8 events we can't wait for at the Edinburgh TV Festival

The Edinburgh TV Festival is famous for its informative and entertaining sessions, all created by seasoned TV producers ensuring they are of the highest quality and relevance.

Offering more than 70 keynotes, debates and masterclasses—plus scores of networking opportunities, the Festival draws around 2000 professionals from across the globe.

The programme takes place this year from Wednesday 21 to Friday 23 August at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Ahead of it beginning next week, we’ve rounded up just eight of the fantastic sessions taking place in the capital.

Equal Writes: How to Get More Women in the Room

Debates and Panels

Television is always looking for the new voice, the different form, how to tell a story that we haven’t heard before and in a new way. If women are commissioned a fraction as much as men, then it stands to reason that they have a rich fund of stories saved up, just ready and waiting to be told. But how to get past security?

A panel, hosted by Lisa Holdsworth, recently appointed chair of the Writers Guild, will tell you where they think the opportunities lie and where they need to be unblocked. They will share how they did it and how you can do it too.

Excitingly, the session will also reveal the winner of Thousand Films’ female writers competition, an initiative backed by the TV Festival. With more than 2000 entries, the competition from writers not yet represented by an agent was extremely tough but leading industry figures have chosen a winner. They, along with shortlisted nominees, delegates and our stellar panel will be invited to join a networking drinks reception immediately after the session.

Event details:

Wednesday 21 August, 1.30 – 2.30pm, The Moorfoot / Kilsyth (Level 0)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/equality-writes-get-women-room/

The Making of a Mega Doc


Forget the drama boom, it’s the feature doc that is in the midst of a golden era, experiencing a major upsurge in popularity and resonating with audiences of all ages across the world. This unmissable session brings together the creators and producers of four of the biggest, most powerful, shocking and intense docs of the year – stories which have dominated conversations, made headlines and garnered awards.

Event details:

Wednesday 21 August, 1.30 – 2.30pm, The Pentland (Level 3)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/documentary-masterclass/

An audience of raised hands at the Edinburgh TV Festival

Breakout Talk: Commissioning in the Age of Digital - Where Art Meeting Science

Debates and Panels

In a world of increased video consumption on digital and social platforms, the role of the commissioner has evolved. It’s now possible to know what the world is watching, but what value does this social video insight play in the commissioning process? Attend this panel session to hear how broadcasters are using data and analysis to assess ideas before they go into production, and how they are identifying new, untapped opportunities.

Event details:

Wednesday 21 August, 2.40 – 3.10pm, The Tinto (Level 0)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/break-talk-commissioning-age-digital-art-meets-science/

The Mactaggart Lecture: Dorothy Byrne

Keynotes and Interviews

Doyenne of television journalism, Dorothy Byrne, has been announced as the sixth woman to give the prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival brought to you by YouTube and Freeview.

Event details:

Wednesday 21 August, 6.15 - 7pm, The Lennox (Level -1)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/mactaggart-lecture-dorothy-bryne/

Breakout Talk: How to be a Better Boss

Debates and Panels

How to Be A Better Boss delves into dilemmas and scenarios many of us face and have faced in our years of combined experience and work out the tips and tricks of how to be a better boss. Our esteemed panellists will discuss, in the context of real-life situations, how to manage either working with a struggling leader or what to do should you find yourself ill-equipped to offer the leadership and support your staff require.

Event details:

Thursday 22 August, 10.30 – 11.15am, The Tinto (Level 0)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/screen-skills-better-boss/

Meet the Controller: BBC One

Controller Sessions

BBC One is the UK’s most watched television channel. For over 80 years it has been the nation’s first choice – from live events to blockbuster drama, powerful documentaries to Saturday night entertainment. But in a time of unprecedented change, increased competition, and fragmenting audiences, what does the future have in store for BBC One and the BBC’s television portfolio?

Join Charlotte Moore as she talks through the successes, challenges and long-term strategy for BBC TV, BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Event details:

Thursday 22 August, 11.15am - 12.15pm, The Pentland (Level 3)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/meet-controller-bbc1/

Worldview Address: Paul Feig

Keynotes and Interviews

Award-winning writer, director, producer and actor Paul Feig, creator of the hit series Freaks and Geeks and director of Academy Award® nominated film Bridesmaids, will deliver the prestigious Worldview Address.

Renowned for championing new and diverse talent at every stage of his stellar career, which spans TV and film, and includes some of the biggest hit comedies of the last 30 years, Feig will look to the future, and how we can always do more to make sure that voices from all corners of the industry are being heard.

Event details:

Friday 23 August, 1.15 - 2.15pm, The Pentland (Level 3)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/worldview-address-paul-feig/

Killing Eve Masterclass


It’s one of the best British export stories of all time. Killing Eve, a global smash hit produced by a UK indie and co-produced with BBC America and AMC. It broke records on BBC iPlayer upon its release, with the boxset being requested 2.6 million times in 36 hours.

In this masterclass, the team behind the award-winning show reveal the secret to adapting a risqué cult novella series into a mainstream hit – discussing the unique creation that is Villanelle; female violence on screen; and investment in tonally unique programming.

Event details:

Friday 23 August, 1.15 – 2.15pm, The Sidlaw (Level 3)

More information: https://www.thetvfestival.com/whats-on/programme/killing-eve-masterclass/