We are delighted to announce that Director of European Originals for Amazon Studios, Georgia Brown, is to be the Advisory Chair for the 2021 Festival.

In a Festival first, Brown will be the first Advisory Chair from a streaming service; a recognition of how the TV industry is evolving. As an alumna of the TV Foundation’s Ones To Watch scheme, Brown is passionate about the future direction of the industry.

In fact, Accelerating Change will be the theme of this year’s Festival, playing out across the various events and sessions, focussing on what and how change is happening in the TV business at every level, what can and does happen as a result of the issues being highlighted and discussed at the Festival and the need to make positive change happen.

“I am completely thrilled to be taking on the advisory chair role, our industry has faced one of its most challenging years ever and we have proven what we can overcome when we unite around a common goal. I’m looking forward to working with the Festival team and my friends, colleagues and partners to put together a programme to talk frankly about the challenges ahead; confronting our shared responsibility in order to the accelerate the change needed to re-build, re-shape and future-proof our industry.”

Georgia Brown, Amazon Studios

Some of the areas within this theme that Brown will be looking to highlight include:

Build and rebuild

During lockdown, the TV business never switched off; in fact, it innovated and doubled down to ensure the lights stayed on… and the pandemic has accelerated change already underway. As we emerge from a global crisis, what kind of industry do we want to return to, and how do we rebuild and make that a reality?

Future leaders

As David Olusoga’s electrifying MacTaggart Lecture in 2020 resonated across the globe. He spotlighted how the television industry is still lacking the opportunity for, and retention of, diverse voices and how little it represents the real world. As we rebuild post-pandemic, smart, dynamic, forward-thinking leaders will ensure the content business continues to thrive, but how do we ensure the opportunity is there for all, and that the next generation better reflects the wider world?

Producers, producers, producers

Brilliant content-creators have adapted and evolved to new ways of making standout content in the past 12 months. How has the production sector been reshaped and what is (and should be) the new normal for producers, from the super-groups to the smallest indies?

“The TV community has had one of its toughest years on record. What will a post-pandemic, post-Brexit, diversity-aware industry look like? It’s an amazing and terrifying time to be making TV and at this year’s Festival we will continue to reflect upon and question our evolving industry.”

Fatima Salaria, Executive Chair