Em Baker and Sam Dinning pitching ‘The Vinyl Records: Destroy Phallus Oppression’ at The FACTory 2020.

The Australian International Documentary Conference’s (AIDC) centrepiece event – The FACTory – has been reconfigured to take place online in 2021.

The pitching showcase, now in its sixth edition and open to filmmakers around the world, connects new documentary and factual projects with local and international decision makers.

Going online next year will see shortlisted teams present their work to the largest ever contingent of funders, streamers, broadcasters, sales and distributors to ever participate in AIDC.

AIDC CEO and conference director Alice Burgin said: “We are exceptionally pleased that we can continue to grow and expand The FACTory in 2021. We know so many brilliant creative teams have been working hard over the last year to develop their slates and that they are hungry to pitch to the world’s best buyers. We can’t wait to see the incredible projects that will be unearthed and to support them on their journey to being made!”

Applications are open for projects including features, singles, and series (limited and returnable) across three key showcases:

  • The Central Showcase, which has been designed to present experienced project teams to international decision makers, including commissioners, funders, streamers, networks, distributors, and sales agents;
  • The New Talent Showcase, which presents the brightest new screen talents to decision makers and production companies around the world; and
  • The Rough Cut Showcase, which has been designed to present projects that need to close financing gaps and secure sales, distribution and festival opportunities.

All submitted projects will be assessed by AIDC’s international assessment panel, which includes Abigail Priddle, (commissioning editor, BBC), David Amiel (commissioning editor, France Télévisions), Ianeta Le’i (senior manager, Indigenous program, Sundance Institute), S. Leo Chiang (independent producer/director, Walking Iris Media) and Jane Mote (consultant editor, The Whickers).

Selected participants will have access to extensive online pitch training conducted by experienced screen practitioners, before having the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with key international and local decision makers.

Previous FACTory projects include Ghost Pictures’ Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Media Stockade’s China Love, and Decoding Pictures/Monsoon Pictures International’s Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web.

In 2021 the prizes presented by AIDC partners include:

  • The FINCH Prize, which recognises and supports quality documentary storytelling from culturally diverse filmmakers. The prize comprises four weeks of in-kind post production facilities and/or services by FINCH in Sydney – including grade, online and mastering to the value of $45,000.
  • Doc Edge (New Zealand), providing two complimentary All Access Passes to Screen Edge Forum; Hot Docs (Canada), providing a complimentary pass for one project to the 2021 event; and Sheffield Doc/Fest (United Kingdom), providing two complimentary industry accreditations for one project to the next festival, which will be delivered in a hybrid format in June 2021. All accreditations will be valid for online or physical attendance.
  • There will also be a separate prize for the New Talent Showcase, in which one team will be awarded two complimentary passes to Sunnyside of the Doc (France), plus a 2-hour online mentoring session.

AIDC 2021 will run 28 February 28 –  March 3 in Melbourne. Applications for The FACTory close December 13. Apply here.

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