ABS-CBN Global’s Aileen Paredes joins as speaker at 8th Asian Side of the Doc in Bangkok


In an effort to become the hub of documentaries in Southeast Asia in accordance with government policy to promote creative businesses, Bangkok, Thailand played host from January 30 to February 2 to the 8th edition of Asian Side of the Doc (ASD), the international marketplace for factual programming in Asia.

ABS-CBN Global’s Female Specialty Channels Unit Head Aileen Paredes was one of the speakers on the first day in the panel on “ASEAN: What Does the Market Want?”. The premise of the session was that the content market in Southeast Asia has become more and more international in flavor and sophisticated in terms of taste. Localization of international formats, especially in the lifestyle and factual entertainment arena, has played a part in up-skilling the industry in some sectors, but is this true of documentary?

Content Asia eNewsletter’s February 5-18, 2018 issue ran an article on the 8th Asian Side of the Doc. ABS-CBN Global’s Female Specialty Channels Unit Head Aileen Paredes is shown in photo with other panelists.


According to Paredes, Philippine “mainstream is dominated by drama” and there is a “dearth of documentaries that are socially relevant.”

Paredes added that “the next-gen market tends to go online — to the likes of Vice and Viceland – and the short form docs you put in there.”  She emphasized the need of ABS-CBN to deeply understand its evolving core and next gen markets, the content demands brought about by the viewing preference shift to digital, and how the company can help grow the documentary genre in the Asian region.  She also mentioned the company’s new direction with ABS-CBN Global Studios and the intent to venture into co-production.


From left, Chiara Bellati, ABS-CBN Global’s Female Specialty Channels Unit Head Aileen Paredes, Pipope Panitchpakdi, Artine Utomo, and Shamala Rajendran at the “ASEAN: What Does the Market Want?” panel. (Photo by Ody Tolentino)


Joining Paredes in the panel were Pipope Panitchpakdi of Thai PBS, Shamala Rajendran of Mediacorp Pte Ltd of Singapore, Executive Director and Producer, Showrunner and Development Executive Chiara Bellati of Singapore, and Artine S. Utomo of Rajawali Televisi Indonesia.

Attracting 350 industry professionals from 35 countries, Asian Side of the Doc (ASD) had the following main activities:

Distributors Showcase – where content distributors from across Europe, North America, Australia and Asia Pacific presented their content that were open for pre-selling, acquisition, or co-production. Content offered included one-off documentaries, series, and digital or online versions.

Pitch Sessions – where various content producers presented their projects looking for funding or co-production.

An international jury composed of Somyos Kiataramkul, manager, Program Department – Thai PBS (Thailand), Claudia Bucher, head of THEMA & Geopolitics – ARTE G.E.I.E (France), Gunny Hyoung, executive producer – EBS Educational Broadcasting System (South Korea), and Rudy Buttignol, president and CEO – Knowledge Network (Canada) decided the awards for the best pitched projects among the 24 original stories coming from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

The winners are: “Small Island, Big Song: A Musical Odyssey” produced by Undergrowth Productions/Australia for Best International Project; “Life With A Robot” produced by Tokyo Video Center, Inc./Japan for Best Asian Project; “Duck Academy” produced by Payai Creation Co. Ltd./Thailand for Best ASEAN Project; “Walking the Road” produced by Mandarin Film/China for NBC Universal Archives Award; and “The Perfect Motion” produced by Aloest Productions/France for The Southeast Asia Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA) Award.

Business Matching – where ASD 2018 organizers arranged for meetings between program buyers and producers.  The meetings lasted for 20 minutes each and done in succession very much like a dating game, complete with a bell to signal that time’s up.

Independently arranged meetings – where distributors (sellers) arranged meetings with program buyers months prior to the conference to present their content, build a network or explore co-productions.


ABS-CBN Global Head of Acquisitions and Rights Management Ody Tolentino and ABS-CBN Global Head of Female Specialty Channels Unit and ASD Speaker Aileen Paredes (Photo by Wincess Lee Gonzales)


Joining Paredes as delegates at the event were ABS-CBN Global Head of Acquisitions and Rights Management Ody Tolentino and Wincess Lee Gonzales of ABS-CBN Corporation Acquisitions.

Asian Side of the Doc is one of the two international marketplaces for documentary and factual content. The other one set for La Rochelle in France from June 25-28, 2018 is called Sunny Side of the Doc.  Both events are held annually.




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