With a surge in the demand for international programming, driven by the SVODs, this year’s Televisual Factual Festival will investigate opportunities for selling shows with international appeal and direct commissions with the US and territories around the world.

The Festival, designed to help UK producers build their factual business, takes place next Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd, at BAFTA. Delegates will hear from 50 top level speakers, including leading producers, distributors and broadcasters with up-to-the-minute experience of international markets.

Jules Oldroyd, svp Global Programming & Acquisitions, National Geographic Partners, and Clare Laycock, head of Brands for Discovery UK, will be exploring the potential for ideas that can work in multiple territories, together with BBC Studios director of Factual Lisa Opie, in a session chaired by Grant Mansfield, ceo of Plimsoll Productions, one of the fastest growing UK indies.

Maartje Horchner, evp Content, All3Media International chairs a panel looking at where to find investment beyond the UK, with panelists Lilla Hurst, joint managing director, Drive, Mark Reynolds, Unscripted Portfolio director, BBC Studios and Paul Heaney, ceo, TCB Media Rights.

Dan Korn, vp Programming, A+E Networks will be on stage with three leading indies who have built business on US commissions: Danny Fenton, chief executive officer, Zig Zag Productions, Dimitri Doganis, founder, Raw TV and Justine Kershaw, co-founder and creative director, Blink.

The SVOD Landscape panel will bring delegates up to speed with SVOD demand for factual. Kim Shillinglaw, director of Factual for Endemol Shine UK, has been leading the company’s SVOD business development and Paul Corney, SVP Global Digital and Co-productions at All3Media International is the distributor’s ‘go to’ exec for SVOD deals. While Spring Films md Richard Melman works closely with Netflix.

YouTube head of Originals for EMEA Luke Hyams will join Johnny Webb, ceo of Sundog Pictures to hear the story behind the creation of the platform’s first original commissions.

There will also be the opportunity to book one-to-one meetings with commissioners from Discovery, Nat Geo and TCB Media, alongside UK channels including the BBC, Channel 4, A+E, UKTV, ITV and Channel 5.

On Wednesday afternoon, BBC controller of Factual commissioning Alison Kirkham will be on stage with ceo of Wonderhood Studios, David Abraham and ceo of Barcroft Media, Sam Barcroft to explore the future of programme funding in the short and long term, in a session chaired by Pact council chair Sara Geater.

On day two of the Festival, filmmaker and presenter Stacey Dooley will give a keynote interview, chaired by True Vision co-founder Brian Woods.

Across the two days, we will hear from the UK’s key commissioners for Documentary, Factual Entertainment, Specialist Factual and International Factual.

Channel 4’s head of Factual Danny Horan will give the low-down on the new regime at the broadcaster in an interview with Sanjay Singhal, chief executive of Voltage TV.

There will be close-ups with top factual commissioners, including Richard Watsham, director of commissioning, UKTV, which is increasing its spend on factual and  Heather Jones, senior vice president, Content and Creative EMEA, A+E Networks who will outline opportunities for producers.

In association with the Grierson Trust, the Festival will interrogate The Promise of the Regions and Nations in a panel with Kelly Webb-Lamb, deputy director of Programmes from Channel 4, Nick Andrews, head of commissioning, BBC Cymru, Andrew Sheldon, creative director and founder, True North and John Willis, creative director, Tinopolis Group.

Commissioners speaking also include David Brindley head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment commissioning for the BBC, Clare Sillery head of Documentary commissioning, BBC, Jo Clinton-Davis, controller Factual, ITV, Guy Davies commissioning editor, Factual, Channel 5, Alf Lawrie head of Factual Entertainment, Channel 4, Tom McDonald head of Specialist Factual and Natural History commissioning, BBC, Adrian Padmore and Lucy Willis, commissioning editor and commissioning editor, Factual at Channel 5,  Shaminder Nahal and Alisa Pomery, commissioning editor, Arts, Topical and History and commissioning editor, Documentaries for Channel 4.
The Festival website gives details of sessions and speakers across the two days. To find out more and to book tickets, go to www.televisual.com/Festival

Pippa Considine

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