Sheffield Doc/Fest has announced a new session for Tuesday 9 June discussing the future of the BBC licence fee and how the BBC can make better use of documentaries and the wider documentary industry. Ahead of the session the festival asks delegates to partake in a survey.
Filmmakers, independent producers, decision makers and BBC employers at Sheffield Doc/Fest are being asked to consider how the potential changes to the licence fee will impact documentaries and factual – for the BBC, producers and the viewing public.
In response to the renewed debate about the licence fee and its relevance – refuelled by the newly appointed Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, who stated that elements of the fee are ‘regressive’ – Doc/Fest has announced a new session to take place on Tuesday 9 June at 4.30pm, at the Influence Film Club in the Crucible Adelphi
The sessions, which is entitled Bank of Telly Watchers: Your BBC, Your Documentaries, will be chaired by Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alex Graham. Together with a panel including Nick Fraser (Editor, BBC Storyville), Jolyon Rubinstein (Presenter/Director/Producer, BBC) and Heydon Prowse (Presenter/Director, BBC) Graham will discuss a wide range from ideas relating to whether BBC could make a more effective and wider use of the documentary industry, to whether the licence fee should be scrapped.
Graham said: “The debate around the future of the BBC and how it’s funded is at a critical moment, and as a subject close to the hearts of many delegates at Doc/Fest this week, we felt this was a good opportunity to hold an informed and hopefully influential discussion.”
In advance of the session, Doc/Fest delegates and industry professionals are being asked to take part in an online survey about the licence fee, which can be found here.
Delegates are also being encouraged to tweet comments and views about the licence fee and how the BBC handles documentaries and factual content using the hashtag #DocFestBBC. Tweets will be put to leading industry figures and discussed during the session.