Tokyo Docs 2016 Now Accepting Entries

The project submission for Tokyo Docs 2016 has been closed on August 1, 2016. We are really thankful for your support.


Tokyo Docs is now in its sixth year since its launch as a forum for introducing high-quality documentary films to audiences around the world. The event’s reputation among filmmakers in Japan and overseas is growing, and the quality of submitted proposals is achieving rising recognition.

Over the previous five years, we have explored what it means to engage in international co-production and what kinds of projects are suitable. Following these endeavors, our slogan for this year's event is “our learning phase is over, and our true creative phase has begun!"

Five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and while there are hopes that the Japanese economy can emerge from stagnation, there are many outstanding social issues including wealth inequality. In other parts of Asia too, while there has been dynamic development, a number of issues remain unaddressed.

Tokyo Docs is seeking proposals on a wide range of different topics including the many issues currently affecting Japan and the wider international community, the diverse lifestyles of various people, and the broad appeal of Japanese and Asian society and culture.

We are pleased to announce that the amount of development funding now available for high-quality submissions has been increased to five million Japanese yen.

We look forward to hearing from creative and ambitious producers, who want to win wider international audiences for films produced in conjunction with broadcasters, production companies and distributors from around the world.

Tokyo Docs 2016 Event Summary

Dates November 7 (Monday)-November 10 (Thursday) 2016.
Venue JA Kyosai Building Conference Hall
2-7-9 Hirakawacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0093
Hosted by Tokyo TV Forum (TTVF)
Association of All Japan TV Program Production Companies (ATP)

Entry Conditions

  1. Scope of Entries

    We are seeking proposals for new documentaries with the aim of international co-production.
    As a basic rule, projects should be proposed at the planning stage, but it is also possible to submit proposals that either combine new material with footage that has already been broadcast domestically in the producer's own country or that rework such films.
    * Entries consisting of completed films or the sale of format rights will not be accepted.

  2. Topics

    Entries for one-off films or series on any valid topic are accepted, including current affairs, social issues, history, natural science and travel. However, travel films for the purpose of tourism promotion will not be accepted.

  3. Eligibility

    Only film production companies and individuals who have prior experience of producing television documentaries are eligible to enter.
    As a general rule, filmmakers living in Japan or other parts of Asia, or anyone submitting proposals related to Japan or other parts of Asia are eligible to enter.
    * Proposals submitted by individuals should be accompanied by a list of past projects and a letter of recommendation from a broadcaster or television production company.
    * Broadcasting companies should, as a general rule, apply in collaboration with a production company.

  4. Application Method

    Please enter the required details into the on-line application form and submit. Applications by email or post will not be accepted. Entries without all of the required information, entries exceeding the word count, and entries without the required photographic data will also not be accepted. Please submit your entry in Japanese, English, or both Japanese and English.
    If you would like to submit your project for the TV series Colors of Asia 2017, please visit our “Colors of Asia 2017 Now Accepting Entries” webpage, fill out the Colors of Asia project submission form, and submit the form together with the required photographic data.

  5. Required Information and Photographic Data

    • Project Title

      As documentaries outside Japan do not typically have a subtitle, please enter a concise title with no subtitle.

    • Film category (one-off/series), running time
    • Logline

      Within 40 Japanese characters/120 English characters (all character counts in this document include spaces and punctuation)

    • Synopsis

      Within 200 Japanese characters/600 English characters

    • Detailed Description

      Within 600 Japanese characters/1800 English characters

    • Trailer (supplied/not supplied), trailer URL

      Production Budget
      Estimated total budget, budget provided by each financing party

    • Director/Producer Information

      Respectively within 120 Japanese characters/360 English characters

    • Photographic data

      Two photographs related to the film, one portrait photograph each of the director and producer (JPEG files / 200 KB to 6 MB in size)

  6. Application Deadline

    Applications must be received before 2400hrs on August 1, 2016 (Monday) Japan time.

  7. Selection

    After assessing the entries, the selection committee will choose entries as per the numbers below, and inform the successful applicants before the end of August.

    Projects for pitching Around 20 (including around five proposals from outside Japan)
    Projects included in the catalogue other than the above Around 10
  8. Selection Criteria

    Project proposals will be chosen by the Selection Committee, which is made up of members of the Tokyo Docs Organizing Committee, after they confer with overseas producers.
    The most important criterion is "a high-quality documentary that deserves international distribution". Selectors will also consider whether the documentary is "a project appropriate for realization through international co-production".

  9. Pitching Session

    Each filmmaker is given 15 minutes to make their pitch. The first seven or eight minutes will consist of a presentation made to all the overseas and domestic decision-makers. The remaining time will be a question and answer session. During the pitch, a trailer for the project lasting approximately 3 minutes must be shown. The trailer should be produced at the filmmaker's own expense.
    Both the initial presentation and the question and answer session must be conducted in either Japanese or English only. Japanese-English interpreters will be available.

  10. Trial Run

    Entrants presenting their proposals at the pitching session may be given the opportunity to engage in advance practice by performing a trial run of their proposal in the same format as the actual presentation in order to receive tips and advice from producers taking part from overseas. This is still tentative and will be confirmed at a later date.

  11. Overseas Decision-Makers

    Tokyo Docs 2016 will invite around 30 decision-makers from Europe, North America and Asia. These will include commissioning editors with responsibility for green lighting projects, producers working for foundations investing in documentary production, and international documentary distributors.

  12. Development Funding

    Proposals that are well received by decision-makers at the pitching session will be entitled to development funding. A total of five million Japanese yen will be provided to between 5 and 10 projects.

  13. Registration Fees

    There is no charge for the initial project submission.
    If a project is selected, however, registration fees must be paid.

    Project selected for pitching: ¥30,000
    Project not chosen for pitching but included in the catalogue: ¥20,000

    Registration fees include the fee for inclusion in the Tokyo Docs 2016 Japanese and English catalogue as well as entry for one person for all of the programs included in the event.

If an entry is chosen for Tokyo Docs 2016, an invoice will be sent after confirming the entrant's intention to participate. If fees are not paid by the designated date then the entrant will be deemed to have forfeited their right to participate in pitching and/or have their project included in the catalogue.

The above particulars may be modified at the discretion of Tokyo Docs.

Contact details

Tokyo Docs Office

TEL +81 (0)3-6205-7858

Official website

We look forward to hearing from you.

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