Broadcasters, Docs projects, Japan, NEWS — 12/16/2011 10:33 PM

Forum aims to ‘kick-start’ Japan docs (C21Media)

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The executive producer of Japanese broadcaster NHK’s World Documentary strand hopes the country’s first factual pitching session will help to stimulate international sales for local filmmakers.

By Clive Whittingham

In C21Media (16-12-2011 )

Ken-ichi Imamura acted as an adviser to this week’s Tokyo TV Forum, organised by the Association of All Japan TV Program Production Companies (ATP), which aims to support the country’s production companies.

A panel of 20 industry chiefs, including BBC Storyville editor Nick Fraser, Axel Arno from Sweden’s SVT and Tom Koch from PBS Distribution, heard pitches for 60 Japanese projects across three days.

The event was the first of its kind in the country and Imamura hopes it will help Japan keep pace with a growing factual market in neighbouring China.

He told C21: “There are so many good filmmakers in Japan, but the style of documentaries is so different. We need to learn to make a documentary in a European or an American way. “The content is very good and there are so many experienced filmmakers, but they lack international experience.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV launched a documentary channel earlier this year and Imamura believes it will have the same impact on the factual industry in China as the CCTV animation channel did on the country’s cartoon makers.

He said: “We have to start now because China is starting and Korea has many funds to support filmmakers. I hope this pitching session will kick-start it all in Japan. “I’m telling people please don’t expect that quality of pitch but please look at the quality of the content. I believe we have many different kinds of attractive content.”

SOURCE: C21Media

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