You are not currently viewing the most recent Realscreen Summit. Go to Realscreen Summit 2021.


    With more than 2,200 delegates registered, the 2013 Realscreen Summit has sold out, with a wait-list now in effect for those without passes.

    The news marks the second consecutive year realscreen has sold out its flagship, Washington DC-based event.

    Those without passes still hoping to attend the non-fiction industry's pre-eminent conference should email Joel Pinto as soon as possible, in order to be put on a wait-list in the event of delegate cancellations.

    We have secured complete access of the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel, meaning security will turn away those not registered for the event.

  • Monsters of factual kick off 2013 Summit

    To set the inspirational tone for the sessions at this year's Realscreen Summit, we've gathered together the producers behind several of unscripted television's most enduring hits and recent ratings smashes to share the stories behind their successes. Hear how the producers behind such modern classics as Top Chef, Jersey Shore and Deadliest Catch developed their game-changing ideas, overcame challenges, and created series that would transform television. And hear their tips on how to potentially follow in their footsteps and successfully navigate the wilds of the factual television world.

    MODERATOR Frances Berwick President
    Bravo & Style Media
    Thom Beers
    CEO FremantleMedia North America (FMNA)
    Dan Cutforth Founding Partner Magical Elves
    Jane Lipsitz Founding Partner Magical Elves
    SallyAnn Salsano President 495 Productions

  • Phil Keoghan to host realscreen’s ‘So You Think You Can Pitch’, Tuesday, Jan. 29

    Phil Keoghan, nine-time Emmy Award-winning host and co-executive producer of The Amazing Race, one of television's most enduring television franchises, is set to emcee Realscreen Summit's popular pitch competition, "So You Think You Can Pitch?" presented in association with CABLEready, on January 29, 2013.

    Phil's life has been full of travel and adventure. He started traveling at the age of two accompanying his father, a plant scientist, and his mother who taught music, to third world countries. Phil started working as an assistant camera operator for Television New Zealand before being picked to host Spot On. He has gone on to work in over 100 countries around the world as a motivational speaker, author, television host, actor, producer and cameraman on thousands of program episodes.

    No stranger to pitching himself, Phil co-created, co-produced and sold his first series, 'Keoghan's Heroes', at 23. He has since developed and sold original television programs to National Geographic, Bravo, Discovery, CBC, TVNZ, Miramax, Global, FOX, TV3, Sky and SHOWTIME.

    Phil Keoghan
    Host/Co-Executive Producer
    The Amazing Race & Author, No Opportunity Wasted

  • Entertainment vs Altruism

    While no one will deny that documentary film and television is an important and powerful form of media, there can be times when, with apologies to Marshall McLuhan, the message can overtake the medium. Today's documentary masters excel at the art of storytelling, not sloganeering. In a one of the Realscreen Summit's marquee sessions entitled Entertainment vs Altruism, filmmakers and commissioners will illuminate how to balance information with entertainment, and why, for commissioners and audiences, "passion" doesn't have to equal "polemic."

    Heidi Ewing
    Co Founder
    & Director
    Loki Films
    Nick Fraser Commissioning Editor
    BBC 'Storyville'
    Mette Hoffmann Meyer Commissioning Editor, Documentaries
    DR TV / Danish Broadcasting Corporation
    Evan Shapiro President
    Participant Television
    Morgan Spurlock Writer & Director Warrior Poets

  • So You Think You Can Pitch deadline extended.. but only until Jan. 10th

    Enter for your chance to be selected as one of our pitching hopefuls. Full submission details as well as the required electronic entry form can be FOUND HERE. Deadline for submissions has been extended to Thursday, January 10th.

  • So you think you can pitch? Here's your chance to prove it.

    Realscreen Summit's popular pitch competition, "So You Think You Can Pitch?" in association with our friends at CABLEready, returns on January 29, 2013. Don't miss the chance to pitch your project to a panel of leading commissioners in the unscripted world and garner the attention of a ballroom packed with commissioners, agents and distributors. Prizes include a pass to the 2014 Realscreen Summit, a one-year subscription to CableU and a GoPro HD Helmet HERO Camera. See who is left standing! The session, always standing room only at the Summit, provides an invaluable experience for participants as well as great entertainment and learning value for producers and broadcasters in attendance. Meet our judges:

    Nancy Daniels
    EVP, Production & Development Discovery Channel
    Tim Duffy
    SVP Original Series Development
    Robert Sharenow EVP, Programming Lifetime Networks
    Andy Singer
    Travel Channel

  • Global production: the pros and cons

    As international cable networks ramp up their global footprints, they're looking for more and more content to feed into their international pipelines. But while that may mean more opportunities to secure commissions, producers may have less opportunities to exploit the programs globally, with the networks often retaining international rights. A high-level panel at the 15th edition of the Realscreen Summit will examine the issue of feeding the appetite for global content from the prodco, network, and distributor perspectives, and also uncover the creative approaches being utilized by all partners to arrive at deals that work. Is there room for compromise and collaboration in the global content game?

    Julian Bellamy Creative Director and Head of Production and Development Discovery Networks International
    Sally Miles
    Founder & CEO Passion Distribution
    Jane Millichip Managing Director Zodiak Rights
    Brent Montgomery Founder and Owner Leftfield Pictures
    Christian Murphy SVP, International Programming & Marketing
    A+E Networks
    Hamish Mykura
    EVP & Head of International Content National Geographic Channels International

  • The hunt for the next big thing

    Usually, when discussing what the next big thing in factual/unscripted programming will be, the party line is to say "If I knew that, I wouldn't tell anyone." In one of the Realscreen Summit's marquee sessions featuring some of the cream of the crop in factual production, we aim to find out what trends in non-fiction fare are on fire, which are bubbling under the surface and waiting to explode, and which are fizzling out. What genres, sub-genres and hybrids are networks and prodcos betting on to take factual/unscripted programming into 2013 and beyond?

    David Lyle
    National Geographic Channels US

    Thom Beers
    FremantleMedia North America (FMNA)

    Nick Curwin
    Chief Executive
    The Garden Productions

    Eden Gaha
    Shine America

    Chris Grant

  • Tackling the “constructed” conundrum

    It's been called various things over the course of its history - hybrid reality, constructed reality, and among its critics, terms that aren't suitable for a family publication. But as proponents and producers are quick to point out, the numbers for constructed reality hits don't lie. So if audiences don't seem to care about a little bit (or a lot) of "construction," what's the harm? In what promises to be a great debate, expertly moderated by NHNZ's Phil Fairclough, the closing session at the Realscreen Summit will examine "the 'constructed' conundrum," taking a look at how the genre fares internationally, and how much audiences – and producers – are really concerned about the blurring of the lines between reality and drama.

    Phil Fairclough

    EVP Development and Exec Producer

    Simon Andreae
    SVP Development & Production, West Coast
    Discovery Channel

    Howard T. Owens
    National Geographic Channels

    Nicholas Rigg
    Leopard Films USA

    Eric Schotz
    President & CEO
    LMNO Productions

    Robert Sharenow
    EVP Programming
    Lifetime Networks

    Ruth Wrigley
    Group Entertainment and Format Executive
    ALL3MEDIA International

  • Make ‘em Laugh

    From Duck Dynasty to Honey Boo Boo, the trend towards "comedy reality" is accelerating, and more and more unscripted series are amping up the humor element in their programming - in some cases, resulting in serious ratings. And there are many ways to approach humor in unscripted entertainment, ranging from "real life sitcoms" to comical competitions. In a high-octane panel at the 15th edition of the Realscreen Summit producers and networks behind the humorous hits let us know what works in comedic reality and why.

    MODERATOR: Sharon Levy
    EVP Original Series SPIKE TV


    Elaine Frontain Bryant
    SVP Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming
    A&E Network and BIO Channel

    Deirdre Gurney Owner
    Gurney Productions

    Marissa Ronca
    VP, Program Development

    Lauren Lexton
    Co-Founder & Executive Producer
    Authentic Entertainment

    Natalka Znak
    Zodiak USA


  • Meet a Mentor

    Registered delegates of the 15th edition of the Realscreen Summit will have a chance to sign up for a coveted opportunity to meet with one of four of the most successful producers in the unscripted entertainment world. "Meet a Mentor" breakouts, are designed specifically to offer producers rare access and a unique opportunity to interact with A-list execs in an intimate Q&A session (each limited to only 40 attendees).

    Thom Beers
    Fremantle Media North America (FMNA)

    Stephen Lambert
    Chief Executive
    Studio Lambert Ltd.

    Brent Montgomery
    Owner and Executive Producer
    Leftfield Pictures

    Jane Root
    Founder & Chief Executive

    If you've ever wondered "How do they do it?" you will not want to miss this opportunity to ask how they charted their paths, faced and met challenges head-on, and learned invaluable lessons along the way. Like the Summit's trademark "30 Minutes With..." series, these sessions are "off the record" and are available through our session sign-up tool which is available to registered delegates.

  • Examining the “Hatfields & McCoys effect”

    With significant input from this year's advisory board helmed by Robert DeBitetto, President & General Manager, A&E Network and BIO Channel, and Eileen O'Neill, Group President, Discovery, TLC and Discovery Fit & Health Networks, the agenda promises to deliver a combination of relevant, practical and inspirational content as well as ample time to take meetings and get deals done.

    In Factual Drama: Fusing Fact and Fiction, senior execs will examine what could be called the "Hatfields & McCoys effect." While factually-based drama is not a new phenomenon, the massive success of History's miniseries starring Kevin Costner (averaging close to 14 million viewers over three nights) put the genre back on the programming radar in a major way for networks around the world. How can factual producers take advantage of this trend, what do they need to know before taking a stab at the genre, and what are networks looking for in factual drama?

    Howard T. Owens
    National Geographic Channels

    Leslie Greif
    Founder and CEO
    Thinkfactory Media

    Dirk Hoogstra
    SVP Development and Programming

    Jane Root
    Founder & Chief Executive

    John Smithson
    Creative Director
    Arrow Media

  • Discovery’s Eileen O’Neill in conversation

    Eileen O'Neill, group president of Discovery, TLC and Discovery Fit & Health Networks, will take the stage at the Realscreen Summit for a candid conversation in which she'll discuss the process of overseeing the networks behind some of the year's biggest non-fiction programming – ranging from TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo to Discovery's Friday night hits Gold Rush and Jungle Gold – and offer her thoughts on where the non-fiction content industry is headed next.

    Eileen O'Neill Group President Discovery, TLC and Discovery Fit & Health Networks

    The agenda for the fifteenth edition of the Summit, which takes place in Washington, DC January 27-30, is being added to daily and there are several more exciting announcements to look forward to in the next couple of weeks. Click here to see the list of speakers already confirmed.

  • Nick Fraser and Alex Gibney in conversation at the Summit

    In a must-catch head-to-head session, the 2013 Realscreen Summit will host BBC Storyville series editor Nick Fraser in conversation with Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney. Fraser will talk to Gibney about his work and worldview, including the challenges of balancing multiple projects at his 30-year-old indie Jigsaw Productions; his recent deal with Content Media; and his plans to develop and expand his TV portfolio. The filmmaker will discuss his latest acclaimed doc Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God; his BBC 'Why Poverty?' documentary 740 Park Avenue, and his forthcoming film on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

    Nick Fraser
    Commissioning Editor
    BBC Storyville

    Alex Gibney
    Jigsaw Productions

    In the same session, Gibney will grill Fraser - whose BBC strand backed Client 9, Man on Wire, The Interrupters and many of the biggest docs of recent years - on his approach to commissioning, and the challenges of maintaining a high quality slate amid a climate of funding cuts, downsizing and economic downturn. Fraser will discuss his thoughts on the current environment for investigative filmmaking, and the importance of documentary in modern society.

    Check out our agenda which is now live and expect many more exciting programming announcements in the coming weeks. Well over 700 delegates are already signed up to attend the most important non-fiction market and conference on the international circuit. What are you waiting for? Click here to register or call Joel Pinto at 416-408-2300 ext. 650. The early bird rate of $1,450* expires this Friday, October 12th, so make sure you act now to save.

  • Agenda is live. Meet some of your hosts.

    In our quest to keep our networking sessions fresh and engaging, we're excited to add some new faces as well as welcome back various hosts to this year's Realscreen Summit roster. Register now and gain unprecedented access to some of the most influential decision-makers in non-fiction entertainment through our "30 Minutes With...", Speed Pitching and Luncheon Roundtable sessions.

    Andy Berg
    Vice President of Development
    Animal Planet Media

    Christian Drobnyk
    SVP Scheduling & Acquisitions
    Lifetime Networks

    David Eilenberg
    Senior Vice President Unscripted Development
    TBS and TNT

    Cynthia A. Fenneman
    President & CEO
    American Public Television

    Peter Gaffney
    SVP Programming Strategy, Scheduling & Acquisitions
    History and H2

    Elliot Jacobson
    SVP, Programming & Production

    Heather Olander
    SVP Alternative Programming
    USA Networks

    Justin Rosenblatt
    Vice President Alternative Programming
    CW TV Network

    Check out our agenda which is now live and expect many more exciting programming announcements in the coming weeks. Close to 700 delegates are already signed up to attend the most important non-fiction market and conference on the international circuit. What are you waiting for?

    The early bird rate of $1,450 expires on October 12th, so be sure take advantage of it and register now.

  • Registration open and advisory board revealed

    Ready, set, register!

    Registration is now open for the 15th edition of the Realscreen Summit in Washington DC, taking place January 27-30, 2013. The Summit is the definitive global market and conference for the business of unscripted entertainment, and a must attend for content creators, distributors, agents, commissioners and multiplatform broadcasters of unscripted and factual entertainment programming.

    Last year's event sold out early, and it is anticipated that registration will reach capacity even earlier this year. Networking opportunities, insightful panels featuring the brightest minds in the business, stellar keynotes and great parties are staples of the event, and are all included in the basic registration.

    This year's advisory board is helmed by Robert DeBitetto, President & General Manager, A&E Network and BIO Channel, and Eileen O'Neill, Group President for Discovery, TLC and Discovery Fit & Health Networks. The board (pictured below), is committed to helping shape a program to inspire and deliver meaningful results for your business.

    Frances Berwick
    Bravo and Style Media

    Alan Braun
    Creative Artists Agency

    Robert DeBitetto
    President & General Manager
    A+E Network and BIO Channel

    Nick Fraser
    Commissioning Editor
    BBC Storyville

    Dirk Hoogstra
    SVP Development & Programming

    Gary Lico
    President & CEO

    Jane Millichip
    Managing Director
    Zodiak Rights

    Eileen O'Neill
    Group President
    Discovery, TLC and Discovery Fit & Health Networks

    Howard T. Owens
    National Geographic Channels

    Jane Root
    Founder & Chief Executive

    Morgan Spurlock
    Writer & Director
    Warrior Poets

    Our host venue, the Renaissance DC Hotel, has once again been secured in its entirety, for use exclusively by delegates of the Realscreen Summit. Only those people who have registered for the benefits that go along with the conference will be able to enjoy them, and anyone who is not registered to attend will be denied access.

    This also means that there are plenty of rooms available to our delegates at our preferred rate. There will be more to follow on the rates and room block in the coming weeks.

  • Sponsors






    Official Design Partner


    Official Delegation


    Media Partner

    Meeting Rooms and Hospitality Suites