These kids rock “Doc Alert 2”! The new young documentary filmmakers are about to come out of shells

Making a documentary film is a great way to engage students and develop a wide range of skills. We wish the universities around Thailand will develop more programs to encourage the student to challenge themselves.

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“Doc Alert 2” is the documentary filmmaking workshop and challenge combines in-class instruction with hands-on experience in non-fiction storytelling. Designed by Documania Co., Ltd, students will learn to cultivate ideas, shooting techniques, pitching, and public presentation skills. They also will gain an understanding of the roles directors, producers, cinematographers, sound mixers, and editors play in film production. Working in teams, students will produce a short observational film.

The 3 days of intensive training has been passed. It filled with an emotional rollercoaster.

It was excellent for developing the children’s speaking and listening skills, as they had to take responsibility for preparing questions and carrying out an interview. It was great to see them working as a team.

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Chanin Chamachote, the CEO of Documania Co.,ltd gave a press announcement with a support from Thai Media Fund, DN Broadcast co., Ltd and Royal Initiative Discovery Foundation. We talked about the future of the world wide’s taste of documentary trend that we should achieve and how to encourage Thai students to break their mundane boundaries. The program revealed the 5 teams from 4 universities (but only 1 will be the winner) all their works will be released on the NEW18 channel.

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It’s time to prove that student documentary is not just a flashy style.
Good storytelling comes from within. True documentaries reflect honesty, passion, and the connection a director makes with his subject. And Doc Alert 2 will be the good start.

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Insight Thainess : The Art of Andaman Batik Fabric

The dawning sun is weaving its bright light over the land filling every life with cheers and energy.  The local inhabitants of Ko Yao Noi, an island of Phang Nga province begin their day’s work early.  Some fishermen are heading back ashore, ready to trade their catch for some cash.  Both the land and the sea here offer abundant natural resources for the locals, whose simple yet graceful daily routines are depicted on local handicraft items.

As a time-honoured work of art that reflects the local way of life, batik fabric with colourful patterns has long represented the unique identity of people in Southern Thailand and the Malay Peninsula.  Inspired by the natural surroundings, batik artists sketch images of various objects; such as; flowers, sea waves and marine creatures, on the fabric. Such patterns depict the artists’ real-life experience and, therefore, vary from one area to another. Yet there is one concept that all batik pieces represent: life overflowing with happiness and merriment.

Documania

www.documaniabangkok.com

Tourism Authority of Thailand

www.tatnews.org

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Insight Thainess : “Mango with Sticky Rice”

Noting can beat Mango in the mid-summer. A chorus of cicadas is the rhythm and signal of summer, as well as the time for plenty of seasonal fruits. Amphawa, Samut Songkhram is one of the Thai communities that lives a simple lifestyle among various fruit orchards. The fruits that blossom and grow here are mostly coconuts, pomelos, lychees, and mangos.


Mango is a popular Thai homegrown fruit tree for shade, and we use the mango for consumption. The Thai people use creativity to select what surrounds them to make as food. The Thais also have wisdom in wisely making good use of the fruit production. They will carefully pick the old mangos from its tree to ripen for the sweet-sour taste, which the Thais believe that they give a refreshing fragrance and are best to be served with sticky rice and coconut milk. “Mango with Sticky Rice” is best served during summertime. This is the simplest happiness you can easily find in a Thai household.
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Documania
www.documaniabangkok.com
Tourism Authority of Thailand
www.tatnews.org

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Asian side of the Doc : Press Conferences

Asian side of the Doc will return for its 8th from 30 January to 2 February 2018. We, Documania Co.Ltd, are so proud to be a part of the program as long as all honorable members from Thailand DocsGroup.

The Press conference was officially announced about critical advantages for all media publishers, stakeholders, individual filmmakers and decision makers in Thailand that can be received beneficial supports from the prestigious program. Asian side of the Doc 2018 will also gather major international distributors who are purposefully setting out to grow their business in regions like China and South-East Asia. We received the news that National Geographic, Discovery Asia, NHK, CCTV, KBS, ABC Australia, PBS America, these world-renowned international publishers will be attending the program which increases our chance to present factual projects in the one-to-one meeting with the decision makers.

The emerging of opportunities for Thai content makers: ASD2018

2018 is getting more interested for all Thai documentary filmmakers. We celebrate the best of factual programming in Asia that will provide unique business and networking opportunities for documentary filmmaker around Asia.

 

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Asian side of the Doc will return for its 8th from 30 January to 2 February 2018. We, Documania Co.Ltd, are so proud to be a part of the program as long as all honorable members from Thailand DocsGroup.

The Press conference was officially announced about critical advantages for all media publishers, stakeholders, individual filmmakers and decision makers in Thailand that can be received beneficial supports from the prestigious program. Asian side of the Doc 2018 will also gather major international distributors who are purposefully setting out to grow their business in regions like China and South-East Asia. We received the news that National Geographic, Discovery Asia, NHK, CCTV, KBS, ABC Australia, PBS America, these world-renowned international publishers will be attending the program which increases our chance to present factual projects in the one-to-one meeting with the decision makers.

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The beacon of light for new contents & talents

This year, Asian Side’s pitching sessions will see 24 documentary and factual projects (including a  Documania project’s ‘Romusha of the Death Railway’) with teams from across the world, pitch to 80+ local and international decision-makers, providing participants and observers with crucial insights into the kinds of projects being sought and how they are commissioned. In addition to the main awards for the Best International, Best Asiab, and Best ASEAN projects, the NBCUniversal Achieves Award to the value of US$3000 worth licensing of archival content from NBCUniversal Achieves will also reward one of the live pitched projects.

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“The range and quality of this year’s pitch selection is outstanding with documentary projects coming from Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, China … and also from Canada, Australia, Germany, Finland, and France,” said Asian Side of the Doc CEO, Yves Jeanneau.

Asian Side of the Doc has chosen Bangkok, Thailand, as a rendezvous place to hold the international meeting by determining the competency of our creativity and production value that most outstanding from this region as a Hub of talent people with passion and unique perspectives of storytelling.

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 Chanin Chamachote, CEO of Documania and the leader of Thailand DocsGroup said

“Asian Side of the Doc is an extraordinary opportunity for Thailand documentary filmmakers to show their competency and skills in producing quality international documentaries which can be listed on the ‘front line’ of world-class documentary producers. Nowadays, Thailand’s leading documentary filmmakers are gathering as a one band name ‘Thailand Documentary Group’ which is currently developing into an association. Our goal is aimed true, to develop our capabilities as well as to support and develop our personnel in the field of documentary production in Thailand.

We are a group that enters the world market together, to create economic value for the manufacturing content industry of the nation.”

 

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Chanin Chamachote, CEO of Documania and the leader of Thailand DocsGroup

 

After the press event, Thailand DocsGroup members were gathering together for a short discussion

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‘ชมป่าที่คนภูฏานแสนหวง’ ทำไมผู้คนดินแดนมังกรสายฟ้าถึงหวงแหนธรรมชาตินัก

หลังจากที่เครื่องบินพยายามลงจอดด้วยการทำมุมเอียง 45 องศาเฉียดหน้าผาใกล้สนามบินประจำชาติภูฏาน ณ เมืองพาโร

ชายร่างยักษ์ที่นั่งข้างๆ ดูขัดกับเก้าอี้ผู้โดยสารสายประหยัด ชี้นิ้วใหญ่ๆออกไปยังหน้าต่างเครื่องบินด้วยภาษาอังกฤษสำเนียงไม่คุ้นหู

“คุณดูซิ ประเทศของเรามีพื้นที่ป่ามากถึง 70% และอีก 60% เป็นพื้นที่ป่าที่ได้รับการคุ้มครอง นั่นทำให้ประเทศของเราเป็นจุด ‘ฮอตสปอต’ ของระบบชีวนิเวศที่สมบูรณ์แบบที่สุดแห่งหนึ่งของโลก”

Continue reading ‘ชมป่าที่คนภูฏานแสนหวง’ ทำไมผู้คนดินแดนมังกรสายฟ้าถึงหวงแหนธรรมชาตินัก

Following the mountain trail with rural doctors

May I get off to take pictures?

It seemed an ordinary request made by one of our cinematographers. We already knew what we came here for. So, I didn’t take much time to tag along with him by leaving our field equipment with ‘Uncle Dech’ the veteran four wheels driver who already ventured across every inch in Om Koi district, far north of Chiang Mai.

 

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The driver evaluated the situation that surrounded us and killed the engine. He was pushing a low gear calmly while keeping the car drifted along sharped corners. It was such a complicated maneuver, almost too comically, if we compare the same situation while driving on a straight road in the common city. This was far from that comfy.

Of course, we were on the muddy road leading to the tremendous mountain that every step may be your last bet. I was trembling with fear to look forward. The more I looked at our wheels struggled in sticky mud the more uncomfortable feeling I got.

Heading to the high mountain that surrounds by a sea of mud was shook my sense of existence.

“The real journey just begins!” I re-energized my confident.

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But why we had to be here in the first place? Why had to be in this designated season? And why we had to walk on feet either? These were my question that strangled my mind while I was on my first trip for shooting a documentary. Our team decided to capture the moment of the mobile medical unit from Princess Mother’s Medical Volunteer (PMMV).

They are a group of people consist of volunteer doctors, nurses and medical workers even  individuals who dress in gray shirt with green bag pack that villagers called them ‘The mountain wanderers’

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While I was rushing forward the caravan doctor to capture their facial expressions, I astounded by an unforgettable sight of greenish mountains, streams, untainted air and especially those little bloodsucking leeches. The little creature plays a crucial part as the indicator of biodiversity evaluation on this highland forest.

Om Koi district is one of the top poorest areas in Thailand. Every Karen’s villages scatter around on unreachable hills or hindered itself in the shrouded mystery.

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It was such a heart throbbing feeling to know that even Karen people’s life is simplest as a folk song sung by Jaran Manopet (The Well-known folk song singer) but their life is coated with problems of inaccessibility of public utilities and basic facilities such as electricity, water supply, education and income generation. Especially, being treated effectively by the proper medical procedure is rarely to be seen.

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The last batch of medicine was out of the pack, then, the soft cold rain began to chase down hill after hill further away. Soon it turned into a stronger rain shower but that didn’t stop the torrent of Karen people, lining up across the muddy road.

Some of them drove here by shaky motorcycles from another village. Some of them carried babies by attaching them to their back by cloth straps. Some of them walked on bared feet that we didn’t know how far they had made.

They no needed any heartfelt welcome ceremony or proper introduction. If only people filled in the wooden building (acted as a medical outpost) was enough to be an obvious sign of the beginning of medical surveillance.

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Raining season is the most crucial time that people request medical attention from health specialists. If they miss the chance, they have to wait for another trip next year that won’t guarantee the chance of survival. Furthermore, this even increase more health risk because they have to spend days to reach the place. Even they could catch a bus from the village to the nearest hospital but it could cost them tremendous energy and money.  Some of them choose to face the torment of illness instead exchanging resources with health services.

My both feet sunk in the muddy road that sucked my energy out. In the silver lining way, as I thought, we still had friends who share the same faith and a local guy who guided us through the labyrinth-like forest.

While tiredness was consumed my mind, the guide talked to me.

“This is pretty easy. The villagers here have to walk like this every day, 10 rounds a day at least.”

He smiled and chuckled a bit. His steady footsteps were firm and strong that I kept following him for a while. The guide isn’t deferent from any other villagers in Om Koi who was born and grown up here to continue the legacy of forest through many generations

We can’t change them of what he meant to be as long as mine. Everyone has their own space that we always happy to leap in. The place we called home

The mountain wanderers perform health service without any financial support. They don’t have necessity resource to turned wooden huts into a permanent hospital outpost. They don’t have direct authority to cut a new route through the mountain. All they can afford is walking by their own feet.

They walk to break the restriction. They walk to perceive the truth of what people facing.

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You may hear the words “Circle of men meant to be fooled, poor and ignorance”

If we have to break the circle once and for all, we have to tackle each one carefully. These problems entangle with reason from lacking proper health service, sustainable income, and accessible knowledge.

One of the wanderer doctors talked to me about this trip. He was a role model for every volunteer health specialists. He said in the last day “Our goal can be achieved if we can go directly into the problem by any access but while we venture further don’t forget to look back behind you.”

“It isn’t how fast you go, it’s about how to make everyone reach the destination all together”

 

Producer’s Diaries

A journey from Achirawit Hengtaweesub scriptwriter of The Working Monarch

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Ahoy! Documania goes to La Rochelle, France

Thailand’s top documentary production companies make their debut in La Rochelle at SSD 2017

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The first day of Documania at the Sunny side of the Doc 2017 in La Rochelle, France, seems to be a pretty good day. It’s a world markets place that dedicated to documentary and factual content. People with a real desire of making more docs are packed in the same place.

Our booth of the documentary group “Thailand DOCS Group” is receiving nice attentions from media buyers, distributors, and Production Company. There are lot of appointments and talks throughout the day. Continue reading Ahoy! Documania goes to La Rochelle, France

Howling like a boss, howling like a Bhutan’s dog

For Buddhists who believe in the next life, they always have a trivia question to ask each other.

“What do you want to be in the next life?”

Of course, everyone would say “Human without any lingering thought. But after what I perceived from my latest trip in Bhutan, I may refigure my answer.

Perhaps being a dog won’t be a bad idea

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I have carefully planned the schedule for my dog life in Bhutan. I’ll wake up in the morning with little physical exercises and spend an entire half of the day by strolling around monastery and seeking some food near local butcher’s shop. Then I’ll have a meeting with my little friend, a black dog, near the bus parking ground. We together will go to the Dzong, the city fortress, for sunbathing. After that I might feel starving, so I will circle around hotel restaurant’s back doors for the dinner. When the night comes, I will find a comfy place to sleep and end my day with 10 minutes howl.

What a peaceful life!
This is a life of doggo in Bhutan.

 

Bhutanese have an unusual concept of raising dogs. It’s quite diverse from the rest of the world. Some family have a dog as a pet with the concept of ownership. But most of them or around 100,000 dogs across the country are “Community Dogs” strolling around independently without any strings attached to human.

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For generations, Bhutanese always have strict attitudes of compassion and not to cause any harm to sentient beings. But for dogs, there’s something more than that. They believe that dog is a previous form before incarnation as a human being.  That’s why every stray dog is fed well by people. They look healthy and well-nourished far more than stray dogs (or even homeless people) in other countries. They are so incredibly friendly, perfectly good looking, and well behave.

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But there are some points that now Bhutanese concern. The more city grows, the more dog’s population spreads even further. Because there are more plenty of waste food that were left from households, restaurants, and hotels which increase the density of dog’s population in cities.

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From men’s best friends turned into the number one most notorious city problem. The howling sound from armies of dog disturbs the people at night. Tour guides usually advice their tourists to prepare some earplugs for sleeping at the night as an essential surviving stuff. However, the night problem seems to be a comical issue comparing with the epidemic from those animals.

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Bhutan government is tackling the problem by initiating sterilization program and vaccination services across the country to sustain the population of dogs and control unnoticeable diseases.

This program might take many years but at least it is a way to regain the positive relationship between dogs and human in this unusual circumstance.

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After having a big thought, I think my chance to be born as a dog in Bhutan might be very little.

Even if I could, I would be sterilized for sure!

I think it’s time to reconsider my answer again.

Kaewkhwan Ruengdecha (KK) : a producer of Tipitaka : The Living Messages 

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