Introducing this year's panel of international experts


With the submissions officially open for AIDC’S FACTory 2020, the time has come to introduce this year’s assessment panel, tasked with narrowing a wide field of worthy projects to the final selection.

To ensure that all FACTory submissions are independently assessed by highly experienced professionals, AIDC has once again enlisted an international panel of experts.

Madelaine Russo (CAN)


Madelaine Russo is Industry Programmer of Deal Maker (the one-on-one meeting program) at Hot Docs. She supports the production of the Hot Docs Forum, runs the Hot Docs blog, and facilitates Doc Ignite workshops across Canada and Canadian delegations to markets abroad. She produces several industry publications, including the annual Hot Docs Guide to Decision Makers, and the Emerging Producer Guides to Budgeting and Co-Production. Before joining Hot Docs, Madelaine ran the Alternate Realities Market at Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK. She has also worked at short film distributor Ouat Media. She holds a Master of Arts in English and Cultural Studies.

Nicole Tsien (USA)


Nicole is the Co-Producer at POV. As a member of the programming and production team, she manages film submissions, oversees pre-screeners, and contributes to the curation and production of the series. She has experience assisting New York-based documentary filmmakers in various stages of production and has participated on panels and juries worldwide, including Austin Film Festival, and DocAviv. She is a member of the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and serves as a board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Kazz Basma (UK/SPA)


Kazz runs Sideways Film, a documentary and factual sales agency set up in 2010, with offices in London and Barcelona. Sideways Film distributes internationally across all media and formats, and attends 15-20 international markets and festivals each year. Their films have screened at major festivals (Sundance, IDFA, Tribeca, Sheffield, Hot Docs etc) and been licensed globally (Netflix, BBC, Nat Geo, ARTE and 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). The company also occasionally partners at the project stage to develop and close budgets.



Aidan Laverty is the newly appointed Head of Specialist at the ABC, overseeing all arts, science, health and technology, religion and ethics, education and society and culture content.

Aidan joined the ABC in 2017 to relaunch Catalyst as a strand for single-subject films. Recent titles include Gut Revolution, Feeding Australia, and The Great Australian Bee Keeping Challenge. Catalyst also looks after external commissions like Stargazing and produces RN favourites like the Science Show and All in the Mind and podcasts like Cosmic Vertigo and The Sum of All Parts – and includes a brilliant group of digital journalists reporting across health, tech and the environment.

Prior to that Aidan was a Specialist Factual Commissioner at the BBC, launching The Truth About… and the Make it Digital Season. As Editor of Horizon, he was responsible for The Secret Life of the Cat, and Eat Fast and Live Longer, the film that began the 5:2 diet, as well as developing Trust me I’m a Doctor. He’s also took James May to the edge of space for James May on the Moon.



Krishan Arora is a producer and consultant. He is currently international content consultant for the public broadcaster SBS. He was previously at the BBC in London for ten years, first as Commissioning Executive for specialist factual documentaries and then as the Independents Executive, responsible for the BBC’s strategic relationship with the Indie sector across all genres. He has worked as a programming exec for the pan-European channel ARTE and produced many documentaries for UK and international channels through independent company Antelope and now for his own company Mixing Media. As a consultant, he advises on international coproduction and is a regular expert and moderator at pitching forums and documentary festivals.

Britt Arthur (AUS)


Britt Arthur is an award winning Producer / Director, who loves collaborating with unique voices, to tell true stories. Her documentaries have screened at several prestigious film festivals including IDFA, the BFI London Film Festival and the Sydney Film Festival. Britt’s work has been recognised with wins from the Australian Directors Guild, ATOM and the Australian Film Festival, as well as nominations from the IF Awards, the ASTRA Awards and the Logies. Her credits include Paper Trails, SMUT HOUNDS, Life Architecturally, My Uncle Bluey, Not in Front of the Kids, Grand Designs and Who Do You Think You Are? 

Alongside her production work Britt has held roles as CEO / Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), features programmer for the Human Rights & Arts Film Festival, Founder / Director of Doco Club and Producer of Tim Minchin’s breakout Melbourne International Comedy Festival stage show Dark Side.  She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a former board member of the AIDC. In 2016, Britt was an inaugural recipient of a Film Victoria-Natalie Miller Fellowship for Women in Leadership. 


We are once again thrilled to welcome Stephen Ellis to the AIDC Marketplace as a pitch trailer consultant for FACTory 2020. Successful FACTory applicants will have the opportunity to take their pitch trailers to the next level with one-on-one feedback and advice from the award-winning producer and editor.



Stephen Ellis A.C.E. is a multiple award-winning film editor and producer. Ellis studied Psychology and Philosophy at Oxford University before spending fifteen years working as an editor on many of the landmark UK TV documentaries of the 2000s. As an editor, he’s made almost a hundred films for TV and Cinema including Emmy and Eddie nominated, Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A’ Comin, and BAFTA winners The Tower, Fire in the Night and The Family. In recent years, Ellis has been producing films for his production company, UNSCRYPT. His series of films with director Marcel Mettelsiefen about a family in the Syrian civil war (Children on the Frontline, and Watani: My Homeland) were received to much critical acclaim and won multiple awards including a BAFTA, a Grierson and a Prix d’Italia, In 2017, Watani: My Homeland was nominated for an Academy Award® in the Best Documentary Short Subject category. Alongside filmmkaing, Ellis is also an accomplished coder with advanced knowledge of many programming languages and has developed a number of tools for improving the workflow in film-editing. Ellis lives in Victoria, Australia with his wife and baby son.

FACTory 2020 applications close 13 December 2019 (with a late deadline of 18 December 2019) with selected projects to be announced in January 2020.