EDINBURGH TV FESTIVAL GOES DIGITAL FOR 2020

Industry News  |  07 April 2020

The Edinburgh TV Festival, set to be re-imagined online for 2020, announces a series of initiatives to support and connect the TV industry amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, The Edinburgh TV Festival have decided that they will not be staging the usual TV Festival we’ve all come to know in Edinburgh this August – but instead a re-imagined digital alternative.

The 2020 Festival offering is designed to support and connect the television community in light of what has become a very challenging year, and will still deliver the key, flagship moments that have become integral to the industry’s calendar, including The MacTaggart LectureController Sessions and Awards; as well as the TV Foundation’s talent schemes; The Network, Ones to Watch and TV PhD. An ongoing programme of digital sessions and content will also launch in the coming weeks with the programme to be announced shortly.

“We have decided, in the best interests of everyone we would seek to bring together, educate and support, that we will not be staging the TV Festival physically in Edinburgh this August. However, our industry is based on creative innovation and so too is the Festival.

For the past week we have been in consultation with our board, partners and supporters to re-examine not just what we could achieve this year, but more importantly what we should be doing to connect, discuss and find solutions to issues both perennial and particular to the evolving challenges we all face.

I would like to thank our executive chair Graham Stuart, board, sponsors and advisory committee for their support, advice and guidance during the past few weeks, and look forward to working with them all to create new projects in 2020 that will respond to the challenges we’re all facing and bring us closer together.

Television’s vital role in our lives has never been so present, valued and cherished, and so the team will be doing everything we can in 2020 to keep discussion flowing, talent supported and diversity encouraged. It will not be the Festival we know, but it will still be the Festival we love.”

Campbell Glennie, Managing Director of the TV Festival and TV Foundation

In 2020 the TV Festival and TV Foundation will include:

  • Improving access and support by ensuring everything the Festival does in 2020 is free for freelancers, who are being particularly affected by this crisis
  • Creating a stream of online content, to launch in the coming weeks, underpinned by the editorial rigour you’ve come to expect from the Festival, led by Creative Director, Stewart Clarke, and Advisory Chair, Patrick Holland
  • Delivering the key moments of the Festival in August, from The MacTaggart Lecture to our Controller Sessions as well as introducing new formats that will address the year and its challenges
  • Running in full the TV Foundation’s industry-leading schemes; The Network for tomorrow’s TV talent, Ones to Watch to celebrate and develop the best the industry has to offer, and TV PhD bringing together television and academia.
  • Staging the TV Awards later in the year
  • Expanding ConnectED to exist as an entity for an extended period of time, supplemented by detailed briefings and digital versions of the Festival’s popular speed meetings

Further activity to be included in the Festival schedule will be announced in due course as will details of participants and speakers.

“I believe that Edinburgh’s role as a lightning rod for our industry is more important than ever this year.  The key themes we’ll be discussing; the future of the PSBs in the UK ecology, the role of TV in the climate emergency, reflecting the diversity of the audience in who makes and is featured in our shows – are brought into even sharper relief by the coronavirus crisis. I look forward to working with the team to bring that spirit to everyone between now and August.”

Patrick Holland, 2020 Advisory Chair BBC TWO Controller

“An August without Edinburgh has always been unthinkable for the UK television industry. And it is with the greatest admiration for the resilience and imagination of the entire Edinburgh Television Festival team I can assure the industry that 2020 will be no different. Maybe just a little…”

Graham Stuart, Festival Executive Chair

Further information and FAQs can be found on the Edinburgh TV Festival website www.thetvfestival.com

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