AIDC 2018 Announces Full Program

5 February 2018

It's time! We're very proud to finally reveal the full program of Sessions, Speakers, Screenings, Events, Decision Makers and Marketplace opportunities for AIDC 2018, to be held at ACMI in Melbourne, Australia, this March 4 – 7.



Day 1: VR Plus, Meeting the Big Guns & Opening Night Party

With a focus on the current international and domestic market for documentary and factual programming, as well as impact and innovation, AIDC 2018 kicks off on Sunday 4 March with its VR Plus day exploring VR, AR and interactive nonfiction content, including a keynote by global new media expert, Tribeca Film Institute’s Ingrid Kopp.

Day One also includes Who’s Who in the Zoo, a roll-call and fun intro to AIDC’s international Decision Maker delegates. This is an incomparable opportunity to get to know the most important people in the nonfiction screen sector. 

Continuing to lead with the big guns, AIDC’s So You Think You've Got an Idea? then invites practitioners to meet and pitch to the biggest producers of Australian TV, including Fremantle Media’s Caroline Spencer, Matchbox’s Kylie Washington and CJZ’s Andrew Farrell

And to celebrate the launch of the conference, Sunday night kicks off with the Opening Night Party – co-presented by SBS – with a special Welcome to Country provided by Aboriginal elder Uncle Jack Charles and entertainment from rising neo-soul stars Electric Fields (soon to be the subject of a doco themselves).


Day 2: Journalism & Commissioning

Monday 5 March starts with an unmissable Masterclass presented by Film Victoria by long time-time Errol Morris collaborator, producer Robert Fernandez. Fernandez recently delivered his and Morris’ biggest project to-date: the Netflix series Wormwood

Monday includes AIDC’s focus on the relationship between journalism and documentary. Special sessions in this strand include a focus on video in Journalism Plus, presented by ABC News, featuring John Lyons (Head of Investigative and in-depth journalism, ABC News) and moderated by Nick Feik (Editor, The Monthly). 

AIDC is also pleased to welcome the team from Australia’s podcast sensation, Trace, including Rachael Brown, Tim Roxburgh and Martin Peralta, who will unpack their crafting of their Walkley-winning investigative documentary podcast in Retracing: Crafting Story in Audio Documentary.

Day Two continues with a number of ‘Meet the Commissioner’ sessions, including Innovate Now: Rethinking Factual TV, where local and international commissioners discuss new technologies in the evolution of factual TV storytelling, and what’s getting them excited for 2018 and beyond. 

A showcase of arts commissioning, Going Hunting: Is Arts an Endangered Species? will be hosted at the Clemenger Auditorium of the National Gallery of Victoria, and will be followed a special networking session in the gardens, with AIDC delegates afforded an exclusive after-hours viewing of NGV’s Triennial Exhibition.


Day 3: Distribution & Impact

Tuesday 6 March is AIDC’s distribution day. It begins with an in-conversation session no practitioner will want to miss – Beyond Broadcast & Cinema – featuring Kitty Green and Dan Fallshaw, two Australian doco makers doing deals with giants Netflix and Amazon, about navigating the new complexities of rights control in a world-wide marketplace. 

This will be followed by a series of sessions addressing the new distribution landscape, answering questions on how to access alternative audience pathways and get content seen. 

Award-winning director Jennifer Peedom, Paul Wiegard (Madman) and Oli Harbottle (Dogwoof) will discuss the playing field in Moving Mountains, providing a special focus on Jen Peedom’s epic box-office success Mountain and the international collaboration that made it work.

Tuesday also sees the return of AIDC’s Impact strand. Launched by a special keynote - Dark PR: In the Line of Fire - from Prash Naik, General Counsel of the Doc Society (BRITDOC), the strand will include a focus on The Evolution of Impact, with speakers including War on Waste’s Commissioning Editor Stephen Oliver (ABC), Good Pitch2 Australia’s Malinda Wink, and award-winning impact producer, Alex Kelly.


Day 4: Funding Opportunities & Indigenous Filmmaking

On Wednesday 7 March the focus is on funding opportunities and Indigenous filmmaking. The day kicks off with Behind the BBC, where BBC’s Head of Documentary Commissioning, Clare Sillery, and BBC Storyville Commissioning Editor, Mandy Chang, talk about what makes a successful and engaging documentary, in a world where the battle for eyeballs is fiercer than ever before. 

Wildbear’s Bettina Dalton joins commissioners Carolyn Payne (National Geographic) and Devina Cheema (CuriosityStream) to talk about the trials and joys of international co-productions and commissions in the aptly titled Long Distance Relationships

Delegates will then have an opportunity to hear from STAN’s Head of Originals, Rob Gibson, open up about future plans and goals for nonfiction content in a one-on-one conversation with SBS Commissioning Editor, Susie Jones, in Meet the Man from STAN.

AIDC is also thrilled to launch Breaking Ground 1 & 2, two sessions focusing on Indigenous storytelling. AIDC welcomes inimitable filmmaker Trisha Morton-Thomas for an intimate in-conversation about the power of documentary to change individual and societal perceptions. 

This will be followed by a lunchtime breakout session for Indigenous storytellers to meet each other; and non-Indigenous delegates to hear from their First Peoples colleagues, to forge relationships and future collaborations.


Program Highlights & More

Masterclass & Keynote Highlights

Other Session Program Highlights:

Special Screenings and Q&As

“Once a year, we as the doco and factual community have an opportunity to come together and share what we’ve seen, heard, and made," said AIDC Director, Alice Burgin

"AIDC’s program is a combination of this, a chance for us to celebrate what we’ve achieved and inspire each other to keep reaching for the stars.”


Marketplace Opportunities

Running alongside the Session program is the AIDC Marketplace, with over 60 national and international Decision Makers attending, providing a range of pitching and networking opportunities for documentary producers and buyers. This includes facilitation of structured meetings and curated pitching via the Cut to the Chase market program, Roundtables (which open for sign-ups on midday Thursday 8 February), networking events, and The FACTory International Pitching Forum.

The FACTory is the centrepiece of the AIDC Marketplace, providing an opportunity for selected producers to pitch their projects directly to top level international decision makers in a live event setting. In 2018, Wide Open Road coffee roasters, The Saturday Paper and AIDC are partnering to present the inaugural Unfinished Prize for Documentary. Valued at $50,000, the prize will be awarded to the best Australian project pitched at The FACTory International Pitching Forum.

AIDC’s VR marketplace, Meet Your Maker, presented by Jumpgate VR returns in 2018 as well as the ACCESS Early Career Mentorship Program, presented by Beach House Pictures. Providing exclusive mentorship sessions with leading local and international industry figures, filmmakers accepted into the program also have a chance to secure an internship with a professional production company.

In 2018, AIDC has introduced the Leading Lights program which gives established screen media and production companies the chance to usher in the next generation of nonfiction screen content creators. A business can become a Leading Light by purchasing one (or more) All Access Pass or Conference Pass, to be provided to an early career filmmaker or factual content creator who has not attended AIDC before. 17 production companies, from the big end of town to small indies, have supported the program thus far.

2018 also sees the Trans-Tasman Story Pitch where New Zealand/Australian co-productions will participate in an open pitching session to a panel of Australia’s top broadcasting commissioners to secure Australian funding, and potentially access up to NZD $200,000 of matched funding from NZ On Air. Applications close Friday 9 February. 

To discover all the elements of the 2018 program, simply head to our homepage and start exploring!


Media enquiries:
Tracey Mair, TM Publicity
For AIDC 2018
Ph: 02 8333 9066 or 0419 221 493