Edinburgh International TV Festival 2016

We had the utmost pleasure of attending The Edinburgh International Television Festival that took place August 24-26. Our Creative Consultant Heather Iliffe traveled to Scotland to represent the Blueberry family for a three-day marathon that didn’t disappoint.

The content on offer was top notch – from many informative ‘Meet The Controller’ talks including BBC, ITV, UKTV and Sky to compelling sessions such as ‘Winning in Broadcast Means Success in Digital’ which explored what the future of entertainment looks like for traditional media, how broadcasters are adapting in a world of infinite consumer choice and what they’re doing to attract the ‘heads down generation’ glued to their devices all the time.

‘Taskmaster’ with Greg Davies and Alex Horne, a concept made for Dave Channel, was literally laugh-out-loud hilarious – five TV professionals stepped up to battle it out with a series of funny tasks devised by the comedy duo.

Whizz Kid-produced ‘LipSync Battle’ made for Spike was also a huge hit – Heather never thought she would witness the heads of some of our clients like Knickerbockerglory dancing around on stage in spandex leotards with Mel B and Professor Green!

A very inspirational and uplifting panel was ‘The Superhumans Struggle for Equality’ reflecting on whether there’s been a shift in the portrayal of disability on screen, whether attitudes are changing towards disabled talent and the extent to which opportunities are opening up.

Presented by paralympian Ade Adepitan and with special guest actor RJ Mitte of Breaking Bad fame, the session dealt with how accurately television is representing the experiences, lives and perspectives of disabled people in the UK and what more needs to be done.

The main attraction was of course the ‘MacTaggart’ lecture, brought to us this year by Shane Smith, CEO of Vice. It was extremely passionate, opinionated and controversial and proved a huge talking point at the ITV drinks reception afterwards. You can now watch it in its entirety here.

Heather couldn’t help indulging her inner TV geek by attending the ‘Sci-fi Double Bill of Red Dwarf’ with writer, director and co-creator, Doug Naylor and stars Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn interviewed by SFX magazine’s editor after the exclusive screening of the first episode of the new series.

Another highlight was the exclusive masterclass with Gale Anne Hurd, the critically acclaimed producer of hit zombie drama ‘The Walking Dead’. Special guest was one of the show’s stars Michael Cudlitz, who plays Abraham Ford in the hit series, plus Alexandra Marinescu, FOX’s senior vice president of marketing & Jason Simms, SVP of global acquisitions at Fox which discussed how they helped to make this show a global phenomenon that breaks all the rules we know about TV hits.

All in all Heather found the festival insightful, eye-opening and motivational. She met loads of influential people in the industry, made a lot of contacts and she’s truly excited for how we are going to move forward in the industry as a whole and within Blueberry.