John Lynch is a leading industry figure in the production of specialist factual film and television, with a substantial track record in creative innovation, editorial judgment and international partnership. In a distinguished media career, including the editorship of Horizon and culminating in a decade as the creative and business leader of the renowned BBC Science Unit, he has long been committed to reaching the widest possible audience with knowledge that matters to their lives. As an award-winning executive producer, writer and director, with three BAFTAs, two Emmys, two RTSs and a Prix Italia, he was responsible for the global smash-hit Walking with Dinosaurs, and produced the acclaimed Horizon documentary, Fermat’s Last Theorem. In 2011 he was honoured with an OBE for services to broadcasting. Following his departure from the BBC he is active on a variety of advisory boards that focus on the communication of knowledge. Through his company, Words Make Pictures, he has also completed a landmark TV series for National Geographic, and was a co-producer on a Hollywood feature. John has been a passionate supporter of the World Congress since its early days and, as Chairman of WCSFP Ltd., has been instrumental in its development to become the preeminent, and most popular, international specialist factual industry event.
Lion Television (UK)
Secretary & Treasurer
Tessa James is the finance director for Lion Television. She has been with Lion TV since 2001 and is responsible for managing the group’s finances in both the UK and US. A UK chartered accountant, Tessa worked at KPMG overseas before spending four years at BBC Worldwide where she worked in publishing and TV distribution and as a commercial manager for factual global brands. She also has a degree in physics from Queen Mary College, University of London.
France 2 (France)
Since March 2016, Catherine Alvaresse is head of documentaries and cultural magazines of France 2. Previously, she served as the deputy director of Specialist Factual Department at ARTE France (2011-2016). She served as a deputy managing director at Europe Images International, from 2007 to 2011, director of International Co-productions for Boreales from 2006 to 2007, and director of Acquisitions and International Co-productions at Tele Images International from 2004 to 2006. She is an award-winning international distributor and co-producer of factual programming.
Lion Television (UK)
Richard Bradley is a founder of Lion Television, one of the industry’s most successful production companies in London, Glasgow and New York. Richard specializes in both popular, ambitious history, science, arts and factual projects for broadcasters throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Under his creative leadership, Lion has established a worldwide reputation for innovative, accessible television, winning many awards including Emmys and BAFTAs. Richard oversees a diverse slate, from the hit comedy series Horrible Histories for CBBC—winner of over 30 awards—to the work of Professor Mary Beard such as Meet the Romans and Pompeii, from factual drama First Light to living history Victorian Farm. Richard has years of experience of the joys and challenges of ambitious international co-productions, and has created pioneering production partnerships in the Middle East and Asia, especially China, to create programs such as The First Emperor, China Atlas and Confucius, a ground-breaking co-production with CCTV10. Prior to founding Lion, Richard was an Emmy Award-winning director at the BBC for 12 years.
Beth Hoppe is Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming for PBS. Beth is responsible for creating and implementing PBS’ primetime content strategy built around offering the highest quality productions in the genres of arts and independent film, drama, history, natural history, science, and news and public affairs. She joined PBS in 2011, and under her leadership PBS has become the fifth highest rated network in primetime television among households after the big four broadcasters.
Dr. Patrick Hörl is the founder and Managing Director of the factual entertainment label Autentic. Autentic produces and distributes high quality factual shows and series for audiences around the world. Furthermore he is MD of the two factual pay-tv channels Spiegel Geschichte and Spiegel TV Wissen. Beside his commercial activities, Hörl serves as Head of the Board of Documentary Campus, a non-for-profit leading global training initiative, developing young talent for international co-productions in the fields of documentary film and factual entertainment. Hörl also serves on the Board of Directors of the factual section of German producers association Produzentenallianz, and on the Board of the World Congress of Science & Factual Producers.
Great Pacific Media (Canada)
Paul Lewis is president of Great Pacific Media (GPM)—an award-winning Canadian production company that delivers innovative factual programs worldwide. With a reputation for strong storytelling and ratings success, GPM is a leader in creating series and specials for a broad range of formats and genres.
Prior to joining Great Pacific, Paul was a television executive with more than three decades of broadcasting and production experience. Paul has created, developed and commissioned some of the world’s most successful factual television and digital content. Paul’s television career began as a journalist at Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC, working on news and current affairs programs.
In 1994, Paul joined the Discovery Channel in Canada and launched the world’s first daily science program, Daily Planet. He went on to become president and general manager during the company’s most significant period of expansion and growth and led Discovery Canada to become the most watched factual channel in the country. Paul oversaw five television networks and their related websites, an in-house production company and a distribution business. He initiated key strategic and content partnerships with international broadcasters.
Paul is a founding Board member for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers and the Canadian Science Media Centre of Canada.
JKJ-TV International (Canada)
Wally Longul is an experienced television senior executive with a background in broadcasting and online services. He has an international reputation for award-winning information and documentary programming, heading TVOntario’s key programming department of Science and Features. He has an extensive track record in managing major projects. While at TVO, Wally developed a number of partnerships in China and with NHK, Japan, co-producing over 400 science and natural history programs. In March 2004, Wally launched JKJ-TV International, representing broadcast and production companies primarily in the Asia/Pacific region. He is a co-founder and Board member of the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, and a former member of the Public Broadcasters International Executive Committee.