Docs by the Sea Showcase

Docs by the Sea is an international documentary lab and forum based in Bali, Indonesia that champions independent documentary filmmakers from Asia. Through the program’s talent development and incubation programs, it has supported films that have received international and local awards and recognitions across the globe. In partnership with Taiwan Film & Audiovisual Institute (TFAI), Taiwan Docs and Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), we are pleased to present four exciting projects from the region in Docs-in-Progress.

Watch the 2023 teaser and discover the projects below! 👇

Projects

Cannes Docs

A Distant Call

Original title: A Distant Call

Directed by: Andrea SUWITO

Produced by: Finbar SOMERS (Umbra Motion Picture Company, United Kingdom), Mandy MARAHIMIN (Talamedia, Indonesia), Xavier ROCHER (La Fabrica Nocturna Cinéma, France)

Country of production: Indonesia

Runtime: 90'

Expected release: July 2024

Production stage: Production

Budget: €182.863 (57% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Financing for the rest of our budget, along with early discussions with festivals, sales agents and distributors.

Synopsis:

In a country that increasingly persecutes LGBTQ+ people, an ancient way of life that recognises five genders survives in a remote village. Their last gender-transcendent leader must make a critical decision: conform and risk their culture’s extinction, or refuse and be ostracised by society.

Director’s profile:

Andrea Suwito is an independent documentary filmmaker from Semarang, Indonesia. Her films focus on character-driven narratives especially on underrepresented communities. Her projects have been presented at Sheffield Doc/Fest MeetMarket, DOK Leipzig Short ’n Sweet, Edinburgh Pitch, Docs By The Sea, DMZ Industry, among others. Her first feature, A Distant Call is the recipient of SGIFF Southeast Asia Documentary Grant, DMZ Docs Development Fund and PROCIREP Commission Télévision fund. She was a fellow of Scottish Documentary Institute: Connecting Stories 2021. She is currently an Erasmus+ scholar for the Doc Nomads program.

Producer’s profile:

Finbar Somers is a British/Irish producer. He studied BSc Film and Television Production at the University of York, and currently resides in London working as a producer through his company Umbra Motion Picture Company. Umbra’s work straddles documentary, fiction and commercial. Finbar’s projects have been presented at Sheffield DocFest, DMZ Industry, Docs By The Sea, Global Short Docs among others.
Mandy Marahimin is an Indonesian film producer, working through her company Talamedia. She produces both fiction and documentaries. She was also the Outreach Director for Good Pitch Southeast Asia and Good Pitch Indonesia. She was the interim director of InDocs, a non-profit organisation with missions to cultivate talents in documentary and to grow the documentary ecosystem in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.”

Cannes Docs

Island of the Winds

Original title: Da Feng Zhi Dao

Directed by: Ya-Ting HSU

Produced by: Ya-Ting HSU (Argosy Films and Media Productions, Taiwan), Huang YIN-YU (Moolin Films, Ltd. & Moolin Production, Co., Ltd, Taiwan & Japan), Baptiste BRUNNER (Wide Productions - La Cuisine aux Images, France)

Country of production: Taiwan, Japan, France

Runtime: 120'

Expected release: February, 2024

Production stage: Post-production

Budget: €318.371 (30.7% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: International Distribution, Gap Financing, Co-producers, Pre-Sales, Sales

Synopsis:

Following the endless and unforgettable fighting of a social movement around a leprosy sanatorium in Taiwan, a lifework of the filmmaker for two decades.

Director’s profile:

Ya-Ting HSU is a Taiwan based independent filmmaker and began her filmmaking career in 2009 officially. By challenging all manner of artistic conventions and genres, she has been able to form her unique aesthetic and has proven herself to be a skilled and sensitive storyteller. At present, she’s focused on exploring personal desire and loss at specific historical moments. She believes one person’s story can illuminate an entire era. Her latest directorial works “The River”, selected for the 55th Ann Arbor Film Festival; she also in association with Taiwan PBS documentary series “The Making of Modern Taiwan”. She is nominated for Best Editor at Golden Bell Awards for “Our Happy Birth Day”. Currently, she is working on a documentary project “Island of the Winds”has been selected in 2022 Doc By the seas, Editing Lab (the pitch session, won Current Time Prize) and 2021 ASIADOC.

Producer’s profile:

Huang Yin-Yu is a director and producer based in Okinawa. He began documentary filmmaking in 2010, and he founded Moolin Films, Ltd. (Taiwan) in 2015, later Moolin Production Co., Ltd. (Japan) in 2019. His films include “After Spring, the Tamaki Family…” (2016) and “Green Jail” (2021) which were theatrically released in Japan and Taiwan, and his films were selected in Visions du Réel, DOK.fest München, Taipei Film Festival, Kinema Junpo Best 10 Documentaries and others. He is an Emerging Producers 2020 and Rotterdam Lab 2023 alumni and one of the mentors of ASIADOC 2021. As producer, he focuses on international projects with Asian perspectives and aesthetics. Besides film production, he’s the executive director of Cinema at Sea International Film Festival.

Co-Producer’s profile:

Baptiste Brunner is a film Producer for Wide Studios, a French production group covering a large documentary portfolio, supported by all companies acquired by the group. Since 2018, Baptiste has been involved in international co-production meetings several times a year. He has been developing and coproducing documentaries globally. Passionate about author-driven documentary film, Baptiste is also highly interested in major social and environmental topics. His lastest produced documentary works include “WANI”, “AMCHILINI” and “BLUEBERRY DREAMS”, and is now producing “Island of the Winds.”

Cannes Docs

Tens Across the Borders

Original title: Tens Across the Borders

Directed by: CHAN Sze-Wei

Produced by: Alemberg ANG (Daluyong Studios, Philippines), TAN Si En (Momo Film Co, Singapore), Yasmin RAMS (Perennial Lens, Germany/USA), CHAN Sze-Wei (Oddpuppy Productions, Singapore), Executive Producers - Derren LAWFORD and Daniel KARSLAKE (DARE Pictures, UK)

Country of production: Philippines, Singapore, Germany, UK

Runtime: 90' / 52'

Expected release: February, 2024

Production stage: Late Production

Budget: €484.000 (53.89% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Broadcaster, TV co-productions, finishing funds, sales and distribution

Synopsis:

We witness four trailblazers of the underground ballroom scenes in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, as they journey to hold on to their ballroom and birth families, connect with ballroom’s source in New York City, and grow a flourishing queer community across Southeast Asia.

Director’s profile:

Sze is a documentary and experimental dance filmmaker who observes alternate histories, identities and social issues as expressed in the body, movement and art. They are also a dance maker, arts journalist, activist, and parent. Since 2016, their films and installations have screened at festivals including the Singapore International Festival of the Arts, Signes de Nuit Paris, Screen.dance Scotland, and Dança em Foco. Sze’s projects have received grants from Purin Pictures, the Asian Cinema Fund, DMZ Film Festival, HessenFilm, Dance Films Association USA and the National Arts Council of Singapore. They are a member of the Cinemovement Collective (Singapore) founded by Jeremy Chua and Elysa Wendi.

Producer’s profile:

Working with first and second-time filmmakers, Alemberg Ang produces films that provide a voice to marginalized communities. Recent projects include RIA (Cannes Residency CNC Award), Plan75 (Camera d’Or Special Mention, Cannes 2022), and Divine Factory (Cannes Docs-in-Progress award, Singapore International Film Festival SEA-DOC Grant).
Yasmin Rams is a producer and director based in Germany and Los Angeles, who produced the IDFA Bertha Awarded In Exile (2016). Her award-winning film Go Heal Yourself (2022) had a German cinema run of 10 weeks.
Tan Si En is a film & TV producer, and founder of Momo Film Co. She was the producer for Wet Season by Anthony Chen, which World Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Her co-production The Year Of The Everlasting Storm premiered in Cannes, and Arnold is a Model Student by Sorayos Prapapan premiered in Locarno.

Cannes Docs

The Tongue of Water

Original title: The Tongue of Water

Directed by: Polen LY

Produced by: Lucas SENECAUT (L'OEIL VIF Productions, France), Rithy PANH (ANUPHEAP Productions, Cambodia), Thibaut AMRI, Benjamin COSTES (Avant la Nuit, France)

Country of production: France, Cambodia

Runtime: 90'

Expected release: February, 2024

Production stage: Post-production

Budget: €250.000 (88% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Festivals, Sales Agents / Distributors, Buyers, Gap Financing

Synopsis:

In Cambodia, Neang, an indigenous mother, tries to rebuild her life after her village is swallowed up by a dam reservoir. Despite pressure from the government and industrialists to leave her ancestral land, she fights to keep her community and family together. Between memories and connection with nature, The Tongue of Water tells the story of her journey of resilience.

Director’s profile:

Polen stopped his medical study to pursue his passion in filmmaking in 2012. He explored his filmmaking skill and taste through self-teaching while making his short films and documentaries that often explore social issues, human stories, and nature’s. His works often reflect his significant personality in story-telling through his way of using natural elements as symbolism. His last short film Further And Further Away was selected in the short film competition at the 2022 Berlinale. At the same time, Polen works on his first feature documentary, called The Tongue Of Water.

Producer’s profile:

After a master’s degree in private law, Lucas Senecaut studied cinema and production in Montpellier, his hometown. Lucas settled then in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to co-direct his first documentary film entitled Khmerica. In parallel, he worked at the Bophana Center with director and producer Mr Rithy Panh. Back in France, Lucas continued his learning as a production manager within the company Les Films de l’Œil Sauvage alongside producer Quentin Laurent. His background in production includes several award-winning films such as Downstream to Kinshasa (Official Selection Cannes Film Festival 2020) or Against the Tide (Jury Price Winner Sundance 2023). In 2021, he worked on his first short fiction film entitled Sound of the Night. In 2022, he co-founded L’Oeil Vif Productions. In 2023 he completed Khmerica and La Maison Brûle (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2023) as an associate producer.