AIDC winners, record attendance, burst of development cash

For attendees, a list of winners who take $510,000 away. For everyone else, a sense of what you missed. For the State Library, peace and quiet.

The AIDC numbers for 2020 are very healthy. Since it arrived in Melbourne, attendance has almost doubled, reflecting the brute facts that Adelaide is a much smaller city.

The conference was a complete four days with an evening screening program open to the public. There were 789 registered delegates, the highest number ever, and significantly higher than expected. Even with the virus gathering steam there were 82 international guests though two key speakers could not attend for other reasons. 

We really noticed the sheer technical complexity and competence of the work behind the scenes, including an excellent website and app. I heard a whisper that the AIDC has tended to be run by documentary people who made a good fist of organising an event, but the newer generation are trained in events and arts management. The result is a smooth, imaginative conference run by the AIDC rather than contracting it out. They are also passionate about documentary though they may have a stronger sense of its cultural implications. 

The feeling of the conference was made younger and more democratic by the 37 people on the Leading Lights Fund, supported by 22 production companies. The Indigenous Creators Program supported 55 filmmakers. 57 per cent of delegates were women (Ha!) and there were 80 volunteers. The joint was jumping with young, eager, culturally diverse, multilingual, First Nations, idealistic, independent minded people. The cynics gave up coming a long time ago. 

There was a more substantial strand of craft sessions as the conference continues to engage with the wider group of screen artists who make documentary and factual sing. 

According to the release, 

AIDC’s reconfigured international pitching event, FACTory 2020, saw 19 projects involving 15 different countries of
production pitch to 35 decision makers across categories including Arts & Culture, Society & Politics, Science & Natural History, New Talent, and Rough Cuts.

AIDC’s one-on-one pitch meeting market Cut to the Chase curated 300 meetings between producers and decision
makers. Beyond Cut to the Chase, there were 36 new project pitches across the Meet Your Maker: XR Pitch; Pitch
Australiana, presented by VICE and Screen Australia; the Australia Uncovered Pitch, presented by SBS and DAF; the Reel Smart Academic Pitch presented by La Trobe University, the Sound It Out pitch, presented by Audible; and the Raw Data, Real Stories pitch presented by the Google News Initiative.


FACTORY 2020: DOC EDGE NZ PRIZE – Presented by Doc Edge NZ. The opportunity to attend and pitch at New Zealand’s Doc Edge festival and market.

Festival & Forum pass + invitation to pitch at Doc Edge NZ Pitch

The Fight Together (Working Title) (Sam Griffin, Larissa Behrendt AO) 

Complimentary Festival & Forum pass to Doc Edge NZ

Laura’s Choice (Sam Lara, Cathy Henkel)

FACTORY 2020: DOK LEIPZIG PRIZE – Presented by Dok Leipzig. The opportunity for one pitch team to attend Dok Leipzig 2020.

The Vinyl Records: Destroy Phallus Oppression (Em Baker, Juhi Sharma, Samantha Dinning, Philippa

FACTORY 2020: THE POST LOUNGE PRIZE – Presented by The Post Lounge. A complete opening titles package worth $5000 by full-service picture and sound post-studio The Post Lounge.

Lighten My Load (Ned Speldewinde, Claudia Nankervis)

THE WITNESS PITCH – Presented by Al Jazeera English. Three $100,000 commissions for an early career practitioner to develop a project for AlJazeera’s Witness strand of short documentaries.

At the Coalface (Anu Hasbold)
This Is Reality (Chris Phillips)
Give Us Green, Darling! (Caro Macdonald)

Presented by SBS and Documentary Australia Foundation. The chance to share in development and production funds for single documentaries for new SBS strand Australia Uncovered.

Full Commission:

The Bowraville Murders (working title) (Allan Clarke, Dan Goldberg, Stefan Moore)

Development Funding:

Strong Female Lead (Tosca Looby, Karina Holden)
Why Do People Hate Jews (John Safran, Laura Waters & Mike Cowap)

Documentary Australia Foundation Development Funding:

Life After Juvie (Charby Ibrahim, Britt Arthur, Mish Armstrong)

RAW DATA, REAL STORIES PITCH – Presented by Google News Initiative. $40,000 in project funds to develop a data journalism project.

Hooked: The numbers behind Australia’s gambling obsession (Inga Ting, ABC News)

HOT DOCS PRIZE – Two $2,500 travel prizes to Toronto for Hot Docs 2020, provided by the Consulate General of Canada, plus two Conference & Networking passes to attend Hot Docs 2020, presented by Hot Docs.

Laura’s Choice (Sam Lara, Cathy Henkel)
Dark Water: Battle on the Franklin (Kasimir Burgess, Chris Kamen, Oliver Cassidy, Annie Venables)

ACCESS PROGRAM PRIZES – Presented by Beach House Pictures. Two fully-paid internships with Singapore-based production company Beach House Pictures.

Lauren Beck
Barbara Taylor

Supplied by Sheffield Doc/Fest. A festival and networking pass for Sheffield Doc/Fest 2020.

Travis Beard

STANLEY HAWES AWARD – Presented by AIDC. A $5,000 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Documentary in Australia.

Janine Hosking

David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.