NEWS — 02/27/2011 9:53 PM

Doc News / 16-28 February 2011

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3 Asian docs in Paris, 5 Chinese docs at Moma …

TVNZ Re-Launches Public Service Channel TVNZ 7 (26/02/11)


TVNZ re-launches its public service channel TVNZ 7 tomorrow, offering one destination for advertising-free programming. The channel will screen pre-school content, factual programmes, news and current affairs shows, documentary series, arts programmes and one-off specials. TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7, launched in 2007 and 2008, were publicly funded channels to encourage Freeview uptake and move New Zealanders to digital television. Last year the Government agreed to the TVNZ 6 frequency being commercialised and funded from advertising and TVNZ 7 continuing to be public funded until the end of June 2012.


Become an Action Hero in Borneo (25/02/11)

As if you needed another reason to join with DeforestACTION, a massive global project to save the orangutans and forests of threatened Borneo, we’ve now got those extra reasons – and in 3D format. Award-winning Queensland, Australia production company Virgo Productions, in a collaboration with National Geographic Entertainment, is embarking on Project Borneo 3D, and they’re looking to find real-life action heroes to cast in their project. The documentary is the largest and most ambitions documentary ever conceived in the Asia Pacific region. The team is looking for ten adventurous, passionate and courageous leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 to feature in the film as well as the six-part television series. What will these “real life action heroes” do? Only any conservationist’s dream. You’ll live in the jungle in Borneo for five months while working with acclaimed scientist Dr. Willie Smits and Orangutan Outreach to implement the project. Then you’ll report to millions of young people across the globe whom you’ll be connected to via Microsoft’s Partners in Learning and Taking ITGlobal, a social action network.  And how urgent is the need to save Borneo? Every minute of every day, rainforest areas equal to thirty-six football fields are destroyed globally. Stopping destruction in Borneo can be a first step to stopping destruction across the globe.


You can learn more about Project Borneo 3D by visiting the official website, where you can also see the recruitment information for becoming a Borneo action hero. You can also visit the project’s Facebook Page for more information. Speaking of Facebook, you should take a moment to like Tiny Green Bubble on Facebook for more fun casting calls for eco warrior projects!

Tiny Green Bubble

BBC’s blue-chip doc Human Planet sold worldwide (25/02/11)

Big-budget documentary series “Human Planet” has been sold to 22 buyers and broadcasters. The show, which is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm if the BBC, has been picked up by channels in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The eight-part series is a copro between the BBC, Discovery Channel and French public broadcaster France Télévisions. It has been acquired by broadcasters including Rai in Italy, WOWOW in Japan, IBA in Israel, RTV in Slovakia and PBS in Thailand. Narrated by actor John Hurt, the doc series examines the relationship between humans and nature.


The full list of broadcasters is: Australia (ABC), Belgium (VRT), China (CCTV), Cyprus (Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation), Denmark (Danmarks Radio), Dubai (BBC Arabic Service), Finland (YLE), India (BBC India Entertainment), Iran (IRIB), Ireland (RTE), Israel (IBA), Italy (RAI), Japan (WOWOW), Latin America (Discovery Latin America), Netherlands (NPO), Norway (NRK), Serbia (RTS Belgrade), Singapore (SingTel), Slovakia (RTV Slovak), Spain (Wanda Films), Sweden (SVT), and Thailand (Thai PBS).

TBI Vision

“Passion” Documentary Movie to Release Soon (22/02/11)

passion-posterThe latest documentary movie called “Passion” by S.Byamba will premiere in Mongolia in the Tengis Movie Theater on February 25. The movie set in the beautiful Mongolian landscape, offers a unique insight into the past and present of Mongolian cinema. “Passion” Movie was awarded the 2010 Asia Vision Award Grand Prize at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival, officially selected in the Wide Angle section of the Pusan International Film Festival and screened at the Dubai International Film Festival.
Director and narrator Byamba follows the journey of two filmmakers and tracks two eras in Mongolian history – the Communist era and modern democratic Mongolia. The story revolves around Binder Jigjid, son of Jigjid Dejid who was a pioneer of Mongolian cinema during the Communist era. Binder follows in his father’s footsteps becoming a filmmaker, but unlike his father, Binder experiences artistic freedom in modern Mongolia. He travels the countryside to distribute and screen his own low-budget films against a competitive and market driven film industry. Binder’s story echoes the experience of many Mongolian artists as they struggle to meet the multiple challenges of surviving artistically and financially in the market economy. The movie is also a personal journey for director Byamba as he knows both father and son well. Byamba has a deep respect for acclaimed filmmaker Jigjid Dejid and worked with Binder at a movie studio in his early days as a filmmaker.

The movie explores many different layers; it explores the history of Mongolian cinema, Communist ideology and Post-Soviet freedoms granted to filmmakers. Central to the film is the question of whether filmmaking is primarily for art or business. The director allows audiences to decide for themselves.

UB Post Mongolia

FME Looks to Boost Asian Content Slate (21/02/11)

FME has been steadily building its business in Asia for the last few years, Rajaram notes, with strong results. “Over the past few years our Asian business has gone from strength to strength,” Rajaram says. “To take advantage of the new opportunities and to explore possible new avenues for business growth in Asia, we restructured our sales division and introduced Haryaty Rahman as director of sales. The results have been impressive and, in 2010, incredibly, we sold over 5,000 hours of international programming to Asian broadcasters.” A key part of FME’s Asian business strategy, Rajaram explains, is to “continue to source original pioneering content and to work with new partners to develop the next big thing,” and its partnership with the MDA has been key.The relationship dates back to 2006, when FME inked a deal with personality Kylie Kwong, Singaporean production house Sitting In Pictures and the MDA to handle the worldwide television, DVD and ancillary rights (excluding Singapore) to the series My China.

“Through this deal we were able to develop an international series and work with Singaporean production company Sitting in Pictures to bring Kylie Kwong and her innovative take on China to the world. My China performed extremely well internationally, the series sold to more than 35 territories, including Australia, Brazil, France, the U.K., the U.S. and pan-regionally across Asia.”


Asian trio head for Reel (18/02/11)

A trio of Asian-made documentaries will play next month at the Cinema du Reel festival (24 March-5 April) in Paris, France. They include :

. Guo Hengqi’s (郭恆奇) New Castle (新堡) about out-of-work miners which collected prizes in Pusan last year,

. Karamay (克 拉瑪依), Xu Xin’s (徐辛) 356-minute black-and-white documentary which explores the aftermath of a theatre fire in Xinjiang province that killed 323 people in 1994

. The third film is Are We Really So Far From a Madhouse?, a music film without dialogue or commentary that follows the Chinese band PK-14 on tour. It was directed by Li Hongqi (李紅旗), director of last year’s highly decorated Winter Vacation (寒假).
Film Biz Asia

MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight Focuses on China (17/02/11)


(Fortune Teller, dGenerate)

Five Chinese directors whose work is unlikely to receive official approval at home are on the bill at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight festival.

Of the films to be shown at MoMA the most ambitious may be Xu Xin’s “Karamay” a six-hour examination of a fire in the remote far west of China in which 323 people perished.
Another film, Xu Tong’s “Fortune Teller” looks sympathetically at a vanishing folk tradition, while Li Ning, the leader of an avant-garde dance troupe, documents his own artistic struggles in “Tape”. The director Jia Zhangke, who alternates between the worlds of official (like “Still Life”) and independent cinema, will be represented by “I Wish I Knew” a hybrid of documentary and fictional elements that examines the recent transformation of Shanghai with a nostalgic eye for that city’s past. Mr. Huang’s “Disorder” to be shown on Friday, is a piece of bricolage drawn from more than 1,000 hours of video, shot in large part by nonprofessionals working in Guangzhou and other cities in the Pearl River delta of southern China. They made their footage available to Mr. Huang, who then chose, edited and ordered the sequences he wanted down to just under an hour.

Though the bulk of independent films produced in China are described as documentaries, some of them, as Mr. Jia’s film indicates, do not follow the conventions of the form as practiced in the West. Instead they mix in experimental technique, sometimes eschewing narrative altogether. “The borders between documentary, fictional and experimental films are very blurred for me,” said Huang Weikai, 38, who trained as a landscape painter before turning to cinema.

For distribution in the United States many Chinese independent filmmakers have turned to dGenerate Films, a company founded in 2008 by Karin Chien, a Chinese-American film producer whose credits include American indie movies like “The Exploding Girl.” Ms. Chien’s company now distributes 38 independent Chinese films abroad, mostly to film societies and universities and for showings at festivals.

New York Times

“My Dream” in the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival (16/02/11)


“My Dream”, one of the four 3min shorts which were produced last year with the Scotish Documentary Institute, the British Council and Bangladesh Doc Council has been selected for the 2011 Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival. it’s based in Dhaka, Bangladesh and directed by Md. Rezwan Ali Khan.The story: Sumon, a shrewd businessman, makes a decent living as a disabled beggar. He doesn’t just keep it for himself though. He has a dream.

North American Premiere |  Documentary Short |  UK-SCOTLAND |  2010 |  Digibeta |  3 MIN

Film page on SXSW website and on Scottish Documentary Institute

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival runs from March 11 – 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas.

Lost in Reviews

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