To mark the Channel 4 announcement that its new HQ will be in Leeds, with creative hubs in Bristol and Glasgow, the Televisual Factual Festival will focus on opportunities for producers in the nations and regions.

In association with the Grierson Trust, The Promise of the Regions panel will be held on the second day of the Festival, which takes place at BAFTA on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd November.

Kelly Webb-Lamb, Deputy Director of Programmes from Channel 4 will detail plans for commissioning outside of London, while Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning, BBC Cymru Wales will discuss the importance of national and regional programming to the BBC. Joining them to explore what is happening about developing production bases and TV talent will be Andrew Sheldon, Creative Director and Founder, True North and John Willis, Creative Director, Tinopolis Group.

Across the two days, 50 top level speakers, including the UK’s leading factual commissioners for Documentary, Factual Entertainment, Specialist Factual and International Factual, are confirmed for this year’s Festival.

Filmmaker Stacey Dooley will give a keynote interview, chaired by True Vision co-founder Brian Woods.

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.

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 will outline opportunities for producers.

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, All3Media International is the distributor’s ‘go to’ exec for SVOD deals. While Spring Films Richard Melman works closely with Netflix.

Commissioners, distributors and indies with experience of growing their business in the US and internationally will reveal opportunities that lie beyond the UK.

Speakers are also drawn from the top factual indies include Lisa Opie, Director of Factual, BBC Studios, Grant Mansfield, Founder Plimsoll Productions, Laura Mansfield, MD Outline Productions, Celia Taylor, MD Mentorn, Sanjay Singhal, Chief Executive, Voltage TV and Dimitri Doganis, Founder Raw TV and many more.

Commissioners speaking include David Brindley Head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment Commissioning, BBC, Clare Laycock, Head of Brands, Discovery, Jo Clinton-Davis Controller, Factual, ITV, Guy Davies Commissioning Editor, Factual, Channel 5, Alf Lawrie Head of Factual Entertainment, Channel 4, Tom MacDonald Head of Specialist Factual Formats, BBC, Adrian Padmore Commissioning Editor, Channel 5, Clare Sillery Head of Documentary Commissioning, BBC and Jules Oldroyd, SVP Global programming &Acquisitions, National Geographic Partners.

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

With just a few tickets left, we recommend booking your ticket this week. To find out more and to book, go to

Staff Reporter

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