Summit ’16 preview: Docs and factual

In our first preview of what's to come at Summit '16, we look at sessions covering the documentary and factual beat.
January 29, 2016

The upcoming Realscreen Summit, taking place in Washington DC from January 31-February 3, will feature panel discussions that cover the wide spectrum of non-fiction content: from unscripted and reality to documentary and specialist factual. In this, our first preview of what’s to come at Summit ’16, we look at sessions covering the documentary and factual beat.

Tuesday’s Revenge of the Doc session, moderated by filmmaker Dawn Porter, explores the renaissance of the feature doc on linear and non-linear platforms, and how it is impacting the world of non-fiction. Top commissioners and executives taking part in the session include Discovery Channel’s John Hoffman, Showtime’s Vinnie Malhotra, National Geographic Channels’ Tim Pastore, PBS’s Beth Hoppe and CNN’s Amy Entelis.

Technological advances and film formats are set to impact the factual realm over the course of the next year – chief among them, the advent of 4K and virtual reality. The Summit will explore both through panel sessions. Tuesday features Keeping Up with 4K, moderated by Arrow Media’s John Smithson, brings together Pioneer’s Kirstie McLure, Panasonic’s Michael Bergeron, Sony Electronics’ Mike DesRoches, Blue Ant International’s Solange Attwood, 44 Blue Productions’ Rasha Drachkovitch, and TERN’s Marjolein Duermeijer.

Wednesday will feature Virtual Reality: The Big Picture. Moderated by Realscreen editor Barry Walsh, panelists include Secret Location’s Pietro Gagliano, Ovrture’s Mike Drachkovitch, Haymaker Media’s Irad Eyal and Discovery’s Cory Key.

International coproductions will be the focal point of a session curated with renowned doc conference Sunny Side of the Doc. Moderated by founder Peter Hamilton, the International Coproduction: Crossing Borders with Content session on Tuesday features an array of international commissioners and content executives, including Canal+’s Diego Bunuel, NHK senior producer Yuri Sudo, ZDFE.factual’s Nikolas Huelbusch, PBS International’s Tom Koch and CuriosityStream’s Steve Burns.

Elsewhere over the course of the event, delegates will get a chance to hear more about the documentary and premium content strategies at National Geographic Global Networks, Discovery Networks International and History, via keynote conversations with Courteney Monroe, Marjorie Kaplan and Jana Bennett, respectively (more on those in Sunday’s Summit preview). Also, documentarian Morgan Spurlock will conduct an intimate “Meet a Mentor” session for which pre-sign up was required, revealing what he’s learned over the course of his career.

Stay tuned for more Summit content previews in the Realscreen daily over the days ahead.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.