Screen Australia will lead a factual focused screen industry delegation to Asian Side of the Doc 2014 in Chengdu, China, 18–21 March.

The delegation will include nine factual production companies, recipients of the third round of its Enterprise Asia program:

  •     360 Degree Films – Sally Ingleton
  •     Artemis International – Brian Beaton
  •     Chemical Media – Tony Jackson and Joany Sze
  •     Essential Media and Entertainment – Alan Erson and Michael O’Neill
  •     Flame Media – John Caldon and Midi Stormont
  •     Moonshine – Sue Collins and Mike Hill
  •     Roar Film – Craig Dow Sainter and Steve Thomas
  •     SeaLight Pictures – Colette Beaudry
  •     Sea Dog International – Jodie De Barros and Leighton De Barros.

Other delegates who will attend Asian Side of the Doc 2014 include:

  • Australian International Documentary Conference – Amanda Hawley
  • Celeste Geer
  • Electric Pictures – Andrew Ogilvie
  • Exposure Productions – Andrew Hyde and Kristy O’Brien
  • Film Projects – Gregory Miller
  • Gulliver Media – Larry Zetlin and Christine Carroll
  • Looking Glass International – Karen Lee
  • Media Stockade – Madeleine Hetherton
  • Smith&Nasht – Simon Nasht
  • World Congress of Science and Factual Producers – Alison Leigh
  • WildBear Entertainment – Michael Tear, Tina Dalton, Harriet Pike and Sally Wortley.

Representatives from Screen Australia include:

  • Chris Oliver, Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships
  • Liz Stevens, Senior Manager, Documentary
  • James Sun, Asia Programs Coordinator


Logo Screen AustraliaTo support the development of projects and partnerships in the region, Screen Australia will also be providing umbrella services for Australians at the market and publishing a directory of Australian screen businesses attending.

Yves Jeanneau, CEO of Sunny Side markets, did not miss the opportunity to discuss further with Screen Australia’s Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships, Chris Oliver, who will lead the delegation in China next month.


Chris Oliver, Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships, Screen Australia

Chris Oliver, Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships, Screen Australia


Yves Jeanneau : Hello Chris,  we meet very regularly in China. What are the first results of documentary co productions between Australia and China? And what prospects are emerging?

Chris Oliver: Australia has a close connection to China in many ways. For Australian production companies to survive they need to produce a variety of content and to finance this they need to collaborate with international markets. This will be the second Australian documentary delegation to China in the last 6 months and our second to ASD. Many of the Australian delegates are supported through the Screen Australia Enterprise and Enterprise Asia Program.  We are seeing an increase in the number of projects in development or production with CCTV, BTV and the provincial broadcasters such as Tianjin TV. There has also been development of projects with a number of production companies who have a close relationship with Chinese broadcasters – especially those who are intending international markets or forums such as ASD.


YJ : Beyond China, how do you see the development of the Asian documentary market?

CO: I see a deepening of engagement with the region and development occurring in two ways. Firstly developing and producing content for specific markets such as China, without relying necessarily on a domestic commission from your countries broadcaster. Australian producers co producing projects in the Asian region have access to Federal and State govt incentives (such as the Australian producer offset) to help in the financing – this is a valuable contribution to the production budget when talking to producers from other countries.

Secondly as many of the key Asian (including pan Asia) markets have increasingly demanded international content, we will see more co commissioning of content between specific countries, with it being produced by private production companies. Private production companies are becoming increasingly resourced, have access to other sources of funds that broadcasters do not have the staff or capacity to source around the world, plus these companies are attending markets (such ASD and MIPTV) gaining considerable knowledge of the international marketplace.

Thirdly there will be greater collaboration between private production companies in the region. We are seeing this with Malaysia as a result of the last Asian Side of the Doc, and also from our delegation visits to China – there are excellent companies here. There are real advantages of working within the Asian region -  many countries have access to finance, we are on the same time zone, have complementary skills and there are an endless variety of stories to be told.


YJ : This year, Asian Side of the Doc becomes a marketplace entirely dedicated to documentaries : Do you think this is a useful change?

CO: This is a very important opportunity for the Asian region – ASD in Japan and Malaysia have resulted in development and production outcomes. There are opportunities for Government colleagues from Screen agencies and broadcasters to meet, to talk about the future and how best to increase co operation in the Asian region and also with Europe, America, Africa and Sth America colleagues. Finally, it’s an important gathering of key documentary broadcasters – providing a face to face opportunity for private production companies and sales companies an opportunity to sell their library of programs and new projects on their slates.


- About Chris Oliver’s career -

Prior to joining Screen Australia, Chris was an Investment Manager for feature films and TV (including children’s drama) at the Film Finance Corporation Australia.  Recent titles include Bright Star, Balibo, Daybreakers, and Underbelly. In the late 1980s, he was Executive Producer at Film Australia where he commissioned/executive produced and financed more than 100 hours of drama and documentary production.

In Chris’ current role he assists Screen Australia in working more closely with local and international screen agencies and key guilds. He manages the Enterprise Program and as a part of Screen Australia’s senior management team, is a member of Screen Australia’s Producer Offset and Co-Production Committee.

Chris works extensively with Asia and has been integrally involved with Screen Australia’s development and implementation of an Asian strategy, including introducing a new Enterprise Asia strand offering delegations of Australian screen businesses the opportunity to work with Asian countries such as Malaysia, China and Korea.