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Richard Klein, Ralph Lee, Alison Kirkham open festival

Richard Klein, Ralph Lee, Alison Kirkham open festival
Staff Reporter
15 October 2015

ITV director of Factual Richard Klein will join head of factual and deputy chief creative officer at Channel 4 Ralph Lee and Alison Kirkham, acting head of factual commissioning for the BBC, to open this year’s Factual Festival, with a big picture look at the biggest trends in the genre.

Over 50 speakers, including world-beating producers and leading commissioners from the UK and overseas, will inform, reveal and debate the most important aspects of factual TV for the production community. Across the 11th and 12th November at BAFTA, the 13 Festival sessions include a look at technology that can take factual to another level and business strategies that can help producers succeed as creative entrepreneurs.

Ben Frow will talk about plans for factual at Channel 5 and Cassian Harrison discusses the innovative programming that distinguishes BBC4.

With recent significant changes at the top of factual commissioning, we will hear from the newly in-post Patrick Holland, head of documentaries at the BBC, as well as the recently appointed BBC acting head of formats and features Donna Clark. With Liam Humphreys now overseeing all entertainment for Channel 4, there’s a fresh take on popular factual and its central place in the schedules.

Our key Documentary, Popular Factual and Specialist Factual commissioning sessions are joined by an online session with a difference, as Channel 4, the BBC and the Guardian begin to invest seriously in online films. And the International Commissioners session explores the growing opportunities for UK producers with the big behemoths of global TV.

This year’s Grierson session at the Festival sees Andrea Wong, president international production at Sony Pictures Television, talking about the big advantages of embracing international pathways, while our US session hears from those invaluable guides to the US market- a top lawyer and a top talent agent. This year we have the formats director from one of China’s biggest broadcasters, as well as producers and executives with unparalleled experience of working in the US, Asia and Latin America.

For aspiring and ambitious film-makers, 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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