Paul Lewis joins World Congress of Science and Factual Producers

The veteran factual exec has been named conference director at the annual market for unscripted producers, distributors and broadcasters.

Paul LewisAfter playing a significant role in shaping the factual TV landscape in Canada over the past two decades, veteran exec Paul Lewis will next apply his expertise in a global setting with the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP).

The not-for-profit org on Wednesday (Nov. 21) announced the appointment of Lewis as its conference director, a role in which he will oversee the editorial direction and business management of WCSFP’s annual Congress event. The yearly conference, which this year takes place in Brisbane, Australia (Nov. 27 to 30), is attended by producers, distributors and broadcasters from across a spectrum of factual and science programming. Congress is managed by Hot Docs on behalf of the WCSFP.

In a statement, Lewis, who is a founding board member of the organization, said the annual Congress event played a unique role in the development of his 30-year career.

That career has seen Lewis hold some of the most senior posts in Canada’s factual space. In 1999, Lewis joined Discovery, then owned by CTV and Netstar, eventually rising to president and GM of the network in 2003 and holding the post until 2015. During that time Lewis oversaw Discovery’s business in Canada, including long-running factual series Daily Planet, the network’s in-house production company EPI, and its distribution business.

After leaving Discovery in 2015 during Bell Media restructuring, Lewis joined Thunderbird’s factual subsidiary Great Pacific Media as president. He is also a founding board member of the Canadian Science Media Centre of Canada and the consultant-in-chief for the Guangzhou International Documentary Festival.

In a statement announcing Lewis’ appointment, WCSFP chairman John Lynch called him the “right person at the right time to embrace the challenges and surprises that lie ahead.”

The new role with WCSFP will see Lewis take over the responsibilities held by long-time editorial director Alison Leigh, who is transitioning into a senior advisory role after this year’s event.