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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, September 1998

By David Haugland

Here we are, in the home stretch, heading for the Third International Documentary Congress in late October. If you haven't registered or made your travel plans, DO IT NOW! This is a Congress You Don't Want to Miss.

The Steering and Panels committees and the IDC3 staff have worked throughout the summer preparing for what's destined to be the foremost gathering of nonfiction filmmakers, funders, program­mers and historians of the century. Read on.

The Congress kicks off with a pre-conference special interest program for people wanting to get started in a documentary career. For the first time, the Congress is focusing special attention on nonfiction work from around the world, with special sessions on Africa, China, Eastern Europe, Latin/South America, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. Filmmakers from each of these regions will be at the Congress to share their work and to give everyone insight into the stories and conditions under which they create their documentaries. These makers will also come together on a special panel to discuss freedom of expression issues and the responsibility of the filmmaker.

Another international panel at the Congress will be the first ever gathering of the major non-U.S. documentary film festivals. Moderated by Geoff Gilmore, director of the Sundance Film Festival , this session will be unique in addressing festivals dedicated to documentaries around the world.

Creatively, IDC3 will focus on the writing of documentaries, in collaboration with the Writers' Guild of America, and on cinematography, in partnership with the American Society of Cinematographers. And, of course, there will be a look ahead, with some of documentary film's "doc stars" on a special panel to consider the future of the art form.

On the business side, experts representing foreign and domestic television will be on site to offer us their expertise in the valuable session, "Ask the executive experts about the future." And there will be an important session with Pat Fems, President of the Banff Television Festival, on how to pitch your program effectively to investors and buyers. This Congress also brings together an unprecedented group of sponsors, including Nestle, Eastman Kodak, Academy Foundation, Devillier Donegan Enterprises, Entertainment Weekly, CBS Eye on People, IMAX, International Photographer Magazine, ASC, WGAWest , Discovery Channel, Panavision , Kentucky Fried Chicken, E! Entertainment Television, MacGillivray Freeman Films, FilmRoos, KinoFlo, Solid Entertainment, Andrew Solt Productions, Alice Entertainment, Peets Coffee, and many more by the time you read this. Thanks to them all for their generous support!

Now, if you still haven't started to fill out your registration form, here are two additional events that you won't want to miss: Our first evening program, "Docs Rock," will celebrate the exciting world of the music documentary; and our second evening program will present "Docs That Shook The World ," with excerpts from the most memorable documentaries of the twentieth century, intro­duced by a gala line-up of presenters. Both programs will feature clips from the most amazing documentaries, along with special guests who have brought them to life.

Go to your calendar now and mark October 28-30 for IDC3; and get your registration form in the mail. For more information, visit the Congress web site at See you at IDC3 in October!


David Haugland