Kre8tif! Conference and Content Festival: A Recap on South East Asian Animation

The animation and creative industry of South East Asia have seen its talents blossom to reach international avenues, leaving their mark in critically acclaimed and award-winning works. Now known as the go-to region for animation outsourcing, South East Asia can hope to see its creative industry flourish.

Paying homage to the nation’s animation and creative industry is Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), with the 7th edition of Kre8tif!, a week-long creative conference and festival, which took place from the 6th to the 12th of August.

Held in Cyberjaya, the nation’s hub of technology and animation, the conference kickstarted with a costume fun-run where mascots of the country’s favorite animated friends came to support the runners, retaining the spirit of animation and fun!

With this year’s theme being Kre8 Innov8, MDEC is imploring the nation to delve into deeper into their creativity to usher the industry into a new era of originality and technology. The conference, which housed over 40 of the region’s leading creative minds, was a creative collision as ideas were exchanged, knowledge was shared and collaborative opportunities presented themselves.

Beyond the creators and animators is the industry itself. As a booming proponent of the economy as a result of technology, the creative industry is proving its worth in the market.

(Source: Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, MDEC)
(Source: Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, MDEC)

As the industry continues to blossom, the Malaysian creative industry has grown to adopt a sense of originality with the array of original content and intellectual property now available for international consumption. Recognizing the vital role the conference plays, Kre8tif! has utilized its platform to address the expectations and needs of the industry.

“In the age of consumption, creative and technical boundaries will be tested and we want to be able to work collectively as an industry to give everyone the competitive advantage to create, produce and market high-quality content for the international market.” Says Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, the Vice President of Creative Content & Technologies Division at MDEC.

With the multitude of international and local creative geniuses, the conference attendees learned of the many ways they attained their claim to fame. For example, home-grown hero Bram Lee, who has paved his path to success starting from the age of 15. Working in a comic book company since the age of 15, Bram saved up all the money he could to put himself in school to pursue his animation dreams.

After his graduation, he found himself in his own company as a freelance 3D artists where his job was to fulfil the demands of his clients. Looking to Youtube for a creative outlet, Bram started producing and animated parody videos. What started off as a hobby shot him to fame as he became the first Malaysian to reach 1 million subscribers.

Now, he will soon be releasing his newest show, MIxxy Mixxy Bam, a children’s show of a boy and girl who can create a mix of they both desire with the help of magical gloves!

Mixxy Mixxy Bam is not the only show that is scheduled to release soon, local production companies have recognized the demand for home-grown content and have taken initiative to branch out of their comfort zone and produce a few shows of their own.

Animasia Studio, the team behind the incredibly hilarious action comedy, Chuck Chicken, has proven the works of animation to be multidisciplinary. Expanding itself to the world merchandising, culminating in Chuck Chicken Popcorn with Australia’s Koala Popcorn, Chuck Chicken biscuits with Foodie4U, sugar confectionery with Spain’s Kidzworld and finally, a whole indoor theme part dedicated to Chuck Chicken based in Johor.

Embodying their mission of promoting Asians Stories for the World, Primeworks Studios, a media company dedicated to each phase of the media chain, from production to distribution, has taken their own initiative to seek out stories to tell.

Expanding its wings, they have partnered up with three Malaysian animation studios. Collaborating with Blindspot Studios, renowned for its Islamic children’s show Alif & Sofia, Giggle Garage, who will be releasing Fridgies, a slapstick non-dialogue comedy revolving the premise of having magnets on the fridge coming to life, and The R&D Studios, who will be releasing Iffins, a series about Tammy, a plucky tween.

Making its way to the international animation scene is LemonSky Animation with their latest show, AstroLOLogy, a show revolving around the personifications of horoscopes. Having signed deals with names from China, Spain, the United States and India, we can expect to see a lot more of this home-grown hero.

Lastly, Wau Animation, in collaboration with Primeworks Studios, have announced the long-awaited Ejen Ali movie, scheduled to be released in 2019. Having unveiled the movie trailer at the conference, the detailed and captivating animation has ushered the Malaysian animation industry into a new league.

Despite all the progress and advancements, the Malaysian animation industry still has a long way to go. An industry, bursting with talent and creativity, still lacks the funding and financing it requires to fulfil its potential. A niche and new industry, many are skeptical regarding how lucrative this industry is.

“Everyone loves the animation industry, but no one understands it,” says Hasnul Hadi Samsudin.

For the animation industry to flourish, it takes more than just the producers and consumers. It requires the understanding of investors and the financial world, that their support is needed for the industry to sustain itself.

Concluding with the Cyberjaya Multimedia Festival (CMF), MDEC can safely say this year’s Kre8tif! was yet another success.

To read more on what happened at CMF, click here!

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