Training Courses

UK Film Festival Roundtable

18/03/2021 - 22/04/2021

14:00-16:00 GMT

The UK Film Festival Roundtable has been launched to provide development opportunities to film festival professionals in the UK. Topics will include strategic planning, audience development, press and PR, sponsorship and partnerships, as well as negotiating the challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact going forward.

The course will be delivered over six weekly sessions, starting from Thursday 18 March 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this training will take place online.

Details about the course schedule and speakers are below.

The UK Film Festival Roundtable is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network.


18/03/2021 - 22/04/2021
14:00-16:00 GMT



About the course

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the course will be delivered online through Zoom.

Course schedule
The course will be delivered across six weeks, with sessions taking place on Thursday afternoons from 14:00-16:00 GMT.

• Session 1 (Thursday 18 March):
Where are we now? The impact of COVID-19 on the UK film festival sector

• Session 2 (Thursday 25 March):
Strategic Planning 1

• Session 3 (Thursday 1 April):
Strategic Planning 2

• Session 4 (Thursday 8 April):
Sponsorship & Partnerships

• Session 5 (Thursday 15 April):
Audience Development

• Session 6 (Thursday 22 April):
Press & PR

The fee for this course is £400. Scroll down to see details of training bursaries which may be available to you.

Technical requirements
To attend this training online, you will need a computer or laptop with a webcam and microphone.


This course is open to film festival professionals working in festivals of various sizes across the UK. Applicants must be a member of their local Film Hub. If you’re not yet a member, it’s free to join. You can find your local Film Hub here.


Anthony Andrews

Co-Founder, We Are Parable

Anthony Andrews is an award winning co-founder and creative director of We Are Parable, a film exhibition company that provide audiences with opportunities to experience Black Cinema in culturally relevant, unique and memorable ways. Anthony has collaborated with film studios such as Altitude, StudioCanal and eOne as well as working closely with the BFI and the Film and TV Charity to create events and screenings that support films that feature and are made by Black creatives. Since co-founding the business in 2013, he has worked with Oscar winners Spike Lee and Steve McQueen, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and and actor Idris Elba on the release of their respective films. In 2019, alongside The British Blacklist, The New Black Film Collective and SOUL Celebrate Connect, he co-founded SOUL Fest, a film festival which was designed to celebrate Back talent in front of and behind the lens. In 2020, Anthony co-curated Who We Are, a week long online takeover of the BFI which celebrated the artistry of Black British Film over the last 50 years. In 2021, Anthony was included in the main jury for the British Independent Film Awards and the longlisting jury for the EE BAFTA Awards.

Sarah Boiling

Freelance Consultant, Sarah Boiling Associates

Sarah is a freelance consultant based in London, specialising in bringing culture and people closer together. Her work includes strategy and planning, research and evaluation, and facilitation and training. She has held senior positions in some of the UK’s most innovative cultural organisations including Broadway Media Centre, Tate, The Audience Agency and the Barbican, and, since 2015, she has been working as an independent consultant. Sarah works with independent cinemas, and more widely across the cultural sector, and recent projects have included large scale quantitive research into the film watching and cinema going habits of under 30s in Northern Ireland for Film Hub NI and evaluation of the BFI FAN ’New Release Strategy’. She is a regular contributor to the ICO’s programme of professional development and to the annual CICAE Art Cinema = Action + Management course, and has worked with the British Council in Georgia, Russia, Malaysia and Greece. Sarah is also an accredited coach and Action Learning Facilitator.

Catharine Des Forges

Director, Independent Cinema Office

Catharine has spent over 20 years working in the exhibition sector for a variety of organisations including the BFI and Arts Council England. She has worked as a freelance programmer and arts consultant, and programmed for festivals and cinemas both in the UK and internationally. She has lectured on film at a number of UK universities and is a regular contributor to industry events and a frequent filmmaker Q&A host. Catharine founded the ICO in 2003 and has been its Director ever since.

Dagmar Forelle

Independent Consultant

Dagmar Forelle was the Head of Sponsorship at the Berlin International Film Festival from 2000 – 2017. She is now a consultant for national and international cultural institutions, festivals and NGOs focusing on the field of fundraising and sponsorship. She has served as vice-Chairwoman of the Wim Wenders Foundation in Düsseldorf since its founding year in 2013, and has served on the advisory board of Viva con Aqua Arts eGmbH, Hamburg, since 2017. Since 2007, she has led courses in developing sponsorship strategies for a wide range of organisations including KMM Hamburg, films festivals in Tromso, Durban and Sarajewo, and three editions of the ICO’s Developing Your Film Festival training programme in London, Motovun and Edinburgh. Dagmar spent over twenty years working in feature film productions, and as personal assistant to Wim Wenders (1986-1993). She devised and delivered the ‘Artists for Children’ exhibition and charity auctions for UNICEF (1994-1999), collaborated with the Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto in Paris and Tokyo (1994 -1997), and managed a range of special arts projects for “Partner für Berlin” (Berlin City Marketing) from 1997-2000. Photo credit: Matthias Eder

Ian Francis

Director, Flatpack Film Festival

Ian Francis is the founding director of Flatpack Projects, a charity which produces moving image events across the West Midlands and beyond. The organisation’s most significant project is the Flatpack Festival, an eclectic week of screenings and events which takes place in Birmingham every spring and has developed a national reputation for its multidisciplinary programming and imaginative use of different venues. Alongside the festival Flatpack are responsible for an extensive programme of year-round activity, and with Broadway Cinema in Nottingham they are co-leads of Film Hub Midlands as part of the BFI Film Audience Network. A film graduate from Warwick University, Ian has twenty years experience of programming and delivering events and has written for publications including Sight & Sound and Little White Lies. He is a trustee at Multistory, and an honorary research fellow at the University of Birmingham.

Melanie Iredale

Deputy Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest

Melanie Iredale has been Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Deputy Director since 2014, having been involved first as Development Consultant since 2010, and serving as Interim Director of the 2019 edition. She also co-curates Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Rhyme & Rhythm film section. Born and raised in Yorkshire, Melanie’s background is as a film and arts curator and festival producer. As former Director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival on the English-Scottish border, she commissioned moving image works, installations and performances for heritage sites, which have since gone on to tour to festivals and galleries world-wide. Melanie serves on the BIFA jury for the documentary award, is regularly invited to speak on inclusion and ethics in the industry, and has participated on juries including Nordisk Panorama, ZagrebDox and One World Media. She is also an Executive Producer on Rebel Dykes, a film by Harri Shanahan and Sian Williams, which will premiere in Spring 2021.

Lizzie Banks

Producer, Oska Bright Film Festival

Lizzie Banks is the Producer of Oska Bright Film Festival. The festival is the biggest film festival in the world showcasing films made by, or featuring people with a learning disability, autism or Aspergers. The festival is supported by the BFI, Arts Council England and Adult Swim and is also now BAFTA accredited. Oska Bright Film Festival tours the UK and abroad in non-festival years sharing award-winning shorts and features, running workshops and hosting seminars.

Clare Wilford

Independent Press & PR Consultant

Clare Wilford was for many years one of the UK's leading film publicists, who specialised in event and film festival PR. She started her career in arts marketing, ending up as Head of Press & PR at the Barbican Centre London, before moving into Film PR in 1992. She has orchestrated press campaigns for many film festivals, venues and organizations including: Channel 4 Television; Film London; Brief Encounters, Bristol; Cambridge Film Festival; BFI London Film Festival, and THIS WAY UP - the annual UK film industry exhibitors conference. She has orchestrated Oscar PR campaigns (two for winners in the Feature Documentary and Animated Short categories), was a regular Talent Manager for the Empire Film Magazine Awards, and for several years acted as both Hospitality Co-ordinator for the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, and also for Screen Australia at the Cannes Film Festival. She freelanced for leading film publicists Premier PR for over a decade, handling press campaigns for features premiering at international festivals, as well as in UK distribution. In the early 2000s Clare lived in New Zealand where she worked as a PR consultant for the New Zealand Film Commission, before down-sizing on her return to the UK, and moving to Northumberland to live by the sea with a dog called Freddie.

Rich Warren

Festival Director, Encounters Film Festival

Rich Warren is the Festival Director for Encounters Film Festival, the UK's leading short film, animation and VR celebration. Based in Bristol, UK, the festival prioritises the showcasing, supporting and progression of new and emerging talent in the moving image. The 26th edition of the festival took place online due to the ongoing pandemic during September 2020. Rich began working for the festival in 2008 however during this time he has also had the opportunity to continue his support of new talent with roles such as the Talent Scout for the National Film and Television School, UK and a year in Sydney working with indigenous talent.

Liz Chege

Festival Director, Africa in Motion Film Festival

Liz Chege is a film programmer, critic and curator. She is a Berlinale Talent alumni and founding member of Come the Revolution, a collective of creatives and curators committed to exploring Black life, experience and cultural expression through cinema. She was the programme producer of British Council's "No Direct Flight" at British Film Institute's Southbank, a cross-media exploration of global African diaspora moving-image makers that explored how the digital world has shaped culture and aesthetics and has curated programmes for international festivals. Most recently, she has been appointed as festival director of Africa in Motion Festival.

Training bursaries

The fee for this course is £400. Your local Film Hub may have training bursaries available to help cover the cost of professional development opportunities such as this. You can find details of the support offered by your local Film Hub below:

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