Capturing Asia’s Wild…Life

To paraphrase Woody Allen, 90 per cent of success in life has to do with just showing up.

That’s one reason why I travel extensively in Asia and beyond. The other reasons are networking, meeting interesting people and being inspired by them.

Last month I was at two international film festivals. I’ve already posted several items from the DC Environmental Film Festival. On my way to Washington DC, I stopped over in Singapore to catch the first day of the inaugural Wildlife Asia film festival, held from March 13 to 17.


The festival organisers asked me to speak on a panel on the indie (independent film-making) scene in Asia. I used that opportunity to take stock of TVE Asia Pacific productions, which rely largely on freelance TV and film professionals across Asia. We have a policy of engaging locally-based, native talent wherever we film.

But we are not into wildlife. So I had to clarify where we fit in:

For a moment, I was wondering whether I’m at the wrong film festival -– because we don’t cover any wildlife!

But what we do cover, with great interest and passion, is wild…life –- we chronicle life itself going ‘wild’ in different parts of Asia Pacific. Disasters, conflicts, pandemics, migration and desertification -– these are a few among many topics, themes and subjects in the television and video films that TVE Asia Pacific produces and distributes.

I continued:

Everywhere in the media we hear of Asia rising –- economies, cultures and people are all on the move. Indeed, things are happening at a mind-boggling pace. But not everyone is part of this frenzy. Many people -– and societies -– are being left behind. We are interested in both those who run ahead as well as those who get left behind….and we try to find out why.

That’s the small challenge we have set for ourselves. ‘We’ are Television for Education Asia Pacific -– trading as TVE Asia Pacific –- a small media foundation trying to tell this big story of our times. We are driven by a strong belief that what is happening in the world’s largest and most populous region has far-reaching impacts not just on our region, but on the entire planet.

Read the full text of my panel remarks on TVEAP website.

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