In its 11th year, held online for the first time, Malaysia’s leading digital content industry conference and one of Southeast Asia’s largest saw over 10,000 sessions from 1,200 daily participants.
Kre8tif! 2020, an initiative of the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), has successfully concluded, reinforcing its reputation as one the most important business networking platform for the digital content industry in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia. For its 11th edition, held virtually due to COVID-19, Kre8tif! saw 1,200 daily business participants, of which 200 were registered as part of global brands and platforms, generating some 10,000 views across its four days; the event demonstrated that its online format did little to stem the enthusiasm of the participants and speakers that came together. The event this year featured global and local industry, as well as stalwarts including Animonsta Studios, Cartoon Network, Les' Copaque Production, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Weta Digital.
The event opened with the Kre8tif! Conference, where numerous experts shared industry insights, technical know-how and discussed future-shaping trends. Paired to that was the Kre8tif! Business Xchange, a signature satellite event, featured 24 pitched projects and 800 scheduled meetings for matching sessions. As for the Kre8tif! Xhibition, almost 50 virtual exhibits from creative and technology companies showcased their current and upcoming intellectual properties and digital content and production services.
Top Day 1 conference presenters included industry development veteran Eric Calderon, Pixar’s Dylan Sisson, WarnerMedia’s Carlene Tan, Nickelodeon Brand Asia’s Syahrizan Mansor, Animonsta Studio’s Nizam Razak, and Weta Digital’s Sidney Kombo-Kitombo. Top Day 2 presenters included Disney’s Steven Goldberg, Netflix’s Edward Barnieh, Epic Games’ Sallyann Houghton, and Bejuba! Entertainment’s Tatiana Kober.
According to Surina Shukri, CEO, MDEC, this year’s virtual Kre8tif! offered local digital content creators and animators a wider pool of experts to reach out and collaborate with compared to previous years. “Understandably, the pandemic has forced us to think creatively when organizing high-traffic events such as Kre8tif! However, the online reach of a wider and diverse audience has certainly energized networking opportunities. As a result, not only with more participation from studio executives, animators, and creative designers from all over the world, the event managed to extend its reach to include 18 partner sponsors and five partner events.”
“I was very encouraged by the stories and insights shared and know that this will inspire local content creators to follow in the footsteps of industry leaders and peers,” she added. “More importantly, Malaysia’s award-winning animation portfolio has created an enviable baseline for the next generation of talents to follow and created more opportunities for them to achieve commercial success.”
“Kre8tif! 2020 has attracted top talents from around the world, a recognition of both local talents in the creative industry and Malaysia’s rapidly growing global footprint,” noted Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, Vice President, Digital Creative Content Division, MDEC. “The events over the past few days have surely driven home the message that creating digital content does not revolve solely upon an individual or team’s creative and technical skills. Having access to world-class creative technology and a highly receptive and supportive business community is vital as well.”
Established in 2009, Kreatif!, working to develop the digital content industry in Malaysia, has been instrumental in driving a rapidly maturing digital creative industry, which includes animations, movies, and video games. The sector has significantly shaped the country’s growing digital economy, creating 11,590 jobs, generating US$1.9 billion (MYR7.9 billion) in revenue as well as US$34 million (MYR1.42 billion) in export sales, in 2018. This growth has also been fueled by growing enthusiasm for the local creative industry and the content it is producing. The three biggest Malaysian animated films that came out last year – Ejen Ali The Movie, Boboiboy 2 and Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal – totaled more than US$20.7 million (RM85.8 million), representing 63.6% of the country’s 2019 domestic box office for 2019.