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Asian Side of the Doc comes to Malaysia

Malaysia’s documentary production industry is to receive a boost this month with Kuala Lumpur hosting the country’s first documentary pitching event, the Asian Side of the Doc.

The Director-General of Malaysia’s National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS), Raja Rozaime B Raja Dalnish Shah, says he’s delighted that the annual documentary forum “The Asian Side of the Doc (ASD)” will be held in Malaysia for the first time.

“At FINAS, we are committed to promoting and facilitating the development of the film industry in Malaysia,” he said. “By supporting this prestigious event, we hope to contribute to increasing cooperation with our Asian neighbours as well as with international partners.”

The forum is designed to encourage the development of co-productions between broadcasters and documentary producers and filmmakers, and will be held from 19-22 March in Kuala Lumpur.

Organisers say the event has become a solid fixture on the pan-Asian documentary and factual television scene since its inception in 2010. It has previously been staged in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.

The event is co-organised by Bang Singapore, a pioneering Asian documentary production house and broadcasting consultancy and Sunny Side of the Doc, an established International Documentary Market, in collaboration with Crossing Borders, an international organisation that delivers training and skills-building programmes for documentary filmmakers.

Keiko Bang, CEO of Bang Singapore, says this year’s event will build on the momentum created over the past four years, where there has been increasing interest by Asian broadcasters in working with their counterparts throughout the region, as well as in Europe and the broader West.

“Currently there is an estimated 3,000 hours of programming content across Asian broadcasters about Asian countries,” she says.

Yves Jeanneau, founder and General Commissioner of Sunny Side of the Doc, says the forum represents a bridge between Asia and Europe.

“It is the only place where the global documentary community can perceive the new Asian horizons, allowing us to better share understanding, ideas and projects,” he says.

The four-day meeting is expected to attract 500 attendees, including 140 broadcasters and more than 100 decision makers from across Asia as well as from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North and South America. This year, 45 countries will be represented from Asia, including new participating countries such as Laos, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The event is being staged before the ABU, the Malaysian Government and the national broadcaster RTM host a high level forum in Kuala Lumpur from 25-26 March, at which experts from across the region and around the world will finalise plans for the creation of a Pan-Asia-Pacific TV Market in 2014.