Congress '22 in Glasgow Comes to a Close
December 2, 2022
Congress '22, presented by the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP), has wrapped its sold-out 30th edition. The world’s most prominent international creators of science, history and natural history content gathered in person for the first time in three years to celebrate community, exchange fresh ideas, and find a way forward together in an enormously changed industry. Congress ’22 was held November 28 - December 1 in Glasgow at the SEC Centre. The dynamic four-day event welcomed 684 members from 27 countries, 37% of whom were first-time attendees. Congress ’22 was made possible with the generous support of host sponsor BBC Studios Productions and signature partner Screen Scotland.
Congress '22 featured an exciting lineup of distinguished speakers, presenters, and session participants– all cutting-edge pioneers in their field–including: space scientist, author, and BAFTA-nominated TV presenter Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE; science, wildlife and natural history presenter Liz Bonnin; TV presenter and journalist Mobeen Azhar; explorer, palaeoanthropologist, evolutionary biologist and stand-up comic Ella Al-Shamahi; emergency medicine doctor and TV presenter Dr. Ronx Ikharia; award-winning wildlife cameraman, presenter and public speaker Gordon Buchanan MBE; Emmy-nominated host, television winning producer; podcaster Trace Dominguez, and many more.
Over four days, world-renowned scientists, factual and science producers, and top decisionmakers from leading global broadcasters participated in 29 sessions covering a wide scope of themes, including: recent achievements in space exploration, diversity and inclusion in the science and factual production industry, the future of war documentaries, the 100th anniversary of the BBC–the world’s first public broadcaster, the hottest new trends and most buzzworthy content of the year, advances in deep ocean archeology, the evolution of virtual reality, solutions to the climate crisis, and new technologies impacting wildlife content production. Twelve Close Encounters of the Funding Kind sessions made available online offered direct industry intelligence from broadcasters, platforms, and funders who either commission science and history programs from independent producers or who provide significant funding or support. Participating decisionmakers included those from ARTE France, BBC, CBC, Curiosity Stream, France Télévisions, GBH/PBS, ITV Studios, National Geographic, NHK, Red Bull Media House GmbH/ServusTV, S4C, and ZDF Studios GmbH. Congress' popular Speed Dating program arranged 277 meetings at which 277 projects were pitched to 58 decision makers.
The Buzzies Awards, celebrating excellence in science and factual storytelling, were awarded today at Congress' Awards Presentation and 30th Anniversary Celebration. The full list of winners can be found in the second release of this press kit. Chosen from 170 submissions, 78 projects were shortlisted and 10 Buzzies were given to top science, history and natural history projects in short and long formats and to the best multiplatform project and best host/presenter, as well as for innovation and green impact. Four individual achievement Buzzies were awarded for Diversity Leadership, Mentor of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Emerging Producer of the Year.
The Emerging Producers Bursary program, which supports rising talent in the industry, funded the participation of 11 emerging producers from eight countries, including Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Japan, South Africa, UK, and USA.