Advanced Television

Belfast Media Festival announces schedule

November 9, 2023

More than 1,500 people are expected to descend on The Mac, Belfast for the opening of the 14th Belfast Media Festival (BMF) entitled ‘A City in Motion’ which runs from November 15th to 16th.

A schedule of 36 sessions covering all aspects of the industry from TV commissioning to gaming and filmmaking to podcasts has been announced by the BMF committee with workshops, skills training, panel discussions and keynote speeches by leading lights of the industry. Highlights include: 

November 15th

Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer Ian Katz looks to the future in conversation with Shaminder Nahal to discuss the current challenges facing the UK’s most provocative public service broadcaster. (10am – 11am)

TV presenter Sarah Greene, host of The Finish Line joins Potato TV’s Adam Adler and Martin Scott (The Chase, MoneyBall and The Cubeto talk to Kathy Clugston about creating an enduring TV quiz. (12 noon – 1pm)

BAFTA Games presents Bridging Worlds from Television to Games with Ripstone – The Liverpool based publisher shares their experience of working with Netflix to bring The Queen’s Gambit to life as a game. (2pm – 3pm)

The flagship RTS NI Dan Gilbert Lecture this year features Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer for BBC. (3.45pm – 4.45pm)

November 16th

– When Diversity Meets Creativity – Lata Sharma talks to panelists Paula Campbell (CINE, Northern Ireland Screen), Emma Patterson-Bennett (BBC NI) Gavin Halpin (Paper Owl Films) and Gerard Stratton (Triplevision Productions) about the local sector’s role in helping to create positive change. (10am – 11am)  

Podcasts: Uncovering the Truth – Author, filmmaker and journalist Jon Ronson is joined by Nicoline Greer, Andy Martin and Dylan Haskins to explore podcasts’ power to unearth hidden stories and challenge conventional narratives. Chaired by Kathy Clugston.  (10am – 11am)

NÍ BAC ACH BUA / The Rise of Irish Language Drama  After the global success of An Cailín Ciúin, Máire Bhreathnach discusses the new found appreciation of Irish language with TG4’s Alan Esslemont, Danu Media’s Siobhán Ní Ghadhra and Damian McCann, Writer and Director. (11.30am – 12.30pm)

Blue Lights – Under the Bonnetof the Hit Drama – A masterclass with the creators of the BBC hit drama as they share behind-the-scenes secrets from filming of Series 2 and discuss the highs and lows of making a gripping and authentic network drama in Belfast. (11.45am – 12.45pm)

Film Makers Panel – The Green Wave – Kathryn Ferguson, director of Nothing Compares, Ross White, co-writer and co-director of the Oscar-winning An Irish Goodbye and Stacey Gregg writer Ballywalter discuss the global resonance of stories from this region with Sara Gunn-Smith. (3pm – 4pm)

The Magical World of Disney+ EMEA – Meet the visionary commissioners behind some of the most beloved and iconic content on the streaming platform including Lee Mason, Sean Doyle, Johnny Richards and Hannah Scott in conversation with Channel 4’s Maeve McLoughlin. (4.30pm – 5.30pm)

Plus sessions on staying local in a digital world, BBC Network comedy, Production Unlocked, ScreenSkills training, Composing for screen, Generative A1 in the creative industries, BBC & TikTok and the return of BBC’s Two-Minute Masterpiece and much more.

BMF host, William Crawley, commented: “This year’s BMF promises to be a celebration of all screen-based media with high profile speakers from across film, TV and gaming aiming to excite, refresh and inspire attendees at all levels in their careers. It’s lovely to have the opportunity to talk to more leading lights from our industry in person and to meet our future generation of storytellers.”

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