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HISTORY 2003 Heads to the
Historic Hotel Lutetia in Paris

(Paris, France, March 18, 2003) HISTORY 2003, the World Congress of History Producers' third annual forum, will take place at the Hotel Lutetia, in the heart of the St-Germain-des-Prés district in Paris, France, December 7 to 10. In speaking today at a special reception in the French capital, Pat Ferns, president and CEO of the Banff Television Foundation, along with Congress host broadcaster France Télévisions, officially announced the upcoming event that will attract hundreds of producers, creators, broadcasters, academics and journalists specializing in history and biography programming from around the world.

"This year the History Congress follows the Science Congress and I cannot imagine a richer venue for both genres than the City of Lights," said Pat Ferns, president and CEO of the Banff Television Foundation. "Next year, Canadians will be celebrating the four-hundred-year anniversary of Champlain's first voyage to Canada, which was of course of great importance to the history of our country."

Ann Julienne, head of acquisitions at France 5, commented, "France Télévisions Groupe is delighted to be the host broadcaster of the History and Science Congresses this year. The French television community, both broadcasters and producers, are very hopeful that the 2003 Congresses will be successful and, especially, stimulating. We will also do everything to make the City of Lights live up to participants' expectations.

HISTORY 2003 will feature an array of plenary sessions, workshops, master classes, screening opportunities, a keynote address, lunches with commissioning editors, site visits and evening social events. This annual forum provides an opportunity for history programmers to discuss key issues and best practice s as well as share ideas, insights and issues of concern in this particular area of television programming.

The Hotel Lutetia will serve as an exceptional backdrop to the History Congress and as a tribute to history itself. Built during the Belle Époque era it is situated on the Left Bank bordering Paris' historical and modern districts. It has played host to such famous icons as General Charles de Gaulle, adventurer Alexandra David Neel and the artist Henri Matisse. It was also the headquarters of the German Gestapo during the World War II occupation.

Last year's History Congress took place in Berlin, Germany where 322 delegates took part in an inspirational idea-generating three days. Presenting the keynote address was Polish historian, statesman and Auschwitz survivor, Professor Wladyslaw Bartoszewski. Host broadcaster was ZDF German Television and ZDF Enterprises.

The World Congress of History Producers is an initiative of the Banff Television Foundation, with the support of the top international players in history and biography programming. The Editorial Committee and Advisory Council for the History Congress are international in scope and represent many of the pre-eminent producers and broadcasters of this program genre (see attached list). The executive producer of HISTORY 2003 is Carole Orr, conference director for the Banff Television Foundation. For more information, go to

The Banff Television Foundation is a management organization for some of the World's leading television and new media industry events, including the Banff Television Festival (June 8 - 13, 2003), the World Congress of Science Producers (December 3 - 6, 2003), the World Congress of History Producers (December 7 - 10, 2003), the Alliance Atlantis Banff Television Executive Program (November 7 - 14, 2003) and the International New Media Festival (October 16 - 19, 2003). The Foundation's mission is to inspire innovation, to celebrate excellence, and to facilitate learning and business opportunities for content creators and other stakeholders in television and new media.

Editorial Committee World Congress of History Producers

Please note, all members of the Editorial Committee are also members of the Advisory Council

  • Norm Bolen, Executive Vice President Programming, Alliance Atlantis, Canada
  • Jerry Ezekiel (ex-officio), Senior Vice President, Banff Television Foundation, Canada
  • Pat Ferns (ex-officio), President & CEO, Banff Television Foundation, Canada
  • Olaf Grunert, Head of Documentaries, ZDF/ ARTE & Chairman of the EBU Documentary Experts Group, Germany
  • Ann Julienne (Host Broadcaster), Head of Acquisitions & International Co-productions, France 5
  • Tom Koch, Director WGBH International, WGBH Boston, USA
  • Alison Leigh, Independent Producer, Leigh Brown Productions Australia
  • Luc Martin-Gousset, Point du Jour, France
  • Andrew Newell, Media Ventures, UK
  • Lesley Norman, Vice President, David Grubin, USA
  • Carole Orr, Conference Director, Banff Television Foundation, Canada

Advisory Council

  • Magdalena Acosta, Director General, Cineteca Nacional (Mexican National Film Archive), Mexico
  • Patricia Boutinard-Rouelle, Directrice des Documentaries, Documentaries,
    France 3
  • Wolter Braamhorst, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, Arts & Documentaries Dept., AVRO, Netherlands
  • Andrea Broglia, Head Manager, Documentary Department, Mediatrade, Italy
  • Ric Burns, President, Steeplechase, USA
  • Rudy Buttignol, Creative Head, Documentaries, Drama & Network, TVOntario, Canada
  • Phillippe Chazal, Managing Director of Histoire, France
  • Margaret Drain, Executive Producer American Experience, WGBH, USA
  • Mark Hamlyn, Executive Producer Production, Film Australia
  • Mette Hoffmann Meyer, Acquisitions Executive, Documentaries, TV2/ Denmark
  • Wolfgang Homering, Redakteur Culture and Science, ZDF, Germany
  • Michael Katz, Vice President Programming and Production International, A&E Television Networks, USA
  • Michael Kloft, Head of History Department, History, Spiegel TV GmbH, Germany
  • Francois Lanzenberg, Head of History, France 5
  • John Marshall, Managing Director, & Docos Limited, UK
  • Richard Melman, Head of Programming, History & Biography Channel, UK
  • Tatsuya Nakamura, Head of Co-production, NHK, Tokyo
  • Tom Perlmutter, Director General, English Programming, NFB, Canada
  • Ralf-Peter Piechowiak, Executive Producer, Dept. of Contemporary History, ZDF German Television Network
  • Jan Rofekamp, President, Film Transit, Canada
  • Vivian Schiller, General Manager/ Senior Vice President, Discovery Civilization Channel, USA
  • Jody Sheff, Executive Producer History + Features Programming, Thirteen/WNET, USA
  • Andre Singer, CEO, Café Productions, UK
  • Mark Starowicz, Director Cinenorth Documentary Production Unit, CBC, Canada
  • Sydney Suissa, Vice President, Documentary Production and Development, Barna-Alper Productions, Canada
  • Katharina von Flotow, Head of Development, EBU/UER TV Department, Switzerland

(As of March 18, 2003)

For More Information:

Heidi Bobiak
Communications Manager
Banff Television Foundation

Sarah Pearson
Communications Assistant
Banff Television Foundation

World Congress of History Producers
c/o the Banff Television Foundation
1350 Railway Avenue,
Canmore, Alberta, Canada, T1W 3E3
tel: + 1 (403) 678-3176
fax: + 1 (403-678-9269




World Congress of History Producers