Festivals, Events and Awards

And the Oscar goes to...; Columbine sets a precedent with the Writers Guild of America; TDF deadline is here
February 13, 2003

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 75th annual Academy Awards February 11. The nominees for best documentary feature are Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine, Gail Dolgin ‘s Daughter from Danang, Malcolm Clarke and Stuart Sender’s Prisoner of Paradise, Jeffrey Blitz’s Spellbound and Jacques Perrin’s Winged Migration. For best documentary short subject, the nominees are Alice Elliott’s The Collector of Bedford Street, Robert Hudson and Bobby Houston’s Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks, Bill Guttentag and Robert David Port’s Twin Towers, and Roger Weisberg and Murray Nossel’s Why Can’t We Be a Family Again? The Academy Awards will be presented on March 23.

The previous day, the Writers Guild of America announced the 2002 nominations for outstanding achievement. Columbine was nominated in the category of best original screenplay, the first doc ever to have been nominated by the WGA.

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, but it’s not just the day of romance in Toronto, Canada – it’s also the deadline for consideration for one of 36 pitch slots at Hot Docs’ Toronto Documentary Forum. For details, visit

The program entry deadline for the Banff Rockie Awards for excellence in television programming is looming: February 21, 2003. The competition is divided into 14 categories, including arts docs and social & political docs. For details, go to

February 21 is also the deadline for early registration to MILIA 2003. The digital entertainment industry event will take place (concurrently with MIPTV) from March 26 to 28 in Cannes, France. See for more details.

If you were thinking about entering your project for consideration to Silverdocs,
The AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival
taking place this summer, time is running out. The deadline for entries is March 1, 2003. Silverdocs will take place from June 18 to 22 in Silver Spring, U.S. Visit for more information.

The organizers of the Discovery Campus Masterschool have issued a second call for entries to its program of workshops, which are designed to help participants develop documentary projects that potentially have international appeal . The new deadline is March 7. Only 15 will be chosen. For details about how to apply, visit

For those in the U.K., a two-day documentary workshop on how to improve one’s storytelling skills for television will take place from March 11 to 12 in Glasgow, Scotland. The course will be led by Frank Ash of the BBC’s training and development group. For further information visit

The second edition of the DISCOP formats market attracted 268 participants from 32 countries to Lisbon, Portugal. The organizers report that one change in this year’s market was the increase in the number of ‘interactive TV specialists’, indicative of the higher number of shows in which interaction with viewers is key.

The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) announced the five projects, short-listed from 96 entries, to pitch at the AIDC2003 on February 18 in Byron Bay. The winner of the Pitch’n’Punt competition, cosponsored by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, will receive AUS$20,000 (US$12,000) toward the development of the project.

The finalists for pitching are Shanghai Bride, by Melanie Ansley and PoPing AuYeung; Sharia – the Law of the Golden Age, by Ron Bollman and Cole Larson; Lemonaids – A Simple Solution, by Sonya Pemberton; A Woman Too Soon, by Michael McMahon and Chris Hilton, and An Asian Mirror, by David Week and Lilliana Gibbs.

The U.K.’s Sir David Attenborough, will be the recipient of yet another lifetime achievement award recognizing his contribution to the television industry. The award will be presented on June 9 at the 24th Banff Television Festival.

The National Association of Broadcasters will present ABC News’s Cokie Roberts with the Distinguished Service award at NAB2003 in Las Vegas on April 7. Roberts is the chief congressional analyst for ABC News, covering U.S. politics, Congress and public policy.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.