Nat’l Geo aims to get more docs on the box

Dispatch

SINGAPORE — National Geographic Channels Intl. and Singapore’s Economic Development Board have renewed their Documentary Fund for its third season and are calling for entries from Asian filmmakers.

“We are commissioning 15 hours of original programming with a funding of almost $3 million,” says Bryan Smith, NGCI’s Singapore-based exec veep of production.

Fund was set up in 2001 to groom production talent in the region and to facilitate the production of quality made-in-Asia documentaries.

Docs from the first season include “Beetle Battles: Kwang Bang” (Becker Entertainment), a Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival finalist in 2003; “Kung Fu Dragons of Wudang” (Join Legend), which won the World Bronze Medal in the New York Film Festival this year; and “Hidden Genders” (Right Angle Prods.), which achieved high ratings on the National Geographic Channel in the U.S.

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