East and West Converge at Asian Side of the Doc in Bangkok
Held in Bangkok, Thailand from January 30 to February 2, the 8th edition of the Asian Side of the Doc aimed to build on its mission since the event's debut in 2010 under the vision of founder and CEO Yves Jeanneau—namely, to serve as a bridge between Asia and Europe, but also be an incubator to foster business opportunities amongst the Asian countries themselves. Comprised of moderated panel discussions, a four-day pitch competition, and one-on-one meetings between producers, broadcasters, and distributors, ASD18 was held at the Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok, in the heart of the city. As a testimony to the growing appeal of this annual event, its 350 attendees hailed from 35 countries and included 90 international decision-makers.
Held daily during the four-day Asian Side of the Doc, a total of 24 projects and their producing teams each appeared onstage for 15 minutes to highlight their show's merits, screen a trailer and lead a short Q&A. Nearly half of the producers or directors were Westerners, while almost all of the content had at least an Asian component in it—be it location, characters or culture. Italy-based producer Stefano Tealdi embodied this fusion of East meets West through his series Food Makers Go Global!, which pairs chefs from two different cultures to reconsider preparation techniques, ingredients and so on. In the compelling trailer, an Italian noodle-maker meets his Japanese counterpart. Less reality show than documentary, this five-part series is certain to draw new audiences. In another pitch, a young Taiwanese team presented The Machine, a journey of an investment banker turned MMA fighter, defying cultural norms and family expectations in the process.