In Dialog with Fiona McKay, The Girl behind The AACA

Organised by the Asian Academy of Inventive Arts, the Asian Academy Inventive Awards (AACA) serves as the top of feat in content material creation and media manufacturing, honouring excellence in media platforms together with tv, movie, digital and streaming. Though there are some 36 classes on this yr’s occasion, an Asian Academy Inventive Award is just not simple to win, shining brightly as a beacon of manufacturing excellence and as a profession milestone. The Asian Academy of Inventive Arts is a not-for-profit organisation that hosts award programmes, expertise growth programs, networking occasions, conferences and unique membership companies.

On the helm of the AACA is CEO, Fiona McKay. McKay is a media and company lawyer with a wealth of expertise as an in-house authorized counsel over the previous 20 years throughout numerous teams like Star Cruises, Astro Malaysia, SpeedCast and RTL-CBS Asia. Previous to operating the AACA, McKay was the Head of Authorized for Viu (Vuclip), based mostly in Singapore.

At work, McKay is understood to be pleasant, smart, optimistic and a robust proponent of teamwork and is. In her free time, McKay enjoys an excellent film or tv present to wind down and spending as a lot high quality time as potential with household and mates. We converse with McKay about operating the AACA and her inspirations.

You’ve got been operating the AACA since 2018 together with in the course of the extremely difficult instances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inform us extra about how the Awards got here to fruition? 

When Michael McKay and I first based the AACA in 2018, I had thought to myself “We’ve began on the precise foot.” Ardour, Integrity and Respect are three key phrases for us. We maintain on strongly to our missions and that was how the AACA got here to fruition even throughout probably the most difficult instances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first mission is to advertise Asia Pacific’s expertise and creativity to the worldwide market. We honour our area’s expertise and have a good time inventive excellence. We try to keep up the mantle as Asia Pacific’s most prestigious awards for inventive excellence. Our second mission is to coach the following technology by our talent growth coaching beneath the AACA’s Academy Campus. Lastly, our third mission is to acknowledge the excellent profession achievement by the AACA’s Elite Membership.   

Singaporean pop icon, Benjamin Kheng, taking the stage at the 2022 AACA.
Singaporean influencer and persona, Benjamin Kheng, taking the stage on the 2022 Awards.
Photograph: AACA

What are the prevailing classes beneath the AACA? Do you intend to introduce extra classes this yr in 2023?

There are 36 classes this yr. We merged Finest Information Anchor into the Finest Factual Presenter Class, Finest Pre Faculty into Finest Kids Class; Finest Information Programme into Finest Information/ Present Affairs Programme class and Finest Pure Historical past/Wildlife Programme into the Documentary Programme Class. The brand new class, Finest Voice Artist, which was launched in 2021 is gaining recognition and is very coveted by voice artists themselves. Nonetheless, we don’t plan to introduce extra classes this yr. We’re very cautious about introducing award classes and consider in high quality over amount.

How is judging accomplished? Are there particular processes you could have set as much as uphold the credibility of the AACA? 

Judging is finished on-line by our awards administration platform. Every decide may have their very own private jury account which is password protected. The scoring system is benchmarked towards a world judging system. Judges should meet our eligibility standards with a minimal of 5 years’ expertise within the associated discipline and possess credentials or a monitor report within the particular style. 

Singaporean acting veteran Pierre Png and co-hosting the Awards in its 2022 iteration. Photo: AACA
Photograph: AACA

What number of nations compete within the Awards? 

There are 16 nations and territories in whole – Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Why is Singapore a super location to host the Awards? Are there different areas you’re presently contemplating for the years to return? 

Singapore is a superb location and now we have a superb collaboration with the Asia TV Discussion board. Plus, who doesn’t love coming to Singapore? That stated, our member nations are beginning to increase discussions over the potential of internet hosting the Awards. Australia, Japan and South Korea are the principle nations mentioned to this point.

Why do the TV and leisure industries love the Awards?

Firstly, they’re thought of probably the most prestigious awards throughout the Asia Pacific. The Awards are peer judged by esteemed people within the business from world wide. It’s an important likelihood for all of our member nations to get collectively and collaborate with one another and, in line with my husband, we serve nice wine on the afterparties.

Photograph: AACA

Who’re your main companions? 

Our main companions this yr are Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix, The Movement Image Affiliation, Gallagher, Nanyang Polytechnic, Elevate Broadcast, Actuality Leases, Coronary heart Media, WorldScreen and Asia TV Discussion board. Mediacorp, ABS CBN, Viu TV and Taiwanplus have been our broadcast companions for a few years.

Inform us concerning the format of the 2023 Awards. Any main variations with respect to the 2022 iteration? 

The format will probably be just like 2022’s, however we’re contemplating some thrilling modifications to the Awards ceremony this yr which we’ll announce in September.

What do you could have deliberate for the 2023 AACA afterparty? 

We’re within the planning levels and dealing with companions and sponsors to ensure it’s one other nice night time. We’ll announce the main points as a part of our official Nationwide Winner Announcement on the finish of September. 

Thailand's Jumpol Adulkittiporn on the red carpet at the 2022 Awards. Photo: AACA
Thailand’s Jumpol Adulkittiporn on the pink carpet on the 2022 Awards. Photograph: AACA

The place do you see the AACA 5 years down the street? 

It will likely be our 10 yr anniversary then! I foresee the AACA will probably be larger and have a house venue that might be fastened for 5 years at a time. The pink carpet will probably be even crazier than it’s now and our Elite Membership will probably be a world normal. Our main companions and I are extraordinarily excited to deliver this not-for-profit organisation to the following stage.

You favorite second of the AACA? 

After I see the expertise’s acceptance speeches on stage. The sense of feat on their faces and the way pleased they’re to win an Asian Academy Inventive Award, holding the gorgeous golden goddess of their fingers with their names.

Apart from the AACA, what’s your favorite awards night time? 

Exterior of AACA, it must be the Oscars. 

Jodi Sta. Maria posing proudly with her spoils of the evening at the 2022 Awards. Photo: AACA
Philippines’ Jodi Sta. Maria posing proudly along with her spoils from the night on the 2022 Awards. Photograph: AACA

Are you able to share with our readers the identify of the mentor who has impressed you probably the most in your profession and life? 

Michael McKay. He’s my husband and enterprise associate. He’s additionally an Emmy Award winner and a veteran TV producer. Apart from his information and expertise, he has impressed me together with his dedication, ardour, integrity, generosity and humility.

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