Tokyo Docs, now in its tenth year, was set up in 2011 by a group of Japanese documentary filmmakers in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, convinced that international co-production of documentaries would be the best way to convey Japan’s image to the world.
This year, ten years later, we are facing a completely unexpectedly difficult situation due to a disaster comparable to the Great East Japan Earthquake: a new type of coronavirus infection. Needless to say, a great difficulty is the serious economic and social problems facing Japan and the rest of the world. Bankruptcies, unemployment, and changes in industrial structure are causing people to suffer. From the perspective of a documentary filmmaker, this is the kind of situation that needs to be closely monitored and communicated to the world. On the other hand, from the perspective of the event organizer, the format of the event had to be radically changed in order to prevent infection.
As the world’s pitching sessions go online, Tokyo Docs is going online. Pitching, one-on-one meetings, screenings, and seminars will all be held online. At the same time, we will continue to strive to retain the benefits of real-world interaction by hosting the event from a physical venue in Tokyo. In that sense, I think it can be said that we are holding a hybrid of online and on-site meetings. In line with the move to online pitching, we have removed the printed catalogs this year and will consolidate all the necessary information on the Tokyo Docs website.
This year we received 55 submissions for the Pitching Session Call for Proposals, 45 submissions for the Colors of Asia international co-production program, and 32 completed films for the Short Documentary Showcase.
This year we have been working with five filmmakers in the Master Class under the guidance of a veteran Belgian producer since April to develop their proposals, and since September we have been working with all of the proposals with the addition of a British producer to help with pitching.
We hope that the selected projects and productions will achieve new results in a new and completely different format for the event.
I would like to thank the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), the Japan Foundation, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters (NAB), and the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters of Japan (NAB) for their warm support for the event, will take place under such difficult circumstances.
Chair, Tokyo Docs Executive Committee
Chairman, NPO Tokyo TV Forum