The Freelancers' Fair 2019 will be packed with seminars, workshops and more.

Join us on Friday 21 June 2019 for our next Freelancers' Fair.

We'll be exploring current challenges for freelancers in TV and film at the best value industry day out there is!

Once again our venue will be the beautiful Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS, off Piccadilly, which has excellent transport links. Whether you're new to the industry or more established, make a date to join us there. 

Download the event flyer and/or view programme details below and follow the link to Eventbrite to book your place. You can also follow us on twitter @bectu #freelancersfair for updates.

"It’s excellent, it’s a really good event and it’s going from strength to strength. It’s good for networking.” visitor comment from 2017

What's lined up for 21 June?  

Event sponsors for 2019

We send big thanks to this year's sponsors - FreeAgent, Hencilla Canworth, PG Mutual, Pinewood Studios and Thompsons Solicitors - whose financial support helps us to stage this event.

Nine seminars, three workshops, one-to-one CV advice, a fully stocked exhibition (see below) and ARRI technical area, make for a very lively day. Be sure to tell your industry friends!

(NB: Two sessions run in most timeslots; please avoid double-booking; we suggest you read programme information here and then make your booking using the Eventbrite link below; speaker names are being added daily; the programme may be  subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control).

09.45-11.00 Seminar 1 

Meet the commissioners

Seize the opportunity to hear from BBc and ITV commissioners working across a variety of genres. What factors inform their decisions and how should you prepare your pitch? In a great start to the day, our guest speakers will be Lara Akeju, commissioning editor, ITV Daytime, Carl Callam, commissioner BBC Three and Alison Kirkham, head of BBC factual commissioning.  

09.45-11.00 Seminar 2 

Radical Film: Community and collective filmmaking - working methods, funding and distribution

 Three filmmakers discuss issues of authorship, skill-sharing and alternative models of making and distributing films. Doc Society gives tips on how to successfully pitch your idea to them.

 With Ed Webb-Ingall (filmmaker/London Community Video Archive), Beverley Bennett (film-maker), Rhea Storr (not/nowhere film-makers' co-op) and Lisa Marie Russo (Doc Society).

11.15 – 12.30 Seminar 3

Drones: the shots, the gear, the rules

What can you really do with a drone? Which drone is best for the job? And why even hire a drone pilot when you can just stick one in the sky, right? Elliott Corke from Aerial Academy (aka Drone Training) leads an aerial action masterclass with advice and insights from some of the best drone cinematographers in the business: Carys Kaiser (The Drone Lass), Helena Kardova (Monocle) and Dani Rose (Flying Pictures). Read more about our guest speakers.

11.15 – 12.30 Seminar 4 

The good, the bad and the exploited: how to select the best training opportunities

How do you spot worthwhile courses or training opportunities?  How can you access funds to help you up the career ladder? What is the industry doing to improve access to training for those from more diverse backgrounds? Our speakers will include Gilly Cohen (Indie Training Fund), Femi Kolade (London Film School), Alex Pumfrey (Film & Television Charity) and Jon Wardle (National Film & Television School). The session will be chaired by Rachel Bennett, the union's training officer. 

13.00 – 14.00 Seminar 5

Tax Talk on Making Tax Digital with FreeAgent

The UK tax system is going through a huge modernisation and the transition is already
underway. If you’re VAT registered and turn over £85K plus, you’re already required to file your return under the new MTD regime. And It won’t be long before small Ltd companies and sole traders will be required to work under the new MTD requirements too. Join FreeAgent’s Matt Perkins to learn more about MTD, when it will affect you and what you need to do to comply.

14.15 – 15.30 Seminar 6

Production in your pocket: making films on your mobile

With Steven Soderbergh’s High Flying Bird the latest feature to be shot on iPhones, what does this alternative means of recording moving images have to offer the low-budget film-maker? Join the debate with our panellists Dierdre Mulcahy, freelance lecturer and Owen Holdaway, reporter.  

14.15 - 15.30 Seminar 7

Cut! Content, carbon emissions and climate change

How do we respond creatively to climate change, one of the biggest global challenges of our time and put care for the planet at the centre of our productions? Join Roser Canela- Mas, BAFTA's industry sustainability manager, Tom Richardson from Planet Placement and Suzanne Dolan, EastEnders sustainability coordinator.  

15.45 – 17.00 Seminar 8 

Looting people: navigating the online collaborative world

With young keen graduates the most prized resource in TV and film, and with gender and BAME pay gaps still on everyone’s lips, is it ever right to ask teams to work together without pay? And when are online platforms simply taking advantage of the enthusiasm of developing talent? Debate these critical issues with Elliot Grove (producer, author and founder of Raindance), Simone Pennant MBE (producer/director and founder The TV Collective) and Jude Winstanley (experienced line producer and founder The Unitlist). Read more about our speakers. 

15.45 – 17.00 Seminar 9 

With inequality still real how do diverse film-makers succeed?

Screen International recently published a list of the top 50 production companies in the UK. Only one company has a ‘person of colour’ as a development executive and most have never worked with a female director. However, despite the odds, diverse film-makers do make their mark; join leading BAME talent to find out how. Our panellists will include Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor a producer and writer, whose second feature film premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, 2016, and was also up for the IWC Filmmaker Award. Joy currently runs Joi Productions, a film production company focused on Queer, Black and Female-led work. We'll also welcome Afia Nkrumah, an award winning writer/director, who is currently directing the pilot episode of new TV drama series A Place Of  Safety.  Named writer/director to watch on the BBC New Talent Hotlist,  Afia was selected for Directors UK's High End TV Scheme in 2017 and was mentored by Carnival films on their Sky/NBC period drama Jamestown (S2).


17.00 - 17.30 Writers Producers & Directors branch AGM

Join committee members to find out more about the branch's work throughout the year.

17.00 - 18.00 Networking Social

The perfect end to an active day! Don't forget your business cards if you're keen to make new contacts. 


(If these are booked when you go to book contact us to be added to the waiting list).

Workshops run for either 2 OR 2.5 hours, please check each entry carefully; please only take a workshop space if you are fully committed to it as all workshops will be oversubscribed. If when you book your chosen workshop is marked full, do drop a line to the organiser to ask to be put on the waiting list. 

09.30 – 12.00 Freelance Toolkit with David Thomas Media

This session is for freelancers keen to develop their business skills. Whether you’re new to self-employment or more established, this session will tackle financial control, getting paid on time, pain-free record-keeping and how to get ready for HMRC’s digital tax revolution. Maximum 16 people. 

11.00-13.30 Storytelling for Business

With film and high end TV delivering more than £91.6 billion a year to the UK economy it has become even more difficult to gain access. Getting to the right people: cast, crew and finance, takes skills of true persuasion. Actor/director and trainer Michelle Brooks uses tried and trusted theatre techniques and 5 Act story structure in this part-theory, part-practical workshop to help you to present yourself and your projects with presence, banishing nerves and giving you the edge. Maximum 25 people. 

14.00 – 16.00 Networking Dos & Donts with David Thomas Media

This workshop is for anyone who finds networking difficult or who doubts its importance. Learn how to leave the right impression without being a pain, and why face-to-face networking is just as important as anything you do online. Maximum 25 people.

14.30 - 16.30 Using Social Video to Grow Your Audience

With the rise of social video and the ever-changing creative formats audiences swipe through on their phones, there’s never been a greater opportunity to tell your story, nor a greater challenge in cutting through the noise to grow your audience. 

In this two hour workshop, led by Tom Szekeres digital consultant and enterpreneur, you'll discuss adopting a social-first mindset in the current digital landscape; you'll reimagine what a film/TV trailer should look like, and how it should fit into a larger creative campaign. Be part of this session to explore a range of creative formats and digital storytelling tools and techniques to bring to life your creative vision. Maximum 20 people. (New workshop added to the line-up 3 June).


Insurance - Check in with Hencilla Canworth, in the exhibition, to discuss public liability insurance, kit cover and more. 

Income Protection -  And if you want to know more about protecting your income in the event of ill-health a visit to PG Mutual in the exhibition is also a must.

CV Advice - Always a favourite, Beverley Hills, careers advisor, will be on hand to discuss your approach to this most important of self-marketing tools. To secure a spot, complete the booking form selecting the CV one-to-one option and we’ll endeavour to offer you a slot which fits in with your plans for the day (places are limited, so arrive early). Don’t forget to bring two copies of your CV with you on the day. You can ask to be put on the waiting list if no slots are available when you go to book. 

Book via Eventbrite

Exhibitors for 2019

The event exhibition and technical area (courtesy of Arri) will run all day. Please make time to visit both areas for support and offers. 

Freelancers' Fair on YouTube

If you missed out in 2018 check our YouTube Channel for footage from some of the sessions.

Query about the event? Drop a line to

Last page update 18 June 2019.