Southeast Asian Documentary Grant

The Tan Ean Kiam Foundation-SGIFF Southeast Asian-Documentary Grant (SEADOC) aims to support the development and production of compelling stories told through the art of documentary in Southeast Asia. SEA-DOC will support four mid-length or feature projects annually, with a cash amount of S$25,000 each.



Some Women by Quenyee Wong (Singapore)
What does it mean to be transgender in Singapore in 2019? From the glorious past of Bugis Street to the country’s seemingly progressive present, some trans women – including the director herself – tell their own stories of hope, fear and inspiration.


68 by Tan Biyun (Singapore)
The last street vendor in Singapore struggles with the sudden loss of livelihood after being evicted. He seeks help from the state but runs into a wall of bureaucracy, regulations and language barrier.


Aswang by Alyx Ayn Arumpac (Philippines)
When men turn up dead, the old folks whisper of the Aswang, a shape shifting beast from folklore. In Manila, bodies pile up and lives entwine as the state wages a brutal war against drugs and crime.


Ploy by Prapat Jiwarangsan (Thailand)
A story of Ploy, who’s an entry point to real stories of Thai migrant workers in Singapore. It is also a story about an artist searching for ways to represent Ploy.



Tan Pin Pin is an award-winning director of Singapore GaGa, To Singapore with Love, Invisible City and In Time to Come, a lawyer by training. Her works have screened at Berlinale, Busan, Flaherty, Vision du Reel and the Lincoln Centre. She has won awards from Cinema du Reel, Taiwan International Documentary Festival and Dubai International Film Festival. Pin Pin was on the Jury at the Busan International Film Festival. She was a board member of the National Archives of Singapore, The Substation, and Centre for the Arts. She is also a co-founding member of filmcommunitysg, an advocacy group for Singapore independent filmmakers as well as a board member of the Singapore International Film Festival.


Asako Fujioka has been working with Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival since 1993 as Coordinator, Director, and is now on its Board of Directors. She has also been selection committee member and advisor for Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund since 2006. She organizes film ‘dojo’ workshops with Asian filmmakers, distributes Asian documentaries in Japan, and acts as international liaison for Japanese documentaries like The Horses of Fukushima, The Wages of Resistance: Narita Stories, and Zen and Bones. She is one of the founders and board members of non-profit Independent Cinema Guild in Japan.


Pimpaka Towira is the Programme Director of Singapore International Film Festival. Her feature film debut One Night Husband (2003) brought her international fame, making her one of the first female Thai filmmakers to be noticed by international critics and viewers. Her second film, The Island Funeral (2015) also received an award in the Asian Future category at the Tokyo International Film Festival. She has been invited as a jury member for various international film festivals and was honoured with the Silpathorn Award in 2009, granted by the Ministry of Culture in Thailand for her commitment and contributions to Thai Cinema.


Lai Weijie’s producing credits include the debut film by Kirsten Tan POP AYE – winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting at the Sundance Film Festival and the VPRO Big Screen Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam. His latest project Taste was selected at L’Atelier at the Cannes Film Festival and received both the Co-Production Award and the Arte International Prize at TorinoFilmLab. As Senior Programme Manager at the Singapore International Film Festival, Weijie initiated three film mentorship programmes: the Southeast Asian Film Lab, the Youth Jury & Critics Programme, and Southeast Asian Producer’s Network.


Entry Fees: None

• Applicant must be a producer and/or director of the documentary, director of the documentary must
be of Southeast Asian descent and citizen.
• Documentary must be shot in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia will be defined as Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
• Applicants must have at least made two previous short films.
• Documentary projects within these lengths are eligible to apply:
I. Medium length films (40-59 minutes duration including credits)
II. Feature films (films over 60 minutes)
• All applications must be done in English. All final films must include English subtitles.

• Grants will be disbursed in 2 parts – SG$15,000 upon submission of final treatment and production schedule; SG$10,000 upon submission of completed film.

• If recipients are unable to complete principal photography within 18 months of signing the agreement, the agreement will be terminated and no pending instalments on the funding will be paid. SGIFF reserves the right to find a replacement project from the applications submitted.

• Applications to include:
I. Director’s biography including headshot (1 page)
II. Producer’s biography including headshot (1 page)
III. Synopsis (1 page)
IV. Treatment
V. Director’s statement (2 pages)
VI. Proposed Timeline
VII. Detailed budget
VIII. Finance plan (to state funding procured if any)
IX. Recommendation letter (1 page)
X. Links to previous works (at least one feature; two short films or two episodes of series. Documentary work is encouraged.)

• SGIFF to have Asian premiere of the completed documentary film.
• Recipients to attend SGIFF/lunch hosted by the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation and SGIFF.

• A treatment outlines the project in a manner more detailed than the synopsis and reads like a short story, told in the present tense and describing events as they happen and may include details of directorial style.
• An estimated production budget states how much it will cost to make a project from development through to completion. The budget should reflect the expected expenses incurred in all the different departments, including but not limited to actor’s fees, equipment rental, art department, location expenses, and post production. This should reflect what the project should cost to make, not what you want it to cost.
• A finance plan explains where the budget of a project comes from. The financing can be from sources such as film grants, private investors, sponsors, product placement, a film studio, entertainment company or even out-of-pocket funds. This should indicate how much of the entire budget is secured and how much more is needed.

• All entries must be complete. Submissions should reach us no later than Thursday, 31 January 2020, 6.00pm (GMT+8). Update: In lieu of the festivities, the deadline for the grants has been extended to 14 February 2020.
• Any submission received after the deadline will not be accepted.
• Only 4 projects will be selected. All decisions are final.

• The Tan Ean Kiam-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant only accepts a secure online link of the portfolio work being submitted.
• Films in any other language other than English must have English subtitles.

• The Tan Ean Kiam-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant will notify successful applicants of the selection results by May 2020.
• The Tan Ean Kiam-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant does not provide individual explanation on the non-selection of a project.
• Once a project is selected, the applicant will not be able to withdraw the project from The Tan Ean Kiam-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant.
• Ownership of the documentary film produced during with the Tan Ean Kiam-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant will belong solely to the applicant.
• Recipients must indicate Tan Ean Kiam-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant support in any subsequent project materials, by displaying the Tan Ean Kiam-SGIFF SEA-DOC Grant logo in the completed films.


31 January 2020 14 February 2020 Call for Submissions End
May 2020 Results Announced