Region’s production community energised by crucial announcements during Screen Summit

Media Relations Team, 09 November 2023

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Screen Summit 2023 Sarah Beeny
TV presenter and writer Sarah Beeny hosted the event

The prospect of a pilot regional production fund and news of a national media conference coming to Bristol, were among the highlights of the second Bristol and Bath Screen Summit on Wednesday 8 November.

Hosted by TV presenter and writer Sarah Beeny, nearly 160 people from across the television and production community gathered at Arnolfini for the UWE Bristol event.

Actor and BBC Radio Bristol’s breakfast show presenter Joe Sims and ITV West Country’s Seb Choudhury helped expert panels navigate the afternoon’s discussions and debates. Topics covered, and generating much interest and discussion, included how AI can transform productions, celebrating regional voices, who is leading the charge in the scripted community, and developing and creating returnable formats.

Nancy Medina, Bristol Old Vic’s artistic director and joint CEO, joined Sir Peter Bazalgette, co-chair of the Creative Industries Council, chair of the Royal College of Art’s Council, and former chair of ITV plc, for a fascinating discussion on the UK Creative Sector Vision

Screen Summit 2023
Nancy Medina, Bristol Old Vic’s artistic director and joint CEO, in conversation with Sir Peter Bazalgette, co-chair of the Creative Industries Council

With the Screen Summit focusing on how to drive growth and support production talent, one of the key sessions was an important update from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), which confirmed a feasibility study into a new pilot scheme for a regional production fund had been underway; recommendations are being taken forward and could be introduced as soon as spring 2024, subject to approval.

In addition, it was announced that the popular screen sector conference the Creative Cities Convention will be coming to the Bristol Beacon in 2024. The two-day event, on 23 and 24 April, serves as the premier gathering for producers and distributors working in the fields of film, television, and digital media, outside of London.

Lynn Barlow, UWE Bristol’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor Creative and Cultural Industries Engagement, said: “Building an equitable and sustainable future for the screen sector in the region is a key priority for broadcasters, the independent sector and our freelance community. The Screen Summit is an opportunity to share the work of credible creative talent and to harness their ideas on the next steps to continued success.”

The creation of the Screen Summit and the introduction of a regional production fund are key recommendations from research by academics at UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC). 

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