Search This Blog

Friday, 14 December 2012

Season's Greetings....

Hi Festival Friend,
I hope you’re very well and looking forward to the festive season.

This is just a quick email from me and the Festival team to say we hope you have a good break over the coming holiday period.  I also wanted to introduce you to those who have kindly agreed to join the 2013 Festival Advisory Committee.   They’re already working hard to bring you what I hope will be the brightest and best Festival ever.

Welcome to a few new faces....

To see the full Advisory Committee in all their glory click here.
To see the latest additions to the Festival Executive Committee click here.  And finally to see the 2013 Talent
Schemes committee click here.

I’m thrilled to be Chairing the 2013 Festival, and as you can see I’ve got the benefit of some brilliant people from across the industry to make it one to remember.

So from me, my deputy chair Ed Havard, Festival Director Louise Benson and everyone else on the Festival team, we hope you have a restful break and a happy new year.

Best wishes


Monday, 22 October 2012

Your Festival needs you…

Autumn is a special time here at the Festival.  We’ve finally put away our Clairol foot spas and dragged ourselves back to the office after the craziness of Festival season and are full of the joys of planning as 2013 appears on the horizon.

Liz and I met Karl Warner this morning to begin plotting.  Many of you know Karl, and he’s been a great friend of the Festival and the schemes  (The Network and Ones To Watch) for a number of years so it’s brilliant to have him at the helm and we’re thrilled to have him on board.   And if you do know Karl you won’t be surprised to hear he’s already full of ideas on how to make the 2013 Festival more creative, more inspirational and more relevant than ever.  And it’s not even Christmas yet!

We’ve read the delegate feedback, requesting more chances to meet commissioners, more structured networking, more access to international delegates and more coverage of digital issues and we will be working on this for 2013! 

We know how much you loved Steve Levitan, the team behind Sherlock, the creator of the original Homeland, the audience with Ruth Jones and our very own Olympics closing ceremony.

We’re over the moon that this year’s date change (amongst other things!) resulted in over 20% more delegates, with indies and digital companies up 40% respectively and international delegates up nearly 25%...

And we’ve got a brand new advisory committee that we’ll be announcing very soon.  

They’ll be pulling out all the stops to put together the kind of world class sessions that you’ve come to expect, featuring legends from both sides of the camera alongside creatives, powerbrokers , kingmakers and rising industry stars, plus some of that leftfield crazy stuff that makes Edinburgh so very special.

But we really really want your ideas too!  

If you’ve got a fantastic idea for a session (and it does need to be good – we’re only interested in the best) then pop it on an email and send it over. 

Email or comment below... I can’t promise we’ll run it but I promise it’ll get properly considered.  The Festival is made for the industry by the industry and your ideas are its lifeblood.  So don’t hide your light under a bushel – put your best foot forward today!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Louise x
Follow me on Twitter @lulubenson

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

You never know what impact a simple 'thank-you' email can have down the line...

Here at Festival Towers we love hearing stories about great things our Networkers have achieved post-Edinburgh, and of course, it gives us a warm glow of self-satisfaction to know we've helped them.  One of 2012's Networkers was Will McDonagh. Will attended The Network straight after completing an English degree at Lancaster University.  One month later, he landed himself a runner's job on major BBC One drama, 'Prisoners Wives'.  Here's how he did it...

After attending The Network, I found myself with a clear focus and direction as to where I wanted my television career to begin, and ultimately lead to. This really helped me to improve my CV, and  gave me a confidence to talk about what it was that I hoped to achieve in my career. 

Before The Network, if I was asked what I ultimately wanted to achieve, often I would come across as unsure, purely because I always thought that people would see my ambitions as naive and unattainable. But speaking with so many talented and successful people through The Network, it was obvious that they had all started from exactly where I was right now - and if anything, they appreciated my drive and commitment to reaching my desired career goal. 

At the moment, that ambition is to become a Drama Television Producer as my main passion in life at the moment is telling stories, and through The Network I was able to work alongside some of those people currently working in that role in the industry, including Lizzie Gray, Producer, Waterloo Road (and one of the leaders of The Network's Scriptwriting and Directing Workshop). After a brilliant few days in Edinburgh I made sure that I stayed in touch with those people who I had met and who had inspired me, particularly Lizzie. 

Then, when I saw a Floor Runner position advertised with Tiger Aspect, I took everything I had learned from The Network, tailored my CV specifically to the job, told them all about where I wanted my career to go through Drama, and applied. A few weeks later, after I managed to find some short-term Runner and Logger roles with other companies to improve my CV, I got a phone call from Tiger Aspect to have an interview that following week. One of my interviewers was familiar with The Network, and was very impressed with everything I had to say about it. Not only that, but when I talked about people I had worked with whilst there - particularly Lizzie -  they were even more intrigued.

The following morning I received another phone call from Tiger Aspect - offering me the Floor Runner role! They told me that I was the 'wildcard' applicant, but they had followed up with Lizzie Gray and she had given me a very good recommendation!

This is the most important thing I learned from The Network. Everyone we met there has already been in our position when they started their careers, and they all appreciate what we are going through. The scheme itself is not about meeting people and impressing them enough in the hope that they will give you a job in the future - it is simply about getting your name out there. Getting advice from these people is much more beneficial than simply asking for work experience or job opportunities - the industry is so inter-connected that if you can impress someone with your passion and dedication, even if it's simply through the odd email every few weeks, then you are going to make an impression not just on them, but those people who they may come to work with in the future. The Network is an opportunity to make a countless number of connections.

I never appreciated just what a tight-knit industry television was - and you also never know, if you send a simple 'thank-you' email to just one of those connections made in Edinburgh, what impact that could have on you down the line. For all future Networkers, simply bear in mind that the connections you make in Edinburgh are much more valuable to you if you approach them with a slow-burn attitude. Don't be pushy with the people you meet, and ALWAYS reply to any email you get from them, even if it's a rejection email, with a simple 'thank-you'.

Since Prisoners' Wives ended I've worked on a new prime time drama for ITV called 'Love and Marriage'; worked on 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale', both of which I have just signed freelance contracts for; a new Karl Pilkington travel series called 'The Moaning of Life' for Sky One; I worked on the recent Peter Kay Comic Relief sketch; and I have spent days on a new BBC Two pilot, a feature film for BBC One, and a commercial for Co-Op! So the past seven or so months since the Network have been incredibly busy!

The best moment so far was definitely seeing my name on the credits for Prisoners' Wives last week - I felt it finally solidified the fact that I'm now working in TV! I've also found that you never know where or who you're next job is going to come through. As well as my own team (AD's) recommending me for other jobs, I've even gotten work from Script Supervisor's, make-up artists, actors, and even vrivers'! You literally never know when a nice deed on set might come back and help you I'm the future - you NEVER stop Networking!

I wouldn't have secured my Floor Runner job had it not  been through The Network, which is why I believe it is an invaluable talent scheme for anyone wanting to begin a career in Television Production. And if you're not already thinking about applying - DO IT! This was my third attempt at applying, and it all couldn't have worked out better.

Will McDonagh @WillMac06

Congratulations, Will, and thanks for sharing all those top tips.  To get a taste of what Will and his fellow delegates worked on at The Network, check out the mini-episode of 'Waterloo Road' they made here: 

And if you're new to the TV industry and would like to take part in The Network yourself, check back here from February 2013 to find out how to apply!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

And the 2013 Advisory Chair is....

 It’s official!  Karl Warner is the 2013 Advisory Chair!  

On his appointment, Warner said: “I hope next year's Festival will be the biggest celebration of creativity and innovation we've ever had. Everyone who attends should come away feeling inspired and equipped with highly valuable, practical insights on dealing with the creative challenges of the future. I'm thrilled to be appointed the Advisory Chair and I can't wait to get started."
Warner joined the BBC in 2007 as an Executive Editor, with an initial focus on BBC Three. He has recently moved to BBC One, where he has been tasked with finding the next generation of Saturday night entertainment formats.  

Karl is responsible for the editorial direction of the 2013 programme from commissioning session ideas to overseeing final production (No pressure). Karl will bring together a committee from across the entire industry to advise and produce festival sessions.

Since joining the BBC, Warner has commissioned and executive produced a wide range of programmes, ranging from John Bishop’s Britain, Russell Howard’s Good News and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Road Show, to Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man, The Undercover Princes and Junior Doctors. 

Elaine Bedell, MGEITF Executive Chair said: "For the last few years, Karl's worked right at the heart of the industry and has produced or managed some of the UK's biggest shows. He's also worked tirelessly on the committee for the television festival. His energy and enthusiasm is always infectious. I have no doubt that as Advisory Chair, his Festival plans will be big, ambitious - and fun."

And just in case you were wondering what all the 2012 fuss was all about catch up on ALL THE FULL MGEITF 2012 sessions you missed including ALL Meet the Controller sessions, Modern Family a Masterclass....

We are thrilled to welcome Karl on board as this year’s Advisory Chair.  He’s a joy to work with, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm, and I just know the 2013 programme is going to give this year’s a run for its money.  Let’s go!!

Over and out!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

When my life flashes before my eyes when I die, I'm pretty sure a few frames will be dedicated to my time at The Network...

Get a place on The Network and you will go places!  Sometimes you might even go to famous places… while dressed as a panda having a series of telephone conversations with a lovely lady panda.  Confused?  Read James Fletcher’s story of what happened to him and fellow Network 2011 delegates Owen Cant and Lisa Robson:

My name is James Fletcher and I was a delegate on The Network 2011. It is my career goal to be a comedy producer, and The Network really gave me a push in the right direction. I had a great few days in Edinburgh, and look back at the memories fondly. When my life flashes before my eyes when I die, I'm pretty sure a few frames will be dedicated to my time at The Network - it was that good. The experience was made even better by the fact that I won a competition, in which you had to submit an idea to VisitScotland promoting the country in a 'unique/quirky' way. 

Skip forward ten months, and I'm stood in front of Forth Bridge. The wind ruffles the fur in my Panda costume. People are telling me it looks magnificent, but I can't see a thing, for the eye hole is ingeniously placed in the mouth, and thus is crap. "The bridge looks amazing! You look so funny in front of it!" I hear, as I look at the large Panda feet I'm wearing.

We filmed in a variety of locations; from old castles, to the caverns below Edinburgh, to golf courses, to portrait galleries, to tea rooms. Places you'd never expect to see a Panda. There's a good reason a Panda has never been to Willow Tea Rooms; the spaces in between the tables is rather small, and trying to navigate through them, blind, without smashing anything, was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. The Panda's face was always smiling, but the face under it was a sweaty mix of fear and worry.

In August I was invited to the advert's screening at The Network 2012's finale. It was weird being back and hearing Joe Godwin's closing speech.  As he spoke, I reflected on how far I'd come; not physically, as I was sat in the same room exactly as a year ago, so I hadn't gone anywhere in that regard - but experience wise, my CV is looking much better, and I have a tremendous advert for my show-reel which I'm extremely proud of. 

The Network is brilliant because I went from knowing nobody to knowing sixty plus people who all shared the same passion for working in Television. I didn't really make many contacts with industry professionals (as you can tell from this, I have a testing personality) but I kept in touch with many fellow delegates, and then milked their success, as they put me forward for work experience and made me aware of opportunities. I also found out through The Network's mailing list about the BBC looking for volunteers in Edinburgh during August, which I was successful in applying for, and I probably had the best month of my life there, so the benefits of being a Network delegate continue to grow, like a beautiful tree (of television).

James Fletcher
You can tweet James @themehospital - he especially likes panda related questions.  

Have a look at Owen Cant's blog for the director's perspective:

Many thanks to Noelle Campbell and Ruma Cummins from sponsors VisitScotland, development mentors David Strachan and Andrew Blackwell from Tern TV, Edinburgh Zoo for loan of the panda costume and all the locations used for filming.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

2012 Networking events - get the diary out!

Check out our social events schedule – from swanky drinks to late night shenanigans there’s something for everyone and you’re guaranteed a good, if slightly exhausting, time.

All delegates are welcome!

Time: 17:15-18:00
Venue: The Tinto

Time: 19:30-21:30
Venue: National Museum of Scotland

Once again, we’re back in the Museum of Scotland for our opening reception. Mingle amongst the priceless relics as you catch up with old friends, unwind after an action-packed day at the festival with a drink, and sample the very finest canapés from Scotland’s world renowned culinary larder.

The Festival will be running shuttle coaches directly from the EICC entrance to the Museum for all delegates straight after the MacTaggart Lecture.


Time: 16:30-17:30
Venue: The Tinto

CCTV invite you to join them for drinks and one-to-one discussions on collaboration opportunities.

Time: 16:45-17:45
Venue: The Moorfoot & Kilsyth

Join SPT’s UK production companies to raise a glass and toast the Edinburgh International Television Festival. 

Time: 21:30-02:00
Venue: The George Hotel

Watch and MGEITF are celebrating the eve of the final day of the Edinburgh TV Festival with a night out of the ordinary. Join the party at The George Hotel on Friday 24 August for a truly mind bending experience where unexpected furniture and a giant motion mirror will test your senses.



Pack painkillers. And Echinacea.  And energy supplements. And possibly even sun tan lotion! Fingers crossed.

Festival Team

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Date the commissioners in Edinburgh

Limited spaces available so make sure you book your space quick sharp! 

In a festival first... Channel 4 will be setting up stall and allowing producers and content creators to pitch fresh ideas and formats to their commissioning team!
With a maximum of five minutes per pitch, commissioners from across Channel 4’s genres will be ready and waiting; producers can secure one on one time with:

Delegates can email to reserve a slot – stating who you work for and who you would like to pitch to.

Don't miss out and book your slot today!

Festival HQ


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Victoria Wood and Doctor Who Lead TV Festival Screenings Programme

We are proud to unveil our full MGEITF screenings programme for Edinburgh 2012!

We are offering members of the public and Festival delegates an exclusive first look at some of this year’s most hotly anticipated television content.

The programme, which plays out between Thursday 23rd August and Saturday 25th August at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, includes the world premiere of Victoria Wood’s film Loving Miss Hatto, the first Scottish showing of the long awaited seventh series of Doctor Who, and an exciting first chance to see Channel 4’s new comedy Friday Night Dinner, which stars The Inbetweeners favourite Simon Bird

All of the post screening Q and As will be moderated by writer and broadcaster Andrew Collins.

Loving Miss Hatto, which charts the story of Joyce Hatto, the renowned 1950s and 1960s concert pianist who only achieved critical acclaim thirty years after she disappeared from the limelight, will be followed by a Q and A with comedienne Victoria Wood, who will discuss the inspiration behind the project.

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffatt will be on hand to answer fans’ burning questions in a live Q and A segment after the explosive first episode of the new series, while Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper will be discussing his new comedy. 

Some Girls is a vibrant new comedy series for BBC Three produced by Hat Trick Productions. Following the lives of a group of 16 year old girls who play on the same school football team and live on the same inner city estate. This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Cheryl Taylor, Zai Bennett & Justin Davies

The lineup is completed by action series Hunted, a co-production between the BBC and Cinemax. Writer Frank Spotnitz, of the principal writers on X-Files, and producer Jane Fetherstone, take part in the Q and A.

The full timetable appears below:
The FilmhouseTHURSDAY 23rd AUGUST

3:00pm – 4:30pm
Friday Night Dinner


12:00pm – 13:30pm
Loving Miss Hatto 

4.45pm - 5.15pm
Some Girls

15:00pm – 16:30pm


10:00am – 11:30am
Doctor Who

If you have a FULL MGEITF ticket all the screenings are FREE and tickets will be available at the registration desk on a first come first served basis! 

If you do not have a MGEITF pass but would like to attend a screening never fear! You can buy tickets here.

Make sure you get your ticket before they sell out!

Festival Team


Monday, 6 August 2012

Indie heavyweights join panel line-up

One of five indies is set to scoop a sought after £30k investment from Pinewood Studios in the culmination of the Pinewood Pitching competition; those in the running are today confirmed as:

1.   RDF’s Neale Simpson, presenting Unbeatable
2.   Markthree media’s Adam Hunt, presenting Story:Time, STV’s
3.   STV’s Gary Chippington & Amy Maher, presenting The Lie
4.   Pirate Productions’ Jenny Williams & Avalon’s Toby Stevens, co-presenting Bid for Brains
5.   Zebra Crossing’s Nev Pitty-Rose, presenting Table 10

Each of the indies will one by one present their TV format idea in front of an audience and panel of experienced commissioning figures. The panel comprises Elaine Bedell (Director of Entertainment and Comedy, ITV), Zai Bennett (Controller, BBC Three), Emma Tennant (Controller, UKTV) and Phil Edgar-Jones (Head of Entertainment, Sky). The prize package will include studio time, crew and post-production towards a pilot.

Meanwhile, help will be at hand for aspiring or struggling Indies as the Festival plays host to The Indie Surgery, a Q and A with some of the biggest and most influential figures in independent TV production. Eileen Gallagher (CEO, Shed Productions), Magnus Temple (Founder, The Garden), Tom Manwaring (Managing Director, Mediatique) and Andy Harries (Chief Executive, Left Bank Pictures) will answer all of prevalent questions on buying, launching, sustaining success and selling, as well as addressing topics such as setting up in the USA and how crucial having an agent really is in long term expansion…


Only 16 days to go!! See you there.

Festival Team 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Top tips for festival first timers

With this year’s festival on track to deliver 15% more delegates year on year, over 50 sessions, nearly 2000 people coming from over 250 companies, I’m super excited about going up to Edinburgh next month.  I’m also hugely proud to be working on such an awesome – and awe inspiring – event.   But I can see that it all might seem a little daunting to if you’ve never been before.  

And as a relative Festival newcomer myself (class of 2011), when I was recently asked to offer up some tips for others visiting our event for the first time I thought it best to canvas some opinions.

So here, without further ado, are some of the top tips and handy hints that the wonderful Advisory Committee have to offer..!

On arrival, drop your bags and go to The George. The rest will all become clear (or not!). 


2. Miranda Chadwick 
  • Go through the delegate list and plan coffees in advance. And then plan to change all your plans and go with the flow…
  • Get a rolling system of queuing at the Bar at the George. I think the staff are prone to bribery through good tips. 
  • Make sure you see at least 1 fringe thing!
  • Read the thoughts of panellists and audiences live for the sessions that you’re in (and, importantly, those that you’re not) by using the session hashtags on Twitter. Each session uses the hashtag of the room it’s being held in: #pentland, #fintry, and so on. You’ll never miss out on the stories as they happen.  
 4. Tamsyn Zietsman
  • Always carry a bottle of water and a snack. The sessions are so good there is often little time to eat.
  • Pack Berocca and nurofen
  • Pack more of it than you think you will need.  You will need it. Pack clothes for summer, winter, spring and autumn. Guaranteed to experience all seasons during the weekend.
  • Make a plan. As soon as you get the schedule, highlight the key sessions you want to go and see. 
  • See some comedy if you get a chance!
  • Don’t be afraid of “networking”. Networking is just gossiping. Who in the TV world doesn’t like talking about themselves and their great shows.
  • Only buy large glasses of wine at The George – otherwise you’ll be back in the queue in no time.
  • Share taxis outside the conference centre. It’s amazing who you can hop in with……
  • Nobody minds people introducing themselves at Edinburgh. That, after all, is why we're all there. So don't be shy. If you spot someone you're dying to talk to, pick your moment and go and say hello. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the reaction. Resist the temptation to imagine they are now your NBF, stalk them for the next 24 hours and insist they come back to your hotel for a nightcap, but be brave. Fortune favours the brave.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the people you will meet, but also don't be pushy and thrust your script or CV under their noses.
8. Anonymous
  • Be keen and introduce yourself to commissioners but don’t feel you need to pitch to them at every opportunity.  Make them remember you for being fun and passionate about TV; not for pitching to them in the toilets. 
9. James Herring

'Don't forget to make some time in the evenings to see a couple of comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe – but if you don't book them by the first week in August the hot names will already be sold out'

10. Simon Tomkins

Attend sessions which are 'out of your comfort zone’. This will help build knowledge and awareness of a range of areas which will be useful going forward.

11. Ian Johnson

•    Save embarrassment - Wear your name badge so it’s easily visible for anyone you’ve met the night before and who can’t remember your name
•    See something at the fringe right at the beginning so you have something to discuss OTHER than TV!

So there you have it. Top tips from those that know.  Have fun following (or ignoring) them. I’ll see you there!

Louise x

Monday, 9 July 2012

Richard Curtis to interview Steve Levitan at Edinburgh in August

British film legend Richard Curtis will join us at to interview award winning screenwriter and director Steve Levitan in an unmissable Modern Family masterclass.

Join two of the industry’s biggest names as they discuss how Modern Family has become one of the most talked about TV phenomena in recent times.

They will explore the inspiration, creative process and critical and public reactions as well as the challenges of showrunning in some of the most competitive market conditions ever known.  It’s going to be a showstopper.

Richard Curtis television career, a few highlights:

1979-82     Not the Nine O'Clock News- Writer
1983-89     Blackadder - Writer
1984-85     Spitting Image - Writer
1991         Bernard and the Genie - Writer
1990-95    Mr Bean - Writer
1994-2007 The Vicar of Dibley - Writer/Co-Executive
1999-2007 Robbie the Reindeer - Writer
2005         The Girl in the Café - Writer/Executive Producer
2007         Casualty - Writer - (1 Episode)
2008         The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency     Writer/Executive Producer
2010          Doctor Who - Writer- (Vincent and the Doctor) 

We cant wait!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Pinewood Pilot Pitching Competition

This is what we have all been waiting for... Indies are in with a chance to win a fantastic studio prize package in over £30k!!!

We are officially launching The Pinewood Pitching Competition a competition that will offer one lucky Indie a studio prize package worth over £30k to bring their format to life.

Applications are now open for programme makers to submit their idea for a studio based format, with the best five invited to pitch to a panel of channel controllers live at the Festival, which runs between Thursday 23rd August and Friday 25th August. 

The winner will then be given an amazing opportunity to shoot a mini pilot for their programme at Pinewood Studios!


The prize will cover use of one of Pinewood’s 9,000sq ftTV studios, with a brand new, state of the art HD gallery plus production facilities and access to Pinewood’s award winning post production department. Most importantly, the winners will work with Pinewood’s dedicated and experienced TV team, who will be on hand to share their experience and work with the winners to help ensure their vision is translated into a successful end product.

Advisory Chair of the Festival, Kenton Allen comments: “In these straitened times this is a unique, opportunity to take the paper format you passionately believe in and breathe life into it. You would have to be either mad or a millionaire not to enter.”

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

RIP Fast Track – hello Ones to Watch!

Fast Track is 18 years old this year, so what better way is there to celebrate its coming of age than … killing it off?

Bear with me.  There is method in this.

Fast Track has had a brilliant track record of identifying the best and the brightest talent in the industry.  Conrad Green, Andrew Zein, Claire Zolkwer – all hugely successful people who came through the Fast Track ranks.  

BUT, although any Fast Tracker will tell you how amazing their experience was,  not everyone who’s been in the industry 3-5 years had heard of it, so  there were plenty of potential applicants who weren’t switched on to it.  
Frankly, Fast Track never quite got the level of brand recognition that it deserves.  The name didn’t quite sell it well enough and, despite everyone’s best efforts, people still got it mixed up with The Network, which is a very different beast.  (Everyone knows The Network- the bright fresh young things who are desperate to get their first jobs in TV… sadly for Fast trackers, people often thought of them in the same way, which could be a bit, frustrating, on occasion).

So, we decided to go back to basics, think about what we were offering, and see how we could brand it more effectively. 
Over a few cups of coffee (and a decent amount of chocolate), we isolated the key elements of the scheme:

•    Identifying industry talent
•    Rewarding them with access to exclusive opportunities and sessions at the TV      

•    Celebrating them by giving them recognition within the industry
•    Fair and accessible process anyone can put themselves forward for a place 

The people we selected for Fast Track are the people we considered the industry leaders of the future –the ones to watch in the industry. So… why not call the scheme that?  Ones to Watch it is.

We’ve made a few other tweaks to make Ones to Watch the most exciting and career- enhancing package in the industry.

•    Judges from our Executive Committee will make the final selection of the 30 delegates - so those selected on to the scheme have been endorsed by people working at the highest level in TV.
•    The 30 will be profiled in the MGEITF programme – so they will be showcased to over 2000 industry leaders who come to Edinburgh.
And this is in addition to all the excellent benefits that Fast Track offered already – exclusive sessions, free accommodation, access to MGEITF and all the social events you can squeeze in over 4 days.   

We’re really excited by Ones to Watch.  We’re open for applications now, so let us know if you are One to Watch by applying or, if you know someone who is a One to Watch, please give us their email address so we can encourage them to apply.


Wednesday, 9 May 2012


There’s so much to announce this week that  I’m going to keep my part brief, and let the talent do the talking.

While there’s plenty more still to come, this week we’ve announced  a slew of speakers and sessions covering a whole range of issues, as well as master classes covering some of the most exciting shows around.

Opening Session
1. This year’s Festival kicks off with a special TV Festival Celebrity Juice, hosted by the indomitable Keith Lemon and featuring bang tidy team captains Holly Willoughby and Emma Bunton joined by some of our industry’s most recognisable executives.  Expect inhibitions lost and positions compromised in a rollicking hour of competition and fun!

Richard Dunn memorial interview
2. This year’s Richard Dunn memorial interview will feature prolific broadcaster, satirist, screenwriter and journalist Charlie Brooker speaking live to award-winning Times columnist Caitlin Moran. The Screenwipe star will discuss his experiences as a writer, producer and showrunner, as well as talking about his latest productions and the world of television criticism.

Interviewing Charlie Brooker
3. Meanwhile Welsh TV actress and writer Ruth Jones will be talking to Boyd Hilton about being an actor, writer and co-founding her own production company in their session, Ruth Jones: bethsyddyneich pen gwallgof? ( Welsh for, “What’s in your mad head?”

4. BBC Director-General 2.0 will ask the experts what key decisions face the incoming Director-General, as Mark Thompson departs the post. How will the BBC enter the next phase of its history? How might the BBC continue to evolve under his (or her) stewardship?

5. We’re Stealing Your Stuff: The Piracy Problem will be dissecting how the web is changing ownership business models.  In a world where television can be instantly and infinitely copied and shared, what can TV creatives do to make sure they make money and retain creative control over their output? 

6. The Festival will also tackle the profound implications of Scottish Independence on the broadcasting landscape.  Leading political and cultural figures will examine the practicalities and effects of dismantling the BBC, the introduction of legal production quotas and competitive tax breaks and the political battleground that is EastEnders.

7. And of course the Festival will be exploring the impacts of the forthcoming Communications Bill Green Paper on EPG positioning, charter renewal, media plurality and more...

Master classes to include:

Modern Family Master class

8. Modern Family, featuring Emmy award winning writer and producer Steve Levitan, the co-creator of the multi award winning show.

9. The Educating Essex Masterclass will feature Series Director David Clews, Channel 4 Commissioner Mark Raphael and the indisputable stars of the show, Head Teacher Vic Goddard and his Deputy Stephen Drew talking about the breakout Autumn hit.

10. The Horrible Histories creative team will tell delegates how they bring the past to life with brilliant sketches, songs and cartoons to inform and entertain millions of children and grown-ups alike..

Horrible Histories Master class

11. The Festival will also feature a Masterclass on one of this year’s most talked about series, BBC One drama Sherlock, with appearances from show creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and producer Sue Vertue.

12. Hatufim to Homeland: The Anatomy of a hit Drama will feature conversation with Gideon Raff and Avi Nir, the Israeli creators of the series Prisoners of War (Hatufim), and those who brought the series to life in the US as Homeland.

13. The First Ten Minutes will examine hit dramas Scott and Bailey and Call the Midwife with the creative teams behind them.

14. Budding broadcast entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to face the formidable TV dragons – Evan Davis will host Dragons’ Den at the Festival, with Duncan Bannatyne and guests inviting entrepreneurs, inventors and ideas people to pitch for real money with TV related business ventures.

Pitch for real money at MGEITF 2012!

15. And finally, hot on the heels of the biggest international event of the year, the Festival’s BBC Olympic session will bring together core members of the production team, from both sides of the camera, to relay the good, the bad and the ugly moments of delivering the greatest show on Earth.

Don’t forget, special rates are available for BAFTA and PACT members, groups of as little as three, the under 26s, freelancers and more.   And everybody is eligible for the limited number of early bird tickets now on sale!
I can’t wait to see you there in August!