Oleh Aziz A.Shariff (Rencana ini disiarkan dalam New Straits Times pada 27 September 2016)
KUALA LUMPUR – KL Converge! 2016 concluded recently with resounding success, two years after it debuted in 2014.
The three-day event last week featured 200 booths serving more than 15,000 visitors from September 22 until September 24.
The consecutive yearly success achieved has made this year’s event a benchmark of sorts, given that the digital economy would be the focus of the 2017 Budget, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Budget Consultation Meeting held recently.
The prominence given to the sector naturally referred to the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), which plays a significant role in accelerating digital economy for the nation’s development.
Such role was pointedly referred to by the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak when officiating the event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) on Thursday.
Since its launch, an estimated RM13 million in transaction was recorded in 2014, followed by another double digit worth of transaction (RM15million) during the subsequent event held in 2015.
With the local creative content industry nudged closer by 10 per cent to the global benchmark since the last event in 2015, KL Converge! 2016 has brought Malaysia closer to becoming the hub of the international creative content industry market.
This year, more local IT players have come on board to participate, including Maxis, Celcom, Digi, TM Malaysia, Media Prima, Astro, RTM, Finas, MDEC and Measat.
Also making appearance were global giants, including Japan’s Fujitsu Limited, Bonx Inc and NEC Corporation to interact and clinch new ideas, strategic partnerships and discuss standards within the myriad niche areas of the IT industry.
The name says it all. It is about a veritable convergence that covered issues from different angles and the merging of knowledge, business, technology, services, creativity, skills and social issues. The targeted results will, essentially, bolster business connection, better research, creation of creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and influencers for crossover conversation and inspiration.
KL Converge! 2016 was centred around the Creative Content and Communication Industry Exhibition, TV Expo and Conference, Animation and Film Workshop, Digital Theatre, Music Competition and Short Video Competition and Connecting Session for the Creative Content Industry.
The offerings targeted youth groups, comprising players in the creative content sector to position themselves dynamically and, thereon, fit into the shape of things to come in this sphere of technological connectivity.
Making its debut, was MyNIC’s ‘Fiesta Blogshop’, that showcased more than 30 online businesses operated by local celebrities, which gave an opportunity for them to meet fans in a more conducive and productive atmosphere.
By bringing together local and international players, KL Converge! 2016 provided a dynamic and strategic platform specially-focused on the communications and creative content industry to create investment opportunities and sharing of ideas and experience.
In conjunction with the event, KKMM and the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) hosted the 5th Asia Content Business Summit (ACBS), which was held for the first time, as part of Finas’ main highlights.
FINAS also announced the setting up the Content Malaysia Pitching Centre as the source of reference for industry players to generate high quality creative content.
According to FINAS Centre of Excellence (COE) director Raja Mohamad Adhzim Raja Ahmad, the centre would further develop the creative content industry, including animated film and documentaries of the country’s historical events. The centre is expected to be fully operational next year.
For KL Converge! 2016, FINAS organised three program components, comprising the ACBS, Son Et Lumiere and VFX in Film Summit.
The ACBS saw a total of 80 international delegations from 12 countries, including Japan, Indonesia, Korea, China, Canada and the US engaging on issues and ideas affecting the creative content industry through dialogue between governments, the private sector, media and broadcasters.
Co-organised by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI), the summit aimed to raise and develop the Creative Multimedia Content Industries in Asia by bringing together players in the public and private sectors.
It is hoped that ACBS members and participants can better connect with Malaysia and its creative industry.
Through the summit, Malaysia highlighted the government’s new role in sustaining the country’s conducive environment for the nurturing of the digital economy, besides addressing a diverse range of topics relating to the Creative Multimedia Content Industries; from changing Digital Content and Technology Landscape, Co-Production, Entrepreneur Network, Anti-Piracy Measures, and Funding Services.
“Since becoming a member in 2008, Malaysia has benefitted from various collaborative projects and research references under the auspices of ACBS,” said Finas director-general Datuk Kamil Othman.
In conjunction with ACBS, a 10-episode collaborative documentary titled ‘Borneo’ was announced. The exclusive international business tie-up is a project between Malaysian production house Kyanite TV and Singaporean multi-award winning company Beach House Pictures.
Since Malaysia’s participation in ACBS in 2008, it has seen a growth in the audio-visual content industry at 12.8 per cent and recorded 11.7 per cent in the content industry, which includes games and music, as reported by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in 2012.
The Son et Lumiere, being a cinematic reflection and a component of interactive content with emphasis on Virtual Reality and digital technology was presented through seminar, dialogue and exhibition.
Meanwhile, the VFX in Film Summit was essentially a visual special effects component used in content development and films as an innovative facet of the industry. Local and international young players in VFX saw themselves promoted at the summit.
Elsewhere, ASTRO gave free movie screening for visitors every day throughout the event. Movies on the list were picked from box office screenings with highest grossing films, such as the runaway hit, “Polis Evo”, “The Journey”, “Langit Cinta”, “Suamiku Encik Perfect 10” and the recently-launched documentary “Harimau Malaya 1980”.
The sidelines of KL Converge 2016 featured colourful performances by renowned local artists, including Dayang Nurfaizah, special appearance by students of Akademi Fantasia 2016, Drama Band, Sufian Siuhaimi, Aiman Tino, Sakura Band and others.
KL Converge 2016 was a dynamic and strategic platform specially-focused on the communications and creative content industry that brought together local and international players to create investment opportunities and the sharing of ideas and experiences.
It is estimated by KKMM that more than RM15 million in direct and indirect transaction was achieved throughout the event.
KL Converge! 2016 was a collaborative effort by KKMM’s Content Development Unit in conjunction with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), FINAS, Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Malaysian administrator of web addresses, MyNIC Berhad.
KL Converge is the creative content face of the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).