ATF Formats Pitch 2021

New Ideas. New Talent. New Formats.

What is the ATF Formats Pitch?
The ATF Formats Pitch is the premier Asian pitching competition for creators and producers of innovative concepts for new and original, non-scripted entertainment formats, an event by the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF, December 1-3, 2021). This is a platform to showcase the Asia market and expose ideas for export and development outside of the region.

Why pitch at ATF Formats Pitch?
Pitch your idea in front of some of the industry’s most experienced formats professionals.
In addition, leading commissioning editors will be offering advice and commentary on the ideas pitched.

Scheduled during ATF on December 2, 2021, the ATF Formats Pitch 2021 is truly a discovery showcase for the Asia Pacific TV community.

Where and when is the ATF Formats Pitch held?
Taking place on ATF’s online platform, in December 2, 2021.

Who can apply?
The ATF Formats Pitch is open to all creators and producers from around Asia Pacific (under the banner of a company or not) to present their new and original, non-scripted entertainment formats.

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:

  • Capability to translate & travel globally
  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Innovation
  • Capacity of returning for multiple series

The selected projects will also have to be:

  • Well-structured, tightly formatted
  • Fitting in the following genres of non-scripted formats: entertainment, factual entertainment, game shows, and studio entertainment
  • Potential to travel as a format to countries worldwide
  • Projects must be new and original formats concepts which have not been commissioned or broadcast on linear television or nonlinear television and for which the worldwide format 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 Formats Pitch 2021 Rules and Regulations by 10 October 2021. You will be requested in the online Pitch Entry Form to upload your pitch presentation - a WORD (2 pages max.), PDF, or on a PowerPoint document) including:

  • A detailed formats description including an opening paragraph that summarises the formats pitch or logline
  • A realistic approach to shooting schedules, broadcaster budget, legal restraints, etc
  • A clear statement of the target audience and a view on where the formats would fit in the broadcast schedule
  • A biography/filmography of the producer

Any additional materials will be welcomed, but is not necessary for the first round of submissions. 

A 5-minutes pitch video which include a sizzle reel will be required for finalist projects, to present to the judges. Followed by a Q&A session, which will require the presence of a representative of the finalist projects. More details will be given when your project is selected as a finalist.

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

Is there any cost to apply?
No fee is required to enter a project in the competition.

Do I have to register for ATF to enter the pitching competition?
No, to enter the pitching competition, it is not required to be registered at 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 2, 2021

What is the selection process?
The first round of judging will be led by Reed Exhibition selection of industry experts.

A shortlist of 10 projects will then be presented to the Shortlist Judges, who will be announced in the coming weeks. Five projects will then be selected to be presented to a panel of judges that will consist of industry commissioners and leading formats producers. 

When will the finalists be announced?
The 5 finalists who have been selected to participate in the Final Pitch will be announced by Reed Exhibitions by 25 October 2021 on the ATF website ( and will be notified in writing by Reed Exhibitions.

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)

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

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 Formats 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 formats 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 format concept, you cannot stop someone else from copying the general idea behind your formats 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 formats concept 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 formats 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 formats concept.

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

  • Make your formats concept distinctive: The more detailed, the better.

The more you develop and elaborate your formats 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 formats 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 formats 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 FRAPA or another acknowledged registration service before submitting it to the ATF Formats Pitch.

Today, the entire registration process can be handled online. For more information, please see We recommend you register your creative material through FRAPA prior to submitting to the ATF Formats Pitch competition. For more information about FRAPA and its formats registry, please see None of the above should be taken as a substitute for legal advice.

May 2021.