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US documentarians Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, the creative duo behind Apple TV+’s Boys State and Amazon Prime Video’s Mayor Pete, will head to Maroochy RSL next month for the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) and Screen Queensland’s inaugural Regionality Sunshine Coast. 

Held with support from Sunshine Coast Council and in collaboration with Sunshine Coast Screen Collective, the one-day event includes insights into character docs, the art of pitching, factual formats, First Nations storytelling, and engaging audiences with impact. 

There are also opportunities for networked and curated 1:1 meetings with participating industry representatives. Regionality events have previously been held at Lennox Head and Cairns.

As part of the program, Moss and McBaine will share insights into their creative practice, playing with form and how to balance independent artistic endeavours with commercial realities to turn their documentaries into major international hits.

Of the other sessions, Queensland practitioners Randall Wood, Bettina Dalton, Dena Curtis, Nick Piper and Chadden Hunter will discuss how to create informative and entertaining programs that successfully ‘cut through’ in Endless Discovery – Reaching New Heights; Indigenous creatives John Harvey and Dena Curtis will join producer Marissa McDowell and Screen Queensland’s Danielle Ah Boo for an examination of on First Nations storytelling; and Sunshine Coast filmmakers Bettina Dalton, Dan Munday, and David Cook will offer tips on how to get projects noticed and embraced with interactive session The Art of the Pitch: Sunshine Coast.

Cook will also join Doc Society’s Hollie Fifer and local impact filmmakers Kim Ingles and Maya Newell for Engaging Audiences With Impact!, a session on how utilising the principles of impact and engaging with communities can connect films to wider audiences.

Confirmed to attend the event are Paramount factual executive producer Naomi Elkin, Screen Australia documentary head Richard Huddleston, ABC factual commissioning editor Jo Chichester, SBS factual commissioning editor Bethan Arwel-Lewis, and Screen Queensland acting head of content for industry and initiatives, Ian Lynch. 

Screen Queensland CEO Jacqui Feeney said her agency was pleased to again partner with AIDC to bring the event to a new location.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for the documentary industry to gather, learn, and upskill to ensure Australia continues to make impactful real stories where truth is powerful or even stranger than fiction,” she said.

“It’s also a chance to showcase Queensland’s accomplished and flourishing documentary and factual creators, alongside national and international industry leaders.”

Speaking about this year’s line-up, AIDC CEO/creative director Natasha Gadd said the sessions were curated to “journey into the inner lives of larger than life characters, explorations of outer space and underwater worlds, and the legacies of First Nations trailblazers.

“Celebrating both regional storytelling and global industry trends, the program will also shine a spotlight on the incredible talent of Queensland doc and factual creators,” she said.

“We are grateful for the support of Screen Queensland and collaborative partners Sunshine Coast Council and the Sunshine Coast Screen Collective.” 

Regionality Sunshine Coast takes place Friday, July 26 at the Maroochy RSL, Maroochydore, Queensland. Find out more information here.

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