The 2017 agenda-setting Talks & Sessions programme covered the full spectrum of industry topics for all durations and all platforms, from feature length films to series to online shorts, with insights from over 250 leading directors, producers, commissioners, distributors and on-screen talent. Over 80 talks and sessions exploring the latest models for funding and financing, the making of crime, health and environmental documentaries, the art and craft of the epic feature documentary, how to make responsive online content and the future of VR storytelling. The Craft Summit, presented by Documentary Campus, offered a day of curated sessions revealing the methods and magic behind story development, directing, shooting, editing and composing. And the Alternate Realities Summit explored the making of many of the virtual reality and interactive experiences in this year’s Alternate Realities programme.

2017 talks highlights included filmmaker Nick Broomfield talking to Louis Theroux and a sold-out Crucible audience and celebrated actor Maxine Peake talking about her favourite docs.

The programme also featured Stacey Dooley and Olly Alexander discussing their BBC3 docs, Sir Lenny Henry discussing his career and the continued need for the industry to tackle diversity, Peter Greenaway exploring the future of storytelling, Ian Hislop discussing satire in a post-truth world and explorer Bruce Parry talking to Katie Puckrik about his new feature doc. This year’s public debate featured distinguished panel including Sir Trevor Philips exploring whether the media reflects the real opinions of the people, and highlights of the free talks programme in the Doc/Fest Exchange included editor Walter Murch, author Helen MacDonald and YouTube sensation ‘The Chicken Connoisseur’.

Countries represented included UK, USA, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, Iran, Netherlands, Pakistan, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, France and Singapore and speakers were from many different diverse backgrounds. Further to this, two talks were British Sign Language interpreted for deaf audiences.

Recordings of the Talks & Sessions from this and previous years are available on the Doc/Fest Youtube Channel.