World Congress of Science and Factual Producers heads to Australia

Written and issued by Film Victoria, Monday 16 February 2009

Industry leaders to descend on Melbourne from 1-4 December 2009

Minister for Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Gavin Jennings, is pleased to announce that the 17th annual World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP) will take place in Melbourne from 1 -4 December 2009.

Following the huge success of past Congress events in Manchester (2006), New York (2007) and Florence (2008), the Victorian screen industry anticipates another must-attend event for practitioners working in the factual television field.

The four day conference features an outstanding program of workshops, networking events, pitch sessions and panels that will reveal emerging content trends and highlight important industry issues.

Minister Gavin Jennings elaborated on the news; “As Australia’s fastest growing factual production sector Victoria makes the ideal destination for the Congress.

“It’s an honour to host a peak international event which will see the world’s leading broadcasters and producers of science and factual television meet with Australia’s top academic, journalistic, scientific and research communities.”

The Victorian government and local screen industry, in particular the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), anticipate thought provoking conversations and knowledge sharing sessions as professionals from around the world arrive in Melbourne later this year.

“In keeping with previous years, we are certain both Australian and international delegates will uncover valuable networks and career opportunities during their time at the Congress,” said Minister Jennings.

“ABC TV looks forward to playing host to bold and provocative discussion at the Congress this year, providing delegates with a unique opportunity to share ideas, foster knowledge, forge partnerships and ultimately drive the creation of leading edge specialist factual programs and content,” says Courtney Gibson, Executive Head of Content Creation for ABC TV.

In Florence last year, the Congress sold out weeks prior to opening before the city welcomed more than 600 international broadcasters, producers and distributors from 26 countries.

Exit surveys from the 2008 Congress indicate that 89% of delegates were able to advance their projects at the Congress and 88% were able to find new production partners.

The World Congress of Science and Factual Producers is a not-for-profit, member-run organisation dedicated to celebrating the best in specialist factual production.

Past Congresses have been held in Florence (2008), New York (2007), Manchester (2006), Tokyo (2005), Toronto (2004), Paris (2003), Berlin (2002), and Washington, D.C. (2001). It is administered by a board of directors and a steering committee that deals primarily with editorial matters.

The 17th annual Congress is managed by Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on behalf of the WCSFP. The WCSFP editorial director is Alison Leigh.

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