POV executive director Simon KilmurryPOV Executive Director Simon Kilmurry is in Adelaide, Australia this week attending a conference and film market.

The annual Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Adelaide is the only documentary marketplace and pitch market in this huge and very distant continent. Conference director Joost den Hartog is a veteran of the esteemed IDFA documentary forum in Amsterdam, and he has managed to corral an impressive range of influential documentary supporters from channels in North American and Europe as he tries to internationalize opportunities for Aussie “doco” makers (that’s what they call documentaries here). Some of the finest commissioning editors in the business gathered to attend the “Meet Market” with filmmakers from the region, including: Cynthia Kane (ITVS), Sarah Jane Flynn (Canwest Mediaworks), Barbara Truyen (VPRO) and from the U.K., Greg Sanderson (BBC Storyville) and Tabitha Jackson (More Four).

AIDC shwag

An assortment of DVDs and other schwag at the Australian International
Documentary Conference in Aidelaide.

Running concurrently were a series of panels, workshops and discussions, including a master class with Peter Gilbert, sessions on cross media projects with Sandi DuBowski as a mentor and a panel looking back at 25 years of Skylight Pictures with Pamela Yates and Paco De Onis moderated by Peter Wintonick.

The conference has had a history of moving around Australia from year to year. It is now set to stay in Adelaide for the next few years and the state government seems to be making a strong commitment to supporting film and filmmaking. Premiere Mike Rann announced a number of initiatives to expand support for the conference and to help regional filmmakers reach international audiences and retain more income from their films at the conference opening.

Running separately and starting just as AIDC ends is the Big Pond Adelaide Film Festival, which features fiction films and a pretty impressive lineup of docs, a lot of which will be familiar to those who follow the doc circuit.

It may be far away, but along with Hot Docs, Sheffield and IDFA, this is a market and region to watch for some interesting stories and films.