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The Asian Academy Creative Awards released its National Winners at
a special industry event in Cannes, France today.

The highly anticipated announcement revealed just who will represent their nation or territory at the Gala Finals at Singapore’s historic Capitol Theatre this coming December.

Just to make it to the Gala Final an entrant had to be judged by their peers to be the very best in their own nation and it was these works that were honoured in Cannes.

The inaugural awards have immediately stamped their pedigree by attracting entries from powerhouse producers and platforms from across the Asia Pacific region, setting up an intriguing battle for top honours.

Sixteen nations will vie for a newly minted AAA golden trophy across a broad spectrum of content disciplines and, as one Australian network executive observed “I have to win the equivalent of our Australian academy award just to make it to the final of the AAA’s so it’s a tough competition” then he smiled and added “but if you win it, well, you know you’ve won something really special”.

It was an honest assessment given the enormous competition from the likes of Korea’s MBC, CJ ENM, Chinese giants Ciwen Media, Huace Film&TV, India’s Phantom Films and One Life Studios, Taiwan Public Television, Endemol Shine, Fremantle and a bevvy of South East Asian majors including Astro and MediaCorp.

International heavyweights were out in force including Turner, Viacom, HBO, NBCU, Disney, Fox and Discovery and the OTT Platforms Viu, HOOQ, iQIYI, Youkou Alibaba, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix are all represented. The true extent of their presence, however, will be better known after the yet-to-be-announced final 5 Drama Categories.

In contrast to the mega-producers were the first tentative entries from Myanmar. The national format of the AAA’s allows smaller nations to equally showcase their work.
“We gathered expert judges from right across the region to assess the work in each country” AAA President Michael McKay said of the process “and after the appointed panel had cast their votes there were instances where a fraction of a point separated the shows”.

McKay also noted that on many instances shows had to go to an extra tie-breaker round to separate them, since only one winner from each nation can go through to the final. “If you didn’t get through this time you may have missed out by a mere fraction” he observed.