Looking back, moving forward

As the decade draws to a close it's a good time to reflect on challenges and accomplishments and ponder future opportunities.
November 1, 2010

As the decade draws to a close it’s a good time to reflect on challenges and accomplishments and ponder future opportunities.

Realscreen has just celebrated its 13th anniversary and the upcoming edition of the Realscreen Summit is also the 13th. In her welcoming notes to delegates of the inaugural Summit in 1999 then-publisher Shelley Middlebrook wrote: ‘A year and a half ago, we launched realscreen to fill a gap in the trade press, one which often excluded the factual programming industry. The non-fiction industry quickly embraced realscreen and, in turn, the idea of a conference that focused on the factual programming industry and providing a forum to discuss the challenges which are facing the industry today emerged. Thus the Realscreen Summit was born. Our aim is to table the issues and strive towards common goals of improving the way independent producers, distributors and broadcasters work together to create quality programming.’

I am confident in asserting that the Realscreen Summit has delivered on the goals set out by its founders. In a relatively short timeframe the event has catapulted to the biggest global conference about the business of non-fiction entertainment. And business is getting done. While we might have shied away from acknowledging it heretofore, I can say without hesitation that the Summit has evolved into a perfect balance of conference and market. I look forward to welcoming you in DC at the end of January.

The success of the Summit has spurred other key initiatives for the brand. Most recently we launched the Branded Entertainment Forum in New York and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The idea behind the event was to forge connections between producers, broadcasters, clients and agencies looking to understand the business and creative process behind branded content executions, and feedback from the event indicates that mandate was met.

As this issue goes to press we’re putting out the call for entries for the Factual Entertainment Awards launched last year in conjunction with the Factual Entertainment Forum taking place in Santa Monica, June 1-2, 2011. For information on how to submit your program for consideration, please go to

As we say goodbye to 2010 I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported realscreen on any level for contributing to our success, and to wish you prosperity in the coming year and decade.

‘Til next time, go well.

Claire Macdonald

VP & Publisher, realscreen

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.