Dated: 2 December 2004

Discovery Networks Asia (DNA), the Asia division of leading global real-world content provider, and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) are looking once again for a creative individual to fill the 'Documentary Director's Chair' (DDC).

Launched in August 2003, this annual initiative is open to professional filmmakers from any genre. One talented individual from Singapore or around the region will be selected as the winner and will occupy the 'Chair' for a year. He or she will hold creative control, and will be responsible for overseeing the production of three to six original programmes based on his or her proposed ideas;the Chair will also be tasked with recruiting other directors or producers to work on the programmes. The programming will be broadcast on one of Discovery Networks Asia's channels namely, Discovery Channel, Discovery Travel &Adventure, Animal Planet, Discovery Health, Discovery H&L and Discovery Science, reaching more than 180 million homes in Asia Pacific.

Last year, award-winning Singaporean writer-director Lee Thean-jeen was appointed to the Chair. Thean-jeen's proposed six-part series EDIBLE HISTORIES is scheduled to air on Discovery Channel in 2005. Earlier this year, Thean-jeen, who is the director of production for local production company Film Formations, had the opportunity to gain additional exposure and share his film-making experiences during DNA's First Time Film Makers workshop in Shanghai, where he gave a talk to Chinese producers at the event.

The DDC is an exclusive collaboration between DNA and the MDA. In addition to identifying and nurturing local talent, the DDC initiative will help create more original and high quality Made-by-Singapore content for an international audience. It is also a ready commercial outlet for promising directorial talent from the region.

Commenting on the partnership, Chief Executive Officer of the MDA, Dr Christopher Chia, said, "This partnership will provide an excellent platform for talents and companies from Singapore and Asia to showcase their works and reach out to an international audience. We hope this initiative helps to increase the talent pool and skills repertoire as well as raise production values for documentary production work in Singapore. This would be very much in line with our Media 21 vision to establish Singapore as a global media city."

Neville Meijers, Managing Director and Executive Vice President, DNA, said, "Discovery Networks Asia's partnership with the MDA is an important element in our local production plans to increase Asian content. We have always been committed to developing the region's talents through this and various other projects. From the entries we received last year, it is obvious that the region has a pool of talented filmmakers with great potential, and with the support of the MDA, we believe we will discover and develop some world-class documentary filmmakers through this initiative."

To be eligible to apply for the 'Documentary Director's Chair', filmmakers should be film or TV producers or directors who have already built a reputation for innovative, high-quality filmmaking. The scheme is designed to offer further growth opportunities to those who have already made a mark. Throughout the duration of the Chair, the selected individuals will be based in Singapore, and work closely with the DNA creative team in bringing their vision to the screen.

The selection criteria will include the strength of the idea and the skills that the individual brings to the Chair. The 'Documentary Director's Chair' selection panel will include the MDA and DNA senior staff.

Ideas from individuals can be submitted immediately to James Gibbons, VP, Programming and Creative Services, Discovery Networks Asia, 3 Changi Business Park Vista, #03-00 Singapore 486051. In addition to a written treatment, applicants are asked to include a resume and samples of their work. Submission is open till 14 February 2005. Final selection and the announcement will be made in March 2005. For more information, please visit

The 'Documentary Director's Chair' will provide talented individuals with the opportunity to contribute to the emerging media hub in Singapore with various activities planned around the Chair during industry-wide events like the Asia Media Festival, Discovery's regional productions, the SilverDocs in Washington D.C. and First Time Film Makers workshops.

Melissa Tham / Charmaine Huet
Discovery Networks Asia /

Tan Poh Cheng / Yvonne Poh
Media Development Authority of Singapore /​​

About Discovery Networks, Asia
Discovery Networks Asia (DNA), launched in 1994, reaches a cumulative subscriber base in excess of 180 million. DNA's portfolio comprises six channels across 22 countries in Asia Pacific;Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Travel &Adventure, Discovery Health, Discovery Science and Discovery H&L. Programming is customized into eight languages and broadcast on 17 unique feeds.

DNA's parent, Discovery Communications Inc., is the leading global real-world media and entertainment company, which runs 14 unique TV brands. Launched in the US in 1985, the company now operates in 160 countries and territories with more than 1 billion cumulative subscribers. DCI also consists of, Discovery Consumer Products and Discovery Channel retail stores. DCI's ownership consists of four shareholders: Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L), Cox Communications, Inc. (NYSE: COX), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Company's Founder and Chairman.

About the Media Development Authority of Singapore
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) aims to develop Singapore into a global media city. Its Media 21 strategy seeks to create a vibrant environment for the industry and public via five key thrusts: establish Singapore as a media exchange;export 'Made-by-Singapore' content;internationalise local media companies;nurture local media talents and develop digital media.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023