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Factual Futures at the Televisual Factual Festival

Factual Futures at the Televisual Factual Festival
Staff Reporter
21 October 2015

Andrea Wong, president international at Sony Pictures Television, will talk about the challenges and rewards for producers embracing international, when she speaks at the Televisual Factual Festival’s Grierson session this year.

The Festival, which has a line-up of more than 50 leading UK and international TV commissioners, producers and business experts, takes place on 11th and 12th November at BAFTA.

Under Wong’s leadership, SPT’s international production has been ramped up and its international production arm now operates in 13 countries covering Latin America, Asia and Europe.

She will be joined on stage for the Grierson session by Colin Barr, creative director at Minnow Films, who will focus on the increasing importance of drama and dramatic approaches to documentary for producers of factual TV. Responsible for BBC documentaries such as Life and Death Row, Our War and executive producer on The Detectives, Barr is also behind factual dramas Our World War, My Murder and Maxwell and Minnow’s award-winning Glasgow Girls.

Tim Whitwell, head of programmes at Shine TV, will reflect on his experience of working on Channel 4 hit The Island and its successor Hunted. Together with director Matt Bennett, they will ask how the success of the embedded crew has moved the goal-posts for the role of the director, a role which has seen significant changes and come under increasing pressure in recent years.

The Grierson session is one highlight of the Festival, which also features an overview of factual TV with Ralph Lee, Alison Kirkham, Richard Klein and interviews with Channel 5 director of programming Ben Frow and BBC 4 channel editor Cassian Harrison.

The UK’s top documentary, popular factual and specialist factual commissioners will discuss their plans for 2016 and going forward and there are sessions on the latest technology, accessing new online budgets and insider advice on how to build a successful indie. International sessions will hear from international commissioners, highlight world hotspots Latin America and Asia, while US legal and talent agency experts are joined by producers who will share their experience of the US market.

For aspiring, young filmmakers, there’s the all3media international Fast & Factual competition, inviting under 25-year-olds to produce a two-minute documentary on the theme A Dog’s Life. The final will be held on the first day of the Festival. To enter and for more information, click here

You can book your ticket for the two day event and find out more at

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