Goldberg, a recent Variety cover star, is expected to talk candidly about her life on and off screen and her experiences as a multi-award winning artist, producer, author, entrepreneur and humanitarian, and the future of the entertainment industry.
Led by 2021 advisory chair, Amazon Studios director of European originals, Georgia Brown, this year’s festival theme is “Accelerating Change.”
The 2020 edition took place online and the 2021 event will be hybrid, with several of the digital elements being refreshed, organizers said.
The festival’s controller sessions are evolving to a series of spotlights where a galaxy of U.K. TV and streaming industry heavyweights will speak. Confirmed speakers include Brown and Dan Grabiner, head of unscripted at Amazon. From the BBC, speakers include Charlotte Moore, chief content officer; Kate Phillips, director of entertainment; Patrick Holland, director of factual; and Piers Wenger, director of drama.
Speakers from ITV include Kevin Lygo, managing director, media and entertainment; Sue Murphy, head of factual entertainment; Polly Hill, head of drama; and Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment.
Representing Channel 4 are Ian Katz, director of programs; Caroline Hollick, head of drama; Danny Horan, head of factual; Phil Harris, head of entertainment and events; and Jo Street, head of daytime and features and head of Hub Glasgow.
Speaking on behalf of Sky are Zai Bennett, MD of content, Sky U.K. and Ireland; Gabriel Silver, director drama; Jon Mountague, director comedy; Poppy Dixon, director documentaries and factual; Phil Edgar Jones, director Sky arts and entertainment; and Lucy Murphy, director, kids content.
From Channel 5, Ben Frow, chief content officer; Sebastian Cardwell, deputy director of programs; Daniel Pearl, commissioning editor, factual and current affairs; and commissioning editors, factual and factual entertainment Denise Seneviratne, Adrian Padmore and Kit Morey will be present, Meanwhile, UKTV will be repped by CEO Marcus Arthur; Richard Watsham, director of commissioning; Hilary Rosen, deputy director of commissioning; and Pete Thornton, head of scripted.
“We’re thrilled that Whoopi Goldberg is coming to the Edinburgh TV Festival,” said festival creative director Stewart Clarke, a former Variety correspondent. “Across TV, film, and theatre, her work resonates the world over and Whoopi truly embodies the ‘International Icon’ billing.”
“We are also eager to launch Spotlight, our reimagined controller sessions, which will bring a new, fresh approach to these hugely popular sessions and really dig into the industry trends that have a direct impact on commissioning,” added Clarke.
The Edinburgh TV Festival takes place Aug. 23-26.
Meanwhile, after a coronavirus-induced cancellation in 2020, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is back as a hybrid version Aug. 18-25.
Championing Scottish and U.K. filmmaking, the festival will include physical screenings and events indoors in Filmhouse Cinema and outdoors with the Film Fest in the City program at St Andrew Square. The festival will also be available to audiences across the U.K. through its online platform, Filmhouse at Home, and in addition, the festival will present programs across Scotland.
The festival program is being brought together by a team of regular and guest programmers led by Nick Varley, founder and former co-CEO of distributor Park Circus.
This year, the EIFF Talent Lab 2021 adopts a virtual format running across two weekends in August (13-15 and 20-21).