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AIDC2020 - The War on Press Freedom (and What to do About It)
Is Australian press freedom an endangered species? What can be done to prevent the media being portrayed as the enemy of the people?
Australia has some of the most draconian anti-media laws of all Western countries. Police raids on journalists, national security laws that criminalise journalistic activities, attacks on whistleblowers, archaic defamation laws and restricted access to information have stifled the ability of journalists to hold power to account.
Investigative journalism is under threat globally and increasingly in countries where democracies have historically prevailed. At a time when attacks on press freedom around the world are on the rise, the risks faced by news, journalism and documentary are very real. But what can be done to stem the growing culture of secrecy and counter the epidemic of fake news, disinformation and manipulation that is eroding public discourse and democracy?
Join a distinguished panel of news, documentary and investigative journalists including ABC News’ Gaven Morris, filmmaker Yaara Bou Melhem and University of Queensland’s Professor Peter Greste to discuss the threat posed to press freedom. This session is a timely discussion of why public interest journalism should be protected and how the industry can help educate the public about their right to know before Australian journalists are labelled the enemy of the people.
AIDC2020 - Real World Impact: TV with Social Purpose
Meet the key people behind hit ABC shows that have delivered real world impact, and find out what’s next in 2020.
Commissioning distinctive TV that has a real-world impact on Australians and their communities is a major goal of ABC’s Factual and Documentary teams. The ABC has been leading the way with this form of programming through acclaimed series such as Old People’s Home for 4 Year Old’s, Employable Me, Don’t Stop The Music, Love On The Spectrum and War On Waste. In 2020, the ABC is presenting two major climate-themed series with Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge exploring how we can all help reduce both our individual and collective carbon emissions and Big Weather (and how to survive it) offering insight and practical advice on how to survive and thrive in a time of increasing extreme weather events. We will also see Shaun Micallef return to our screens as he delves into the nation’s relationship with alcohol, with Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce.
All of these shows demonstrate the importance of content that not only informs and entertains but has the power to connect the nation and drive real-world awareness and change.
In this session you will hear insights from key people on these shows, both in front of and behind the camera as well as the ABC’s Impact Producer. All have been pivotal in developing and delivering TV with a social purpose that resonates with audiences across all platforms.
This session features Craig Reucassel, Debbie Cuell, Karina Holden and Teri Calder and will be moderated by Stephen Oliver.
AIDC2020 - Niche to Broad, Big to Lean: Concepts of Scale in Factual
Leading factual producers reveal how they tackled projects of scale … and scale doesn’t always mean big budget.
Leading factual producers discuss and demystify the oft-used term ‘scale’.
From giant crews, fixed rigs and far-flung locations, to leading a tiny team shooting across a long timeframe – scale calls for precise decision making in the development process and in designing your production model.
What are the different production approaches that can be scaled to get the most out of the story and budget? Do you go big, long, lean, broad or deep to best access your story? How can you invert your production approach on the same story material?
Debbie Cuell, Jocelyn Little and Ben Ulm’s careers embody the full spectrum of scale, from big blue-chip to lean ob-doc. They will dissect making recent and upcoming series Ed Stafford: First Man Out, Old People’s Home for 4 Year-Olds, One Born Every Minute, Who Gets to Stay in Australia and Wild City.
Moderator Sarah Thornton (Network Ten) springboards this conversation from a Network commissioning perspective. Scale used to mean big budget but what does it mean in the current factual market?
AIDC2020 - Upskill: Writing Documentary, Shaping Story with Jen Peedom
Director Jen Peedom discusses her story-focused approach to documentary writing, from pre-production through to editing.
What does it mean to ‘write’ a documentary?
For BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa, Mountain), writing — and re-writing — defines each step of the filmmaking process. Emphasising the difference between covering an issue and telling an emotional story, this session will explore lessons borrowed from drama storytelling in shaping Jen’s compelling on-screen characters and journeys: encompassing thoughtful planning in research and pre-production, course-correction through principal shooting and interviews, and an openness to challenging feedback throughout editing.
Further points of discussion for this session include the differences between writing historical and unfolding stories, writing observational documentaries (when the outcome of a situation is unknown at the outset), and incorporating additional editorial tools (such as graphics and cards) at the editing stage for clarity.
AIDC2020 -Passport to the Big Leagues: What's Next for International Networks
Three major international cable networks discuss what worked in 2019, what's coming in 2020 and what they're looking for now.
Discovery International, A+E, and ESPN – three heavyweight international cable networks discuss their big successes from 2019, what exciting projects they have in the pipeline, and what they are looking for from production companies. This session will compare and contrast their audiences and their needs.
What brings in their audiences, what keeps them, what loses them? What are the differences between the US factual landscape and the UK one? Do US and UK audiences tend to favour different programming? What crosses over? What doesn’t? How does delivering to a truly international audience differ to focusing inside a specific national market? And in the bigger picture: How is the documentary series landscape changing in an age of instability.
As streaming services rise, battle and consolidate, linear TV must shake itself up to survive. How does that impact us right now? How might it play out?
AIDC2020 - Masters of Producing: Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films
Meet the producer and creative director at the heart of one of the world's most enduring and celebrated documentary collectives.
For over 50 years, Gordon Quinn and Kartemquin Films have been at the forefront of documentary making in the US, not only embracing but also epitomising collaborative practices, championing new voices, and leading the way in the fight for independent media. All of these resonate with current discussions, both locally and globally around democracy and social justice, as well as AIDC 2020’s theme of collective intelligence.
Join Gordon in conversation as he discusses the essential role of documentary in a fair and just society through some of his key works from Inquiring Nuns and Last Pullman Car to Hoop Dreams, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, Minding the Gap and 63Boycott. Talking through his 50-plus years of experience, Gordon will expand on how to sustain documentary making amidst constant assaults on truth, and finding new ways to regenerate the form and industry. He’ll also discuss the expanding role of the producer in nurturing new talent and promoting and enabling diverse voices to tap into hyper-local stories that also reverberate with global audiences. This session promises to be both thought-provoking and inspiring.