WEDNESDAY 8 November – Hull Truck Main Space from 10am
Alice Morrison, Adventurer, Presenter, Author, Fail and Thrive
Alice Morrison is a Scottish Adventurer currently living in Morocco. She used to be the Chief Executive of Regional Screen Agency Northwest Vision+Media. She left the rat race for a bike race when she went off to cycle across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town.
It is a back-handed compliment to be asked to do a speech on “Failure”. We all want to succeed, to be the “est”, have the most: get the most bums on seats for our obscure Kurdish film, have the BFI recognise our venue as the best in the country, win the most funding for our fabulous new building. But greatness rarely comes from the soft cushions of success, it is forged in the fire of failure. Join Alice for an hour of forging, and some top tips on how to fail and thrive. Get ready to unleash your inner phoenix.
Melanie Iredale, Deputy Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest
Helen Thackeray, Events Officer of Hull City of Culture 2017
Mat Steel, Head of Production at Sheffield Doc/Fest
Maxime Rowson, Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland and Researcher (Violence Against Women and Girls), Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria
Tracey Ford, BBN Project Manager & Community Development Officer, Sheffield Drug & Alcohol Coordination Team
In light of recent revelations around the prevalence of sexual harassment in the industry, we feel it is essential to provide the space for delegates to consider the responsibilities of cultural event organisers. Festivals have been called out as a backdrop for sexual violence, underpinning assumptions about the ‘glamour’, the “Red Carpet Rules” and the very notion of ‘VIPs,’as structures which contribute to the abuse of power and the erosion of safe spaces for, primarily, women. This discussion will examine how we as those people who deliver festivals and events, create a safe and secure environment for our guests and team members. It is not enough to recognise our responsibilities (though it’s a good start) but to actively address them in our programming and planning of festivals. We will look at existing examples of good practice, identify areas for improvement and examine the significance this conversation has for cultural organisations.
Melanie Iredale, Deputy Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest @melanie_iredale
Melanie Iredale has been involved with Sheffield Doc/Fest – one of the world leading documentary festivals and marketplaces – since 2010. As Deputy Director since 2014, she manages the team, and oversees cross-departmental programmes, initiatives and operations. Hailing from East Yorkshire, Melanie’s background is as a film curator and festival producer, working in cinemas and events across the North of England. From 2009 – 2014, she was Director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival on the English-Scottish border, where she commissioned new, award-winning, moving image works and performances which have gone on to tour to festivals and galleries internationally.
Mat Steel, Head of Production at Sheffield Doc/Fest, and Freelance Production Manager
Since 1998, Mat has worked on numerous film, sound, and arts events, at festivals and galleries in the UK and abroad, in both production and artist roles. He became a freelance production manager in 2003, and first contributed to Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2004, working on every edition since in an ever-growing capacity. As Doc/Fest’s Head of Production, he delivers all the technical elements of the event, books all venues, and oversees event safety.
What are the responsibilities incumbent on institutions and curators to preserve and make available archive film? Who chooses what is saved and what is seen? When making curatorial decisions are there conflicting criteria in play?
Will Massa is responsible for ensuring contemporary British filmmaking is comprehensively represented within the national collection held by the BFI. He will be in conversation with Dr Stefanie Van de Peer from Africa in Motion, part of TANO, a consortium of the five UK African Film Festivals, revisiting the history of African cinema this year.
Also in Hull Truck Studio Sarah will talk about how to ensure a film reaches the right audience, at the right time, on the right platform by creatively and intelligently using data.
Sarah Mosses is the CEO of Together Films and leads on the Impact Distribution Strategy development with filmmakers. She encourages clients to expand their distribution options, seek new fiscal and non-fiscal partners and devise outcomes for successful delivery. Sarah is also an award-winning Producer whose debut feature film, They Will Have To Kill Us First, premiered at SXSW 2015. Sarah was previously the Partnerships Manager at the DocSociety and is a mentor for Documentary Campus, EsoDoc and Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Together Film also brings Unrest VR to THIS WAY UP, an interactive non-fiction experience inspired by Jennifer Brea’s feature documentary Unrest (Sundance 2017 Special Jury Award). An immersive journey into Jen’s experience of an invisible illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis, the project contrasts the painful solitary confinement of a bedroom world with the kinetic freedom of an inner dreamscape. When you’re too sick to leave your bed, where do you go? Unrest VR premiered in the Virtual Arcade at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. It was also showcased at Sheffield Doc/Fest in the Immersive VR section of the Alternate Realities Exhibition, where it won the Alternate Realities VR Award.
In Playing with Platforms, Iain Simons introduces Sync, a new disruptive ‘festival’ platform. Sync is a conceptual framework that that provides a context for curators, artists, makers and audience members to co-create experiences with the festival.
What are the challenges of encouraging audiences to share physical space, at
a particular moment to take part in an experience? And equally, what power lies in that? What are the dangers – and opportunities – of relinquishing some control of the curatorial process?
Foreign language films are increasingly squeezed out of cinemas – with the explosion in the number of releases the pressure on screen space means it’s harder than ever to have a sleeper hit that grows via word of mouth.
Equally, as audiences demand ‘something new’ while online platforms erode audience perceptions around geographical boundary, just how do we square the circle between original content and a plethora of competing names in the marketplace?
Do cultural providers have a responsibility to balance what we know is tried and tested (and, statistically, more accessible) with celebration of rarer, alternative voices? How important is it that we, as cultural consumers – and makers – access influences, viewpoints, and languages that sit outside our own experience? In a time when our own international future is uncertain, how do we ensure varied representation in our programmes, and who decides which risks are worth taking?