Edinburgh TV Festival Unveils Lineup for Digital Program


The Edinburgh TV Festival (ETF), brought to you by YouTube and Freeview, has set the initial lineup for its pre-festival, digital program of industry events, a newly designed series in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Festival’s creative director, Stewart Clarke, will be curating and hosting an ongoing program. The first two weeks of which will be free to view. It will see him in conversation with leading industry voices discussing the current situation the TV industry finds itself in, the challenges and stories of creative innovation.

The program starts April 27 with The Controllers, a series of free to view, exclusive interviews with program controllers from the main national broadcasters: BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, Sky and UKTV. These live interviews will cover the controllers’ personal response to the crisis, how they and their teams are working and adapting to the “new normal,” what it has meant for schedules, and examples of how the production community have found innovative ways through the crisis. They will also discuss current commissioning needs and strategies. There will also be a chance to submit questions in advance and on the day.

This will include BBC’s director of content, Charlotte Moore; ITV’s director of television, Kevin Lygo; Channel 4’s director of programs, Ian Katz; Viacom UK’s director of programs, Ben Frow; controller of BBC Two, Patrick Holland; managing director of content for Sky UK, Zai Bennett, and UKTV’s director of commissioning, Richard Watsham.

“It’s a challenging time for the industry and there has never been a greater need to connect,” Clarke said. “Ahead of August, we want to provide a platform to discuss what’s happening and how people are adapting. Our Advisory Chair, Patrick Holland, has been the driving force behind the controller sessions, and over coming weeks we will also talk to commissioners, production chiefs, analysts and commentators. We want to facilitate conversations that will help people understand how the TV world is navigating its way through the current crisis.”