ATA awards: Foreign TV networks fall in love with Sarawak

Hung (4th from right), Meegaswatte (right), Kritakara (3rd from left) with other television producers and organisers posing for a group photo before heading to the 23rd Asian Television Awards (ATA) 2019. 

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Jan 12: Some foreign television producers and personalities attending the 23rd Asian Television Awards (ATA) are mesmerised by Sarawak’s natural assets such as jungles, mountains, beaches, caves and rivers.

Formosa Media Taiwan president Dorothy Hung said she was impressed with Kuching, especially its peaceful ambience and its friendly and helpful people.

“This is my first time to Kuching and Malaysia. I apologise for not knowing about this place. But now that I know, we can consider doing movies or documentaries here,” Hung said today.

Television producer Rudeejanok Kritakara, who is the chief operating officer of Thai TV from Thailand, revealed that her team was looking at Sarawak as their future location for filming drama and others.

“My crew are here for the ATA. Apart from attending the event, they are now moving around the city to do short films on Kuching. We hope to work closely with the local authorities and its people in the future,” Kritakara said.

Academic consultant of Oxford College of Business in Sri Lanka, Dr Punchi Nilame Meegaswatte, said the ATA was a powerful hub and tool, especially those in the media industries, to play their role in strengthening Asian countries.

“This is also my first time here to Sarawak. With ATA, where most of the industry players meet, I am sure these foreign TV networks will love Sarawak for their adventure documentaries that will help promote the state globally,” Meegaswatte said.

The ATA is Asian TV industry’s most significant and celebrated event, recognising excellence in programming, production and performance.

While there are notable equivalents in the U.S and in Europe, ATA is the only event of its kind in Asia, making it the definitive platform to showcase and recognise quality television productions within Asia.

The ATA attracts over 1,300 entries annually from a wide range of broadcasters, including free-to-air television stations and pay-TV platforms, as well as many independent production houses in Asia.

Sarawak is hosting this spectacle for the very first time. More than 20 countries will be broadcasting the ATA today, giving the state an opportunity to display and share its diversity with the world. — DayakDaily