Bullying and Harassment panel discussion at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Heather attended an interesting and very relevant panel discussion at Sheffield Doc Fest this year: “Times Up: The Industry Response to Bullying & Harassment”. Directors UK, led the panel to explore the new initiatives that are aiming to bring about much-needed change, and listen to additional ideas from the audience for creating the safest work environments.

Taking part in the panel:

Ali Bailey, Directors UK’s own Head of Campaigns

Tim Hunter, Head of Learning and Events at BAFTA

Kelly Webb-Lamb, Deputy Director of Programmes & Head of Popular Factual at Channel 4

Billie Porter, Journalist and Filmmaker

Natasha Dack, Co-Managing Director at Tigerlily Films

Fiona Campbell, Executive Producer of Current Affairs at BBC

Heather Iliffe, Agent at Blueberry shares;

“Tim Hunter spoke about BAFTA’S efforts to advise on ways to hit back against bullies and harassment.  He mentioned that in large corporations like the BBC, people were trained in how to deal with mental health issues. These people would wear a certain coloured lanyard around their neck so they were easily identifiable to someone needing to talk. I thought this was a fantastic idea as a person can feel vulnerable if they are in close proximity to one of their own team members, not wanting to make situations worse. This way someone can pick and choose who they’d like to speak to.”

“I asked about how freelancers can be protected in cases of bullying and harassment, as it seems measures are being put into place for full time staff, but this industry has a huge amount of people moving around productions.  Asking about how agencies like Blueberry can help with getting the word out; how people should conduct themselves and what they can do if they experience harassment. The panel said that they had discussed this before and want to help vocalise the subject of what we as an industry can do to provide access to helpful materials, helplines or conversations with support groups”

Directors UK have launched a Bullying and Harassment handbook for Screen Directors, which they’ve kindly made free to download from their website.   The content could apply to most people within the film and television industry, we hope that you find it useful.  

They also recommended the following resources;

Directors UK are looking for more ideas to keep this discussion open, and we are keen to participate, if you’re interested too and have views to share, get in touch with [email protected]

Proudly supporting Grierson Trust’s Doc Lab



The Grierson DocLab is a new entrant training scheme for 18-25 year olds who are seeking to work in factual TV.   Trainees come from different backgrounds, represent different regions of the UK, some are graduates who have studied a wide range of disciplines, with a few non-graduates amongst the mix.  What they all share is a passion for the documentary genre, but translating this to a CV and covering letter is not necessarily an easy task.

“For the last 3 years, trainees have benefited from the generous support of Blueberry Creatives through one-2-one CV clinics with Irantzu Lau-Hing Fan.  Each in-depth, bespoke session has been, without question, a great experience for each individual.  They have had to dig deep to articulate and express the ‘why’ they want to work in the industry and through the careful and considered support from Irantzu, they have each time been able to come up with a well crafted expression of that.  What stands out is the time and space that Irantzu gives everyone.  It is never rushed and the feedback from trainees is always fantastic.  For some, it will have been the first time they have had to do this deep thinking.  By the end of the process, they have created a great CV, produced a hit list of production companies to approach and their resolve that this is the right career for them strengthened.  A big thanks to Irantzu and her team to make this happen for our trainees and alumni.” 

Yen Yau, Doc Lab’s Outreach Programme Manager


“I look forward to these workshops every year!  Meetings with people early on in their careers, brings home the long term value that thoughtful conversations can have…”

Irantzu Lau-Hing-Fan, Blueberry MD

Applications for the 2019 Grierson DocLab open in January 2019. 

Follow @griersontrust on Twitter for updates.