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The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) has just wrapped in Melbourne. While the city turned on the weather for the event, industry reps both new and old, shared, networked and pitched their way through a slew of events.

Sessions, FACTory pitches, roundtables and speed pitching discussions kept traditional documentary film makers and emerging talent and platforms – think VR, LIVE TV and Social Media – alive with information and potential partnerships.

Day one’s VR PLUS sessions provided an insight into story telling in 360 degrees, discussing immersion techniques both across documentary pieces and gaming. Guests including VRTOV’s Katy Morrison and Fathom Film’s, Melanie Horkan provided key insight into distribution and investment of VR and AR projects.

“You’re not just working in immersive video, you’re working in immersive sound” Lynette Wallworth, Australian artist and director.


Pre-booked roundtable sessions kicked off on Day two providing one-on-one time with key decision makers both domestic and international. Heads of local broadcasters from Foxtel, SBS, ABC and NITV lead the day with Let’s get Factual, an insight into their thoughts on what makes great factual content and what stands out for them, when making decisions across both acquisitions and commissions.

What’s the Buzz went on to discuss how the industry is adapting to new mediums and realities, while the term Specialist Factual and was then debated and deciphered, both sessions expertly adjudicated by Alison Leigh, Editorial Director, World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

Day 3 explored the local industry through Indigenous Eye: New pathways to factual content, and perfecting the art of the cut in Trailer Surgery with The Solid States, Danny Lachevre. The FACTory pitching sessions kicked off at 10am providing a tense and exciting atmosphere as documentary producers pitched their stories directly to commissioning executives.

“Designed to bring documentary producers face-to-face with decision makers from around the world, The FACTory provides an exciting opportunity to see projects take flight”

Rounding off the day was sessions on Impact Strategy, offering producers ideas on creating a concrete campaign strategy, with a focus on inspiring social change.

Day 4 documented the hot trend of True Crime with speakers from Foxtel, A&E Networks US, ABC, SBS and the Seven Network, discussing the hottest shows drawing in the viewers, while 10 minute speed pitching sessions continued behind closed doors.

Desperately Seeking Distribution explored alternative distribution models, showcasing the strategy behind hot doc Chasing Asylum and Rebel Films, Black As web series with David Batty and Jeni McMahon.

The event was peppered with public and exclusive film screenings, social networking events and 30th birthday celebrations for the conference itself.  The winner of The FACTory pitch prize went to Arun Bhattarai.