My colleagues and I have decided this year to attend the WCSFP instead of MIPCOM. In the current climate, pre-sales and co-productions are essential. After the USA and UK, Australia and New Zealand are the largest English speaking markets to work with. In our experience the only way to really establish a working relationship with a client or co-producers is to go to them. With the co-production treaty and a very similar financing system, Australia and New Zealand are natural co-production partners for Canadian producers. Also, National Geographic and Discovery are two of our largest clients, and the WCSFP offers an intimate environment to build relationships with them. Finally, did I mention the Great Barrier Reef in December?
Andrea Nemtin, President and Executive Producer PTV Productions
Since attending my first World Congress in Tokyo in 2005, I’ve never missed a single edition. Why? Because the World Congress is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the great trends of international programs’ contents. It is a treasure house of information and exchanges that allows me to develop, maintain and follow-up with special relationships with broadcasters and co-producers from all around the world, in a very convivial and relaxed atmosphere. Through workshops and panel discussions, it is also a great way to get to know the audiovisual background and system of the host country. Finally, the World Congress combines business with pleasure as it always takes place in beautiful and pleasant cities. I will certainly not miss the 2009 edition!
Valérie Abita , Producer Sombrero & Co
WCSFP is a highlight of my year. I get to see old friends, travel to fabulous locations, see great films, and maybe even witness some good natured knock-down drag-outs on a panel or two. Seriously, the hard work that goes into programming the panels assures that the conversation is always fresh and relevant. I wouldn’t miss it.
Beth Hoppe, President and Executive Producer Optomen Productions
It’s easy to believe, when you come from NZ, that the local programmers will dictate everything you’ll produce till you drop dead. It’s not true! At WCSFP in Florence last year a whole new world of commissioning editors opened up to me. The ‘Meet The Broadcaster’ sessions for network like National Geographic, the BBC and Discovery were intimate and hugely useful if you want to cast your net for new clients - and who isn’t these days? Seeing the wide range of programs being commissioned in History and Science - and broadcasters actually WANTING shows like these - is enough to make a producer’s heart sing. Really - it’s the best money I’ve spent in years on my professional and business development, and this year it’s just across the ditch! NZ producers can think of it as an early Christmas present.
Amanda Evans, Executive Producer Pacific Screen
The WCSFP is the one place in the year where I go to gauge the direction of travel for science and history programming worldwide. It’s a chance to check out what’s working in different territories; to forge relationships with potential partners; to getter a deeper understanding of the craft behind different genres and, above all that, to get stuck in to the traffic of creativity and ideas that are around. Last year in Florence, by meeting producers and fellow broadcasters face to face, we struck some major deals and formed partnerships around some really ambitious projects. For me, there’s no event in the calendar where you’re more likely to achieve that.
Ralph Lee, Head of Specialist Factual Channel Four
WCSFP is the single best opportunity to take the pulse of specialist factual television. To be able to catch up on what’s been happening around the world in the last 12 months, and to peek around the corner as to what’s coming in just a few days, is invaluable. Of all the international conference events and festivals this one provides great chances to network, market your film and has the right mix of stimulating sessions.
Stuart Menzies, Head of Documentaries Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Over the last 15 years, I have been involved in the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers as an attendee and a panelist. WCSFP consistently brings together the best science and factual producers and programmers in a forum that enables the production community to share ideas and best practices. Thought-provoking and meaningful sessions foster a place for people to share their most creative, cutting-edge projects and techniques. The World Congress of Science and Factual Producers has become a must-attend event for me and my colleagues in non-fiction.
John Ford, President & GM Discovery Channel