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York Festival of Ideas: Why What Happens Off Screen Matters

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Wednesday 16 June 2021, 11.00AM to 12:30PM

Speaker(s): Dr Beth Johnson, Kate O'Connor, Marcus Ryder

Join us for a special film screening of Industry Voices followed by a discussion of the issues raised. Discover why the lack of diversity in the film and TV sector impacts not only on those working in the industry but on those watching too.

Industry Voices is a co-production between SIGN and Candour Productions. The series of short interviews recounts' the lived experiences of diverse individuals within the screen industries and explores their views on how things need to change within the film, TV and games industries.

Experts discussing the issues raised in the screening include Beth Johnson, Executive Producer of the Industry Voices series, and Marcus Ryder, former Chair of the Royal Television Society’s Diversity Committee, who co-authored Access All Areas with Sir Lenny Henry.

Together they will discuss the flaws of current diversity initiatives, point out the structural and financial imbalances working against the cause, and provide clear solutions to get the media industry back on track. The event will be chaired by Kate O’Connor, a consultant specialising in training and education in the creative industries.

This event is hosted live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

About the speakers

Dr Beth Johnson is an Associate Professor in Film and Media, School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, UK. She is the Executive Producer (SIGN) of the Industry Voices film series, is the Chair of the MeCCSA Women's Network and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of British Cinema and Television. She led Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work for the Screen Industries Growth Network across 2020-2021.

Bath’s recent books include Shameless Television: Gendering Transnational Narratives', Feminist Media Studies ((with Laura Minor, 2018) and Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain (with David Forrest, London: Palgrave, 2017). Her book, Class and Poverty on Popular Television: A Case for Change, will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2023.

Kate O'Connor is an established consultant specialising in training and education in the creative industries with over 20 years’ previous experience as Executive Director and Deputy CEO of Creative Skillset. Kate was appointed Executive Chair of the Animation UK Council in 2017, and in 2018/9 was appointed Co-director and Chair of the Partnership Board of XR Stories and the Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN). Kate is Chair of the BFI Research Committee, a Trustee of You Make It and Board Member of the London College of Contemporary Media and BAFTA member.

Marcus Ryder MBE is a leader on the issue of diversity in the media industry, backed by a track-record of award-winning news and current affairs productions delivered by diverse teams for a range of organisations including the BBC and China’s largest digital broadcaster CGTN. He is Executive Producer of New Media for Caixin Global which he joined in December 2019 and a visiting Professor in Media Diversity at Birmingham City University. He has been actively involved in nearly all major UK diversity developments related to the media industry in recent years and has given evidence to the UK Parliament. He is regularly asked to write articles for newspapers such as the Guardian and FT, as well as industry magazines such as Broadcast. He co-authored the book, Access All Areas, with Sir Lenny Henry.

Location: Online via Zoom

Admission: Get your free tickets at: