$1.95 mil earmarked annually for Asian film projects

KOLKATA — National Geographic Channels Intl. is adding a new dimension to the landscape of filmmaking in Asia and India.

NGCI has teamed up with the Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB) on the Reel Talent and Asia to the World initiatives.

The NGCI-SEDB Documentary Production Fund has earmarked a yearly $1.95 million for film projects across Asia. Reel Talent will find four directors to create half-hour documentaries on a budget of $125,000.

In tandem, Asia to the World will commission six production companies to create six one-hour docus with a budget of $200,000 each. All will be shown on National Geographic Channels worldwide.

“The directors and production houses are being selected through a competitive process,” says Zubin Gandevia, NGC’s South Asia managing director. “This also emphasizes the NGC’s focus on localized content with the participation of filmmakers from various Asian countries where NGC is telecast.”

In India, NGCI’s target is to have create 10% of local content. “This is a gradual process and should happen over time. At present, NGC’s India network has 6%-7% local content,” Gandevia says.

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