Nat Geo Intl, Singapore EDB invite entries for documentary fund

MUMBAI: Asian stories for a global audience! National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) together with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) invite Asia's filmmakers to submit programme proposals for the fifth season of the NGCI-EDB Documentary Fund 2006.

The objective of the NGCI-EDB Documentary Fund is to seek out and groom production talent the region has to offer, as well as facilitate the production of global quality documentaries made in Asia.

NGCI is primarily looking for one-hour, one-off documentaries but will consider short series of up to three episodes. This documentary fund is open to Asia-based companies and filmmakers and proposal submissions guidelines are available on

Previous seasons have received entries from countries like India and Bhutan. It has also inspired Asian films such as Body Snatchers of Thailand. This film won Best Documentary at the Asian Television Awards 2004. In that same year, Kung Fu Dragons of Wudang won World Bronze Medal at the New York Film Festivals. More recently, Hiss of Death was a finalist at the prestigious Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

This year, NGCI will commission 11 hours of programming. Filmmakers intending to participate and receive support from the NGCI-EDB Documentary Fund are required to submit programme proposal ideas that challenge, surprise as well as compel viewers to re-think the way we view the modern world. These works have to be dramatic stories with strong central characters and portrayed through innovative storytelling.

NGCI executive VP, poduction Bryan Smith, said, "We have definitely noticed a flourishing of productions dealing with Asian themes and topics since we embarked on this project four years ago. With greater proficiency in filmmaking, we see more sophisticated storytelling and well-crafted documentaries.

"We are confident that the NGCI-EDB Documentary Fund, showcased as ShowReal Asia has aided in boosting the region's filmmaking industry and we certainly hope that its continued success will pave the way for more filmmakers in Asia to showcase their talents on a global platform in the years to come."

Economic Development Board director, Infocomms and Media, Quek Swee Kuan says, "Over the past four seasons, we have seen Asia's best filmmakers produce award-winning documentaries that captured the global audience. EDB is proud to be part of this partnership with NGCI that has helped cultivate and grow the creative talent base in Singapore. This initiative will continue to push the standards of documentary filmmaking here, and bring us closer to our strategic intent of developing Singapore into a media hub."

Submissions have to reach NGCI by 4 September. Following the announcement of the shortlisted candidates on 20 September, a producer's master workshop will be organised from 4 to 6 October. NGCI and EDB will announce the winning commissioned projects on 6 October.

Selected grantees can showcase their works through National Geographic Channel's global reach of up to 290 million viewers in 164 countries as well as of a long-term creative opportunity with the Channel.

As with previous years, this year's selected talents from ShowReal Asia will be mentored by National Geographic Channel's producers.

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