The first Tokyo TV Forum, held this past week, has awarded several Japanese documentaries in a pitch competition conducted with international commissioners and executives.
The best pitch award went to Kyoko Miyake’s Beyond the Wave (pictured), which follows various Fukushima residents who were once in favor of nuclear power but now have mixed feelings following the tsunami disaster of last March.
Three awards for outstanding pitches were given. Recipients included Atsushi Funahashi’s Nuclear Nation, backed by prodco Documentary Japan; Shohei Shibata’s DASHI: Secrets of Japanese Cuisine’s Umami from Asia Documentary Productions; and Kimiya Mitsui’s Long Way Home. The winning projects will also be presented at Asian Side of the Doc in March 2012.
Commissioners and executives taking part in judging the efforts included BBC ‘Storyville’ editor Nick Fraser, Axel Arno from SVT, Tom Koch from PBS Distribution, Point du Jour’s Luc Martin‐Gousset, CCTV’s Zhao Qi, Ling Leland of LIC China, KBS’ Ahn Tyro, Catherine Alvaresse from ARTE France, Barbara Biemann from NDR/ARD, Vikram Channa from Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, and TFI’s Mathieu Bejot.
Besides the pitch competitions, the event also featured panel discussions and workshops aimed at providing Japanese producers with ammunition for taking their content to international audiences. Panel discussions on the opening day covered export initiatives being undertaken by governments and content industries in other countries, and urged the Japanese government to provide more support for the country’s factual content.
“This inaugural event has highlighted important issues that we Japanese producers must all consider if we want to get our content out into the global market,” said Forum director Yukihiko Amagi. “As many panelists pointed out, Japan is not only facing challenges but also looking at great opportunities. Now that the TTVF has begun, we must make sure it continues in the years ahead and that it helps more Japanese content to be seen globally.”