the media and entertainment union
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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 in 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. 

Put yourself at the front of the queue when booking opens in May by registering your interest now. Programme details will be posted here along with updates during the booking period. 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 the Freelancers' Fair like?

Check this info from 2018 to get an idea. 

Event sponsors for 2018

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

Eight seminars, four workshops, several opportunities for one to ones, and a fully stocked exhibition and technical area, make for a packed line-up. Be sure to tell your industry friends!

Don't miss our session on #TimesUp

The last few months have been seismic for the film and TV industry in the wake of the Weinstein revelations. We've been working with other industry organisations to develop the UK industry's response. Don't miss our debate on the issues at 13.00 with BECTU's Sarah Ward, Equity's Christine Payne, WFTV's Kate Kinninmont and Thompsons' Solicitors' Victoria Phillips. 

What's lined-up for 2018?

(NB: Two sessions run in most timeslots; please avoid double-booking).

9.45 – 11. 00 Seminar 1: Making your mark with online content

This seminar looks at ways writers, directors and producers can earn a living and find opportunities to realise their own work through online content. Executive producers Kate Fagan and Pranav Arya, producer Sorcha Bacon and freelance director Bugsy Riverbank Steel all work in branded content and advertising.Vicki Psarias, multi-award winning screenwriter, director and professional blogger completes our guest list. After introductions the audience will be able to put their questions to the panel.

9.45 – 11.00 Seminar 2: Licensing: rights and wrongs on working with archive

Are you making, or have you made, a programme or film that needs archive? Worried about how to navigate the minefield, or just want to know more about how and where you can access footage legally? Madeline Bates of the Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries (which runs the Focal Awards) will chair this session and will be joined by Gemma Dewhurst, head of business operations at PA Images, James R M Hunt, archive producer, Sandra Coelho, co-founder/CEO LOLA Clips and Christina Lombardo, director of licencing Vice Media. Our panellists will share their knowledge of sourcing, accessing and licencing archive footage in a variety of genres, across all media platforms.

11.15 -12.30 
Seminar 3: How to make money from distribution: new and emerging models

Believe it or not making your film can often be the easy bit! For many independent/low budget filmmakers, work often fails to succeed because it struggles to find an audience and so make a return. Join us to explore opportunities for film distribution via emerging models which incorporate theatrical, online and other innovative routes. Our speakers will be Rebecca Ashdown, Together Films, Chester Yang founder of CY Films, Christopher Hird, founder and MD Dartmouth Films and Nathanael Wiseman, producer and MD Redeeming Features. Geraldine Moloney from the Film Distributors Association which be our chair. 

11.15 – 12.30

Seminar 4: A guide to authentic storytelling

A panel of top filmmakers discuss their approaches to compelling storytelling. With so much pressure to get strong stories and characters, what moral and ethical framework drives their work? Our panellists reflect on how they portray diverse and marginalised voices in their films to achieve compelling and authentic storytelling without undermining the subjects behind the story. Our speakers will include Sasha Djurkovic (Addicted Last Chance Mums), Catey Sexton (Raped: My Story), Paul Sng (Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle) and Orban Wallace (Another News Story).

13.00 – 14.15 Seminar 5: Time’s Up - Freelancers Making a Stand Against Sexual Harassment

All over the world women in the entertainment industries are making a stand against sexual harassment, discrimination and workplace abuse. If the brave testimonies of the thousands who have stood up and made their voices heard have resonated with you, then, men and women, come along and join our panel of women from across our industry to continue this important debate. Find out more about the major part BECTU and our sister trade unions are playing to develop an industry-wide strategy to call time on all abuses of power. BECTU's national secretary, Sarah Ward, Equity's general secretary, Christine Payne, Women in Film & TV's CEO Kate Kinninmont and Thompsons' Solicitors' head of employment rights (client relations) Victoria Phillips will be our panellists.

14.15 – 15.30 
Seminar 6 – Virtual Reality Check

Virtual Reality is the new frontier for content creators opening up a wealth of fantastic opportunities. We’ll be joined by Peter Collis, head of 360/3D film production at Inition ( to discuss the challenges of producing for this fast evolving area where the viewer has more control than ever before over what they see as they enter a virtual world. Inition will be part of our exhibition too, so don’t miss out on the chance to experience VR for yourself.

14.15 – 15.30
Seminar 7: Choice and Diversity in Film

Tired of seeing the same kinds of films in cinemas? Are you a filmmaker frustrated by a few major distribution routes that are inaccessible? Join our panel to discuss what we see and why, and the opportunities to create more choice and diversity in the films on show. Our speakers will include Jemma Buckley, partnerships manager Independent Cinema Office, Jaq Chell, operations and development manager Cinema for All, Peter Merrington, Beyond the Multiplex and Toki Allison, Film Hub Wales. 

15.45 – 17.00
Seminar 8: Development labs: everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask!

We’ve all heard about development schemes and labs. If you’ve ever wondered what they really are this panel discussion is for you. We'll reveal what the experience of participating in them is like and what function they fulfil in the industry. Our panel will include Lucinda Broadbent, producer of The Bridge Rising and Lisa Marie Russo of Doc Society. 

15.30 – 16.30  ***bonus session***

Seminar 9: Your Question Time – ask our experts

This is your chance to put a question on an issue of your choice. Your question could relate to the union’s work overall, to a particular policy issue or to a new industrial development. Or you could have a copyright, tax or legal query, which if raised in this forum could help others. We’ll be joined by Gerry Morrissey, head of BECTU, Spencer MacDonald, national secretary, Tony Lennon, freelance and research officer and Victoria Philips, head of employment rights (client relations) at Thompsons Solicitors.


As at 11 April 2018 most workshops are fully booked, however once you've booked for the event, do drop a line to the organiser to ask to be put on the waiting list for your preferred session as some who have booked will change their plans. Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances, we have had to remove (24/4/2018) the Putting Policy into Practice workshop from the programme.  

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. 

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.

14.00-16.30 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. 


Accountancy - Visit Blue Skies Partnership in the exhibition to book a tax advice appointment.

Insurance - Check in with Hencilla Canworth, also in the exhibition, to discuss public liability insurance, kit cover and more. (Use the links to reveal current offers). 

Income Protection - If you want to know more about protecting your income in the event of ill-health visit PG Mutual, our newest sponsor.

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

Networking social

Join us from 17.00- 18.00 to reflect on what we expect will be another great Freelancers' Fair. Don't forget your business cards if you're keen to make new contacts. 

Exhibitors for 2018

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 31January 2019.