the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

The Freelancers’ Fair 2016 was a fantastic event held at the Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS. We'll be returning to the venue on Friday 19 May 2017 so do make a date to join us there. 

If you missed out in 2016, last year's programme appears below for reference. You can also catch up on some of the sessions on our YouTube Channel.  

Programme info for 2016 for reference only

Whether you're experienced, or a new entrant, our line-up has much to offer. You'll also benefit from visiting our exhibition, which this year includes both returning exhibitors and new faces, all focused on the support they can offer you. In our technical area, with the help of our friends at Arri, Pro Motion, RED and Visual Impact, we hope to put on a fine display of the latest kit. Join us for topical debates, learning opportunities and a lot of fun for freelancers in TV and film. After last year's success - over 350 people took part - this year's programme is certain to create the same buzz.

BECTU members attend for free. Non-members pay just £14.80* (includes VAT and Eventbrite booking fees). We'll provide a free lunch for everyone who books in advance.  Book your place here. The full programme is set out below or you can download the flyer attached to this page. 

How will you spend your day?

(nb: two sessions run in most time slots so you have to choose!). 


Flying High, Low and Around: Best practice in filming with drones

Join our expert panel to talk skills, technology, safety and the law. Adam Juniper, author of the authoritative The Complete Guide to Drones, will chair a discussion with Emma Boswell from the prestigious 'Helicopter Girls' drone-flying team, Bradina Freedman from Parrot, manufacturers of the popular Bebop2 Drone and Alan Perrin, chief instructor, CAV Academy.

9.45 - 11.00

BAME Lives Matter: How do you get your diverse voice heard?

Bored with diversity talks discussing strategies, action plans and initiatives that will take years to deliver real change? Meet our guest speakers who created their own opportunities and went around the conventional gatekeepers to get their diverse voices heard. Pat Younge, former BBC executive, now co-founder of Sugar Films will chair a debate with Kojo Anim, comedian/writer/presenter, Derren Lawford, creative director, Woodcut Media, Nida Manzoor, writer/director, Faraz Osman, MD, Lemonade Money and Victoria Thomas, BAFTA nominated, award-winning producer, Polka Dot Factory.


Accountancy Question Time with Steven Sykes and Tony Lennon

The March 2016 budget ushered in substantial changes to tax for freelancers. Get your head around the issues with the help of Steven Sykes, MD of media accountancy specialists, Blue Skies Partnership, and BECTU's research officer Tony Lennon. Don't forget your questions!

11.15 - 12.30

The Changing Face of Distribution

Securing sales and distribution for your film; identifying and reaching audiences to see your work. These are big challenges. Join us to meet three producers with recent film releases and hear their stories about the distribution routes they used. This practical session will discuss the opportunities out there to help you to secure the best deal for your work and to reach as large an audience as possible. Our speakers will include Christine Hartland, producer, Containment (2015), Steve Oram, producer/director Aaaaaaaah! (2015) and Nathan Wiseman, producer, Hard Tide (2016), 

 13.00 - 14.00

Know your Right? Know your rights!

What is a contract? What are your rights in respect of working time? How do you get your holiday entitlement? Join us for a fun, informative canter through the essentials of workers' rights in our pub-style quiz with compere Mark Thomas, acclaimed comedian and political satirist. Bring your lunch, sharpen your pencils and join a team. There will be prizes!

14.15 - 15.30

The Great British Sell-Off: Should C4 be privatised?

The TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, will chair this key session which will look at the pros and cons of possible government plans for a Channel 4 sell off. Award-winning writer, producer and director Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Promise, Shoot to Kill) will share the platform with celebrated film-maker and Palme D'Or winner Ken Loach, chair of and programme maker, David Elstein and Channel 4's chief executive, David Abraham.                                                                                                        

14.15 – 15.30

Working in the Danger Zone  

They travel to war zones, enter ganglands, film in secret, confront adversity and face up to nature’s challenges. How much risk do filmmakers take when filming in dangerous locations and how far are they willing to go to tell the truth? Our panel of experts will discuss their experiences and share vital advice on how to stay safe when working in high risk and unpredictable environments. Our speakers will be Elisabet Cantenys, head of programmes for the Rory Peck Trust*, Shaunagh Connaire, reporter Unreported WorldChris Lawton, high risk advisor at Bloomberg, Ramita Navai, journalist/filmmaker and Giovanni Ulleri producer/director.

*Rory Peck Trust will also be part of the event exhibition. Do visit them there. 

15.45 - 17.00

Making the Great Leap Forwards: Mixing Politics and Production

Join BAFTA-winning producer, Tony Garnett, producer Katharine Round, The Divide (2016) and director Gordon Main (London Recruits 2016) for a practical guide to putting politics back into film-making across all genres. With personal insights, tips and ideas from documentary and drama producers and directors who have successfully made political films and TV. This session will be chaired by Morag Livingstone, film-maker, and chair of BECTU's Writers Producers and Directors branch (read Morag's biography here).

15.45 - 17.00

Pitch Perfect: Meet the Commissioners

This is your chance to hear from commissioners and development producers working across a variety of genres. Find out how to navigate a number of processes. What informs commissioning decisions and how should you prepare your pitch? This year’s panel will include Andy Brereton, head of comedy entertainment, Tiger Aspect, Rita Daniels, executive producer, C4 Documentaries and Alex McLeod, commissioning editor, BBC Daytime (read the panel's biographies here). The session will be moderated by Amanny Mohamed, broadcaster and film critic. 


09.30 - 12.00: Freelance Toolkit gives you the best advice on how to develop your business skills, manage your tax and more. Waiting list only now.

10.00 - 12.00 Euroscript's the Art of Adaption will guide you on how to transform material used in one medium for use in another. 

13.30 - 16.00 - Make Networking Work for You will turn you into an effective, positive networker. Waiting list only now.


Choose from a 15 minute CV Advice slot with Beverley Hills (waiting list only now), a 30-minute consultation with a Euroscript* script doctor (subject to advance submission of a script/outline/synopsis - all spots taken) or a tax advice session with Blue Skies Partnership. (For a tax appointment see Blues Skies in the exhibition on the day).

*Euroscript will also be part of our exhibition so do visit them there. 

Film Screenings

This year we'll be showing a small selection of new films from emerging talent. The screenings will get underway from 14.15. 

Sponsors and contributors

Big thanks to our returning sponsors, Blue Skies Partnership, Creative Skillset, Hencilla Canworth, Pinewood and Thompsons Solicitors, and to new partner, Euroscript, for helping us to bring this programme to you. We are also very grateful to all our contributors for their time and input.

Lunch and networking

Prepare to stay with us for the duration as we'll be providing a free sandwich lunch (available from 12.30 over the lunch period only) for everyone who books in advance and there'll be networking drinks and a raffle from 17.00.

Notes on the programme:

1. Check the full line-up before booking. Please note that two sessions run in some time slots. Most sessions last 75 minutes. All sessions allow for Q&A.  Please do not book sessions which clash.

2. The event exhibition (exhibitors are listed on this page) and the technical area run throughout the day. Please make time to visit both. Colleagues are devoting their day to you.

3. If you book in time to secure a CV one-to-one  with Beverley Hills we will do our best to offer you an appointment which fits in with your schedule. To confirm your appointment ask at registration on arrival.

4. Visit Blue Skies Partnership in the exhibition to book a tax advice one-to-one.  

5. If you book a Euroscript one-to-one (maximum 20 appointments) you'll be asked to leave your contact details so that you can be put in touch with Euroscript to make the arrangement. 

6. David Thomas Media joins us to deliver two workshops for small groups. Each workshop lasts 2.5 hours and they will be oversubscribed so please only book a workshop if you are fully committed to taking part.  One workshop per person.

7. We’ll be providing a free sandwich lunch for all visitors who book in advance; this will be available from approximately 12.30 and over the lunch period only. Join us too for networking drinks and a raffle to close the day.

*A full refund against tickets booked by non-members will be available if requested no later than midnight on Friday 20 May 2016. No refunds will be processed after this date.

 NB: We fully expect the programme to remain as published although please understand this may be subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.

(Initial information posted 29 April 2016, updated subsequently. Last page update 25 January 2017).