In the first of the digital sessions to be announced for 2021, the Festival is delighted to welcome Hollywood royalty and provide a new take on discussions with the industry’s leading decision makers.

The International Icon Interview with Whoopi Goldberg. With a career in TV, film, and theatre lasting over 40 years, and the only Black woman to have achieved the EGOT (winner of an EMMY, Grammy, Tony and Oscar), global icon Whoopi Goldberg talks candidly about her life on and off screen and her experiences as a multi-award winning artist, producer, author, entrepreneur and humanitarian. Goldberg will be characteristically frank in this one-on-one virtual interview where she will share insight and anecdotes about a career spanning four decades. Who better to discuss how the entertainment industry has evolved, for better and worse and what it might look like in the future?

“Across TV, film, and theatre her work resonates the world over and Whoopi truly embodies the ‘International Icon’ billling”

Creative Director, Stewart Clarke.

Spotlight On… The Festival’s flagship controller sessions will be changing to reflect the industry shift in commissioning. New ‘Spotlight’ sessions will feature one-on-one interviews with creative content chiefs and bosses including the Festivals’ Advisory Chair, Georgia Brown, Charlotte Moore, Ian Katz, Kevin Lygo, Marcus Arthur and Ben Frow.

Each will discuss their vision for their channels and platforms as well as addressing wider industry issues. The second instalment of the Spotlight sessions will see the commissioning and genre chiefs including Polly Hill, Sebastian Cardwell and Phil Edgar-Jones, step in and give their take on programming trends and detailed updates on their specific content needs.

“Our reimagined controller sessions - Spotlight - will bring a new, fresh approach to these hugely popular sessions and really dig into the industry trends that have a direct impact on commissioning.”

Creative Director, Stewart Clarke

Spotlight & Commissioner Line-up

Georgia Brown
Dan Grabiner, Head of Unscripted
And more TBC

Charlotte Moore, chief content officer
Kate Phillips, Director, Entertainment
Patrick Holland, Director, Factual
Piers Wenger, Director, BBC Drama

Channel 4
Ian Katz, Director of Programmes
Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama
Danny Horan, Head of Factual
Phil Harris, Head of Entertainment & Events
Jo Street, Head of Daytime and Features & Head of Hub Glasgow

Channel 5
Ben Frow, Chief Content Officer
Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Director of Programmes
Daniel Pearl, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Current Affairs
Denise Seneviratne, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Factual Entertainment
Adrian Padmore, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Factual Entertainment
Kit Morey, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Factual Entertainment

Kevin Lygo, Managing Director, Media and Entertainment
Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment
Polly Hill, Head of Drama
Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment

Zai Bennett, MD of content, Sky UK and Ireland
Gabriel Silver, Director Drama
Jon Mountague, Director Comedy
Poppy Dixon, Director Documentaries and Factual
Phil Edgar Jones, Director Sky Arts and Entertainment
Lucy Murphy, Director, Kids Content

Marcus Arthur, CEO
Richard Watsham, Director of Commissioning
Hilary Rosen, Deputy Director of Commissioning
Pete Thornton, Head of Scripted