Singapore – Over US$250,000 in funding was awarded at this year’s The Asian Pitch competition organised by Japan’s NHK and Singapore’s MediaCorp. Stories about Shakespeare-spewing Chinese children, an association of ‘dead’ people, and diamond couriers are among the winning proposals from independent filmmakers across Asia. The selected five directors and projects are Sanjeev Sivan (India): Dead Man Walking; Zhu Chun Guang (China): For The Love Of Shakespeare; Sheron Dayoc (Philippines): A Weaver’s Tale; Zhao Liang (China): A Farmer’s Struggle; Arun Kumar (India): The Icemen – Angadias of India. Now in its second year, The Asian Pitch has seen a 35 percent increase in submissions, with 162 entries from Australia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam hoping to turn their ideas into world-class high definition documentaries. The pitch was held on 10 – 11 July 2008 at MediaCorp, Caldecott Broadcast Centre. The five programs will be available internationally when they make their debut at the MIPTV tradeshow in Cannes in April 2009.