Tokyo TV Forum 2012 a Big Leap to the Next Step

Tokyo, December 13, 2012 – Japan’s first pitching event, the Tokyo TV Forum (TTVF), was held for the first time last year to great success. The TTVF was held again this year from December 10 to December 12 and once again ended very successfully. The three-day event was packed with pitching sessions, panel discussions, workshops and one-on-one meetings as well as screening sessions to introduce outstanding international co-productions. On the final day, one program was given the Best Pitch Award and five others were singled out as Outstanding Pitches.

TTVF2012 was held to seek out opportunities for globally deploying projects by talented Japanese documentary producers. It was hosted by the Association of All Japan TV Program Production Companies (ATP) and supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, NHK and other leading Japanese media organizations. This year’s TTVF was the second consecutive event following last year’s inaugural event.

Yukihiko Amagi, Director of the TTVF, emphasized the event’s valuable role in his opening speech: “The TTVF achieved great results last year partly because of the keen interest from around the world on how Japan was recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, this year, Japanese producers will be tested on the true value of how and what will be communicated once again.”

In the pitching sessions, twenty-six projects including two projects from Korea and Taiwan were presented, and among them, one was awarded the Best Pitch Award and five were commended as Outstanding Pitches. The Best Pitch Award went to Atsushi Kasezawa’s, “A Step Forward” which follows one pastor who employs a unique approach of living together with those people contemplating suicide.  The Outstanding Pitches went to the following projects: “Discovery of Hidden Ukiyo-e Art,” “Election in the World’s Largest Slum,” “Shellinguel—A Man Who Speaks with Shells,” “Far From Fukushima—Building the Temporary Town,” and “3-Star Sushi: Chef Araki’s London Challenge.”

“A Step Forward,” “Discovery of Hidden Ukiyo-e Art,” and “Election in the World’s Largest Slum” will also be featured at the Asian Side of the Doc event next March in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as part of a partnership between the Asian Side of the Doc and TTVF.

Comments from commissioning editors in TTVF are as follows. Ann Julienne (France Television) who participated in the TTVF for the first time remarked, “I enjoyed it very much. It is important to have the initiative like this which gives Japanese filmmakers a chance to realize good projects and to make a giant leap to the world.” Nick Fraser (BBC) participated in the TTVF for the second time this year commented, “We saw a wide variety of projects. We should continue this initiative through which we get to know how the Japanese filmmakers see the world, while the Japanese filmmakers also get to know what the world thinks of them.”

Yukihiko Amagi stated, “It was really nice that many wonderful projects were so well received. I hope Japanese producers confidently think about taking their work overseas. However, there are in fact many difficulties to overcome in an international co-production. Therefore, we will provide as much support as possible, but as our resources are limited, we will work on building a united public-private support system. “