There's A Meeting for That

Talk Show

Like any number of prestigious gatherings of international filmmakers, INPUT, the International Public Television Screening Conference, hosts a lot of screenings.


The International Public Television Screening Conference
May 8–12, 2016
Calgary TELUS Convention Centre
Calgary, Alberta

In Calgary this year, INPUT presented more than 80 programs from nearly three dozen countries over four-and-a-half days.

But, please, don’t call it a festival, asks INPUT President Judy Tam, the executive vice president, CFO, and COO of Independent Television Service (ITVS). Although business does get done there, what makes the conference unique is that the emphasis is less on deal making than on discussion. Countries submit programs, and a group of moderators who are appointed by the conference board put together sessions around themes that invite debate. INPUT, Tam said, “really is about sitting, talking, screening, and engagement.”

WATCH ITIn Calgary, for example, a session titled “Tough Topics: Would You Want Your Kids to See This?” brought together children’s programming from Argentina, Colombia, Norway, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Japan on subjects that ranged from child soldiers to puberty to criminal justice. “Don’t You F*cking Bore Me” presented edgy films by young creators from Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Germany, and
the Netherlands.

YOUR HOST INPUTINPUT has traveled the world since it was founded in 1978. It was held in Tokyo last year, and will move to Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2017. In Calgary, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was the host, providing the venue, technical facilities, and staff.

CHANGING THE CHANNELA virtual-reality demo lab at INPUT 2016 featured pioneering VR public-television projects, while one session posed the question: “Virtual Reality: The Next Best Thing or The End of Storytelling?” Technology’s transformation of the media environment has created more genres as well as new ways to enhance broadcasters’ impact, according to Tam. “That said, because of how viewers consume their media, broadcasters are moving forward to keep up with the competitive landscape,” she said. “More digital, more multimedia, more bells and whistles.” 


Sessions included:

‘Digital Deception: Everyone
Is Now a Broadcaster or Publisher’

‘Who Are You Calling a Terrorist? Covering Conflict in
the Age of Terror’

‘Formatting Intimacy:
How New Interview Shows
Get Personal’

‘Don’t Insult the Future
by Planning’

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor of Convene.