First Sessions Revealed

CHEFSThis morning at The Caxton, joined by members of the press and talent ranging from Trevor Phillips OBE to Stacey Dooley, soap star Sally Ann Matthews and vlogger Fleur de Force, we were delighted to announce a plethora of exciting sessions from across this year’s Festival programme. But as well as getting the festival lowdown, guests enjoyed breakfast cooked by this year’s MasterChef champion Simon Wood, alongside Ping Coombes and Adam Handling.

In addition to one-on-one interviews with all the major UK channel controllers, this year features more international content than ever before through a brand new strand, US Gamechangers.

The stellar guests include Showtime’s David Nevins; HBO’s Michael Ellenberg, Discovery’s Rich Ross and FX’s John Landgraf discussing what’s next for their businesses and for global television now that the game has changed. They will be interviewed by key UK counterparts including C4’s Jay Hunt and Sky’s Stuart Murphy.

Continuing our ongoing commitment to all things digital, we’ll be holding two major keynote interviews with online industry heavyweights: Matt Brittin, Google UK vice-president, and Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, who’ll be outlining their overarching strategies, as well as creative and business opportunities.

Amazon will also be treating delegates to the UK premiere screening of Hand of God, attended by its creator Ben Watkins, Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, World War Z) who makes his TV directing debut with the drama series, alongside cast Ron Perlman, Dana Delany and Alona Tal.

Advisory Chair, Zai Bennett, said: “In its 40th year we have gone back to basics with the festival programme and tried to ensure that talent, both on and off-screen, is at the heart of everything we do. We have also made our international profile a huge priority this year, securing some of the biggest broadcasting executives in the world for an all-new US Gamechangers Strand. The breadth of this year’s sessions are designed to be as informative and thought-provoking as ever, but being the 40th anniversary of the festival we are also trying to ensure they are delivered in as entertaining and innovative a way as possible.”

Elsewhere in the schedule, vloggers Fleur de Force and TomSka will sit on the panel for our YouTuber masterclass, offering an insight into launching a channel and crucially, revealing how they make money from their huge online audiences.

With sessions on the impact of the Soaps, the dark art of scheduling; delivering diversity and rebooting old formats, and with more major announcements to come in the next few weeks, make sure you’ve secured your place at the biggest TV event of the year, and book your Early Bird pass today.

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