Westminster Media Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Next steps for the UK film and wider screen industries - COVID-19, UK transition, and the sector’s long-term outlook

October 2020


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


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


This conference examines the way forward for tackling significant challenges for the UK film and wider screen industries, with discussion expected on: 


  • COVID-19 - ways that screen industries are innovating in order to adapt to:
    • social distancing - affecting productions and venues
    • audiences - changes in demand and access to screens
    • wider impact - on all aspects of the production and distribution cycles into the future
  • Brexit - preparations for the end of the UK transition period
  • the long term - prospects for financing and investment, supporting and developing a skilled workforce, and the UK’s international attractiveness as a filming and production destination

Key areas for discussion:


The impact of COVID-19


  • keeping things going - how has the industry been tackling immediate challenges for sustaining employment across the workforce and individual segments, and organisations at all scales
  • support going forward - priorities for seeing the sector and its component parts through the immediate and medium term, including further options for government
  • support so far - assessing the effectiveness of support packages that have been introduced and their administration, including those from the Government, the BFI

Resumption of production activity


  • progress and strategies
  • support  - the Film and TV Production Restart scheme and prospects for easing concerns around the UK’s suitability as a production base
  • the work of the Broadcasting, Film and Production and Entertainment and Events working groups, set up by DCMS to develop guidance
  • practicalities - what can be learned from how social distancing and other safety measures are being factored in to the range of screen working environments - as well as cinemas

The changing screen audience


  • how to respond? - adapting to changing audiences preferences, particularly amongst young people
  • business models and marketing - how strategies across the sector are adapting to changes established during the pandemic in films and audio-visual content consumption, with:
    • online and on demand - the surge in online streaming and on-demand services and the rise in video on demand (VOD) and transaction video on demand (TVOD) release
    • what’s the new normal? -the extent to which this trend will continue as more cinemas begin to reopen
  • cinema - how the movie-going experience can adapt and communicate a unique appeal, and what is needed to fully establish cinemas as social and community hubs

The Government’s response and what it means for the UK screen industries


  • 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
  • freelancers and other self-employed people - what particular support may be needed over the coming months
  • the Government’s continuing role - priorities for policy to aid the sector move forward from the impact of the pandemic

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


  • meeting future skills requirements - including the role to be played by T Level qualifications and apprenticeships, as well as The Creative Careers Programme
  • diversity - responding to the growing ethical, cultural and political imperatives for the UK’s screen sector and better enabling people from underrepresented groups to find employment
  • investment - the future financing of UK productions and the outlook for start-ups and scale-ups in the sector
  • international competitiveness - priorities and practicalities for maintaining the UK’s appeal as a large-budget production bases - including developing the physical studio facilities and other infrastructure, and the impact of immigration, taxation and trade policy

The agenda:


  • 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?
  • Priorities for the sector’s economic recovery
  • 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.


This conference is no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the DCMS; the Department for International Trade; HM Revenue & Customs; the Intellectual Property Office; Ofcom; The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.


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



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles