Amy J. Berg. (Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Contour by Getty Images)

Next year’s Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) will put a focus on partnerships, civic participation and community building in the face of a rapidly changing global factual and doco market, with the first four international speakers announced today.

The theme of next year’s event will be ‘Collective Intelligence’, highlighting collaborations, alliances and shared knowledge as the tools for bringing about lasting change.

Speakers will include BAFTA, Emmy and Academy Award-nominated feature documentary filmmaker Amy J. Berg (West of Memphis, The Case Against Adnan Syed), Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning Feras Fayyad (Last Men in Aleppo, The Cave), BAFTA-winning factual producer Ninder Billing of UK pro-co The Garden, and data journalist Lam Thuy Vo (Buzzfeed, Wall Street Journal). Each will lead a session in AIDC 2020’s series of masterclasses.

Vo will also be the lead judge on the panel for AIDC and Google News’ initiative Raw Data Real Stories, which sees creatives pitch new nonfiction works that bring raw data to life. It is currently open for submissions by journalists and nonfiction storytellers from all backgrounds. Four proposals will be selected to receive $5,000 each to develop a proof of concept for a project to be pitched at AIDC 2020. The winning team will receive $40,000 of project funds to turn their raw data into a new creative work for a real audience.

These initiatives complement AIDC’s central public pitching program, FACTory 2020, and AIDC’s curated one-on-one meet-market, Cut to the Chase. Confirmed buyers for the latter include BBC, Al Jazeera, ESPN, Little Dot Studios, NHK, Audible, ABC, SBS and Discovery.

Other live pitch sessions include Al Jazeera and Screen Australia’s Witness Pitch, VICE and Screen Australia’s Pitch Australiana and SBS and Documentary Australia Foundation’s Australia Uncovered.

AIDC CEO & Conference Director Alice Burgin said:, “In the past 12 months alone, our industry has seen so many new and often surprising alliances and partnerships, be it across broadcasters, creative teams, streaming platforms and even industries. The very idea of collective intelligence allows us to explore these new relationships, recognising that there is dynamism in collaboration.”

AIDC 2020 takes place March 1-4, 2020 at State Library Victoria in Melbourne. Passes are on sale at

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