HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins (pictured) is to give the opening keynote address at this year’s TIFF Doc Conference in Toronto, which will also host a head-to-head with directors Ken Burns and Shola Lynch.
As previously reported, the Toronto International Film Festival’s annual Doc Conference is this year expanding to two days, taking place over September 10 and 11.
Nevins will kick off the conference at 9:30 a.m. EST on September 10, discussing “How Far Can Documentaries Go?” in a conversation moderated by film critic John Anderson.
Burns and Lynch, who are respectively at the festival with their docs The Central Park Five and Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, will then discuss directing historical documentaries in a conversation moderated by author and filmmaker Nelson George (Brooklyn Boheme).
Continuing the first day, the Conference will offer a sneak preview of selected scenes from The Fruit Hunters, the anticipated forthcoming doc from Yung Chang (Up the Yangtzee, China Heavyweight). Following this will be the world premiere of Why Poverty? doc Rafea: Solar Mama, from Egyptian-American filmmakers Jehane Noujaim (Control Room) and Mona Eldaief.
After the film, the directors will take part in a conversation with the doc’s TV commissioning editors, BBC ‘Storyville’ editor Nick Fraser and DRTV commissioning editor for documentaries Mette Hoffmann Meyer. Both Fraser and Hoffman Meyer discussed the Why Poverty? project with realscreen in May of 2011.
Day two of the Conference kicks off with the world premiere of The Last White Knight. The doc, looking at racism in the U.S. South, sees filmmaker Paul Saltzman (Prom Night in Mississippi), a former civil rights worker and 1960s activist, returning to Mississippi to meet a man who once attacked him. Saltzman discussed the film with realscreen in December of last year.
The screening will be followed by a session called ‘Maximizing the Education Market,’ in which distributors who specialize in bringing documentaries to the educational market discuss how filmmakers can maximize opportunities.
After this, a ‘New Trends in Documentary Broadcasting’ panel will see representatives from North American broadcasters discuss new initiatives for documentaries on their channels.
Finally, the conference closes with director Patrick Reed (Triage), producer Peter Raymont and advocate Roméo Dallaire appearing in person to present and discuss sections from their work-in-progress doc Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children.
The TIFF Doc Conference was previously only open to industry delegates, however this year tickets will be available to the public for the first time. “TIFF Docs Conference is an annual opportunity to engage with the doc filmmaking community,” said Thom Powers, TIFF’s lead documentary programmer, in a statement.
“We wanted to open our home to growing audiences and industry delegates alike who share our passion for non-fiction filmmaking.”