Interview with Chanin Chamachote, CEO of Documania Co.,Ltd and President of Thailand Documentary Filmmakers Association (TDFA)

Asian-side-CMJNThe Asian Side of the Doc press conference held in Bangkok on September 22, 2017 saw the launch of Thailand Documentary Filmmakers Association (TDFA), as an effective tool to establish in Thailand a hub of international and regional documentary filmmakers/producers.

TDFA gathers Thai documentary producers with 20 years experience in this field, all looking for co-production partners or investors in their new projects. Most of them also attended Sunny Side of the Doc last June and have now developped new skils and objectives in the international doc market thanks to their participation in Asian Side training programmes.

Documania was part of the Thai delegation who attended both Asian Side of the Doc 2016 (Bangkok) and Sunny Side of the Doc 2017 (La Rochelle) with several projects in the conman and the seadevelopment. What followed on from your participation and pitch of « The Conman and the Sea » and which new contacts/partners did you attract ?

Regarding The Conman and the Sea*, there are four or five broadcasters interested in purchasing the film and one distributor also put himself forward. The only problem at this point is that we have to wait until we have one more opportunity to shoot the traditional ‘floating ship’ ceremony of the Morgan people this coming April, something we missed out on doing in April 2017.
So, we expect the documentary to be finished in time for the Sunny Side of the Doc 2018. We are also interested in co-producing a documentary on Street Food in Bangkok with TV Brazil. Right now, we are working on the proposal for this endeavor.

*The Conman and the Sea tells the story of the most boastful adn drunken old Moken on Surin Islands in South Thailand, who could save people’s lives from the 2004 tsunami but could not save himself from the unfair changing world that came later on.

What’s the mandate of the Thailand Documentary Filmmakers Association, recently established in September 2017 ?
Who are its members in attendance at Asian Side of the Doc 2018 ?

The Thailand Documentary Filmmakers Association (TDFA) is now established to unite Thai producers of documentary films in order to develop the potential of productions and meet international standards for worldwide marketing. The TDFA is comprised of the top 8 Thai documentary production companies which will showcase new stories and projects in development during Asian Side of the Doc 2018 :

  • Documania,
  • TV Burapha,
  • Thai Documentary,
  • Payai Creation,
  • D-Documentary,
  • Global Intercommunication,
  • JSL Global Media,
  • Wishtrend Thailand,
  • + 2 freelance producers.

What new trends have you seen affecting the Thai factual market in last two years ? What are the documentary programmes needed by Thai channels and platforms ?

Chanin Chamachote, CEO of Documania Co.,Ltd and President of Thailand Documentary Filmmakers Association (TDFA)

Chanin Chamachote, CEO of Documania Co.,Ltd and President of Thailand Documentary Filmmakers Association (TDFA)

Over the last 2 years, I have observed an increasing variety of documentaries in Thailand which have shown a great deal of progress in storytelling technique,topics, high quality production and creative ideas.

Currently, there are many platforms available for airing programs. TV is no longer the only option. This has created a demand for more variety in the types of documentaries produced. Nowadays there are more documentaries showing the way of life of young people. At the same time, there remains demand for social interest, food and travel documentaries on various platforms.

From your long track record of producing documentaries, what are the challenges of international co-production for Thai stories to reach global audiences ?

I would say that these days it is more difficult to succeed in producing documentaries alone by yourselves than it is to co-produce with foreign companies. Therefore, the challenge Thai professionals are facing is to combine international partners experiences with their local expertise for co-productions to bring the best stories and storytelling and succeed in reaching worldwide audiences.

One message to convey to Asian Side of the Doc 2018 attendees :
The upcoming edition of Asian Side of the Doc 2018 represents an important opportunity and challenge for us to open up to new points of view as we aim for the international market, now on hand.