Founder of KineticONE & Director of Twittamentary – one of the best & the most objective documentaries on social media ever made – Siok Siok Tan held an interesting & detailed Documentary workshop on the first day of Talk Journalism 2018.
Born & raised in Singapore, Siok Siok Tan is based in Beijing and is a pool of multiple talents manifested in her diverse documentaries talking about some eminent times like the pre-1965 Singapore and delving into perspectives that had been untapped. Her direction ‘Boomtown Beijing’ – a video documentary that captured the feeling of hosting the 2008 China Olympics through the eyes of Beijing, gained wide popularity and great success.
Challenges faced by a female journalist?
When asked about the challenges faced as a female journalist, Siok had a rather uncommon & honest response to offer.
‘In times when women, especially the ones in a field as powerful as journalism, are supposed to be strong & aggressive, I find myself not fitting in. My gentle personality and polite nature contradict the way I am supposed to be, but I kind of accept it and embrace it and try not to overcompensate for the gender bias out there.’
You have given numerous documentaries in the last many years, what is it that you are currently working on?
I am always working on something. Last year I did two coffee table books on social media & photography in China, right now I am working on a personal project.
Talking about social media & photography, which social media tool do you think has emerged as the most powerful when it comes to adding value to some excellent works & deserving artists?
There are lots of platforms which empower the works of art, but the most powerful among them is Twitter, because the more open a platform is, the more it gives way to opportunities, news, stories & draws attention to the right things at the right time.
Siok Siok Tan had a Documentary workshop on Day 1 at Talk Journalism 2018.
She emphasized on ‘One needs to make the film for the community’. As an independent filmmaker, I have learned marketing also to sell my film. We learn all the technicalities of filmmaking but never marketing skills. She ended with a note- There is no money in documentary filmmaking.
The event that is taking place in Rajasthan’s capital, hosted by Fairmont Jaipur, is a non-profit initiative to bring the best in journalism under one roof and get them to talk to each other and let the world listen.