The Open Call invites Asian based filmmakers to submit their proposals for participation in the October Documentary Workshop. If the proposal is accepted, the doc maker will be selected to participate in the Al Jazeera Observational Documentary Workshop. The Workshop will be held in October, 2012 in partnership with BIFF’s Asian Network of Documentary. At the conclusion of the workshop, projects that meet Al Jazeera English’s criteria will be commissioned for broadcast on Al Jazeera in 2013.
The deadline to receive proposals is 3 August, 2012.
Al Jazeera English aims to commission observational documentaries that reach beyond the headlines and bring our audience a street level view of global events. This open call is for filmmakers in Asia to apply for our workshop with proposals that will be considered for commissioning.
Al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera English (AJE) is part of the global Al Jazeera Network. AJE is a television channel that broadcasts worldwide to more than 250 million homes and specialises in News, Current Affairs and Documentaries. Its flagship observational documentary strand is Witness.
Asian Network of Documentary (AND) supports independent documentary filmmakers across the Asia region. AND is managed under the Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and has supported nearly 100 documentaries since its launch in 2006.
What kind of docs ?
Al Jazeera English is looking for documentary filmmakers from Asia who can tell empowering personal stories that will inspire and illuminate its global audience. AJE wants to give voice to the big issues and the changes taking place in Asia today. The docs stories could be about economic equity, artistic expression, love and family, social justice, housing and land, migration, environment, health or education. These types of themes are to be explored through personal stories that resonate internationally. AJE is looking for characters who reveal insight into the human spirit no matter how powerless or powerful they may be in society.
“These are the people looking to the future or challenging the status quo as they strive to overcome adversity and celebrate life”, according to AJE. “We want to join your characters on their journeys. We are not looking for retrospective stories, profiles/portraits nor interview-based films covered with images. Your stories need to be visually compelling with strong actuality based scenes and sequences that are key to your character’s storyline. These can be big and dramatic events or tender, small moments of intimacy.”
About the workshop
The workshop is designed to bring together Al Jazeera’s strong documentary tradition with filmmakers from the Asia region to establish ongoing relationships for future documentary production.
Goals of the Workshop:
To work with filmmakers on observational documentary storytelling.
To provide filmmakers with an overview of Al Jazeera’s editorial requirements.
To expand the range of Asian filmmakers for Al Jazeera to commission.
To commission stories after the workshop for Al Jazeera to broadcast in 2013.
Once selected as a workshop participant the conversation between doc maker and Al Jazeera’s team will begin. AJE aims to establish an ongoing relationship with each participant and to make the workshop a rich and useful event for all of those who attend. Though we may only select a limited number of projects for commissioning following the workshop that will not eliminate doc maker from future consideration for commissioning.
Editorial: Story selection, researching, pre-production, writing and Al Jazeera contractual, safety and legal requirements.
Production: Field production skills, interview techniques and post production/editing skills.
Commissioning process: Discussions with Witness Programme Editor on individual proposals.
Filmmakers will be contacted soon after the workshop is completed via email if their proposal is being considered for commissioning/production funding.
Introducing the Workshop Leaders:
Fiona Lawson-Baker: Executive Producer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fiona works closely with the Witness team and will be your primary contact from the open call period through to the workshop. You can contact Fiona at email@example.com.
Flora Gregory: Programme Editor of Witness based in London, UK. Witness is AJE’s flagship observational documentary strand which Flora has represented around the world since AJE’s launch in 2006.
Lynn Lee & James Leong: Independent Filmmakers based in Singapore. Lynn Lee and James Leong are the most prolific and successful contributors to AJE from the Asia Region.
Hyosook Hong: Director of the Asian Network of Documentary and Asian Cinema Fund at Busan International Film Festival.
Al Jazeera successfully held its first Observational Documentary Workshop in Latin America in May 2012 in partnership with Doc Montevideo.
Who Can Apply
AJE seeks filmmakers with some proven experience, who have a commitment to documentary storytelling and want to expand their skills to meet the observational storytelling style for Al Jazeera broadcast.
This call is restricted to filmmakers who are based exclusively in Asia with stories set in Asia.
The filmmaker will need to have a working knowledge of English to participate in the workshop and foster an ongoing relationship with Al Jazeera English.
The selected doc maker will need to be available to attend the workshop from 30 September to 6 October 2012 in Busan, South Korea.
Asia region includes: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.
For full details please go to the following website: www.ajeviewfinder.com