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Asia Insider

THUMBNAIL

Tokyo Film Market to Stay in Online Mode for Third Year

TIFFCOM, the affiliated market ofTokyo International Film Festival, will remain as an online only event for the third year. It will run for three days, Oct. 2527, 2022, in parallel with the early part of the film festival.The Tokyo market’s decision to stay as an exclusively virtual event comes at a time when film and TV markets and festivals in other countries are returning to inperson meetings after the COVID19 pandemic. And it reflects Japan’s caution in reopening the country to foreign visitors.In recent weeks, Japan said that it will again welcome foreign tourists. But these are currently restricted to organized tour groups, not individual travelers, and visitors must wear masks at all times in public.The Tokyo festival (Oct. 24 Nov. 2, 2022) is planning to hold physical events in the HibiyaGinzaYurakuchoMarunouchi area where it moved last year after years being centered in the Roppongi district. Contacted byVariety, the Tokyo festival said that it hopes to have the participation of “as many foreign guests as possible” in 2022, including overseas media, and that they could use the “business track” immigration system.Since the early days of COVID, Japan has suspended visa exemptions for visitors from many countries, making the entry process considerably more onerous.The business track system, originally suspended in January 2021, has now been restarted. Potential Tokyo festival and TIFFCOM visitors from overseas will need letters of invitation in order to use the business track and have to apply for visas.TIFFCOM Online announced Wednesday that companies can apply for virtual booths on its site. It has also started selling badges to buyers and other visitors.Market functions will include lists of participants, search assistance, interest notification and the ability to schedule meetings through the system.According to its annual report TIFFCOM last year featured the participation of 1,935 visitors, including 584 registered as buyers. It facilitated 2,536 business meetings. The market’s website was accessed 175,000 times, a figure roughly five times greater than the 35,000 sessions in 2020, the first year of onlineonly activity.Organizers said that the content of the market has expanded to include films, TV, animation, mobile, internet (OTT, VOD), home entertainment (DVD, Bluray), inflight entertainment, new media (CGI, digital, VR, AR), original stories (novels, comics), book adaptation, remakes, character licensing, IP, games, toys, events and concerts, music, postproduction services, translation services, local culture and tourism.ByPatrick Frater Variety June 22, 2022 Picture by Patrick FraterPlus Icon

06.24.2022

THUMBNAIL

Korea’s CJ ENM Buying Stake in Hyperreal, Developer of Digital Humans (EXCLUSIVE)

CJ ENM, one of the companies leading the Korean entertainment wave, has acquired a minority equity stake in U.S.based metaverse firmHyperrealDigital.The stake was made through a private transaction with Hyperreal’s founders. The value of the stake was not disclosed. But it is known that Hyperreal previously closed an oversubscribed $7 million seed funding round in October.The new investment was made by CJ ENM to expand its digital related business sectors related to the metaverse, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and other tools. It is particularly interested in Hyperreal’s high fidelity digital humans.Digital humans have been developed by several companies to act and interact on behalf of realworld celebrities in social media settings. Their use is expected to develop and broaden as the metaverse becomes more widely accepted and deployed.Hyperreal says that its HyperModel technology creates realistic 3D digital humans that can be any age, speak any language, and perform in multiple digital media environments – from film, TV and video to immersive interactive experiences, ecommerce and augmented reality, virtual reality and immersive screen displays. Its HyperModels are also capable of becoming animated NFTs which are adaptable and customizable to create uniquely collectible assets.In January, Hyperreal created avirtual rendition ofMadison Beerfor a metaverse concert by Sony Music Entertainment and Verizon. In July, Hyperreal coproduced the landmarkPaul McCartney/ Beck video “Find My Way” directed byAndrew Donohoand choreographed byPhil Tayag where the former Beatle appeared as his younger self.With hundreds of films and TV series in its portfolio, CJ ENM has a large content library that can be developed as characters, games, locationbased entertainment and merchandize.“We are thrilled to have secured a strategic investment from a massive industry leader like CJ ENM which not only provides validation of our work, it allows for a number of creative collaborations across music, film, TV and digital,” said Remington Scott, CEO of Hyperreal.Hyperreal’s previous funding round brought in investors that included South Korean MMORG gaming giant Pearl Abyss andZash Global Media, an evolving network of disruptive digital companies led by Ted Farnsworth,Jaeson Maand Vincent Butta.CJ ENM has recently accelerated the development of its business locally in Korea and internationally. It recently, closed a deal toacquire an 80% stake in Endeavor Content, from parent company Endeavor Group Holdings. It has also announcedthe launch of CJ ENM Studios, a new production company focused on producing content for streaming platforms. This is in addition to its scaling up of powerhouse Studio Dragon production unit and the TVing, its jointlyowned streaming platform. The group also has strategic partnerships with David Ellison’s Skydance Media and ViacomCBS. Article by Patrick Frater of Variety Apr 28, 2022 Picture by CJ ENM and Hyperreal

04.29.2022

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