Broadcasters, DOC INDUSTRY, NEWS, Producers — 09/01/2010 11:47 AM

China’s documentary makers attract international interest, funding

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China International TV and National Geographic Channels International support Chinese doc production

(Global Times / August 31 2010)
By Dai Tian and Xu Liuliu

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(Photo : CITV)

Low budgets and tight schedules generally restrict the quality of Chinese documentaries to local TV quality, but things may turn around after the launch of the new documentary program China to the World.

Co-run by China International TV (CITV) and National Geographic Channels International (NGCI), China to the World is a foundation that offers promising Chinese producers a chance to tell stories through their eyes without budgetary restraints, as well as an opportunity for their works to be internationally broadcast.

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“In Asia, most can only make very low budget documentaries for local TV, and usually are given a month to do it. So it’s really hard to increase quality with such limitations,” said Mo Cailian, Asian production director of NGCI.

According to the two giant production companies, the program is open to TV stations, production institutes and documentary makers across the country. The program also aims to develop talent and attract international interest.

“As today’s Chinese documentary industry grows, we will spare no e¢ ort in exploring a commercially successful way to integrate it into the global market,” Ma Runsheng, general manager of CITV, told the Global Times.

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“Since our first documentary The Forbidden City was broadcast on National Geographic Channel five years ago, we have been seeking opportunities to further cooperation. Now we have one,” Ma added.

Zubin Gandevia, NGCI’ s CEO in Asia-Pacific region, referred to the plan as both an incubation program tailored for Chinese talent and strengthening support at a local level.

He also expressed regret that although there are many well-known documentaries about China, very few of them were made by Chinese directors and producers. “China to the World will help local filmmakers learn more about the global market needs while making fi lms from our own perspective.”

“The story itself is all we care about,” Gandevia added, expressing his eagerness to share NGCI’ s unique way of story telling with Chinese producers.

NGCI has brought locally produced programs to the world made by promising talent from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.

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