Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021: 'My Sister Umi Aci' and 'I am Walking' clinched top prizes

Still from the project that won the Docs by the Sea pitch prize 'My Sister Umi Aci'

Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021: Digital Edition officially ended on Saturday, 4th September 2021. The fifth edition of this international documentary programme has been successfully organised by In-Docs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia. At the closing ceremony, four winning projects were also announced.

The projects winning the prizes from Docs By The Sea Accelerator’s partners are:

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.

My Sister Umi Aci | Indonesia
Fanny Chotimah (Director), Amerta Kusuma (Producer), Yulia Evina Bhara (Producer)
A story about Umi Aci, the director’s sister. Umi Aci has no hands, and she kept her sadness or weakness for herself. However, she came through all that with courage and acceptance. She became a disability activist and became a role model for everyone. Umi Aci is a leader of Fatayat (Muslim organisation for women) and women disability organisation. Through this project, the director tries to get to know her sister more, understand her multiple roles in life as a wife, a mother, a sister, and also a disabled woman.

DOK Leipzig Industry Accelerator Prize

An invitation for 1 selected project to participate either in DOK Co-Pro Market or DOK Preview, waiving the participation and accreditation fees and covering 3 nights of accommodation.

I Am Walking | Thailand / The Philippines / Malaysia / Singapore Chan Sze-Wei (Director) Stories about the underground vogue scene in major Southeast Asian cities such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Singapore. This project follows the journeys of exuberant misfits carving out fabulous, sexy sanctuaries for queer folk. This vogue scene originates from the subculture of black and latinx ethnic groups in New York, which was adopted in Southeast Asia. Vogue is the queer's way of fighting social isolation, homophobia, and discrimination over gender and sexual identities.

Asiadoc Project Prize

An invitation for 2 selected projects to join an intensive creative documentary storytelling workshop under the mentorship of distinguished international documentary experts at the Asiadoc 2021.

Mountain of Ashes| Thailand Nottapon Boonprakob (Director), Maitree Chamroensuksakul (Co-Director), Supatcha Thipsena (Producer)

A tragic case of a Lahu youth activist who was murdered by military officers at a checkpoint near the Thailand-Myanmar border. The authorities claimed that he possessed narcotic drugs and a hand grenade, which led to the need to open fire. The incident happened in the presence of 9 security cameras, but the footage mysteriously disappeared in court. This project recreated the shooting scenes, reviving the boy’s memory through the lens of a camera in search of justice.

The Bamboo Family | Myanmar
Sein Lyan Tun (Director), Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni (Producer)

The autobiographical story of the director, Sein, a filmmaker who almost lost his dreams during the COVID-19. His small restaurant was forced to close, and he had to return home to his parents, who do not approve of his profession as a filmmaker. He faces a difficult question: is there still a chance for him to be a director?

Docs By The Sea Accelerator was held virtually from 16th August 2021 to 4th September 2021, featuring 23 film projects and 51 participants from 9 countries across Southeast Asia. For 2 weeks the participants were given intensive mentorship from our international mentors, who are also members of the Oscar award jury (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, AMPAS). The mentorship was given through 3 Labs: Storytelling Lab, Editing Lab, and Creative Producing Lab, both in the individual sessions and group sessions.

The participants were given an opportunity to present their projects to the industry guests representing a number of European production houses and international documentary film festivals at its Pitching Session. In addition to opening access to some funding and exhibition opportunities, the participants also got a chance for One-to-One Meetings with the industry guests to discuss international co-production opportunities.

Up until now, the fifth year of Docs By The Sea, 33 documentary films have been produced with the support of more than 100 donors, and the films have been screened at 180 film festivals and TV stations.

This event also presented 6 public sessions consisting of Masterclasses, Industry Talks, and Pitching Session, featuring renowned international speakers who discussed various aspects of documentary filmmaking. These public sessions have attracted more than 1,000 participants who registered and enthusiastically attended the events.

After the success of its second year of virtual workshops and forums, Docs By The Sea is set to return in a hybrid format (online and offline) in 2022, with hopes to involve documentary projects from more countries.

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