The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) 2022 welcomed 646 documentary and factual industry delegates to its first-ever hybrid in-person and online event.
After two unusual years, colleagues were reunited from March 6 to March 9 for the event and an online-only international marketplace on March 10 and 11.
The event was held at ACMI in Melbourne, AIDC’s home venue, and 447 delegated made the choice to attend in-person for a vibrant and long-overdue gathering of documentary and factual creatives, commissioners, distributors, funding bodies and foundations.
Also joining in on the event virtually was 200 delegates from all over the world. Participants represented 31 nationalities and accessed the program of 43 spotlight and panel sessions, also taking part in over 521 structured meetings.
AIDC CEO and creative director, Natasha Gadd said the event heralded the reunion of the community in a joyous celebration of craft business and networking.
“After two long and challenging years for our sector, It was such a pleasure to welcome practitioners and decision-makers in-person and online from across the world, to celebrate and elevate nonfiction storytelling and facilitate new creative and business opportunities for our industry,” she said.
An innovation day was presented by VicScreen on Sunday March 6, and featured sessions and workshops dedicated to future visions, new technologies and innovative storytelling techniques.
Inspired by the 2022 theme of ‘Bearing Witness’, further session highlights at AIDC 2022 included The Art of Nonfiction, an inspiring conversation with Jonas Poher Ramussen, director of the triple-Oscar-nominated animated documentary Flee; and Hope vs. Reality, featuring a revealing discussion with Ted Hope, producer of over 70 films and documentaries and former co-head of Amazon Studios.
Other sessions well-attended by AIDC delegates included opportunities to hear from local broadcasters about what’s on trend from Screen Australia about the state of the industry (Screen Australia: New Voices, New Screens), and from Indigenous producers about consistently constructive ways of working together (Collaboration vs Consultation: Moving Towards Better Practice in First Nations Filmmaking, and In Conversation with Blackfella Films: Darren Dale & Jacob Hickey).
Factual series, streaming content, and philanthropic funding were also popular topics, with sessions on children’s factual, and new players in the doc and factual space and funding space finding big audiences.
The VicScreen-presented FACTory, AIDC’s international pitching showcase, stewarded for the sixth time by outgoing AIDC industry manager Danielle McCarthy, saw 13 projects with teams representing 11 nations pitch to 21 in-person and online decision-makers across Central Showcase, New Talent Showcase, and Rough Cut Showcase categories.
AIDC’s one-on-one pitch meeting market Cut to the Chase also curated a record 521 meetings between producers and decision-makers for 104 documentary and factual projects, highlighting the enhanced access to international executives as a result of the hybrid delivery model.
AIDC 2022 saw a renewed focus on diversity in the program and in participation by delegates. 58% of total registered delegates were women, reflecting the high proportion of women in key creative and decision-making roles in the documentary and factual sector.
2022 also saw over 65 participants in the Indigenous Creators Program, a dedicated strand of sessions for First Nations practitioners curated in 2022 by First Nations producer Penny Smallacombe.
Announced last week after a presentation ceremony in ACMI on Wednesday 9 March, the second annual AIDC Awards, were the recipients of various awards.
Registered AIDC delegates can watch almost all of this year’s sessions on catch-up for another month via the AIDC Online platform.