Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”) and “Succession” executive producer Jane Tranter are among a range of figures participating at this year’s British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival’s industry program.
The program, which is virtual this year, is headlined by two ‘Spotlight’ conversations. DuVernay will be in conversation with the crew from her non-profit media and social justice organization ARRAY. The session will examine the ARRAY model and approach to working across multiple platforms to amplify underrepresented voices and build a more inclusive industry.
The Spotlight conversation with Jane Tranter is in association with Variety and is moderated by the publication’s international editor. Tranter, who co-founded Bad Wolf with Julie Gardner, has credits that also include HBO’s “The Night Of” and “Industry,” Sky’s “A Discovery of Witches” and BBC and HBO’s “His Dark Materials.”
Elsewhere, a panel featuring “Room” and “Normal People” producer Ed Guiney and “Ex Machina” and “Devs” producer Allon Reich will discuss film producers who have also transitioned to the small screen.
The festival has teamed with Black-led film production company Ida Rose for a showcase and pitching event with Black novelists and early career screenwriters, while veteran theater, film and TV producer Alby James will lead a proactive event that will explore how to avoid stereotypes while reflecting the diversity of Black people. Further, director, playwright and artistic director of the Young Vic theater Kwame Kwei-Armah will talk to Kemp Powers (screenwriter and co-director of “Soul” and screenwriter of “One Night In Miami,” both screening at LFF) about his work and the importance of representing Black stories on screen.
The festival will also present U.K. film gender equality org Bird’s Eye View’s Pandemic Response Program, created by 67 women across film disciplines, that is focused on rebuilding film and new ways of operating post-COVID.
A focus on independent producers will see participation by Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (“Ammonite”), Ameenah Ayub Allen (“Rocks”), Matthew Wilkinson (“Yesterday”), Elhum Shakerifar (“A Syrian Love Story”), Helen Simmons (“Chubby Funny”) and Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (“Blue Story”).
A discussion about the future of the industry will have veteran producer Ted Hope (“The Ice Storm”) in conversation with Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson and BFI chief executive Ben Roberts. Separately, Roberts will also participate in an open Q&A session with the festival’s industry delegates alongside Briony Hanson, British Council director of film.
As part of LFF Expanded, the festival’s extended reality and immersive art strand, Rufus Norris, director and joint chief executive of the National Theater, Nell Whitley, executive producer at Marshmallow Laser Feast, and Jane Alison, head of visual arts at the Barbican, will discuss the future of the immersive art sector.
Industry events will also include first feature case study discussions and the Film London production finance market that includes a discussion with writer/producer James Schamus (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).
Festival director Tricia Tuttle said: “Our screen and cultural industries are grappling with unprecedented change due to the enormous economic uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, but also as we question the long term viability of cultural industries which have excluded so many and privileged and centred so few. As we emerge from this period and look for answers, we are delighted to be joined by established international leaders and also some bold emerging leaders who are highly regarded as risk-takers, innovators, great collaborators and creative thinkers.”
The BFI London Film Festival runs Oct. 7-18.