UPDATED 24 FEB 2021: Please note, due to changing circumstances, the AIRBORNE team has withdrawn its project from The FACTory. Fourteen teams will now compete in this pitching program.
Above image: Cleaning Trauma. Supplied courtesy of Charlotte Wheaton & David Elliot-Jones
AIDC 2021 Online is delighted to reveal the 15 teams that will take part in The FACTORY, the conference’s international pitching showcase for new documentary and factual projects, proudly presented by Film Victoria.
In its sixth year, this flagship pitching event will take place virtually. Reconfigured to harness its full online potential, 15 projects with strong market potential have the opportunity to present their work in front of the largest contingent of international decision makers to participate in AIDC – including funders, buyers, broadcasters, sales agents and distributors.
Shortlisted teams for The FACTory will pitch across three strands: Central Showcase, New Talent Showcase and Rough Cut Showcase.
Alice Burgin, AIDC CEO and Conference Director, said: “The FACTory is our premier pitching event at AIDC each year. The 15 projects we have accepted for 2021 are exceptionally strong and exciting. Our aim is to help these teams make valuable connections with our international decision makers – and take the first or second step towards making these ambitious factual productions.”
Caroline Pitcher, Film Victoria CEO, said: “Since its introduction at AIDC Melbourne in 2016, The FACTory has become a successful launchpad for documentaries to accelerate through the development lifecycle. We extend our congratulations to the filmmakers who have been selected to pitch their projects this year to AIDC’s largest ever panel of decision makers, including the four Victorian teams.”
Here are the project teams selected to participate in The FACTory at AIDC 2021.
The story of Delhi’s apocalyptic air and escalating communal violence is woven together by an unlikely figure – the black kite, and its human entanglements.
Director: Shaunak Sen
Producer: Aman Mann
BREAKING THE NEWS
The Philippines’ biggest newsroom is killed by the government. As owners bargain to save it, a journalist fears what the price may be.
Director: Chiara Zambrano
Producers: Chuck Gutierrez and Baby Ruth Villarama
Cleaning Trauma follows the journey of larger-than-life trauma cleaning business owner Sandra Pankhurst, as she begins a search for her birth mother and reinvents herself as an icon for resilience.
Director: Lachlan Mcleod
Producers: Charlotte Wheaton & David Elliot-Jones
When widespread corruption, abuse and sexual assault is uncovered at the Gloriavale Christian Community, one man sets out to save his family and bring the powerful cult to their knees.
Director: Noel Smyth
Producer: Fergus Grady
(Australia, New Zealand)
HERE, THE SILENCE IS HEARD
After arriving in Chile and inhabiting the old house my grandparents abandoned in exile during the military dictatorship, the ghosts of an open family wound start appearing at night.
Director: Gabriela Pena
Producer: Picho García
LA LUCHA (THE FIGHT)
People with disabilities are among the most discriminated against in Bolivia. Fed up with being ignored, a group marches across the Andes to speak to the President.
Director: Violeta Ayala
Producer: Dan Fallshaw
(Australia, Bolivia, USA)
LONG LIVE MY HAPPY HEAD
A Scottish artist with a brain tumour creates a comic to prepare his loved ones for his death, whilst the pandemic forces him into isolation, trapping his partner in America.
Director: Will Hewitt
Director/Producer: Austen McCowan
Executive Producer: Amy Hardie
(United Kingdom, USA)
MAKE IT LOOK REAL
An intimacy coordinator – hired to choreograph Hollywood sex scenes and keep actors safe on set – aims to change her industry in the wake of the #MeToo movement but begins to question whether she really is able to protect the actors she works with.
Director: Kate Blackmore
Producers: Bethany Bruce and Daniel Joyce
(Australia, USA, United Kingdom)
MASTERS OF THE NIGHT SKY
An ecological love story that connects the dots between the symbiotic relationship of Australia’s fragile Alpine ecosystem and its iconic moth. Like a stack of cards, if this tiny insect at the bottom of the food chain fails to adapt to a warming planet, the entire biosphere could collapse.
Director: Grania Kelly
Producer: Veronica Fury
In 1977 Nora Cortiñas’ son was kidnapped by Argentina’s dictatorship. During her forty-year search for him, Nora is transformed – from a conservative ‘housewife’ into a trailblazing activist and celebrated icon – inspiring a new generation to fight for their democracy.
Director: Jayson McNamara
Producers: Daniel Joyce & Rebecca Bennett
Three environmental crusaders confront murder, betrayal and their own demons as they are tested like never before in their battle to save an island paradise in the Philippines.
Director: Karl Malakunas
Producers: Marty Syjuco & Michael Collins
(Australia, USA, Philippines)
A Malaysian Muslim queer punk band, Shh…Diam! led by transman Faris Saad are fighting for a space to exist through their music, against conservative traditions and religious boundaries.
Director: Yihwen Chen
Producers: Catherine Chan, Alex Lee
SHIMSHON, HASIDIC IN ASIA
A divorced Hasidic rabbi, living alone in Hong Kong, attempts to find a Hasidic wife despite the odds while traveling the region practising the age-old custom of circumcising Jewish babies.
Director: Sadie Granberg
Producer: Shmuel Junger
(Israel, Hong Kong, Philippines, India)
STORIES IN STONE
For 75,000+ years, Aborigines encoded knowledge into mythological stories, ensuring the Elders’ wisdom transferred through generations. These crucial lessons are still taught today – now western science is learning too.
Director: Mark Jones
Producer: Naomi Cleaver
Co-Producer: Mitch Torres
THE BLACK HAND
Anthony LaPaglia investigates his heritage and Queensland’s mafia Black Hand Gang: extortion, kidnap, murder in the era of Mussolini and Capone with global consequences that reverberate today.
Director: Kriv Stenders
Producers: Alan Erson & Adam Grossetti
(Australia, Italy, USA)
The 15 selected projects will have access to extensive online pitch training conducted by experienced screen practitioners, before having the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with key international and local decision makers.
All projects in The FACTory 2021 will be eligible to win pitch prizes, including:
The FINCH Prize, which recognises and supports quality documentary storytelling from culturally diverse filmmakers. The prize comprises four weeks of in-kind post production facilities and/or services by FINCH in Sydney – including grade, online and mastering to the value of $45,000 AUD.
Doc Edge (New Zealand), providing two complimentary All Access Passes to Screen Edge Forum and a place to participate in Doc Edge Pitch for one project; Hot Docs (Canada), providing a complimentary pass for one project to the 2021 event; and Sheffield Doc/Fest (United Kingdom), providing two complimentary industry accreditations for one project to the next festival, which will be delivered in a hybrid format in June 2021. All accreditations will be valid for online or physical attendance.
In 2021, there will also be a separate prize for the New Talent Showcase, in which one team will be awarded two complimentary passes to Sunnyside of the Doc (France), plus a 2-hour online mentoring session.
Since The FACTory began in 2016, international and local decision makers have backed a diverse range of projects across multiple genres with AIDC supporting more than 60 project teams to participate in the pitching showcase.
The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) is Australia’s premier event for documentary and factual content servicing the screen and digital media industries. A not-for-profit established in 1987, the organisation remains committed to the sustainability of non-fiction storytelling. Serving both the commercial and creative needs of the industry, AIDC organises a marketplace for documentary and factual product, showcases the work of Australian and international producers, and creates a forum to discuss content, craft, technology and future directions. AIDC’s goal is to connect creators, purveyors and viewers of non-fiction screen and digital media content in ways that promote business, inspire creativity and ignite social change.
AIDC 2021 Online will run 28 February – 3 March. For regular updates, subscribe to the eNews.