40th International Features Conference

IFC 2014; Leipzig

Official opening of the IFC (International Features Conference) by Peter Leonard Braun, also called Leo (German feature-maker), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 11, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Official opening of the IFC (International Features Conference) by Peter Leonard Braun, also called Leo (German feature-maker), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 11, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

I was honoured to have been invited to speak at the 40th International Features Conference (IFC) in May, which took place in the delightful town of Leipzig in Germany. I need to point out though that the IFC is about radio; it’s a conference which gets together the best in radio features journalists. My talk? Well, my talk was naturally going to be about photography.

Official opening of the IFC (International Features Conference). Lorelei Harris (RTE) listens to the opening speech from the stage. Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 11, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Official opening of the IFC (International Features Conference). Lorelei Harris (RTE) listens to the opening speech from the stage. Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 11, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Initially, it seems to most that the concept of having photography spoken about to folks whose medium is radio, simply is a tad bizarre; one is a visual discipline whilst the other is purely about audio. However, photography, audio (and other forms of story telling) are only the end tool. The initial steps in finding a story; dissecting it, checking it out journalistically, planning out how to convey it, are in fact all the same. It’s only the end tool, the tool of delivery which differs.

At the opening of the IFC (International Features Conference) by Peter Leonard Braun, also called Leo (German feature-maker) and Edmond Terakopian, Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 11, 2014. Photo: Li Hong

At the opening of the IFC (International Features Conference) by Peter Leonard Braun, also called Leo (German feature-maker) and Edmond Terakopian, Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 11, 2014. Photo: Li Hong

The main hall at the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. The delegates listen to features programmes which will then be discussed in smaller groups. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The main hall at the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. The delegates listen to features programmes which will then be discussed in smaller groups. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Edmond Terakopian

I was fortunate to be able to attend the conference in full and was rewarded by hearing some absolutely astonishing work, from across the world. After listening to a couple of productions, we would break into our smaller groups and discuss these at length. I must admit to being extremely shy in opening my novice mouth and giving an opinion in this world of radio at first, but soon the shyness went and I found myself deep in conversation and discussion with the best people on the planet in this genre of features work. Absolutely fascinating.

IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. Tina Kunath and the delegates discuss the features programmes listened too earlier in the main hall. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Edmond Terakopian

IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. Tina Kunath and the delegates discuss the features programmes listened too earlier in the main hall. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Edmond Terakopian

IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. Thomas Martin Gasser (ORF) and the delegates discuss the features programmes listened too earlier in the main hall. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Edmond Terakopian

IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. Thomas Martin Gasser (ORF) and the delegates discuss the features programmes listened too earlier in the main hall. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Edmond Terakopian

What really astonished me as the week went on was just how vivid a picture radio can paint; how gripping, deep, gentle, forceful, subtle and layered a good piece of radio work can be. Absolutely brilliant. I also had the absolute joy of meeting some fascinating people and making a few friends along the way. You all know who you are and I’d like to thank you for making the conference even more special than it already was.

IFC Leipzig 2014 Group Shot. IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Bernd Cramer/MDR

IFC Leipzig 2014 Group Shot. IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Photo: Bernd Cramer/MDR

To those, like me, who haven’t really listened to radio features work, I absolutely recommend listening to this short and extremely powerful piece by Kathy Tu from the USA.

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Li Hong

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Li Hong

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk on Photography & Film to the IFC (International Features Conference), Media Campus (Medienstifftung der Sparkasse Leipzig), Poetenweg, Leipzig, Germany. May 14, 2014. Photo: Thomas Martin Gasser / @ThomasMGasser

Drinks after the IFC, Leipzig, Germany. Radio documentary makers Andre Cunha (Portugal), Charlotte Rouault (France) and Ljubo Pauzin (Croatia) in conversation about the day's presentations. May 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Drinks after the IFC, Leipzig, Germany. Radio documentary makers Andre Cunha (Portugal), Charlotte Rouault (France) and Ljubo Pauzin (Croatia) in conversation about the day’s presentations. May 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

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