In 2020, Docs By The Sea successfully held its first virtual documentary lab and pitching forum, providing endless opportunities and collaboration such as admission at IDFAcademy and DOK Co-Pro Market 2020 from DOK Leipzig.

This year, Docs By The Sea returns with Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021: Digital Edition which will be held from 16 August—4 September. The program aims to accelerate the growth of Indonesian and Southeast Asian documentaries. The Storytelling, Editing, and Creative Producing Lab will be held simultaneously from 16—30 August, while the Pitching Sessions will take place on 31 August—1 September. Additionally, the invited Pitch Panelists will be given the opportunity to meet with the filmmakers during One-on-One Meetings on 2—3 September. At the Awards and Closing Ceremony on 4 September, four outstanding projects will get a chance to win our Project Prizes:

  1. Docs By The Sea Pitch Prize - A cash prize of IDR 70,000,000 presented by In-Docs for 1 Indonesian project to be used as a development, production, or post-production completion grant;

  2. DOK Leipzig Industry Accelerator Prize for 1 project to be invited to participate either in DOK Co-Pro Market or DOK Preview, waiving the participation and accreditation fees and covering 3 nights of accommodation;

  3. Asiadoc Project Prize for 2 promising Storytelling Lab projects to be invited to join an intensive creative documentary storytelling workshop at Asiadoc 2021.

To enrich the filmmakers’ learning experience during the lab, there will be Industry Events including Masterclasses and Industry Talks that are also open to the public. For these public sessions, we will be providing English-to-Indonesian translation and BISINDO (Indonesian Sign Language) translation, English-to-Burmese translation with the support from Yangon Film School, as well as English-to-Thai translation supported by Thai Film Archive. Join our public sessions as follow:

Masterclass | Docs By The Sea Alumni Case Study: ASWANG — Register here
Wednesday, 18 August 2021 | 19:30 - 21:00 (UTC +7)

Speaker: Alyx Arumpac
Moderator: Raymond Pathanavirangoon

Docs By The Sea kickstarts this year’s masterclass series with a case study from one of Docs By The Sea alumni, ALYX ARUMPAC, to share about her filmmaking journey with ASWANG. Learn how ALYX gained funding, international co-productions, creative collaborations, and strategic distribution. You will have a clearer idea of what's lying ahead when you join a film lab, how to gain the most out of your mentoring sessions, how to build and maintain your network, as well as the workflows of working with partners internationally to have your project completed with passion and patience.

Industry Talk | Finding Funding: International Documentary Financing Landscape — Register here
Friday, 20 August 2021 | 19:30 - 21:00 (UTC +7)

Speaker(s): Toni Bell, Zeynep Güzel
Moderator: Selin Murat

Making your films is a rewarding yet a huge undertaking with many facets to take into consideration. A major part of the work is the process of generating funds from various sources to get your film done. You can find yourself a co-producer to access European money, apply for regional or international grants, raise money through crowdfunding or an impact campaign or all of these things together and more. Building the right financing strategy around your film project and being informed about the different—traditional and alternative—financing models that are out there is crucial for the lifecycle and success of your film. It determines the support system you will be able to build around yourself and the film you are making. In this panel our panelists will give an insight into how to navigate the international documentary financing scene and will share their experience with different fundraising journeys. This session is programmed by Documentary Association of Europe.

Masterclass | Cinematography in Creative Documentary — Register here
Tuesday, 24 August 2021 | 19:30 - 21:00 (UTC +7)

Speaker: Wojciech Staroń
Moderator: Mikael Opstrup

This masterclass led by WOJCIECH STAROŃ will break down the concept of mise-en-scène in the creative documentary. Gain more insights into the artistic decisions made in staging, re-enactments, and camera composition when you are filming your protagonists. As a key element of your visual form, a carefully designed camera language will construct a message that best serves your story.

WOJCIECH STAROŃ is a Polish cinematographer and director. He is a Silver Bear winner at the 61st Berlinale for Artistic Contribution for cinematography to EL PREMIO (The Prize), dir. P. Markovitch. His own debut SIBERIAN LESSON (1998) was awarded at IDFA, Cinema du Reel, Krakow IFF. ARGENTINIAN LESSON won Cinema Eye Honor, DOK Leipzig, Camerimage. BROTHERS (2015) won Critics’ Week in Locarno. He is a lecturer at the National Film School in Lodz, Poland.

Masterclass | Creative Distribution for Documentary — Register here
Wednesday, 25 August 2021 | 19:30 - 21:00 (UTC +7)

Speaker: Nora Poggi
Moderator: John Badalu

In regions like Southeast Asia, the documentary film scene has an almost non-existence of a formal distribution system. Filmmakers are challenged to practice self-distribution that requires innovative thinking through alternative forms of distribution, crossing multiple platforms and networks centered around metrics of impact. NORA POGGI, the creator of podcast ‘Creative Distribution 101’, will guide you to navigate in the changing landscape of film distribution during the pandemic, as well as how to distribute a film independently to the global market, how the system works, and planning an impact distribution. Join this masterclass to get yourself prepared before going into the route of non-traditional distribution.

Industry Talk | International Co-production: Creativity, Finance, and Audience — Register here
Thursday, 26 August 2021 | 19:30 - 21:00 (UTC +7)

Speakers: Pabelle Manikan, Wena Sanchez, Philippe Djivas
Moderator: Frédéric Violeau

Embarking on a co-production journey opens a greater access of creativity, finance, and audience outreach. Join us for a conversation on how to balance between the financial and the creative aspects of international co-production with producer-and-director duo from the Philippines, WENA SANCHEZ and PABELLE MANIKAN, along with their French co-producer in DREAMING IN THE RED LIGHT, PHILIPPE DJIVAS. Moderated by FRÉDÉRIC VIOLEAU of Docmonde, the speakers will share honest perspectives and firsthand experiences of creating a documentary film through a collaboration that spans different countries and cultures but find its focal points within the local audience.

Become an observer in our Pitching Sesssion! — Register here
Our first day of Docs By The Sea Pitching Sessions on Tuesday 31 August 2021 from 19:30 - 22:10 UTC+7 will be open to the public. Join us for a rare opportunity to observe filmmakers pitch in an intimate-scale Pitching Session.

Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021 Labs

Storytelling Lab
The Storytelling Lab at Docs By The Sea Accelerator assists selected projects in strengthening the core of their story, fine-turning their pitch, and discovering the hidden potentials to access international funding and distribution.

Editing Lab
Selected projects who attend the Editing Lab at Docs By The Sea Accelerator obtain in-depth consultancy and maximum boost from world-class editors and dramaturgists.

Creative Producing Lab
Mentored by established and renowned Producers from the international documentary scene, selected emerging producers will be engaged in intimate sharing sessions to exchange industry insights on funding, distribution, negotiation, contracts, and practical skills to navigate the market.

Selected Projects

Applications for the labs were open from 1 March—3 May 2021. Below are the selected projects which will participate in Docs By The Sea Accelerator 2021. Congratulations to all of our selected participants!

Storytelling Lab

  1. BREAKING THE NEWS | The Philippines
    Chiara Zambrano (Director), Baby Ruth Villarama (Producer), Chuck Gutierrez (Producer), Jeff Canoy (Associate Producer)

  2. I AM WALKING | Thailand/ The Philippines/ Malaysia/ Singapore
    Chan Sze-Wei (Director), Mok Cui Yin (Producer), Low Zi Qi (Producer)

  3. LAST TIME I HELD YOUR HAND | The Philippines
    Kristoffer Brugada (Director), Jayson Bernard Santos (Producer), Danzen Santos-Katanyag (Co-Producer)

  4. MOUNTAIN OF ASHES | Thailand
    Nottapon Boonprakob (Director), Maitree Chamroensuksakul (Co-Director), Supatcha Thipsena (Producer)

    Andrea Suwito (Director), Finbar Somers (Producer)

  6. MY SISTER UMI ACI | Indonesia
    Fanny Chotimah (Director), Amerta Kusuma (Producer), Yulia Evina Bhara (Producer)

  7. PONY BOYS | The Philippines
    Joseph Mangat (Director/Producer), Alemberg Ang (Producer)

  8. TA-THUNG | Indonesia
    Ismail Fahmi Lubis (Director), Nick Calpakdjian (Producer)

  9. THE BAMBOO FAMILY | Myanmar
    Sein Lyan Tun (Director), Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni (Producer)

  10. TOER: OUR STORIES IN BLORA | Indonesia
    Andika Wahyu Adi Putra (Director/Producer)

  11. VOICES FROM HOME | Singapore/ The Philippines
    Jayson Bernard Santos (Director), Kristoffer Brugada (Producer), Larissa Ong (Co-Producer)

    Aghniadi (Director), Kartika Pratiwi (Producer)

Editing Lab

  1. BEYOND THE LANDFILL | Singapore
    Dewi Tan (Director)

  2. GREG FROM WAI APO | Indonesia
    Winner Wijaya (Director), Rayner Wijaya (Producer)

  3. MEMORIES - ในรอยจำ | Thailand
    Patporn Phoothong (Director)

  4. QUẨY | Vietnam
    Hien Anh Nguyen (Director), Thuy Anh Nguyen (Producer)

  5. SILENT HOUSE | Iran/ The Philippines
    Farnaz Jurabchian (Director), Mohammad Jurabchian (Director), Jewel Maranan (Producer), Elaheh Nobakht (Producer)

  6. THE JOURNEY | Indonesia
    Maulana M. Syuhada (Director), Sofyana Ali Bindiar (Producer)

Creative Producing Lab

  1. Christine Seow (Director/Producer)
    Project Title: BEING SERENE | Singapore

  2. Baby Ruth Villarama (Producer), Chuck Gutierrez (Producer), Jeff Canoy (Associate Producer)
    Project Title: BREAKING THE NEWS | The Philippines

  3. Rayner Wijaya (Producer)
    Project Title: GREG FROM WAI APO | Indonesia

  4. Anindhita Bunga Ayodhya (Producer), Bunga Ineza (Co-Producer), Damar Ardi (Producer)
    Project Title: MAKING UP | Indonesia

  5. Nirartha Bas Diwangkara (Producer)
    Project Title: FINGER PRINT | Indonesia

  6. Jewel Maranan (Producer), Elaheh Nobakht (Producer)
    Project Title: SILENT HOUSE | Iran/ The Philippines

  7. Kristoffer Brugada (Producer), Larissa Ong (Co-Producer)
    Project Title: VOICES FROM HOME | Singapore/ The Philippines

  8. Lee Yve Vonn (Co-Producer), Clarissa Zhang (Director, Co-Producer)
    Project Title: WHEN CLOUDS GATHER | China/ Malaysia

  9. Alexandra Maria Poblete (Producer)
    Project Title: WHERE IT IS QUIET | The Philippines

Docs By The Sea is an international forum that focuses on creating a supportive ecosystem for documentary films in Southeast Asia. It is organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia in collaboration with In-Docs, a non-profit organisation committed to fostering an open society through documentary films.

For enquiries, send an email to

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