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.
Editorial Advisory Committee
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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.
Discovery Networks (Singapore)
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.
Entertainment Executive (USA)
Adam Rymer was most recently president of Legendary Digital Networks where he oversaw all day-to-day business for LDN's digital brands including Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, and Smart Girls.
Previously he was COO/CFO/co-founder of film finance/production company, Lava Bear Films. Prior to Lava Bear, Rymer spent eight years at Universal Pictures, most recently as SVP, Digital Platforms, where he spearheaded the studio's new business initiatives through emerging channels including mobile, interactive games and digital cinema.
Before joining Universal Studios, Rymer had several strategy and business development roles at Universal Music and early internet start-ups. He began his professional career as an associate at L.E.K Consulting, concentrating on private equity advisement, mergers & acquisitions and valuations.
Adam earned an MBA in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a BA in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
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.
Science in the Bath (UK)
Matthew Shribman is a science presenter and environmentalist. Matthew's long-term missions are: to make quality science education as accessible as oxygen, to nurture curiosity, to stand in the way of environmental destruction, and to encourage innovation and courageous thinking.
Matthew has given talks for the likes of TEDx London, UN Ops, London Science Museum, sold out solo science shows across the UK, and performed at major festivals like Womad and Bestival. His podcast is supported by legacy BBC producer and QI co-founder John Mitchinson, and his collaboration credits include the likes of the French government, Plastic Oceans Foundation and BNP Paribas.
Matthew is a member of the Patagonia Change Makers Community, a Rita Allen Foundation Fellow of the Science Media Awards & Summit, and was recently selected as an Emerging Producer Bursary participant at the 2017 World Congress of Science & Factual Producers.
Matthew has over 25M video views across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, with a diverse audience spanning teenagers and grandparents, science PhD students and people who hated science at school. His engagement rate on social media is 3x higher than the majority of pages. With a 1st Class MChem from the University of Oxford, and years of teaching experience, Matthew is proving that science can be communicated in a way that’s fascinating for everyone, making it funnier, catchier and more relateable.
Besides his work in science education and activism, he has written and recorded music that has garnered support from the likes of The Times, The Guardian, NME and BBC Radio 1, leading to invitations to perform at festivals like Glastonbury and Latitude.
Science Communicator (Canada)
Samantha Yammine is a Science Communicator and PhD Candidate in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, where she researches how stem cells build and maintain the mammalian brain. In addition to her thesis research, she is part of a crowd-funded research study on the effects scientists sharing selfies on Instagram have on public perceptions of warmth, competence, and trustworthiness of scientists. Samantha goes by the name @science.sam on Instagram, where she magnifies the microscopic and shares her favourite brain-blowing neuroscience using short videos, descriptive captions, engaging pictures, and livestreams in hopes of making science more accessible and inclusive. She's produced, scripted, and hosted videos for GE Canada, Lady Speedstick, and Seeker, and has appeared as a repeat guest expert on popular media shows airing on TVO Kids, Leafs Nation Network, and CBC Radio. You can contact Sam or find out more at samanthayammine.com.
Xiao Long is a producer for documentary and factual contents, a programmer and executive director for documentary film festivals and events . He is the producer of feature-length documentaries of The Daughter of Shanghai, Because It Is There, Wild Ball, The Champion of the Nature, the co-producer of series documentary of The Gulf Course of Great Britain and Ireland. He is the co-founder of FreshPitch (since 2016), the co-founder and Permanent Secretory of Beijing International Film Festival Documentary Sector (from 2014 to 2017), the co-founder of Outdoor Documentary Season (2017), the co-founder and director of the Documentary Training Courses of SARFT Training Academy (2016), the Annual Development Program of DocChina (2015). He is the Deputy Secretary of DocChina Committee, the experts and writer of Study Report of The Development of Chinese Documentary.