Donovan Chan, Creative Director, Beach House Pictures
Donovan Chan is a founding partner of Beach House Pictures and spearheads strategy and content development. He also executive produces, writes and directs many of the company’s international productions. Donovan has worked on award-winning shows including Lonely Planet Six Degrees for TLC and Megastructures: Singapore’s Vegas for Nat Geo International. He is an expert in science and engineering programs such as Man Made Marvels (Discovery Channel), was an Executive Producer on the Nat Geo International series China From Above, and co-created Hidden Cities for HISTORY. He recently produced NYF Culinary Program medal winner Nomad Chef (TLC), and ob-doc series All Access Changi for Channel News Asia.
Jenni Tosi, Managing Director, Princess Pictures
Jenni Tosi is the Managing Director of Princess Pictures, who are known for their eclectic slate of highly entertaining comedy, factual, drama and online content. Jenni has a wealth of industry experience. She was the CEO of Film Victoria for 6.5 years, having previously held the executive role of General Manager of Industry Development and Investment and also serving as a Board Member. Before joining Film Victoria, Jenni enjoyed a very successful career as an independent producer and consultant to a who’s who of Australian and international production companies. She is an Adjunct Professor of RMIT University’s School of Media & Communication and serves on a range of industry advisory committees.
John Ford, General Manager, NPACT
From 1989-2003, John Ford held senior executive positions at Discovery Networks (US), and also served as EVP and general manager of TLC from 1991-99. From 2003-2007, he served as EVP of programming at National Geographic Channel, leading the network’s total programming and ratings turnaround. Ford was named president and general manager of Discovery Channel in 2007 and served until 2009. Since 2011 Ford has run John Ford Media, LLC. He served as head of creative at the short-form content advisor SyncSense, whose clients included TNT, ABC, NGC and Travel Channel. Under his leadership, Ford’s channels earned numerous primetime, and news and documentary Emmy awards, and two Peabody Awards. As a network executive, he has garnered hundreds of production credits as executive producer and executive in charge of production. In January 2015, Ford and partners launched Justice Network, a digital multicast network devoted to true-crime programming. And in July 2015, Ford became general manager of the Non-Fiction Producers Association (NPA), the first professional body created to represent the non-fiction content production business in the United States.
Kazz Basma, Head of Sales and Acquisitions, Sideways Film
Kazz runs Sideways Film, a documentary and factual sales agency set up in 2010 and with offices in London and Barcelona. Sideways distribute internationally across all medias / formats, and attend 15-20 international markets and festivals each year. Their films have screened at major festivals (Sundance, IDFA, Tribeca, Sheffield, Hot Docs etc) and licensed globally (Netflix, BBC, Nat Geo, ARTE and many, many other clients large and small). Kazz is regularly invited as an expert to various festivals, training programs (EAVE, London College of Communication etc) and juries (including International Emmys). They also occasionally partner at the project stage to develop and close budgets.
Kitty Green, Filmmaker
Kitty Green is an award-winning Australian filmmaker. After graduating from VCA, Kitty worked as an editor and producer for ABC’s Art Nation. In 2012, Kitty spent a year in her mother’s native Ukraine shooting with the protest movement ‘Femen’. Her independent feature documentary, Ukraine Is Not A Brothel premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2013, screened at over 50 film festivals internationally and won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) award for Best Australian Feature Documentary. In 2015, Kitty’s documentary short The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it was awarded the jury prize. Kitty’s latest feature, Casting JonBenet was acquired by Netflix as a Netflix Original before its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. It is currently streaming globally. Casting JonBenet was also awarded the Best Feature Documentary accolade at the 2017 AACTAs, making the Kitty the first two-time award-winner in the category since the inaugural AACTAs in 2011. Kitty is a Sundance Institute Fellow as part of the ‘Art of Nonfiction' initiative.
Mandy Chang, Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville
Mandy is the Commissioning Editor of BBC Storyville - the broadcaster's flagship global documentary strand. She is also the Head of Documentary Acquisitions for the BBC. Mandy was previously Head of ABC Arts in Australia, overseeing the TV Arts department and its digital Arts channel. She has commissioned and executive produced many award-winning films and series. For much of her career, Mandy has been a documentary filmmaker, making films like The Mona Lisa Curse, The Camera that Changed the World and The State of Texas. She is passionate about finding and supporting exceptional documentary films that illuminate our world.
Michela Ledwidge, Founder & CEO, MOD
Michela Ledwidge is an artist and director redefining the space between cinema and games. In 2004 she won a NESTA Invention award for 'remixable film', which outlines her vision for playful storytelling and digital culture and continues to underpin her artistic practice. She is co-founder of studio Mod and has been both the creative and technical lead on numerous productions. Michela has been an Internet pioneer since the early 1990s, creating the first website in NSW and setting up the National Library of Australia's first web service, before working on some of the largest internet projects in Europe. She is Vice President, Digital of the Australian Directors Guild. She co-founded the Sydney Unity Users Group and Women in AR & VR Sydney.
Penny Smallacombe, Head of Indigenous, Indigenous Department, Screen Australia
Penny Smallacombe is a Member of the Maramanindji people, from the Northern Territory. She has completed a cadetship with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and has a Masters of Arts (Documentary Producing) from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. At AFTRS, Penny produced two documentaries - Roger and A Change of Heart. A Change of Heart was nominated for a Dendy Award and played at several International film festivals including IDFA. Between 2004 and 2005 Penny worked in the Indigenous Programs Unit at the ABC, where she produced and directed for series 6 and 7 of Message Sticks. Penny’s ABC stories Leila Murray and the Long Grassers were nominated for Human Rights awards. Penny also produced the ABC’s highly successful Yarning Up series 1 and 2 and was a part of the Screen Australia Indigenous Department’s Producers Initiative in 2011. She produced a series of shorts called The Forgotten Ones in 2010, directed by prisoners from the NT, and before beginning her role at Screen Australia, Penny was working as a Senior Programmer for NITV, National Indigenous Television, a division of SBS.
Ingrid Kopp, Co-Director, Electric South
Ingrid Kopp co-directs Electric South, a Cape Town-based organisation dedicated to supporting African creators telling stories through Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, interactive web documentaries and mobile-based content. A respected global expert in emerging media storytelling, Ingrid also curates Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes program and, together with MIT’s Open DocLab, she produces Immerse, an online publication dedicated to emerging media. Until recently Ingrid was a Senior Consultant in the Interactive Department at the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI). She facilitated interactive and cross-platform projects through the TFI New Media Fund and TAA Interactive Prototype Fund, and created Tribeca Hacks and TFI Interactive to create a space for story+tech+design experiments and conversation.