Westminster Media Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for the UK Film Industry - recovering from the pandemic, and the sector’s long-term outlook

Morning, Tuesday, 29th September 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK film industry - as well as the sector’s longer-term outlook, as the BFI reaches the halfway point of its five-year strategy.

Key areas for discussion:

The impact of COVID-19

  • implications of the effect of the pandemic and lockdown for the film industry and those working in it, and its partners and backers
  • immediate challenges for sustainability of employment in individual segments of the workforce, and for businesses and organisations at all scales in the industry
  • priorities for supporting the sector and its component parts in the immediate and medium term

The Government’s response and what it means for the UK film industry

  • the furlough scheme, the extent to which it has helped prevent job losses so far, and strategies for transition back to a fully working industry
  • the position of freelancers and other self-employed people in the sector, and what particular support may be needed over the coming months
  • priorities for policy to aid the sector in recovering from the impact of the pandemic

Resumption of filming activity

  • the way forward for developing sector-wide guidance and best practice for operating safely
  • the practicalities of social distancing and other safety measures in the range of film working environments

The long-term outlook for the sector - skills, finance and competitiveness

  • key future skills requirements and the way forward for meeting these, including the role to be played by T Level qualifications and apprenticeships, as well as the Creative Careers Programme
  • the future financing of UK film productions and the outlook for investment in start-ups and scale-ups in the sector
  • priorities for securing the UK’s international competitiveness as a location for large-budget productions - including what more might be needed to develop the physical studio facilities and other infrastructure
  • the future sustainability and diversity of independent and small-scale productions taking place in the UK

Changing consumption habits and audiences of the future

  • how business models and marketing strategies across the sector are adapting to changes in the consumption of films and video content more generally, including the surge in online streaming and on-demand services
  • the changing preferences of UK film audiences, particularly amongst young people, and what the industry’s response should be - including how the cinema-going experience might be updated

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • Measures set out by the BFI to support the UK film and screen industries during the pandemic
  • The Government’s recent announcement that:
    • film and TV production may resume as part of the easing of lockdown measures, provided that social distancing guidelines are observed
    • the furlough scheme will be extended until October
  • The ongoing consultation on the British Film Commission’s proposed production protocols dealing with the resumption of filming activity
  • The Creative Content Fund, established in association with the BFI

The agenda:

  • Supporting the UK film industry - key policy priorities and next steps for government
  • Ensuring the UK film industry’s future after the pandemic
  • How should the industry meet the key challenges it will face in the next year and beyond?
  • The UK’s current and future suitability as a location for major film productions
  • The long-term outlook - financing and investment, supporting and developing a skilled workforce, and the UK’s international attractiveness as a filming and production destination

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

Overall, we expect those taking part in this conference to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of public policy, together with film studios, production and post-production companies, independent production companies, distribution companies, other media businesses, their suppliers and their advisors, OTT content services and digital streaming services, cinemas, associations and industry trade bodies, television and online advertising organisations, universities and other education institutions, digital and social media platforms, members of the creative and craft workforce, talent agencies, investment companies, organisations and individuals representing the views of audiences and other consumers, consultancies, academics and commentators, media and entertainment lawyers and reporters from the national and trade media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Tony Chambers

Senior Vice President, Studio Distribution EMEA and Country Manager, UK and Ireland, The Walt Disney Company

Keynote Speakers

Victoria MacCallum

Deputy Director, Creative Industries, DCMS

Ben Roberts

Chief Executive Officer, British Film Institute

Tony Chambers

Senior Vice President, Studio Distribution EMEA and Country Manager, UK and Ireland, The Walt Disney Company


Dr Lisa Cameron MP

Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Media Group and Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Disability


Lesley Marr

Operations Director, Molinare TV and Film

Adrian Wootton

Chief Executive, Film London and British Film Commission

Stan McCoy

President & Managing Director, Motion Picture Association EMEA

Andrew M. Smith

Corporate Affairs Director, Pinewood Studio Group

Simon Williams

Investment Director, The Ingenious Group