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ASD – Malaysia hosts region’s biggest documentary conference

Asian Side of the Doc (ASD) 2013 proved to be the biggest staged so far – 510 participants from 50 countries, including 104 decision makers, gathered at one of the region’s largest documentary and pitching events.

The four-day meeting, designed to encourage the development of co-productions between broadcasters and documentary producers and filmmakers, was held in Malaysia for the first time, hosted by the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (FINAS).

Thirteen new countries attended, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, Lebanon, UAE, Chile, and Kenya.

The conference included master classes, networking and training events as well as industry and government side panels aimed at boosting the Asian production and co-production industries.  Regional and international experts representing key international markets, broadcasters and independent production houses, presented panel sessions covering all aspects of the documentary production ecosystem. 

The event wrapped up with and Awards ceremony for the best pitches of the week. The winners were:

  1. Best International Pitch Love is not a Crime, Babel Press, Thomas Ellis – United Kingdom
  2. Best Video Pitch (Docs In Progress) Okwhan: Mission Impossible, Filmpark Production, S.R.O. Marek Mackovic – Slovakia
  3. Jury’s Special Award like ants for sugar, Pickle Jar, Shirley Abraham – India
  4. Best Malaysian Pitch Borneo Punk Rock, Matavia Reka Sdn Bhd, Nadira Ilana – Malaysia Second Prize (Best Malaysian Pitch) The Gold Detective, Rack Focus Films Sdn Bhd, Ahmad Yazid Ahmad Puad – Malaysia
  5. Best Asian Pitch  Please Remember Me, Shape Pictures, Zhao Qing – China

ASD was 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.

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