Paul Lewis is a television executive and consultant with more than three decades of broadcasting and production experience. As president and general manager of the Discovery business in Canada, Paul created, developed and commissioned some of the world's most ambitious and successful factual television and digital content. He launched the world's first daily science program, Daily Planet, executive produced documentary series and live specials and partnered with international broadcasters during Discovery Canada's most significant period of growth and expansion—leading it to become the most watched factual channel in the country. Paul oversaw the launch of five television networks and was also responsible for their related websites and social media platforms, an in-house production company and a distribution business.
Most recently Paul was president of Strategic Growth at Great Pacific Media (GPM)—an award-winning production company with a strong reputation for storytelling and ratings success.
Paul's television career began as a journalist at Canada's public broadcaster, CBC, working on news and current affairs programs. He's a founding Board member for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers and the Canadian Science Media Centre of Canada. He's also the consultant-in-chief for the Guangzhou International Documentary Festival, China's biggest and most established documentary festival. He's a regular speaker, judge and panelist at international markets and festivals.
He's currently CEO of his own consulting and production company based in Toronto, Canada.
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Leigh Brown Productions (Australia)
Alison Leigh has been editorial director of WCSFP for over a decade. Under her direction the session program has acquired the reputation of being the world’s best for tracking the trends and engaging in provocative and engrossing debate around issues affecting our genre.
Previously she played a leading role in producing and commissioning science TV programs in Australia, including six years as series producer and then executive producer of ABC TV Science Unit. She helped develop National Science Week in Australia and is a founding member and past president of the Australian Science Communicators.
Outside of her WCSFP commitments, she works as a freelance writer and producer. Alison offers a comprehensive service from producing and executive producing to content origination, script writing and script editing. She also hosts and runs workshops and events.
ZDF German Televison (Germany)
Marita Huebinger studied german literature, bibliology and comparative linguistics from 1978 to 1985. From 1985 on she has been working for ZDF, Hessischer Rundfunk, Südwestfunk, 3sat and ARTE. Her main focus are cultural and scientific topics. She was responsible for Kulturzeit/3sat, Volle Kanne/ZDF, Lesen and Abenteuer Wissen/ZDF. Since May 2011, she has served as senior commissioning editor for science and head of ZDF department Wissen/ARTE.
Beach House Pictures (Singapore)
With over 20 years of experience producing factual content, Jocelyn has an extensive depth of knowledge about the Asian and international content markets. In 2007 she co-founded Beach House Pictures and has since help grow the company into one of largest independent production companies in Asia with offices in Singapore, Beijing and Taiwan.
Tom McDonald is the head of commissioning for Natural History & Specialist Factual at the BBC. Recent commissions include the BAFTA and Emmy–winning Planet Earth II, BAFTA winner Muslims Like Us, BAFTA & Grierson nominees The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs and Life That Glows; and recent ratings successes Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life and A House Through Time. He also oversees some of the BBC’s most successful returning series including The Watches, Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, Inside The Factory, Amazing Hotels and The Truth About... strand.
National Geographic Channel (USA)
Charlie Parsons is Vice President of Development for the National Geographic Channel, responsible for developing new projects, discovering new talent and serving as one of the network’s main points of contact for the global production community. Since joining the Channel in 2010, Parsons has developed popular series Doomsday Preppers, Inside Combat Rescue, Mars and One Strange Rock, as well as the global natural history events Earth Live and Yellowstone Live. He developed the Emmy Award-winning special Space Dive, as well as the Emmy Award-winning feature doc LA 928. He also served as an executive producer on the network’s most watched program in history, the Emmy-nominated three-hour movie event Killing Jesus, as well as the second and third most watched programs, Killing Kennedy, also Emmy nominated for Outstanding Television Movie, and Killing Lincoln, respectively.
Prior to joining National Geographic, Parsons spent three years as Senior Director of Content at Travel Channel Media, during which the network garnered prime demo rating and delivery growth for seven consecutive quarters. Parsons developed more than 200 hours of programming, found new talent and executive produced some of the network’s most successful hits, including Man v. Food, Ghost Adventures and the Emmy Award-winning series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
Before joining Travel Channel, Parsons was an Executive Producer with Discovery Channel and The Science Channel, overseeing series and specials, including Survivorman, FutureCar, 2057, Cracking The Ocean Code and Supercomet: After the Impact. Parsons spent the first 13 years of his career in live sports television production, working with ESPN, ABC and CBS. He is a graduate of Brown University.
Since Takeshi Shibasaki joined NHK in 1997 he has been worked on programs about science, nature and the environment. As a highly experienced mountain climber, he has put his outdoor experience to good use when researching and shooting the Arctic Ocean, the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, alpine glaciers and other places where the environment is changing. His directing and producing credits include 3D Planet Live, Total Solar Eclipse, Crumbling Earth, Deep-Sea Exploration: Tracing the Birth of Life, and The Sea of Zipang, as well as award-winning The Arctic Circle, which was co-produced by NHK, Telepool GmbH and National Film Board of Canada, in association with Discovery Channel Canada, and Peabody Award winning Surviving the Tsunami. Shibasaki is now the editor of the weekly science program Cosmic Front, actively making use of 4K/8K and VR technology encompassing planetarium and game use. He is also in charge of the 4K-UHD Live Transmission from Antarctica.