Full Program Confirmed for AIDC 2017

31 January 2017

It's time to lock-in the full final program for AIDC 2017.

Over a jam-packed four days from 5 - 8 March, the 30th Anniversary AIDC (1987-2017) will present over 46 sessions, masterclasses, screenings and networking events – all dedicated to documentary, factual and unscripted screen content.





New additions to the impressive line-up include Political Documentary in a Post-Truth World, a timely look at political filmmaking in the age of social media with BuzzFeed Editor Nicola Harvey, ABC Foreign Correspondent journalist Matt Davis, and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Anna Broinowski (Pauline Hanson: Please Explain?, Forbidden Lie$).


Also, This is Not a Documentary, exploring the world of hybrid documentaries with innovative filmmaker and artist Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Bastardy) and ACMI Head of Film Programs James Hewison.


Fair Facts, with Fair Use expert Patricia Aufderheide (US) will consider copyright issues for documentary filmmakers, particularly around archival material; while Instant Documentary, will see’s Peter Hamilton (US) explore the impact of live mobile video and citizen witnessing on the media landscape.


A welcome return addition to the program is the Robin Anderson ‘State of the Art’ Address, first given in 2003. Self-proclaimed "reformed lawyer" turned social justice activist Mariam Veiszadeh will provide this year’s address, tackling the AIDC 2017 theme,Three Sides to Every Story

The winner of the 2016 Daily Life Woman of the Year Award, and most recognised for her tireless work promoting tolerance and diversity in Australia, Mariam will share her views on truth, courage and the state of our art, and the world, moving into 2017.


These sessions join other AIDC 2017 highlights like the Keynote In Conversation, More Than a Game, with award-winning documentary filmmakers Ezra Edelman (US) (O.J.: Made in America) and John Battsek (UK) (One Day in September, Fire in Babylon) in a discussion moderated by ABC journalist Tracey Holmes

Ezra Edelman also joins Tribeca Film Institute Executive Director and producer Amy Hobby (US)(What Happened, Miss Simone?) in Keynote session For Your Consideration, about documentaries on the awards campaign trail, moderated by Britt Arthur.


This year’s AIDC Masterclasses will also be must-attend sessions for craft and business-minded filmmakers. Acclaimed director Richard Lowenstein (Roland S. Howard: Autoluminescent) joins John Battsek for Archival Revival, looking at the art of using archive footage in a session featuring unseen material from their upcoming Michael Hutchence biographical documentary Mystify

Short & Sharp is a masterclass in creating engaging short documentaries, with The Guardian’s Head of Documentary Charlie Phillips (UK); while It’s the Format, Stupid! will provide invaluable insights into the business of factual format creation with UK format king Sanjay Singhal.


For those interested in making business connections and finding finance for a project, the AIDC Marketplace is the place to network, with more than 45 international buyers, commissioners and distributors making up the AIDC 2017 Decision Maker roster – including representatives from the BBC, Discovery, Canal +, PBS, Nat Geo, The Guardian and many more. 

This week, we welcome new additions Linde Dehner (GER) ZDF / Arte, Katy Roberts (AUS) VICELAND, Aloke Devichand (MAL) Al Jazeera English, Jason Behan (AUS) Universal Pictures, and Patrick Hurley (UK) Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Providing face-to-face opportunities with top local and international decision makers, AIDC 2017 Roundtable session sign-ups open today, followed by Speed Pitching sign-ups next Tuesday 7 Feb. Limited places are available and both sessions are expected to book up quickly. 


AIDC’s international pitching forum event The FACTory – held in Federation Square’s Deakin Edge on Tuesday 7 March – will also provide a unique spectacle, as 10 teams of filmmakers from Australia, New Zealand, China and Bhutan pitch their projects to a panel of decision makers in the hope of scoring a deal.


For the first time ever, AIDC and Film Victoria will also present a day of sessions devoted to factual content innovation – VR Plus – featuring three sessions covering factual gaming, factual VR business, and VR storytelling, alongside an exclusive VR industry networking event.


For documentary fans in the public, AIDC, Fed Square and iconic news provider The Guardian are joining forces for an Australia-first, free screening on the Federation Square Big Screen of the best short documentaries made under The Guardian documentaries banner (8.30pm, Tuesday 7 March). 

Members of the public can also attend a free marathon 7.5-hour screening of the Academy Award-nominated O.J.: Made in America, introduced by director Ezra Edelman (2pm, Sunday 5 March). 

Doc history buffs will enjoy a special interactive screening of classic Aussie film Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988) – Cane Toads, Interrupted – with live commentary by director Mark Lewis (6.30pm, Sunday 5 March).

And for the sports-minded, there's a screening of the definitive cricket documentary, Fire in Babylon, featuring a Q&A with producer John Battsek (Monday 6 March). 


Explore all the Sessions, Speakers, Decision Makers, Screenings and Social Events on offer to get an overview of just how big AIDC is in 2017. 

All Access Passes are on sale now, and Day Passes for Days 2-4 of the Conference are also available. A very limited number of VR Plus (Day 1) Passes will be on sale soon.


With only a month until AIDC 2017, now is the time to register and secure access to Australia’s premier event for documentary, factual and unscripted screen content.

AIDC 2017 | 30 Years 1987 – 2017

5 – 8 March 2017, ACMI, Fed Square, Melbourne