Edinburgh TV Festival goes digital for 2020
James R | On 18, Apr 2020
The Edinburgh TV Festival will not take place as usual this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, it will be taking the event online with a series of digital initiatives to bring the industry together.
The event, which takes place every August in Edinburgh, will be reimagined for the web, in a move to support and connect the television community in a very challenging year. It aims to deliver the key moments that have become integral to the industry’s calendar, including The MacTaggart Lecture, Controller Sessions and Awards, as well as the TV Foundation’s talent schemes, The Network, Ones to Watch and TV PhD.
In 2020 the TV Festival and TV Foundation will include: Improving access and support by ensuring everything the Festival does in 2020 is free for freelancers, who are being particularly affected by this crisis; The MacTaggart Lecture and Controller Sessions as well as new formats that will address the year and its challenges; The Network scheme for tomorrow’s TV talent; the Ones to Watch initiative to celebrate and develop the best the industry has to offer; and its TV PhD bringing together television and academia.
The TV Awards will be staged later in the year, while Expanding ConnectED will exist as an entity for an extended period of time, supplemented by detailed briefings and digital versions of the Festival’s popular speed meetings.
Managing Director of the TV Festival and TV Foundation Campbell Glennie says: “We have decided that, in the best interests of everyone we would seek to bring together, educate and support, that we will not be staging the TV Festival physically in Edinburgh this August. However, our industry is based on creative innovation and so too is the Festival.
“We have been in consultation with our board, partners and supporters to re-examine not just what we could achieve this year, but more importantly what we should be doing to connect, discuss and find solutions to issues both perennial and particular to the evolving challenges we all face.
“I would like to thank our executive chair Graham Stuart, board, sponsors and advisory committee for their support, advice and guidance during the past few weeks, and look forward to working with them all to create new projects in 2020 that will respond to the challenges we’re all facing and bring us closer together.
“Television’s vital role in our lives has never been so present, valued and cherished, and so the team will be doing everything we can in 2020 to keep discussion flowing, talent supported and diversity encouraged. It will not be the Festival we know, but it will still be the Festival we love.”
Further activity to be included in the Festival schedule will be announced in due course as will details of participants and speakers. An ongoing programme of digital sessions and content will also launch in the coming weeks.
For more information, head to the festival website at www.thetvfestival.com.