the 2021 ContentAsia Awards has 20 categories*
• Programme entries have to have been created in Asia and premiered (on air or streamed for the first time) in Asia between 1 July 2020 and midnight on 11 June 2021.
• The entry deadline is 11 June 2021. The judging process begins from 25 June 2021. Finalists will be announced by mid-August and the winners will be announced in a live virtual ceremony, which will be streamed live on Facebook, on Friday, 27 August 2021.
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 a minimum of 24 minutes (30 broadcast minutes) long.
Best TV Format Adaptation (Scripted)
This category is for scripted formats (Asian adaptations of dramas from any market within Asia 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, but the format HAS to have been sold to a third party beyond the network/studio for which it was developed.
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 Asian Feature Film or Telemovie
2020 was the year films came home. And we want to hear all about it. This category is for made-in-Asia films/telefilms aired for the first time on broadcast/streaming platforms between 1 July 2020 and midnight on 11 June 2021.
Best Asian Talk Show
In the grand spirit of Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Oprah, Ellen and Asia’s own Woody Milintachinda and Karan Johar… we are looking for full-length Asian talk shows that entertain or inform – or both. Like all of our Awards categories, we don’t care where the show airs/streams or plays as long as it’s more than a clip.
Best Asian Original Game Show
Games shows are as old as television itself, and here’s where we honour the made-in-Asia programmes – or segments of programmes – that carry on the tradition of contestants competing to win a prize, be it via a quiz, a skill or just sheer staying power.
Best Asian 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 in this category will be given to organisations such as Taiwan-based GOL Studios, which supports LGBTQ+ production in Asia and around the world
Best Asian Comedy Programme
For the stuff that makes us laugh aloud. In the spirit of being platform agnostic, we don’t care where or how the show was distributed, as long as it’s not a single clip or (as funny as these can be) or a random capture of a win/fail. We’re looking for great funny stories with a beginning, a middle and an end, with funny characters and humorous plots.
Best Asian Horror Programme or Feature Film
Asia isn’t short of a horror story or 12. Here’s where we recognise the best horror film and television that was aired/streamed between 1 July 2020 and 11 June 2021. 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) or long-form one-off features.
Best Asian 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, cosmetics brands paying athletes to lend their cred, 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.
Best Made-in-Asia 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 Made-in-Asia 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 – Best TV Format Adaptation (Non-scripted) – for factual entertainment programmes based on a format from Asia or abroad.
Best Made-in-Asia Current Affairs Programme
This category is for everything that was not about Covid-19 in the past year. Social issues, culturala 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 Made-in-Asia 2D Animated Kids TV Programme
We’ve come a long way from Steamboat Willie and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But while 3D goes from strength to strength, the spirit of Tom & Jerry, SpongeBob Squarepants and My Hero Academia, to name a few of the world’s most famous 2D animated properties, continues to run strong. Streaming services have given 2D animation a boost, and not only for kids… and this is where we recognise the effort in Asia that is going into the century-old craft of 2D animation.
Best Made-in-Asia 3D Animated Kids TV Programme
If your animation is 3D and 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, of course, the storytelling.
Best Kids TV Programme (non-animated)
Added by popular demand 💥 This category is for all the fabulous made-in-Asia kids content that is not animated. It’s okay if there’s some animation involved, but the bulk of the show should be anything except animation.
Best Made-in-Asia Original Song for a TV Series/Programme or Movie
Songs make or break… here’s where we gather the best songs created for TV shows or movies in Asia. Judging criteria will be how the song enhances the production’s theme and mood, whether judges think it might be able to live on beyond the TV show/movie. Think Rocky’s “Eye of the Tiger”, Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On”, Mavis Hee’s “Moonlight in the City”…
* 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 2020 and midnight on 11 June 2021.
• The entry deadline is midnight on 11 June 2021. Nominees will be announced by mid-August and the winners will be announced on Friday, 27 August 2021.
• Each entry for TV series 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