We are delighted to announce that award-winning writer, broadcaster, film-maker and former barrister, Afua Hirsch, is to be the Advisory Chair for the 2022 Festival.

Founder of Born in Me Productions, an independent production company focusing on scripted and non-scripted television, movies and podcasting, Hirsch is known for her work on black culture, history, identity and culture in the African diaspora and worldwide. Hirsch has been senior correspondent at the Guardian Newspaper and Sky News and has presented documentaries including African Renaissance; a three-part documentary series for the BBC on African art, Enslaved; a six part series for Epix about the history of the transatlantic slave trade with Samuel L Jackson, and podcast series; We Need to Talk about the British Empire, for Audible.

Hirsch is also the author of ‘Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging’ – winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize – and the bestselling children’s book ‘Equal to Everything’. She is currently the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Hirsch has been a Festival contributor since 2020 when she had a lively and frank discussion on working in television in UK and US, dealing with online trolling and ‘radical inclusivity’ with actor, podcast host and broadcaster, Jameela Jamil for the prestigious Alternative MacTaggart interview. She now returns as the Advisory Chair, and will be looking at themes around how those in the TV industry are in a unique position as storytellers who not only reflect change in the world, but also have the power to shape it.  This year’s Edinburgh TV Festival will ask which stories we are telling and which stories we aren’t, how we tell them and if TV can change the world.

“The Edinburgh TV Festival is such an important space for people to congregate, share ideas about our industry, promote progress and positive disruption - I couldn’t be more excited about taking on this role and the challenge of finding new and creative ways to move us all forward.”

Afua Hirsch

The Advisory committee will include:

Led by Afua Hirsch:

Mohammed Adnan, Global Head of Development, Pulse Films

Bryony Arnold, Producer & Co-Director, Deaf & Disabled People In TV

Sarah Asante, Commissioning Editor, Scripted, UKTV

Jenny Ash, Director

Robbie Ashcroft, Managing Partner, Development, The Story Lab

Jane Atkinson, Director of Global Production, Entertainment Production, Fremantle

Mobeen Azhar, Journalist & Broadcaster,

Ninder Billing, Creative Director, Darlow Smithson Productions

Simon Cheuk Pong-Lee, Commissioning Executive, Channel 4

Harjeet Chhokar, Unscripted Executive, Originals, UK, Amazon Studios

Rachel De-Lahay, Writer

Navdip Dhariwal, Co-Founder, MiranMedia

Surian Fletcher-Jones, Head of Drama, Working Title Films

Colleen Flynn, Creative Director, Flicker Productions

Ashley Francis-Roy, Director

Thom Gulvesen, Director of Creative Strategy, LADstudios

Anna Hall, Creative Director & Executive Producer, Candour Productions

Andrea Hamilton, Managing Director, Modest TV

Lisa Hazlehurst, Head of Lion Scotland & Executive Producer, Lion TV

Allan Holland, Head of The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios

Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama, Channel 4

Natalie Humphreys, Executive Producer & Managing Director, Storyboard Studios

Syeda Irtizaali, Portfolio Editor, BBC One

Gemma John-Lewis, Entertainment Commissioner, ITV

Deeyah Khan, Founder & CEO, Fuuse Films

Arvand Khosravi, SVP, International Television Production, Endeavor Content

Jago Lee, Co-founder, Telltale

Daisy Lilley, Unscripted team, Netflix

Dan Louw, Commissioning Editor, Channel 5

Taf Makopa, Managing Director, Wall of Entertainment

Jamie Morris, Director of Programmes, Sky UK & Ireland

David P. Davis, Founder & Creative Director, 5 Acts Productions

Arabella Page Croft, Co-Founder & Producer, Black Camel Pictures

Carolyn Payne, Commissioning Editor, Disney +, Star & National Geographic

Lucy Pilkington, Managing Director, Milk and Honey Productions

Carlotta Rossi Spencer, Head of Format Acquisitions, Banijay

David Smith, Director of Screen, ScreenScotland

Gavin Smith, Commissioner, Scripted & Entertainment, BBC Scotland

Kris Smith, Managing Director, Leopard Pictures

Nick Smith, Executive Vice President, Formats, All3Media International

Zing Tsjeng, Executive Editor, Vice UK