AIDC 2018 Program First Look

14 November 2017

A program with a strong focus on market opportunities for Australian factual filmmakers will be the hallmark of the 2018 Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

General registration for AIDC 2018, to be held March 4 - 7 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, opens today.

Drawing on the Conference theme ‘SOUTHERN EXPOSURE’, Conference Director Alice Burgin said AIDC 2018 is where Australian voices in documentary get to shine:

“AIDC 2018 will bring new buyers to market and match them more efficiently with Australian producers, explore the most important developments in factual through world-class speakers and creators, and ensure the longevity of the local industry by ushering in new documentary talent. 

"It’s about making sure Australian filmmakers can keep telling great stories, and the Australian industry remains a leader in documentary and factual production.”


Bringing The Love

We're thrilled to announce AIDC 2018’s first headline guest, Sara Ramsden (pictured), newly-appointed Creative Director of Love Productions (UK).

Love Productions is the production company responsible for Filthy Rich & Homeless, as well as the multi-award-winning The Great British Bake-off and Muslims Like Us. Previously at Channel 4, Sara is one of the world’s top commissioning editors of high-rating factual formats.


More Marketplace Opportunities

A strengthened AIDC Marketplace will offer a range of opportunities for documentary filmmakers to engage with international and domestic markets.

Announced today are the first key Decision Makers in the Marketplace, led by Australian streaming powerhouse STAN, and major international players ARTE FranceNational Geographic, BBC StoryvilleAl JazeeraCuriosityStream, and world-renowned distributor of theatrical feature documentaries, Dogwoof.

AIDC delegates with an All Access Pass can meet these Decision Makers in our new Cut to the Chase pitching market. Replacing Speed Pitching, Cut to the Chase is a curated marketplace carefully matching documentary and factual producers with local and international Decision Makers. The deadline for submitting pitches for consideration is 5 February 2018.

AIDC’s international pitching forum The FACTory also returns for 2018, this time with the added incentive of The Unfinished Prize for Documentary. Teams of producers pitch documentary and factual projects to a panel of Decision Makers in a public arena setting with the aim of obtaining funding, pre-sales and co-production support. Two international projects pitched in the 2017 FACTory, The Last Guardian (Bhutan) and Lady of the Harbour (China) have since gone on to screen at IDFA.

All Australian pitches in The FACTory will also compete for the inaugural Unfinished Prize, to be presented to the best pitch and comprising $10,000 cash from Wide Open Road Coffee Roasters, and $40,000 in advertising from The Saturday Paper.

More pitching opportunities come in the form of Pitch Australiana, a new competition presented by AIDC, VICE and Screen Australia. Early career Australian filmmakers will pitch a short documentary project idea in the hope of securing a $50,000 commission for a new work to screen on and SBS Viceland.

These opportunities will be complemented by AIDC’s returning program of Roundtables – gathering small groups of producers for intimate sessions with key Decision Makers – and a vibrant Networking program of social events, business lunches, and mixers.


A Great Big Story To Tell

The aforementioned Sara Ramdsen will be one of many leading international voices to participate in the AIDC Speakers, Sessions & Screenings program, which is set to feature the biggest brains, the freshest players and best content for the benefit of the Australian industry.

The screening program is led by the Federation Square big screen premiere of the very best microdocs and short films from Great Big Story, CNN’s global online documentary platform devoted to cinematic storytelling. 

Launched in 2015 and with bureaus in New York, London and Stockholm, Great Big Story has travelled to more than 80 countries to discover compelling untold and overlooked stories. This free outdoor showcase on the evening of Tuesday 6 March is open to the public. Great Big Story’s Vice President of Content, Courtney Coupe, and Vice President of Development, Matthew Drake, will also be participating in the Marketplace.


New Talent To Welcome

Joining AIDC delegates in 2018 will be the first beneficiaries of its Leading Lights Fund, a unique initiative allowing the blue bloods of the industry to usher in the new blood.

The Leading Lights program sees donations from major players in Australian factual production – like CJZ, Beyond Productions, ITV Studios and more – turned into passes for early career first-time attendees, injecting new talent into the documentary pool and introducing fresh faces to the community.


'Bigger And Better Than Ever'

AIDC 2018 welcomes a number of new and returning partners, including Principal Partner Film Victoria and major partners ACMI, Screen Australia, ABC and SBS.

Jenni Tosi, CEO of Film Victoria, AIDC’s Principal Partner, said “AIDC 2018 promises to be bigger and better than ever, as demonstrated by the many great initiatives already announced and the other guests that will follow Sara Ramsden. Connections to the international market are essential for Australian documentary and factual entertainment producers and under the leadership of AIDC’s Conference Director Alice Burgin we have a lot more great announcements to look forward to.”

Katrina Sedgwick, Director & CEO of Major Partner ACMI said, “ACMI is proud to partner with AIDC on what is long established as a pivotal event on our industry’s calendar. After record attendances in 2017, we look forward with much excitement to this already excellent 2018 program – and all the connections forged and deals done right here at ACMI during this buzzing conference.”

AIDC also welcomes a new major partner – independent VR studio Jumpgate VR – as the main supporter of VR Plus: Meet Your Maker, AIDC’s unique nonfiction VR/AR/interactive marketplace. VR+ will bring together the most innovative new content creators with leading-edge industry representatives.


And It's Just The Beginning...

The full AIDC 2018 program of more than 30 sessions and over 100 speakers and decision makers will be announced in the coming months.

For information on passes and how to register, CLICK HERE.


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