Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) reveals 2023 program line-up, including three Oscar nominated guests

AIDC-Shaunak-Sen-All-That-BreathesAustralian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) has announced the full program for its 2023 event – including over 40 sessions, more than 120 speakers and 100-plus industry decision makers – taking place in-person at ACMI in Melbourne, from 5 – 8 March 2023 with an online-only international marketplace 9 – 11 March 2023.

Responding to the theme, Agents of Change, the program features lauded and vital talents from across the fields of screen and digital media, including three directors of 2023 Academy Award®-nominated documentaries, and a screening of Laura Poitras’ Academy Award®-nominated All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.

“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,” said Natasha Gadd, CEO / Creative Director, AIDC.

“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.”

“We are thrilled to announce such a word-class program of speakers, sessions and screenings, guaranteed to entertain and inspire.”

“Not to mention the incredible line-up 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,” said Gadd.

Leading the line-up is American director and producer Sara Dosa, whose Academy Award®-nominated Fire of Love has received over 29 international awards, alongside Indian director Shaunak Sen, whose similarly Academy Award®-nominated All That Breathes has secured 19 awards, including the Cannes Golden Eye and Sundance Grand Jury Prize.

Joining them from the Academy Awards frontline is Canadian director Daniel Roher, whose gripping documentary Navalny picked up the 2022 Sundance Audience Award, among 11 others.

From the factual programming side, Fatima Salaria, managing director of wildly successful UK production house Naked Television (Grand Designs), will be on hand to provide a masterclass in producing documentary series.

Other notable guests include New Zealand’s David Farrier, responsible for left-field documentary hits like Tickled, Netflix’s Dark Tourist, and Mister Organ; Emmy and AACTA-winning immersive installation artist and filmmaker Lynette Wallworth, acclaimed Aboriginal filmmaker Dean Gibson, director of Incarceration NationWik vs Queensland, and the upcoming First Weapons; Quechua filmmaker, technologist, writer, and artist Violeta Ayala (Prison X, The Fight), and Australian filmmaker Emma Sullivan, director of true crime documentary Into The Deep.

On the screen business front, AIDC 2023 will see an extensive line-up of decision makers from global streamers in attendance, including Prime Video, Stan, Netflix, Hulu, DocPlay, Paramount ANZ, and ESPN. Plus, representatives from more than 20 broadcasters, like Nat Geo, BBC, ARTE, PBS, NHK, ZDF, EBS Korea, TRT World, A&E, Al Jazeera, ABC, SBS, NITV, and Channel 10.

Not to mention studios, distributors and producer-distributors for some of the world’s most interesting documentaries and releases, including A24, Dogwoof, Sandbox Films, Cat&Docs, Autlook Films, TVF International, Sideways Film, Off the Fence and others.

For those seeking new pathways to funding and financing, AIDC 2023 will also host an array of representatives from leading documentary development funds and foundations, like Blue Ice Docs (Canada), Catapult Film Fund (USA), Chicken & Egg Pictures (USA), Documentary Australia, Doc Society, Participant (USA), Shark Island Foundation, The Whickers (UK) and many more.

And as a result of a suite of exciting industry initiatives with key partners, including Screen Australia, Shark Island Foundation, DocPlay, and The Post Lounge, and Awards partnerships with AFTRS, Deakin Motion Lab, Artisan Post Group and Film Finances, AIDC 2023 will unlock over $350,000 in project development, awards, prizes and professional development opportunities for new nonfiction content and support for documentary practitioners.

AIDC 2023’s central theme – Agents of Change – celebrates the people and the practices working to elevate documentary and factual storytelling. Through this theme, AIDC 2023 will highlight the changemakers of nonfiction storytelling, and bring focus to the champions of the craft leading the way for the creation of bold stories with real world impact.

The conference will explore the following subthemes through keynotes, industry panels and initiatives:

  • 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).

“We’re proud to continue our longstanding partnership with AIDC, and celebrate today’s unveiling of an epic 2023 program,” said Caroline Pitcher, CEO, VicScreen.

“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.”

“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.,” said Pitcher

“ACMI is once again proud to be a Presenting Partner of AIDC with our facilities and technical expertise supporting the delivery of a world-class conference program,” said Seb Chan, Director & CEO, ACMI.

“In partnership with the AIDC, we’ll also present a daring program of the world’s newest documentary films, enabling both conference delegates and the general public to experience unforgettable true stories in ACMI’s state-of-the-art cinemas.”

The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) takes place in-person at ACMI in Melbourne from 5 – 8 March, with an online-only international marketplace, 9 – 11 March 2023. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: All That Breathes by Shaunak Sen (supplied)