Annual Congress to be an Exploration of the Challenges and Issues in History and Biography Television

(Banff, Canada, October 21, 2003)
The agenda for the 3rd annual World Congress of History Producers will take an in-depth look at the current state of history and biography programming as delegates from around the globe gather at the Hôtel Lutetia in Paris, France to share ideas, debate the issues and explore best practices in this television genre. The History Congress takes place December 7 to 10, 2003 hosted by France 5 and le Groupe France Télévisions.

"The business of creating history programming is all about inspiration and relationships," said Carole Orr, executive producer of HISTORY 2003. "This year's Congress features an excellent mix of sessions that will inspire and provoke, as well as opportunities for delegates to build and renew relationships."

Leading off the Congress will be a Keynote Address by Hélène Carrère d'Encausse – an internationally renowned historian and speaker who is one of the world's leading authorities on Russian and Slavic History; an Officer of the Legion of Honour; and only the second woman to be admitted to the French Academy in its 350-year history.

The 2003 World Congress of History Producers will feature a diverse and wide-ranging mix of lively debates, controversial discussions, Master Classes, screenings, and more. Scheduled topics include: "Facts and Fakes"; "Academics Meet History Television"; "Napoleon: How Has History Television Served Him?"; "Fashions and Trends"; and "The Great Debate: Is History Television Failing Its Audience?", and much more.

While content is king at the History Congress, collaboration is its consort. For those in the business of History and Biography television looking for partners and / or financing, the Congress will include a series of sessions entitled "Meet the Commissioning Editors." During these open sessions commissioning editors are given a forum to discuss their wants and needs, policies and practices. Also featured will be "Commissioning Editor Lunches" where various broadcasters will 'host' by-appointment only tables for interested delegates.

Social events at the HISTORY 2003 include the opening reception at the historic Hôtel Lutetia; daily lunches at the Lutetia; an evening at the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall), with greetings from M. Bertrand Delanoe, the Mayor of the City of Paris as well as a reception at the beautifully ornate Hôtel de la Monnaie – the former French mint, which is now a museum.

The World Congress of History Produces takes place in a different major city each year. It was successfully launched in 2001 in Boston with the second Congress taking place in Berlin in 2002. The Congress in Berlin attracted over 300 delegates from around the world with a particularly strong representation from Europe and North America.

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. For more information, go to

For More Information:

Heidi Bobiak
Communications Manager
Banff Television Foundation

Sarah Pearson
Communications Coordinator
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) 678-9260
fax: + 1 (403-678-9269

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