Generation Next Documentary Conference
October 13-14, 2011
Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon St. Carlton
presented by Open Channel in association with the Australian International Documentary Conference and Cinema Nova
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$30 (Day 1), $30 (Day 2) $55 (Both Days)
Free for Open Channel Members. Membership: $55 (Full), $44 (Conc)
Open Channel's Generation Next Documentary Conference is a 2-day program of curated seminars, panel discussions, screenings and presentations that will allow Victoria's emerging documentarians to engage with like-minded peers, learn from and meet those who have done it before, learn about existing opportunities for support and have their work viewed and critiqued.
The program will include sessions on the general landscape for emerging documentarians, current industry opportunities, how to access peer networks, ethical considerations, transmedia case studies, explore aesthetics, pitching hints, and how to best promote your work. There will also be screenings of works by new filmmakers and opportunities to meet peers and professionals. All the sessions will provide insights by experienced producers and directors and will give those wanting to carve out a career in documentary an opportunity to ask questions of those who make the decisions in the screen industry.
Registrations are open from September 13 until October 11.
Please note program may be subject to change.
Day 1: Thursday October 13, 10am-6pm
Session 1: 10.00am-10.45am
Back Story Update with John Hughes
"You have to know the past to understand the present." Dr Carl Sagan.
A conversation with John Hughes moderated by two emerging filmmakers discussing the history of Australian documentary and how his career fits into this history. This will be in the context of the emerging filmmakers exploring the precursors, traditions, mistakes and achievements in subject areas that relate to their own work and pre-occupations. John Hughes will discuss how things have been achieved in the past, what went wrong, tips and tricks, and what would he would do now if he was just starting out. The session will niclude clips from films and a Q&A.
Speakers: John Hughes, William Head, Amanda Kerley
Session 2: 11.00am-11.45am
Screen to Be Seen
Festival success is often seen as a way to build a profile and provide for further opportunities for your work to go on to theatrical or broadcast releases. This panel invites film festival programmers to discuss what they are looking for when curating their programs. What kinds of films festivals are looking for? How documentary fits into their overall programming
goals? What benefits/tensions arise from the needs of filmmakers and festivals?
Speakers: Katie Mitchell (filmmaker and programmer), Al Cossar (Melbourne International Film Festival), Shweta Kishore (Human Rights Arts and Film Festival), Paul Harris (St Kilda Film Festival)
- - Lunch Break - -
Session 3: 1.00pm-1.45pm
How to Tell a Story - Style and Genre in Documentary
Many inexperienced documentary filmmakers start off with a subject for a film but neglect to think critically about the conventions of form and style. It is said that there are as many genres of documentary as there are of narrative film. From the poetics of city symphonies, to the observation of cinema verite to the authorial voice of essay film to the self-reflection of personal discovery films and the archival footage of historical films, this forum explores what techniques are the most appropriate to a story and what makes a filmmaker's personal style. The panel is made up of directors who use distinctive techniques to convey a film's story. They will discuss stylistic decisions they've made covering elements such as cinematographic style, archival footage, interviews, staging re-enactments, screen graphics and sound design.
Speakers: Richard Sowada (ACMI), Lawrence Johnston (Night, Eternity), Emma Crimmings (Two Men and a Baby, Mind), Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed!)
Session 4: 2.00pm-2.45pm
The State of Support
This forum asks the big questions about the state of independent documentary production in Victoria. This panel discussion will investigate the current state of support for independent documentary. In an environment of enterprise funding, producer offsets, broadcaster co-commitment and minimum experience requirements to access state funds, what options are available for emerging content creators? What stories are being told and what stories are being neglected?
Speakers: Jennie Hughes (Open Channel), Sue Edwards (Film Victoria), Chris Oliver (Screen Australia), Claire Jager (Screen Australia), Australian Directors Guild,
- - Afternoon Break - -
Session 5: 3.30pm–4.15pm
Is Documentary the Original Transmedia?
Documentary storytelling is no longer just a matter of making a film or a radio program. Stories are being told across numerous media in ways that interconnect and inform a wider story. There is a case to argue that documentary has always been a kind of transmedia in that its stories exist not only in a specific production but continue to evolve out in the 'real' world and across multiple mediums. This being the case, how do technologies such as video, radio, online, games, augmented reality or any other medium offer narrative tools to tell documentary stories? What options are out there for emerging/low-budget creators to tell their stories across media? How might access to these technologies be an opportunity for creators disadvantaged by regional access to get their stories to wider audiences?
Speakers: Brad Giblin (Film Victoria), Mike Cowap (Screen Australia), Simon Goodrich (Portable Content, Australian Interactive Media Industry Association), Sue Maslin (Re-Enchantment, Rekindling Venus)
Session 6: 4.30pm-5.15pm
Many emerging documentarians work alone in the initial stages of developing content but the time will come when forming a relationship with a producer is vital for securing funding, arranging logistics, accessing wider networks and most importantly providing creative feedback for the project. It is a relationship that can be hugely beneficial for both parties but a clear understanding of the working relationship is needed for the partnership to work. In this panel, producer/director teams will discuss the process of working together. In particular they will discuss the demarcation of duties, the legal and ownership issues and how to avoid disputes.
Speakers: Lisa Horler, Jamie Nicolai & Charlie Hill-Smith (Strange Birds in Paradise), Kim Munro & Trevor Blainey (Nerve - Anatomy series 3)
- - Dinner Break - -
Session 7: 6.30pm-8.00pm
AIDC F4 Highlights
For the past 2 years the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) has presented the First Factual Film Festival (or F4) as a way to highlight the work of Australia's leading emerging documentarians. As a testament to the talent of Victoria's next generation of filmmakers six of the eleven films screened in the program over the last two years were made by filmmakers based in Victoria. This special screening will show a selection of these films.
Presented by Joost den Hartog (Executive Director, AIDC)
Networking Drinks 8.00pm-9.00pm
Day 2: Friday October 14, 10am-6pm
Session 8: 10.00am-10.45am
Ethical challenges in documentary are numerous and fraught. A sense of social justice often inspires documentarians to create their work in the first place but with this enthusiasm comes many difficult questions and obligations. What happens when your main subject decides they no longer want the film released? How should one approach sensitive subjects? Should you be balanced in presenting an opinion? What are your responsibilities when working with indigenous communities? Should you pay your participants? What are the legal ramifications of privacy?
Speakers: Steve Thomas (Hope, Welcome to Woomera), Shaun Miller (Shaun Miller Lawyers), Shannon Owen (Just Punishment), Rebecca McLean (Open Channel)
Session 9: 11.00am–11.45am
Join a Gang
They say filmmaking is a collaborative medium and so often the best way to achieve something is to band together with likeminded others. This panel assembles four next generation filmmakers who have been instrumental in developing formal networks that encourage the development and display of documentary works. The discussion will revolve around why networks and peer support is so important for emerging documentarians and how attendees might be able to access these networks or create their own.
Speakers: Benj Binks (Doco3000), Vessal Safaei (Don't You Have Docs?), Amanda Kerly (Camera Buffs), Jessie Scott (Tape Projects).
- - Lunch Break - -
Session 10: 1.00 – 2.15pm
Don't You Have Docs?: Australian Short Works
Often the biggest issue with making a short documentary is finding an audience. Each month Don't You Have Docs? screens a program of short documentaries in Melbourne and online on their Mubie Garage channel. In this special edition they will screen a specially selected program of Australian short documentaries.
Presented by James Arneman (Don't You Have Docs?)
Session 11: 2.30pm-3.15pm
You had Me at Hello: How to Pitch an Idea
Before you can get a project off the ground you need convince a number of people that its worth the time, effort and money. From securing a producer to getting funding and an exhibition agreement this panel will give the lowdown on what makes a good documentary pitch and how to generate a winning project proposal document. What format should you use? How important is a treatment? Do you need a trailer to sell your project? What makes a good funding application? Who should you approach first? Broadcast commissioning editors and producers discuss what you need to do to get a production into development and beyond.
Speakers: Joost den Hartog (Australian International Documentary Conference), Alex West (Renegade Factual), John Godfrey (SBS Commissioning Editor), Karina Holden (ABC Commissioning Editor)
- - Break - -
Session 12: 4.00pm-4.45pm
Digging for Gold with doco3000
When starting out, a filmmaker needs more than just golden coins to successfully create a documentary. Arguably more important is access to information, support and golden advice! doco3000 presents this session sharing sought after golden tips from a host of international filmmakers with successful documentaries under their belts. They will share pearls of wisdom on subjects such as what they wish they knew when they were starting out, how to position yourself and your film on the competitive international playing field, successful collaboration, and how to keep doco making fun!
doco3000 founders Benj Binks, and Genevieve Bailey, will also shed some light on new ways to get your project funded through crowdfunding and philanthropic campaigns.
Speakers: Benj Binks & Genevieve Bailey
Session 13: 5.00pm-5.45pm
Going Longplay: Making your First Full Length Project
The transition from short form filmmaking to creating your first feature or television hour is a big one. Dealing with financing, broadcasters, executive producers, larger budgets, and marketing plans become a much larger part of the process, not to mention the stress of sustaining a story over a longer duration. Three filmmakers who have recently made their first full-length documentaries discuss the process: how they got their film made and what happened afterwards.
Speakers: Rachel Wilson (RMIT), Jessica Leski (The Ball), Genevieve Bailey (I am Eleven), Duncan Imberger (Beyond the Backyard)