Sara Dosa, Shaunak Sen, Rita Baghdadi announced for AIDC 2023

Katia Krafft wearing aluminized suit standing near lava burst at Krafla Volcano, Iceland in Sara Dosa's 'Fire of Love'. (Credit: Image'Est)

The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) has confirmed an initial lineup for speakers for 2023, while also unveiling a central theme, ‘Agents of Change’.

Taking place March 5-8 at ACMI in Melbourne, the event is set to feature US documentary filmmaker Sara Dosa (Fire of Love), Delhi-based filmmaker and writer Shaunak Sen (All That Breathes), Naked Television managing director Fatima Salaria, and Moroccan-American filmmaker Rita Baghdadi (Sirens).

A mix of keynotes, industry panels, and initiatives will explore subthemes such as 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 the 2023 event was designed to “spotlight the people, ideas and practices challenging and evolving the ways we create, share and experience nonfiction stories – from the visionaries to the provocateurs, innovators and iconoclasts.”

“During this time of cultural, political and social unrest, documentary filmmakers continue to document and explore the ever-changing forces of the world around us,” she said.

“Far from passive observers, they are also active drivers of change both in the way we craft stories and the impact these stories create.

“In a world of continuous disruption – both in our sector and society at large – join us at AIDC 2023 as we explore the legacy of those who paved the way, the new voices leading the charge, and what potential futures lie ahead!”

Returning as part of the industry program are centrepiece international pitching showcase, The FACTory and curated meetings program Cut to the Chase, which incorporates the DocPlay Originals Pitch and The Post Lounge Doc Pitch initiatives.

AIDC is also accepting nominations for the AIDC Awards, set to be presented on March 8 at ACMI.

Following the awards, there will be a two-day online international marketplace (March 9-11), with representatives from 40 broadcasters, streamers, distributors, sales agents and funding bodies set to attend.

They include A+E Networks (USA); ABC (Australia); American Documentary/POV (USA), ARTE G.E.I.E (France); Autlook Filmsales (Austria); BBC Storyville (UK); Blue Ice Docs (Canada); CAA Media Finance (USA); CAT&Docs (France); CBC (Canada); Cinetic Media (USA); Chicken & Egg Pictures (USA); Dhaka DocLab (Bangladesh); DocPlay (Australia); Doc Society (Australia); Docs by the Sea (Indonesia); Dogwoof (UK); EBS (South Korea); Fremantle Australia (Australia); Hot Docs (Canada); Java Films (France); Journeyman Pictures (UK); Lightdox (Switzerland); Madman Entertainment (Australia); NHK (Japan); NITV (Australia); Off the Fence (Netherlands); Paramount ANZ (Australia); Participant (USA); Prime Video (Australia); Reservoir Docs (France); Sandbox Films (USA); Seesaw Pictures (South Korea); Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK); Stan (Australia); Sunny Side of the Doc (France); The Whickers (UK); TRT World (Turkey); Words + Pictures (USA).

Further announcements about AIDC initiatives and major new pitching opportunities will follow in the coming weeks, with the full session program to be revealed January 25.

Registration for AIDC 2023 is now open via the website.