Daniel Roher, David Farrier added to AIDC as full line-up revealed

Daniel Roher' 'Navalny'.

The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) has unveiled the full program for its 2023 event, which carries the theme Agents of Change.

Taking place March 5-8 at ACMI in Melbourne, the program features more than 120 speakers across nearly 50 sessions, after which there will be an online marketplace with a veritable mix of industry decision makers. 

Joining the previously announced Sara Dosa (Fire of Love), Shaunak Sen (All That Breathes), Fatima Salaria, and Rita Baghdadi (Sirens) are Canadian director Daniel Roher, whose documentary Navalny is nominated for Best Documentary at the 95th Academy Awards, and New Zealand’s David Farrier (Dark Tourist)

There will also be appearances from Emmy and AACTA-winning immersive installation artist and filmmaker Lynette Wallworth; Aboriginal filmmaker Dean Gibson (Incarceration Nation); Quechua filmmaker, technologist, writer, and artist Violeta Ayala; and filmmaker Emma Sullivan, director of true crime documentary Into The Deep.

Within the overarching motif, the conference will explore the subthemes of upcoming (new voices, new audiences), breaking ground (truth-telling, investigation, and impact),  shifting perspectives (craft, storytelling, and representation), in focus (advocacy, reform,  ethics, and integrity), and future horizons (innovation, technology, sustainability and regeneration).

AIDC CEO/creative director Natasha Gadd said this year’s program of speakers, sessions, and screenings was guaranteed to “entertain and inspire”. 

“Since the first frames of 35mm footage rolled through the gates of a film camera, documentary storytellers have been at the forefront of crafting bold stories that have instigated cultural, social, and political change.

“At AIDC 2023: Agents of Change, we invite you to celebrate those trailblazers of our field that paved the way and the future storytellers taking up the mantle to create courageous stories that have the power to shift perspectives and transform our view of the world around us. 

“Not to mention the incredible lineup of local and international decision makers as part of the industry program, set to drive creative and business outcomes, and contribute to the  sustainability, recovery, and growth of our industry.”

On the screen business front, AIDC will host the likes of Prime Video, Stan, Netflix, Hulu, DocPlay,  Paramount ANZ, and ESPN, as well as representatives from more than 20 broadcasters, such as Nat Geo, BBC, ARTE, PBS, NHK, ZDF, EBS Korea, TRT World, A&E, Al Jazeera, ABC, SBS, NITV, and Channel 10. 

There will also be studios, distributors, and producer-distributors, including A24, Dogwoof, Sandbox Films, Cat&Docs, Autlook Films, TVF International, Sideways Film, and Off the Fence, among others.

Those seeking new pathways to funding and financing will have the opportunity to connect with foundations and fundings organisatons like Blue Ice Docs (Canada), Catapult Film Fund (USA), Chicken & Egg Pictures (USA), Documentary Australia, Doc Society, Participant (USA), Shark Island Foundation, and The Whickers (UK).

Further, more than $350,000 will be available across project development, awards, prizes, and professional development opportunities for new nonfiction content as a result of initiatives with Screen Australia, Shark Island Foundation, DocPlay, and The Post Lounge, and awards partnerships with AFTRS, Deakin Motion Lab, Artisan Post Group and Film Finances.

Caroline Pitcher, CEO of VicScreen, said her organisation was proud to continue its longstanding partnership with AIDC.

“From unforgettable sessions to the bustling marketplace, AIDC is a major event on Victoria’s annual screen calendar, which provides valuable opportunities for delegates to connect with industry leaders at the top of their game,” she said.

“Victoria’s screen events combined with our cutting-edge  infrastructure, spectacular locations, and in-demand talent and crew, is why Victoria is known globally as a premium screen destination.”