LONDON, Thursday 26th July 2012: The 37th annual MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival has confirmed its full Festival programme, with the final schedule revealing it to be the most diverse, thought provoking line-up of creative and industry heavyweights to date.
Taking place for the first time between Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th August, the three-day Festival will feature a line up of sessions that focus on this year’s biggest television breakthroughs and finest successes, as well as addressing the current and future issues that the industry is facing.
Delivering this year’s MacTaggart Lecture is Elisabeth Murdoch, who follows in the footsteps of former speakers who include Eric Schmidt, Mark Thompson, James Murdoch, Dennis Potter, Michael Grade, Greg Dyke, Peter Fincham and David Liddiment.
The opening session kicks off MGETIF 2012 with Celebrity Juice taking to the stage. Keith Lemon will host this live special edition of ITV2’s award-winning comedy panel game show, featuring team captains Holly Willoughby and Emma Bunton, who will lead bang-tidy teams featuring some of TV’s biggest names.
To honour Channel 4’s thirtieth anniversary, the Festival will look back on how the channel has broken creative boundaries throughout three decades on air, whilst speculating on its future strategy. Channel 4 – Still A Rebel at 30? asks whether the channel can still fulfill its remit to innovate, experiment and be creative, and whether it can really remain a middle aged rebel. Former CEO Michael Jackson uses his unique experience to challenge current boss David Abraham in an authoritative and engaging debate about what Channel 4 actually stands for today.
BBC DG 2.0 will ask the experts what key decisions face incoming Director-General George Entwistle, as Mark Thompson prepares to depart the post. How will the BBC enter the next phase of its history? How might the BBC continue to evolve under his stewardship?
Looking back to the biggest international event of the year, the Festival’s Delivering the Olympic Dream session will bring together core members of the production team to relay the good, the bad and the ugly moments of the BBC and London 2012’s delivery of ‘the greatest show on Earth’. While an international overview of 2012 is addressed by Egyptian doctor turned political satirist Bassem Youssef, whose observational ‘fake news’ programme has developed an international cult following, as he delivers the 2012 Worldview Address.
Looking ahead, the CCO of Internet streaming giant Netflix, Ted Sarandos, described as the man ‘everyone in Hollywood wants a meeting with’, will speak in The Futureview Address, addressing the company’s upcoming plans within the UK market.
This year’s exciting interviews include prolific British film director Michael Apted, who this year brought the eighth installment of the iconic Up series to television screens, for The Richard Dunn Memorial Interview as he reflects on a career that has spawned numerous BAFTA Awards.
One of Britain’s most distinguished TV documentary producers, Adam Curtis, will provide a Masterclass, sharing insight and wisdom from his thirty years in groundbreaking film making, and discussing his many pioneering investigations for the BBC Current Affairs unit.
The Alternative MacTaggart will feature prolific broadcaster, satirist, screenwriter and journalist Charlie Brooker speaking live to award-winning Independent columnist Grace Dent. 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.
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: Keeping up with Jonesy.
Some of this year’s biggest and most talked about TV shows, both home grown formats and transatlantic TV hits, will get the Masterclass treatment, with appearances from the figures behind their success.
Outstanding drama, comedy and documentary series feature in the Festival’s Masterclass line-up. One of this year’s most talked about series, BBC One drama Sherlock, hosts a Masterclass with appearances from show creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and producer Sue Vertue.
A Modern Family Masterclass welcomes Emmy award winning writer and producer Steve Levitan, the co-creator of Modern Family. Steve will reveal what it’s like to be the brains behind a multi-award winning show which regularly attracts audiences of over 16 million viewers in America alone, including the President!
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. They will reveal why they feel Pass Mores School in Essex touched viewers’ hearts and became one of the most discussed shows of the autumn. They will also detail the realities of managing 65 cameras, 1000 students, parents and consent forms, to make education a breakthrough TV hit.
In addition, the Horrible Histories creative team will be telling delegates how they bring the past to life with brilliant sketches, songs and cartoons, Packed full of shocking facts, bonkers beliefs and gruesome punishments, the programme has transformed the children’s television landscape and continues to inform and entertain millions of children and grown-ups alike..
The challenges and creativity involved in producing successful dramas are addressed by a number of sessions at the year’s Festival. Homeland Leaves Home: The Journey of a Hit International Format will feature conversation with Gideon Raff and Avi Nir, the Israeli creators of the series Prisoners of War (Hatufim) and those who brought the drama series to life in the US as Homeland. They will review how the deal was born and the business and creative challenges that came with adapting a big Israeli hit series into a successful American programme.
The First Ten Minutes will examine hit dramas Scott and Bailey and Call the Midwife with the creative teams behind them. The session will explore how to make the crucial first ten minutes of that first episode compelling and addictive, examine the significance of the marketing and PR before the show airs and question what impact the channel it is aired on has on it.
The TV documentary will also come under examination in Alive and Kicking Docs on the Box, exploring how best to capture documentary truth, off the back of contemporary documentary formats such as Educating Essex, One Born Every Minute and 24 Hours in A & E, all of which have accrued both critical praise and ratings success. In today’s documentary formats, how heavily are we relying on the contributors to make the show for us?
Meanwhile, in a special series of screenings, delegates will be treated to an exclusive first look at the first episode of the next series of Doctor Who, while Frank Spotnitz, the award winning American television writer and producer best known for his work on The X-Files, will discuss new UK spy-thriller Hunted. Also joining the compelling array of previews is a screening of Loving Miss Hatto, followed by a rare and exclusive interview with comedienne Victoria Wood.
The ever popular Meet the Controller sessions return, as Channel Controllers draw on their highs and lows throughout 2012; BBC One’s Danny Cohen, ITV1’s Peter Fincham, Channel 4’s Jay Hunt, Channel 5’s Jeff Ford, Sky’s Stuart Murphy, BBC Four’s Richard Klein, and ITV2’s Angela Jain and UKTV’s Emma Tennant, will all be taking the hot seat.
And with new multichannel controller sessions added to the controllers strand this year, delegates will also get to hear about shopping lists for MTV, Comedy Central, Discovery, Nat Geo and more.
For the first time, Deloitte’s annual report on the state of the UK TV sector will make it onto the conference agenda in Stats, Lies and Videotape? Key findings within the report will go up for discussion amongst a panel of invited industry celebrity guests, looking at the top talking points in television in 2012.
Further new sessions include China: A Long Walk for a Short Drink?, where Zespa media Managing Director and Chinese TV industry expert Jean Dong will take delegates on a journey to her native China, explaining how to sell your format in this rapidly expanding market.
The Festival will tackle the profound implications of the Scottish referendum on 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.
It will also address the changing nature of media platforms as YouTube Superstar Jamal Edwards, the hottest internet mogul on the block, will sit alongside Justin Gayner, co-founder of Channel Flip, to discuss making millions – of hits and pounds – via direct to consumer platforms in Who Needs a Commission Anyway?
While 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?
This year’s schedule features new live pitching sessions to encourage and support new ideas and creativity within the industry. In The Pinewood Pitching Competition, programme makers will battle it out in front of a live Edinburgh TV festival audience to win a Pinewood sponsored studio pilot. 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.
Budding broadcast entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to get a film commissioned for Channel 4’s arts strand Random Acts in an exciting live pitch. Ones To Watch Elevator Pitch will see twelve finalists present their ideas to Channel 4 Arts Commissioning Editor Tabitha Jackson.
Then looking back over the past 12 months, The Channel of the Year Awards will be voted for by festival delegates, who will be able to cast their vote before attending the live ceremony on Friday 24thAugust.
Along with headline sponsors MediaGuardian and YouTube, the Festival is delighted to have 13 major sponsors confirmed this year, including 3 brand new, the Canadian Tourism Commission, UKTV and Xbox. Collectively the sponsors will enhance the delegates’ festival experience with networking, business insight and demonstration of the latest technologies transforming entertainment in the living-room.
Registration for the 2012 MGEITF is now open. Visit www.mgetif.co.uk for further information.
Follow the Festival at twitter.com/edinburghtvfest
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