The first ContentAsia Awards has 16 categories*
Best Asian Drama Made for a Local Asian Market
This category focuses on drama created for a specific market in Asia. Entries will be judged on their relevance and suitability for the one specific market for which the programme was made.
Best Asian Drama for a Regional/Int’l Market
This category is for drama programming made in Asia for more than a single market in the region, or for a regional or international/global audience. Entries will be judged for their regional/universal themes and qualities. Episodes have to be at least 24 minutes (30 broadcast minutes) long.
Best TV Format Adaptation (Scripted)
This category is for non-scripted formats (local or international) adapted for audiences in Asia, whether for a specific market in Asia or for multiple markets across the Asia region.
Best TV Format Adaptation (Non-scripted)
This category is for non-scripted formats (local or international) adapted for audiences in Asia, whether for a specific market in Asia or for multiple markets across the Asia region. The category also covers the original versions of non-scripted formats made in Asia.
Best Male Lead in a TV Programme
This one is for male leads (or leads who identify as male) who make us forget they’re acting, who are able to make the divide between fact and fiction irrelevant. Whoever they are off-screen falls away physically and emotionally in service of the character they are playing.
Best Female Lead in a TV Programme
An award for female leads (or leads who identify as female) who make us forget they’re acting, who are able to make the divide between fact and fiction irrelevant. Whoever they are off-screen falls away physically and emotionally in service of the character they are playing.
Best Director of a Scripted TV Programme
Asked about the qualities of a great director, one of our favourite programming people told us this: “If you care about something in a film, it’s because the director made you”. And then there are the million+ opinions out there about directing, from known directors talking about their craft to less-known artists with a nice turn of phrase. This is one of our favourites: “A great director gives life to a work of art, gives it a heartbeat… a pulse… opens its eyes to the world.” It’s from the writer A.D. Posey, and he said it better than we could. That’s what we’re going for in this category. Over to you…
Best LBGTQ+ Programme**
… because diversity is important to us. And yes, it’s a political statement (isn’t everything?) but that’s a discussion for another place and another time. For now, we want programmes made in Asia that deal with LGBTQ+ themes, story lines and characters. The judging criteria are less about genre than what the judges think about the ability of the programme to connect with a broad and diverse audience across gender, culture and geographic boundaries.
** Entry fees will be given to organisations such as Taiwan-based GOL Studios, which supports LGBTQ+ production in Asia and around the world
Best Asian Horror Programme/Series
Asia isn’t short of a horror story or 12. Here’s where we recognise the best horror television that was aired/streamed between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020. We’re looking for shows with an Asian heart and soul able to send our scared-o-meter off the charts. Submissions can be short-form drama (ie. less than 20 minutes), but they have to be part of a bigger/longer story (ie. we’re not looking for scary gags or one-off clips of things that go bump in the night).
Best Short-form drama (<20 mins per episode)
So we know that the tyranny of the broadcast schedule is alive and well and living in [wherever]. And then there’s the generation of video that transcends traditional constraints of half-hours or 60 mins. That’s who this category is for. We don’t care if your series is branded/sponsored (or not) BUT, if it is branded, the entry should be an episode with a great story that happens to be sponsored rather than an obvious attempt by a brand to “engage”, “tell a story”, “be digital”, or whatever the rationale/jargon-of-the-moment is. This is definitely not the place for long-form one-off advertising (ie. cute stories from banks trying to persuade you to trust them, or a cream brand shoehorned into a sentimental tale featuring an old person with a dying profession). Rather, think of the fabulous Carmilla, which ran episodes of between 3 and 16 minutes. That’s what we would love to see.
Best Quarantine-themed Drama/Feature/Programme
There’s nothing like a crisis to send creators reaching for a way to reflect the way human beings cope with the challenges, problems, aftermath… and right on cue with Covid-19, scripted content is starting to emerge shaped around, for example, social isolation, lockdown, extreme togetherness and dying alone. This category is for fiction or constructed reality rooted in the reality of the the Covid-19 pandemic.
Best Factual Programme
Factual is as factual does: true stories, real information, honest as possible (with disclosure for recreation and re-enactment), designed around true events, real situations, actual people, animals or the natural world. The category does not include “based on the true story of…” series, where the plot is inspired by real events but has been adjusted significantly for dramatic effect. Nor does it include factual entertainment (see Best Factual Entertainment category).
Best Factual Entertainment Programme
A category for original dating shows, cooking, travel, social experiment, DIY/makeover shows… in short, anything with real people showing us how to do stuff or dealing with situations viewers might learn from. There’s a different category for factual entertainment programmes based on a format from Asia or abroad.
Best Current Affairs Programme
This category is for everything that was not about Covid-19 in the past year. Social issues, cultural affairs, political analysis, crime exposes… programmes that take audiences beyond the headlines, untangle complicated situations, lay out the implications of unfolding events. We’re looking for one programme of at least 30 TV minutes (including commercial breaks), or one full episode of a series that delves into a particular issue.
Best Covid-19 Factual Feature***
Can anyone remember a time when there was so little was known about a situation that impacted so many? Well, we couldn’t either, which is why we added a category for the Covid-19-related factual feature/programme that went where no one else did, and threw as much light as it could into the darkness of the unknown and the deadly. We’re not looking for the day-to-day news coverage like death trackers or clapping for frontline workers. We’re looking more for the back stories, the analysis, the attempt to make sense of a frightening new world. We don’t have a specific length for this one. All we need is a complete programme or segment as broadcast/streamed, NOT a compilation of clips edited together to enter.
*** Entry fees will be donated to Covid-19 relief organisations
Best Animated Kids TV Programme
If your programme is animated and it targets people under the age of 13, then this is the place for it. Entries will be judged on the quality of the animation and the storytelling.
* IMPORTANT NOTES
• Other details are available at the entry/judging platform here.
• Programme entries have to have been created in Asia and premiered (on air or streamed) in Asia between 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
• The entry deadline is 30 June 2020. The judging process begins from 1 July. Finalists will be announced by mid-August and the winners will be announced on Friday, 28 August 2020.
• Each entry should be one episode. We would love to see your entire series at some point (and we probably already have) but we want you to choose your best episode for the particular category.
• The original version of the programme as broadcast/streamed must be submitted. Please don’t edit for our benefit! All we want by way of adjustment from the original version are subtitles.
• A great synopsis is critical. Make it short, maximum 300 words. Judges have a lot to get through; they aren’t going to read the entire script to figure out where and how your episode fits into the story. Separately, feel free to upload an episode breakdown if you would like to; if any of the judges want extra info, this is where they will find it.
• In addition to your video entry, the entry platform will prompt you to upload a selection of still images for editorial use. Don’t forgot to include captions and image credits if you want us to use them.
For details, please register here