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, and he also acted as 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. Part of All3Media, Lion is one of the industry’s most highly-regarded production companies with bases in London, Glasgow and New York. Richard specializes in popular, ambitious history and factual projects but also oversees scripted, comedy and children’s content for broadcasters throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Under his creative leadership, Lion has established a worldwide reputation for innovative, quality television, winning many awards, including BAFTAs, Emmys and British Comedy Awards from the hit comedy series Horrible Histories for CBBC—winner of over 40 awards—to the work of professor Mary Beard such as Pompeii, and factual drama First Light. Richard has years of experience of ambitious international co-productions, and has created pioneering global production partnerships especially in China where Lion have made numerous ground-breaking shows—from Confucius with CCTV10 to Chinese New Year with the BBC and CICC. Prior to founding Lion, Richard was an Emmy Award–winning director at the BBC for 12 years.
ABC News, Disney Media Networks (USA)
Beth Hoppe is the Senior Vice President for Long Form at ABC News, Disney Media Networks, overseeing long form programming including 20/20, Nightline, WWYD, and all the output of Lincoln Square Productions, while working closely with the broadcast and digital teams on release strategy. Prior to joining ABC News, she was the Chief Program Executive and General Manager for General Audience Programming at PBS, growing the network from the 12th to the 6th most-watched in America. During her tenure she oversaw the return of the acclaimed drama Mercy Street; partnered with the BBC to generate specials; developed a multi-platform strategy for independent films including the Oscar-nominated film Last Days in Vietnam from American Experience and Black Panthers from Independent Lens. Beth collaborated with filmmaker Ken Burns to develop the strategy and roll out for The Roosevelts and The Vietnam War. Under her guidance PBS had more News and Documentary Emmy Award wins than any other network in 2016 and 2017. Before PBS Hoppe was the Executive Producer at Discovery Networks. Prior to her time at Discovery, Beth was President and CEO of Optomen Productions USA that she started from the ground up.
Her work has been recognized with several Emmy awards, including DNA: The Human Race (2004), The Secret Life of the Brain (2002), and NOVA, Siamese Twins (1995). The Channel 4 co-production 1900 House earned the prestigious Peabody Award in 2000.
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.
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.
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.