Industry Sessions: Overcoming Barriers

Creativity, talent, vision and the urge to tell stories about who we are cut across all boundaries of gender, ethnicity or wealth. Yet the arts are often rightly criticised for being dominated by the privileged, which creates an unhealthy narrowing of perspectives, viewpoints and the types of story being told. At the same time, digital technology has slashed the costs of creating and distributing all forms of media to a mass audience – a radical democratisation of production. Against this background, ASFF exists to promote the idea of arts for all, and to encourage a multiplicity of voices. To this end, we offer a series of masterclasses that are focused on practical ways of overcoming barriers to career progression within the film industry.

BFI Network is a body which works with the UK’s leading film agencies to develop and support creative talent within the film industry. In a session on Talent Development and Funding (York St John University, Fountains Lecture Theatre; Friday 10 November, 10:00 – 11:00), Lou Phelps will talk about the talent initiatives which she runs, explore the funding and career development opportunities which are available, and discuss how to build your networks and connections.

There is a particular focus on supporting and encouraging women working in, or seeking to break in to, traditionally male-dominated technical fields within the industry in the session Exploring Roles: Women Working in Film and Television (York St John University, Quad South Hall; Friday 10 November, 10:00 – 11:00). Nicola Lees, producer of the Women in Film and Television Mentoring Scheme, chairs a panel discussion with Emma Edwards, Sunny Teich and Zeb Achonu, all figures at the forefront of craft-based roles in the film business. The panel explores what women can do to overcome career obstacles.

With the question of how representative the media are of the society they commentate upon an increasingly forceful one, as social media expands the sphere of public debate, we will consider the role of film and practical ways to open up the industry to a full range of voices. Inclusivity not Exclusivity: Breaking Down Barriers (York St John University, Quad South Lecture Theatre; Friday 10 November, 12:30 – 13:30) sees Minnie & Fraser Ayres from TriForce Creative Network look at practical solutions to bringing about a more representative industry, as well as issues such as gender, sexuality and the socio-economic climate. The focus is on creating opportunities for everyone, regardless of background.

For more information:

ASFF runs 8-12 November. For more information or to book tickets:

To view the full programme online, click HERE.

Join the conversation: @ASFFest

1. Jim Poyner.