June 9, 2010

WESTDOC Returns This Fall

WESTDOC: The West Coast Reality and Documentary Conference, which made its debut last year, returns to Santa Monica, Calif., September 13-15, 2010. The WESTDOC Conference gathers producers and directors of nonfiction/documentary and reality TV programming and the executives who
fund and/or acquire such programs.

More than 100 industry speakers are expected to participate in the three-day conference of panels,
case studies and exclusive networking sessions. The conference's climatic event is an all-day PitchFest, where new projects are pitched directly to network and development executives in front of a live audience for potential acquisition or co-production funding.

For the second year, WESTDOC will be held at the Doubletree Guest Suites Santa Monica. Conference fees cover all aspects of the day, including breakfast and lunch sessions. "We plan the conference so that it is rich with real-world information and as many strategic business contacts as possible," says Richard Propper, Past IDA President, distribution executive and managing partner/co-founder of the event. As co-founder, Academy Award-nominated producer/director Chuck Braverman explains, "WESTDOC provides a forum where producers can actually meet and interface with those networks that do the financing and buying of projects. In our first year, the turn-out was amazing - people in LA need an event where deals can be cut in the hallways." 

More than 30 panels are scheduled regarding financing, shooting and selling a documentary or reality TV one-off or series. Contemporary topics covered will also include distribution models from theatrical presentation to digital platforms. Among the companies that will be participating are Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Spike TV, National Geographic Channel, ITVS, TV Land, SyFy, History Channel, WE, OWN, RDF,  BBC, Lonely Planet and The Doc Channel, with more networks to be announced shortly. Open to all documentary and reality TV professionals, more than 400 people attended the inaugural WESTDOC in 2009. The evenings' mixers and screenings gather all participants in one venue. "It's a real community for three days," says Propper.

Registration information as well as an updated list of panels, speakers, master classes and instructions on how to participate in PitchFest can be found at www.thewestdoc.com. Discount rates are now available. The IDA Discount code is "IDA2010" which is 10 percent off of the listed price, until September 1. The rates are graduated, so earlier registration gets a lower price.

Updates will also be posted on WESTDOC's Facebook.com page and via twitter.com/thewestdoc (#westdoc2010).