and small to medium sized companies with new & innovative concepts in animation, targeting kids of all ages. The pitch can come in the form of an animated shorts/series/feature film. It is an event by the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF, December 1 - 3, 2021). This is a platform that showcases Asian originality, and exposes ideas for export and development within and outside of the region.

Why pitch at ATF?
Pitch your idea in front of some of the industry’s most experienced animation professionals.
In addition, leading commissioning editors will be offering advice and commentary on the ideas pitched.
The ATF Animation Pitch 2021 is truly a discovery showcase for the Asia Pacific animation community.

Where and when is the ATF Animation Pitch held?
Taking place on ATF’s online platform, on December 3, 2021.

Who can apply?
Anyone who has an idea for an animation series or film. The ATF Animation Pitch 2021 is open to all individuals, students and small to medium sized companies across Asia Pacific to present their new and original animation concept/work. 

Please refer to the Asian borders under the UN Geoscheme:

What is the minimum age to apply?
16 years old and above.

What are the criteria for selection?
Selection will be based on the following criteria:
     • Creativity
     • Originality
     • Innovation
     • Capacity of returning for multiple series/ shorts.

The selected projects will also have to be:

  • Well-structured, tightly formatted
  • Fitting in the following genres of animation: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Sports, Mystery-solving
  • Potential to travel as a series/ shorts/ film to countries worldwide
  • Projects must be new and original concepts, which have not yet been commissioned or broadcasted on linear television or nonlinear television, and for which the worldwide rights are still available.

How do I submit my project?
Submit your project by completing the online Pitch Entry Form and agreeing to the ATF Animation Pitch 2021 Rules and Regulations by October 10, 2021.

In the online Pitch Entry Form, you will be requested to upload your pitch presentation. The Pitch presentation on a WORD, PDF, or on a PowerPoint document) shall include:

  • A detailed concept note and brief synopsis of the storyline, including an opening paragraph that summarises the animation pitch or logline. (As per T&C)
  • Character sketches (written description of character personalities)
  • Character design (Optional)
  • Key location designs where the story is based (Optional)
  • A clear statement of the target audience
  • A brief profile of applicants

How many projects can I submit?
Each applicant can submit up to 2 projects.

Is there any cost to apply?
No fee is required to enter a project in the competition. If selected as a Finalist, access to ATF will be complimentary.

Do I have to register for ATF to enter the pitching competition?
No, to enter the pitching competition, you are not required to register for ATF.

What are the key dates and deadlines?

•  Call for entries opens online: June, 2021
•  Deadline for entries: October 10, 2021
•  Announcement of finalists: October 18, 2021
•  Deadline for finalists to submit digital pitch videos with mood reels: October 25, 2021
•  Winner Announcement: December 3, 2021

What is the selection process?
5 projects will be selected as finalists to be presented on stage to a panel of judges that will consist of industry commissioners and leading animation producers.

When will the finalists be announced?
The 5 finalists selected to proceed to the Final Pitch round will be announced by Reed Exhibitions on October 25, 2021, on the ATF website.

What will I get if I am selected as a finalist for the Final Pitch at ATF 2021?

  • Visibility during the live pitch at ATF 2021
  • Visibility in ATF communication and marketing tools (official conference programme, ATF website and social networks)
  • Visibility in the ATF Show Daily magazine
  • A complimentary pass (1) per finalist (individual or company) to attend ATF Online+ 2021 (accessible until 30 June 2022).
  • All finalists may enter into an option agreement regarding the selected project with the ATF Animation Pitch sponsor (if any), prior to ATF. Full terms and conditions will be given to you when your project is selected as a finalist.

What will I get if I win the Final Pitch at ATF?
The winner will receive Singapore dollars $3,500. 

Who do I contact if I have questions related to my application?

How can I protect my idea if I take part in the ATF Animation Pitch?
As you may know, copyright law will not protect a mere idea as such. It is only the original expression of your idea that can be protected. In principle, any one is free to take mere ideas, themes, facts, styles and techniques as these items are not considered copyrightable, and, therefore, belong to the public domain. Ideas are free as the air, as they say.

It is not the idea behind a working concept that is protected – only the original expression of the idea can be a valid copyright protected work that can be owned by its creators and protected against copying. In other words, if you come up with a concept, you cannot stop someone else from copying the general idea behind your concept – you must be able to show that they actually copied more than just that general idea, that they copied something that presented an original expression of that idea.

That original expression is likely to be something written, acted, played, sung, painted, drawn, sculpted, designed, filmed – something that is expressed in a perceptible form. To attract copyright, this something must be original. The greater the originality, the more protection you can expect.

Where the act of creation has led to a work that is obviously a novel and unique creation, the copyright will be treated as relatively “thick”. Where the act of creation is minor – as in the adaptation or compilation of earlier work – the copyright will be seen as comparatively “thin”.

Sure, ideas are stolen – it does happen. Having said that, you may think the best protection of your ideas against theft is to hide your ideas away and never pitch them to anybody. However, as justified as your desire to protect your ideas against theft may be, if you’ll never pitch it, you’ll never sell it – and your project will never get made. A creator who wants to prevent anybody from seeing an idea and therefore never pitches it ends up nowhere. No pitch, no deal.

Pitching your work at a pitching event can be a great opportunity for you to find potential partners with whom you can develop your project. Compared with usual face to face meetings, pitching to a broader audience may very well help you to protect your animation concept as peers in the trade who will be watching your pitch will see that this is yours – and hence you may establish some proof of ownership. No copier who was in the audience and saw your pitch may defend an act of plagiarism by saying that he didn’t know about your concept

Obviously there is no one method which will protect yourself against plagiarism, but a few suggestions can be put forward:

  • Make your concept distinctive: The more detailed, the better.
    The more you develop and elaborate your concept, the more it is expressed in detail, the easier it is to protect it against copying. Even when a bunch of ideas are somewhat similar to one another as they are just referring to certain trends or genres, the more detailed they are, the more unique they become. Most buyers will take the view that ideas are just a dime a dozen, what is really valuable is how you develop and execute your ideas.

  • Do proper research: You can only conquer the market if you really have an innovative concept, something with a unique twist providing for originality, which allows it to stand out – and not just a stereotypical idea that is well-known from other formats within the genre.

    If the novelty of your concept suffers because of similar concepts which have already hit the market, it is hard to stand out from the crowd. True innovation is hard to find, so be honest with yourself: Is your concept really the kind of original and innovative concept with a commercial value that has to be paid for? If you have true innovation at hand, and if you are confident that you’ll deliver a great pitch, you will have success selling it.
  • Number and date all your creative materials that you’ve prepared for the pitch, name the creators, and include a copyright notice (©), and register your creative materials with an acknowledged registration service before submitting it to the ATF Animation Pitch.

None of the above should be taken as a substitute for legal advice.

May 2021.