AIDC and Screen Queensland, in collaboration with Screenworks, are proud to reveal the full session program and speaker line-up for the first-ever REGIONALITY CAIRNS documentary and factual industry event, happening at Cairns Performing Arts Centre on Friday 2 September 2022. 

Featuring exclusive masterclasses, industry panels, and sector networking with local and global documentary and factual talent, REGIONALITY CAIRNS is designed to provide national and international exposure for nonfiction screen practitioners from regional and Far North Queensland.

Leading the line-up is the internationally acclaimed US-based filmmaker, cinematographer, and co-founder of Lady & Bird Films, Rita Baghdadi. The director of recent Sundance smash hit Sirens (executive produced by Natasha Lyonne and Maya Rudolph), Rita produced the Emmy-winning City Rising (2017) and is also an in-demand cinematographer for major players like Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon, Apple TV and BBC. Rita will host a special masterclass, Lensing the Invisible, in which she’ll discuss her filmmaking style, both as a director and cinematographer, and how to bring important regional stories to audiences around the world.

Sirens (Lady & Bird Films, 2022)

In another highlight session, Aaron Fa’Aoso, actor, screenwriter, producer, and founder of the Cairns-based Lone Star Productions (The Straits, Blue Water Empire), will join Veronica Fury, executive producer / principal of award-winning factual production company WildBear Entertainment (Valerie Taylor: Playing With Sharks, Hating Peter Tatchell) to explore The Art of the Pitch in a special how-to session involving some of REGIONALITY’s key decision maker guests. 

Strait to the Plate (Lone Star Productions, 2020)

REGIONALITY CAIRNS attendees will also get the chance to hear from representatives of leading American festivals (Sundance), funds (Julian Carrington, Hot Docs), broadcasters (Nicky Cook, POV), and sales agents (Daniel Cantagallo, Cargo Film Releasing) in Going North! Meet the US and Canadian Decision Makers, where they’ll discuss how to break through and negotiate the North American market.

Unapologetic (POV/PBS, 2021). Photographer: Christine Irvine

Ending the program will be a tightly focussed session exploring the exciting avenues for local stories to secure a worldwide audience – Doc Passport: Pathways for Australian Films to Go Global. The session will feature director Christopher Amos talking about the Netflix journey of his film Hating Peter Tatchell, alongside Veronica Fury and Bettina Dalton of WildBear and Oli Harbottle of leading UK-based documentary distributor Dogwoof discussing their new production partnership and the international success of the Emmy-nominated Valerie Taylor: Playing With Sharks.

Hating Peter Tatchell (Wildbear Entertainment, 2021) Photographer: Ali Pares

REGIONALITY CAIRNS participants will also have the opportunity to apply for one-on-one in-person meetings with attending decision makers from the ABC, Fremantle Media, Screen Australia, Screen Queensland and more during the day’s Doc Chat 1:1 Meetings, plus enjoy Networking Drinks to close the day’s proceedings.

After last year’s debut event in Lennox Head, Northern New South Wales, Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said that Far North Queensland was a fitting destination for the second iteration of this important screen event.  

“Far North Queensland has been the backdrop for a number of high-profile documentary features and series — from David Attenborough’s Life in Colour, Netflix’s Emmy-nominated feature Puff: Wonders of the Reef, SBS Food and NITV’s Strait to the Plate, to the upcoming Stan Original Revealed: Reefshot,” said Munnich. 

“AIDC’s REGIONALITY program is unique in bringing together practitioners working in the factual space from right across regional Australia, while opening up direct access for local attendees to connect with national and international industry leaders.”


Excited to be bringing AIDC’s programs and opportunities to the far north, AIDC CEO / Creative Director Natasha Gadd highlighted what attendees have to look forward to.    

“Queensland documentary creators and viewers are in for a treat with REGIONALITY Cairns – a vibrant day long industry event featuring a stellar line-up of speakers, sessions and networking opportunities. 

“AIDC is thrilled to be collaborating with Screen Queensland and Screenworks to take a taste of AIDC to Far North Queensland to connect regional Queensland talent with local and international decision makers, inspire new skills and creative connections and shine a spotlight on the unique and diverse storytellers from the region.”


Tickets for REGIONALITY CAIRNS are on sale now through CPAC, priced at $75 inc GST, or $65 inc GST for AIDC and Screenworks members, and $55 inc GST for students, and provide access to all four sessions, Doc Chat sign-ups and networking drinks.   

REGIONALITY CAIRNS will take place Friday 2 September 2022 at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC), presented by AIDC and Screen Queensland, in collaboration with Screenworks. 



27 July 2022


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