ShoutOUT! Docs By The Sea holds its first virtual documentary lab and pitching forum featuring 23 projects

When we could still gather.....Docs by the Sea in 2018

In 2020, Docs By The Sea has successfully held its first virtual documentary lab and pitching forum, presenting 86 filmmakers, 37 documentary film projects from 8 countries in the Southeast Asia region. This documentary forum successfully gave birth to projects which then got the opportunity to participate in a number of prestigious international documentary forums, including IDFAcademy for Some Women and Breaking The Cycle and DOK Co-Pro Market 2020 from DOK Leipzig for Baby Jackfruit Baby Guava. 

This year, Docs By The Sea returns with Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021 which will be held from 16 th August to 4 th September. Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021 is a bi-annual forum held as part of the annual Docs By The Sea event that aims to further accelerate the growth of local and Southeast Asian documentaries. This international documentary forum opens up the widest possible opportunity for Southeast Asian directors and producers to access international markets and network with other fellow professionals in the documentary industry. 

Docs By The Sea Accelerator is organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia in collaboration with In-Docs, a non-profit organisation committed to fostering an open society through documentary films. 

Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021 will be held entirely online, featuring 23 film projects and 51 participants from 9 countries in Southeast Asia. These projects have gone through a thorough pre-selection process from March to May 2021. The selected projects will participate in 3 labs: Storytelling Lab, Editing Lab, and Creative Producing Lab. Each project will also get mentorship opportunities through One-on-One Meetings with documentary industry experts and Pitching Sessions to showcase their projects. 

In addition to a series of labs designed for the selected filmmakers, Docs By The Sea Accelerator also presents free and open-for-public Industry Events which include Industry Talks, Masterclasses, and Pitching Sessions (Day 1 only). 

At the Storytelling Lab, 12 selected projects will be guided by 3 international mentors who will help strengthen the story, fine-tune the pitch, and discover potential stories to access international funding and distribution. At the Editing Lab, 6 projects are given the opportunity to each get an in-depth consultation to maximise story structure under the guidance of 3 world-class film editors. Meanwhile, Creative Producing Lab invites 16 Southeast Asian emerging producers to better understand the international documentary industry, expand their access to funding, distribution, negotiation, and contracting. At the Industry Events, participants have the opportunity to present their projects in front of the panel at two-day pitching sessions. This industry forum connects filmmakers with international producers to network and discuss potential collaborations. 

 Projects participating in the Storytelling Lab and Editing Lab have the opportunity to win 3 prizes including the Docs By The Sea Pitch Prize - a cash prize of IDR 70,000,000 presented by In-Docs for 1 Indonesian project to be used as a development, production, or post-production completion grant; the DOK Leipzig Industry Accelerator Prize for 1 project to be invited to participate either in DOK Co-Pro Market or DOK Preview, waiving the participation and accreditation fees and covering 3 nights of accommodation; and finally the Asiadoc Project Prize for 2 promising Storytelling Lab projects to be invited to join an intensive creative documentary storytelling workshop at Asiadoc 2021. 

One of the participants of Creative Producing Lab from Malaysia, Lee Yve Vonn, expressed her enthusiasm, "I am very happy that my first creative feature documentary project is selected for this programme. As a newbie, I look forward to obtaining guidance from the mentors and learning from fellow documentary filmmakers in the region. I am also grateful that my producing partner, who is also the director of this film, but not a Southeast Asian is allowed to participate. The project is now in the third year of development, surely different perspectives on financing and distributing will help us to move on better.” 

Fanny Chotimah, an award-winning Indonesian director whose new film project is selected to participate in Storytelling Lab, also expressed her excitement. "I hope that my participation in the Storytelling Lab by Docs By The Sea can help me build the story that I am writing, sharpen the character, and deep-dive more into the issue, in accordance with the rules of good storytelling." 

Docs By The Sea Accelerator programme is not only made for its participants, but also the film community, film academics or individuals interested in the documentary film industry. Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021 will feature 3 Masterclasses, 2 Industry Talks, and Pitching Session (Day 1) that are free and open for public. These public sessions will cover various aspects of documentary filmmaking, from its creative process, funding, distribution, and pitching. The sessions will feature international speakers with a long record of experience in the documentary industry. 

"Docs By The Sea’s Masterclass gave me a lot of new insight that can be applied in my documentary film community in Aceh. The programme opened up many options and opportunities for us in terms of documentary production, and it really helped us enrich the curriculum of our annual training designed for beginner filmmakers. It is not always easy to access this kind of information in Indonesia, but every year Docs By The Sea brings it to us”, said Akbar Rafsanjani, one of the participants of Docs By The Sea 2020’s Masterclass from Aceh Documentary. 

Here is the list of 23 projects that are selected to participate in Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021. 


1. BREAKING THE NEWS | The Philippines 

2. I AM WALKING | Thailand/The Philippines/Malaysia/Singapore 

3. LAST TIME I HELD YOUR HANDS | The Philippines 

4. MOUNTAIN OF ASHES | Thailand 


6. MY SISTER UMI ACI | Indonesia 

7. PONY BOYS | The Philippines 

8. TA-THUNG | Indonesia 



11. VOICES FROM HOME | Singapore/The Philippines 




2. GREG FROM WAI APO | Indonesia 

3. MEMORIES - ในรอยจํา| Thailand 

4. QUẨY | Vietnam 

5. SILENT HOUSE | Iran/The Philippines 

6. THE JOURNEY | Indonesia 


1. CHRISTINE SEOW (Director/Producer) Project Title: BEING SERENE | Singapore 

2. BABY RUTH VILLARAMA (Producer), CHUCK GUTIERREZ (Producer/Editor), JEFF CANOY (Associate Producer) Project Title: BREAKING THE NEWS | The Philippines 

3. RAYNER WIJAYA (Producer) Project Title: GREG FROM WAI APO | Indonesia 

4. ANINDHITA BUNGA AYODHYA (Producer), BUNGA INEZA (Co-Producer), DAMAR ARDI (Producer) Project Title: MAKING UP | Indonesia 

5. NIRARTHA BAS DIWANGKARA (Producer) Project Title: FINGER PRINT | Indonesia 

6. JEWEL MARANAN (Producer), ELAHEH NOBAKHT (Producer) Project Title: SILENT HOUSE | Iran/The Philippines 

7. KRISTOFFER BRUGADA (Producer), LARISSA ONG (Co-Producer) Project Title: VOICES FROM HOME | Singapore/The Philippines 

8. LEE YVE VONN (Co-Producer), CLARISSA ZHANG (Director, Co-Producer) Project Title: WHEN CLOUDS GATHER | China/Malaysia 

9. ALEXANDRA MARIA POBLETE (Producer) Project Title: WHERE IT IS QUIET | The Philippines

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