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ABU Children’s Drama Series celebrates turning 20

ABU Children’s Drama Series celebrated two decades of excellence in children’s programming with a meeting at public broadcaster Thai PBS (TPBS) in Bangkok on April 23 to 25. The celebration marked a significant milestone in creative collaboration and storytelling for young audiences.

Head of Television in ABU, Hanizah Hamzah, opened the meeting by listing the statistics of the series: “The ABU Children’s Drama Series have exchanged a total of 180 episodes across 19 countries, with nine executive producers involved. The collaboration extends beyond ABU member countries, with 72 dramas exchanged with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).” 

The meeting saw Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)’s Ryohei Nakano pass the leadership baton to Motoki Kazuhiro. In his speech, Nakano reflected on the series’ achievement in producing nearly 200 children’s dramas. Nakano also said that humour plays a key role in engaging young viewers, urging participants to prioritise entertainment over direct education, in order to captivate and inspire young minds through compelling narratives and imaginative storytelling. 

Yasushige Nagahata, Director of ABU Programming, apologised for his absence through videocall, and thanked the participants for their creative outputs, and also thanked representatives from NHK and TPBS for their collaboration.

Motoki Kazuhiro, in his inaugural address, also pointed to the collective effort in crafting engaging and meaningful dramas for television. Despite language barriers, he expressed his commitment to sharing experiences from the television entertainment industry.

Delegates from Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), Prasar Bharati (PB) India, Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS), Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), and Myanmar Radio Television (MRTV), attended the meeting aside from TPBS and NHK.

After votes from the other producers, the winner of the Producers’ Choice Award for the 19th Series of ABU Children’s Drama Co-Production went to TPBS for producer, Issada Aisiri@Aim.