Film London at FOCUS 2019
Date posted: 10.12.2019
Last week, Film London attended FOCUS 2019, The Meeting Place for International Production, to exhibit, host and participate in a variety of panels across film, TV and games under this year's over-arching theme "Forces of Change - What's next?"
First up, Nahrein Kemp, Film and TV Executive at Film London spoke on the panel 'Beyond Statistics: New Perspectives on Inclusion and Diversity', representing Film London's Equal Access Network. The panel discussed the changing attitudes and current initiatives working toward a more diverse and inclusive creative industry. From new entrants to mid-level professionals and returners, the various programmes led by Film London's Equal Access Network work to ensure the industry reflects the diversity of the capital - including the new mid-level BAME programme Breaking the Glass Ceiling.
Film London then presented 'Future Proofing Filming in London' chaired by Adrian Wootton OBE, CEO Film London and the British Film Commission, discussing a vision for the capital's screen industries through Film London's work around social and environmental sustainability. With London experiencing the biggest industry boom in 25 years - studio space doubling in the last 5 years - Adrian emphasized the importance of increasing, diversifying and educating the future industry workforce; "There's no point having more studio space if we haven't got the crew and sustainability awareness to work in them".
A panel of industry experts outlined the work being done to ensure the longevity of the industry. Melanie Dicks, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Greenshoot, outlined the potential scope for Green Screen - the online tool and joint initiative between Film London and Greenshoot supporting environmentally friendly filming - revealing that 181 productions across London are 'Green Screen certified' with 26 London boroughs benefitting.
Michelle Jenkins, Head of Production Services, represented Film London on the panel for 'The UK's Space Race-The Reality of Attracting International Production' discussing the UK's ability to support the current increase in production. Michelle highlighted the capitals various alternative spaces such as towers and warehouses as a solution to finding studio space. These alternative spaces are often cheaper, meaning that they suit a variety of budgets.
On day two, Film London presented with Green Screen Interreg Europe 'The Future is Green: A European Partnership', with Adrian Wootton speaking alongside other Green Screen partners to provide an overview of key innovations in carbon savings that could be transferred to the audio-visual production sector. The Green Screen partnership works across eight European regions to reduce the carbon footprint of the film and TV industries, by improving policies and equipping the current workforce with the appropriate tools and knowledge.
Finally, 'Games for Good', a panel hosted by Michael French, Head of Games London, explored the potential of video games going beyond entertainment, to engender empathy and help players experience situations from other perspectives on subjects as varied as mental health, religion and sexism.