The electronic media is acknowledged as one of "the most powerful
tools of modern societies for cultural expression". Yet, Koichiro
Matsuura, Director-General, UNESCO, has warned that globalisation
raised the risk of a dramatic reduction in the variety of civilizations
around the world. At one point, film historian, Arthur Knight, predicted
that in the near future, regional film-makers may be celebrating their
regions through film as, traditionally, novelists, poets and musicians
Did Arthur Knight mean Diversity as we comprehend it in the 21st century?
Are Asian producers equipped to fulfil such a prediction? In this
context, it is important to note that regional film-makers in Asia
have often experienced frustration at their inability to compete in
international television. Asia is a burgeoning region in the global
marketplace of television. Major players like the National Geographic,
Discovery and the BBC among others, are increasing their focus in
the Asian region. Obviously, the demand will first be for programming
about the region. Subsequently, it is bound to metamorphose into programming
by film-makers from Asia.
At the same time, not only has the space on global television shrunk
for non-fiction genres, even the forms are changing beyond recognition.
The demands and standards of commissioning editors and executive producers
in major international networks and organizations are often opaque
and ambiguous. Exposure to their "systems" is by and large
still limited. In the coming years, local producers in the Asian region
will be able to compete for space on global media only if they have
the requisite expertise. With information and knowledge.
In Asia, India, with a one billion population, is a massive "marketplace".
The curricula of media teaching institutions in the country are essentially
deprived. They have been unable to correctly focus on the exhaustive
nature of training required for competitive non-fiction television.
Students graduating from these institutions feel inadequate once they
step into the world of television programming. Negligible awareness
of technique and technology at one end, combined with a poverty of
socio-cultural sensitization, often leads to a disaster in terms of
It was in this backdrop that formedia was registered as a not-for-profit
trust in the year 2000. With the precise objectives of imparting practical
knowledge, giving an impetus to the younger generation of producers
keen on non-fiction genres and sensitizing audiences towards non-fiction
The not-for-profit foundation was set up in public interest towards
the cause of high-quality creative content, especially in the field
of non-fiction television programming. The objective is imbued with
an underlining emphasis on the role of news and related forms of information
dissemination, especially the critical genre of the documentary.