Day 1

The 2017 Televisual Factual Festival schedule follows. The event takes place in November so there are some spaces in the schedule left open to allow for us to be reactive to any movements and timely topics that evolve during the course of the year.


FACT ENT - WHAT NEXT: Meet the Commissioners

09:30am - 10:35am

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With a wave of new commissioners at the big British channels, there’s a renewed energy behind the drive for surprising and inspiring new factual entertainment ideas. Hear the latest thinking from the UK’s top fact ent commissioners and get a better understanding of what they want.

Chaired by: Sanjay Singhal, Chief Executive, Voltage TV

Speakers: David Brindley, Head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment Commissioning, BBC
Kate Teckman, Factual Entertainment Commissioning editor, ITV
Kelly Webb-Lamb, Head of Factual Entertainment, Channel 4


THE SUPERPRODUCER: Deliver the Content

10:40am - 11:20am

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Stephen Lambert is in a league of his own. King of formats and the founder of one of the most successful indies of the last decade. As we head into the tenth year of Studio Lambert, its founder will explore some of the magic behind his midas touch. In conversation with producer and presenter Anna Richardson, herself the brains behind prime time format hits, Stephen will give us a full and frank account of the highlights and the learning curves in his career. We will find out how and why he believes his ideas worked, in the UK and in America, and what he thinks about Studio Lambert’s current slate and the factual TV zeitgeist, as we approach 2018.

Chaired by: Anna Richardson, Producer, Presenter, Journalist

Speakers: Stephen Lambert, CEO, Studio Lambert



11:40am - 12:30pm

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If you had to find an idea for the next primetime factual hit, how would you go about it? Our panel of some of the sharpest minds in the business give you different ways to crack the nut and find the next big idea.

Chaired by: Alex Connock, Freelance

Speakers: Damon Pattison, Head of Development, BBC Studios
Grant Mansfield, CEO and Founder, Plimsoll Productions
Jamie Isaacs, Chief Executive Officer, Avalon Factual
Teresa Watkins, Freelance Executive Producer



12:30pm - 13:00pm

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Netflix and Amazon are in the market for factual productions and working with more and more UK producers. In this session we get hands-on insight into the VoD commissioning process where we hear a detailed account of an SVoD commission from start to finish.

Speakers: Figs Jackman, Head of Development, Spring Films


THE POWER OF FACTUAL: New Opportunities

14:00pm - 15:00pm

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TV is one of the biggest influencers of our times. In this session we talk to film-makers and broadcasters whose programmes are making a real difference to audiences, at home and globally: shining a light, inspiring change, saving the world. How powerful can TV really be and do broadcasters make the most of this force?

Chaired by: Grace Dent, Columnist, Author, Broadcaster

Speakers: Alastair Fothergill, MD & Executive Producer, Silverback Films
Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs, Channel 4
Rachel Lob-Levyt, Filmmaker
Will Anderson, Creative Director, Keo Films



15:20pm - 16:10pm

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Building a slate with international business can be a huge boost to an indie’s bottom line. But it’s not without its challenges. Hear from experts who have found solutions and know about what the markets want right now.

Chaired by: Jane Millichip, Managing Director, Sky Vision

Speakers: Bo Stehmeier, SVP, Global Sales, Red Arrow International
David Flynn, Co-Founder, Youngest Media
Helena Tait, Chief Operating Officer, Nutopia
Roy Ackerman, Director of International Strategy, Zinc Media, MD, Films of Record



16:10pm - 17:00pm

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The relationship with contributors is crucial, not just for the director, but for the success of the whole production. The session explores how to gain trust and how directors support their subjects throughout the shooting process and beyond.

Persuading people to talk about sensitive subjects for your programme requires the filmmaker to build a sincere relationship with them. During this session, the panel will discuss some of the ways that they have developed these relationships. After contributors have spoken about personal, sometimes traumatic experiences in front of camera, what is the director’s role in helping them deal emotionally with these events?

How responsible should a director be in looking after the psychological welfare of their contributors and should these ethical concerns affect the way that docs are cast, produced and edited?



Chaired by: Alicky Sussman, Freelancer Producer/Director

Speakers: Ashok Prasad, Freelancer Producer/Director
Kirsty Cunningham, Freelance Director
Sophie Robinson, Producer/ Director, Head of Documentary, Sunshine



17:00pm - 18:00pm

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 Directors UK is hosting a drinks reception; all Festival delegates are welcome

Sponsored by

Directors UK

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