YouTube Head of Originals for EMEA Luke Hyams will join Johnny Webb, CEO of Sundog Pictures to tell the story behind one of the platform’s first original commissions.

In the second of two sessions focused on SVOD demand, Hyams and Webb will discuss YouTube’s approach to programming and the planning of Sundog’s series, If I Could Tell You Just One Thing, with Priyanka Chopra.

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 which will take place on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd November at BAFTA.

Delegates will hear about the latest demands for factual programming across the two days of talks and presentations.

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. And with Channel 4 set to announce its new regional HQ, Deputy Director of Programmes Kelly Webb-Lamb will be updating on the channel’s regional push, as part of a regional session hearing about expanding opportunity in the regions and nations.

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.

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.

The Festival website is being updated with new speakers every day. To find out more and to book tickets, go to

Staff Reporter

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