the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

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 

Commissioning Live!

Seize the opportunity to hear from commissioners and development producers working across a variety of genres. What factors inform commissioning decisions and how should you prepare your pitch? Guest speakers will be announced shortly. 

09.45-11.00 Seminar 2 

Radical Film: community and collective film-making - working methods, funding and distribution

Three film-makers discuss issues of authorship, skill-sharing and alternative models of film-making and distributing films. Doc Society gives tips on how to successfully pitch your idea to them. Panellists include Ed Webb-Ingall (filmmaker/London Community Video Archive), Beverley Bennett (film-maker), Taylor Le Melle (currently setting up 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? What drone do you want to use? And why even hire a drone pilot when you can just stick one in the sky, right? Elliott Corke from the Aerial Academy is joined by some of the best drone cinematographers in the business to dazzle you with aerial action, while filling you in on everything you need to know to get your shots legally.

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), Alex Pumfrey (Film &TV Charity) , Jon Wardle (National Film & Television School) and Femi Kolade (London Film 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 film to be shot entirely on an iPhone, are mobiles the future of film-making? With the low down on the latest models, our panel will debate the benefits of smart phone technology for the budget-conscious film-maker and whether the kit in your pocket is a serious challenge to conventional Hollywood. 

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? Speaker line-up to follow.  

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? 

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 our invited guests to find out how.


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.


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 22 May 2019.