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Media industry to converge on Caernarfon

Caernarfon will welcome filmmakers, programme makers, broadcasters and students from Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Brittany for next week’s Celtic Media Festival, which takes place between 25 and 27 March.

Supported by broadcast, film, cultural and economic organisations throughout the Celtic countries, each year the event moves to a different Celtic location. 2009 represents a particularly important milestone for the Festival, since the annual event will be celebrating its thirtieth birthday this year.

Delegates can expect a range of engaging sessions, panel discussions, workshops and expert seminars over the course of the three days. The Festival also has a strand for media students, Green Light, which runs parallel to the main sessions. The Festival is expected to attract up to 400 delegates to listen to high-profile speakers and industry experts.

18 Bronze Torcs of Excellence will also be awarded during the festival to winners in eighteen categories, from factual documentaries to programmes on sport, art, drama, children and entertainment and from radio categories to awards for titles, stings, idents and promos to interactivity. 71 companies from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Cornwall have been shortlisted in all, and the shortlist can be viewed at

BBC Cymru Wales’ Lucy Owen, who will co-host the daily award ceremonies alongside Rhun ap Iorwerth said, “I’m delighted to be taking part in the 30th Celtic Media Festival being held here in Wales. The programmes is absolutely jam packed and is a great opportunity to showcase the wealth of creative talent in the Celtic nations whether in film, television, radio or new media.”

So what’s on? Here are some highlights...

• 12:45 - 13:30pm Awards presented for: Factual series, factual single documentary, education, sport, arts and student award for factual
• 14:30 - 15:45pm Can We Have Our Television Back?
Are we making programmes because we can and not because we want to?
Has television been high-jacked by technology? Are we too focused these days on platform and not on ideas/programme content? Have we become too obsessed with how we watch and not what we watch?
Chair: Rhun ap Iorwerth
Panellists: John Hefin, Freelance Producer/Director Catriona Scott, Head of Development, Campbell Ryan, Iolo Jones, Chair of Telesgop & CEO of TV Everywhere, Sheila Decourcy, Commissioning Editor, Young Peoples' Programmes, RTÉ
• 14:30 - 15:45pm Animation + Globalisation = Success?
A panel discussion looking at challenges, changes and opportunities facing the animation industry here in the Celtic Nations. The influence of technology and globalisation on this highly specialised genre will be explored. Are these advances capable of creating new markets and opportunities for animation producers or will that art have to sell its soul to survive and change beyond recognition? The panel will look at where they think animation will be in 5 yrs time and the path it will need to take to get there in one piece without selling its integrity.
Chair: Gwyn Williams, Chief Executive, Barcud Derwen
Panellists: Robin Lyons, MD, Calon, Paula Lacerda, Flaunt Productions,
Gerard O'Rourke, Monster Animation
• 16:15 - 17:30pm Commercial Television Within the Celtic Nations & Regions
Commercial television has played a key role in providing locally produced content from and for the Celtic Nations and Regions but is that about to end? Given the Ofcom proposals in the UK can UTV and STV remain independent? What is the Irish perspective? Will ITV be making news for Wales and Cornwall in a few years time? Will ITV itself survive as a public service broadcaster?
Chair: Huw Jones
Panellists: Elizabeth Partyka, Managing Director, SMG Productions, Elis Owen, National Director, ITV Wales David McRedmond, CEO; TV3 Prof Tom O'Malley, Theatre Film & Television Studies; Aberystwyth University
• 20:00 - 21:30pm The Story of Doctor Who (TICKETS FOR THE PUBLIC AVAILABLE)
As part of this year's Celtic Media Festival, BBC Cymru Wales will be bringing the story behind the universe's most popular Time Lord to audiences in Caernarfon.

The Story of Doctor Who will see a panel of distinguished television talent - including Head Writer and Executive Producer Russell T Davies, Executive Producer Julie Gardner, Production Designer Edward Thomas and Brand Manager Ian Grutchfield - answer questions about how they take the show from script to screen, possibly revealing a few trade secrets along the way.
Tickets from Galeri Box office 01286 685 222
THURSDAY, 26 March

• 9:30 - 10:45am Click Here
DK from MediaSnackers will be exploring the evolution in media platforms and technologies using young people as a barometer of change in a fast-paced and illustrative presentation. The session will then focus on different communication methods, the connective power of social media plus illustrative case studies of many online platforms and tools you can use today / tomorrow / in the future.
Chair: Meirion Davies, Commissioning Editor - Entertainment, S4C
Speakers: DK, Mediasnackers Luned Whelan, Editor of Web Publications, S4C
• 9:30 - 10:45am Are You Getting Enough?
What is the impact of the new distribution policies of the PRS and other collecting societies, on the works of composers in the Celtic countries?
Chair: Sian Pari Huws
Panellists: Richard Abbott, Acting Chair , NIMRS Northern Ireland Music Rights Society, Dafydd Roberts, Chair, Welsh Music Publishers and Composers Alliance
Eleanor Lehtela, Managing Director, Keltia Musique Britanny, Robin Morton, MD Temple Records, Temply US Records & Kinmore Publishing, Joanne Prowse, Managing Director Membership & Operations, PRS for Music
• 11:15 - 12:30pm Big Screen, Small Screen - Broadcasters and the Celtic Film Industry
Broadcasters have always part financed film production through organisations such as Film 4 and BBC Films. This session will look at the politics, strategy and funding policy of the Celtic based broadcasters for indigenous film production addressing issues such as:
- How do the Celtic broadcasters engage with their indigenous film focused talent?
- What is their future policy in regard to digital/multi-platform opportunities?
- What is the indigenous broadcasters’ take on film funding?
- How do they see their role?
- What do they get out of it?
- What kind of relationships do the National broadcasters, e.g. BBC Films, have with the Celtic nations?
- Learning from the past, a vision for the future

Chair: Jonathan Olsberg
Panellists: Peter Edwards, Head of Drama, ITV Wales, Kevin Jackson, Assistant Head of Drama, BBC Northern Ireland, Ed Guiney, Producer, Element Pictures, Chris Young, Producer, Young Films

• 12:45 - 13:30pm Awards presented for: Feature Length Drama, Short Drama, Factual Entertainment, The Kieran Hegarty Award for Interactivity, Titles, Stings, Idents & Promos, Drama Series

• 14:30 - 15:45pm Independent Survival Strategy
Starting with a 30 minute presentation, this session will explore the financial histories of indies who have floated on the stock exchange since the advent of the new Terms of Trade. It will also look at the interest in the sector by various institutional investors/private equity in the context of the current financial crisis.
Chair: Adam Shaw, Presenter, Working Lunch (BBC)
Contributors: Alan Ogston, Oliver and Ohlbaum
Iolo Jones, Chair of Teledu Telesgop & CEO of TV Everywhere
Philip Kampff, Vision Independent Productions
• 16.15-17.15 An Audience with Jon Ronson
Jon Ronson was born in Cardiff. He is a writer and documentary film maker. His books, Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare At Goats were international bestsellers. The Men Who Stare At Goats is currently being filmed as a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.
He's written the popular "Human Zoo" and "Out of the Ordinary" columns for The Guardian, where he still contributes features. He currently writes and presents the twice Sony nominated BBC Radio 4 series, Jon Ronson On....
For Channel 4, Jon has made a number of films including the acclaimed five part series the Secret Rulers of the World and the multi award-winning Tottenham Ayatollah. His most recent documentaries are Reverend Death (Channel 4), Citizen Kubrick (More4) and Robbie Williams and Jon Ronson Journey to the Other Side (Radio 4). In the US, he is a contributor to Public Radio International's This American Life.
FRIDAY, 27 March
• 9:30 - 10:45am Building a Digital Future
"Digital Britain" - Lord Carter's initial report on the future of communications and broadcasting in the UK places great emphasis on broadband rollout for all, but says little about how content creation in the nations and regions can be enhanced/supported. The Scottish and Welsh Governments enthuse about the value of their audio-visual industries, but in this non-devolved policy area, what support can they offer? What are the prospects for Irish broadcasters in an economic depression?
Chair: Steve Hewlett, Broadcaster / Writer
Panellists: Cathal Goan, Director General, RTÉ, Alun Ffred Jones AM, Minister for Heritage, Peter Johnston, Controller, BBC Northern Ireland, Iona Jones, Chief Executive, S4C
• 9:30 - 10:45am How Green Is Your Production?
As Dr Einir Young presents the findings of an audit of one production company, we discuss the wider enivironmental impact of programme making. How can we make our programmes greener? Can eco-themed programmes really change audiences attitudes? And if we want to affect climate change, can we really "afford" to make TV at all? These are some of the questions under discussion in what will doubtless be a lively and impassioned debate for panellists and audience alike.
Chair: Ian Rowlands, Producer/Director/Playwright
Contributors: Dr Einir Young, Head of Sustainable Development , Welsh Institute of Natural Sciences,
James Strawbridge, Presenter, IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN Mary Bates, Producer, TE'ACH GLAS, Macdara Films, Ifor ap Glyn, Producer/Presenter POPETH YN WYRDD, Cwmni Da
• 11:15 - 12:30pm Game On
As the video games industry continues to grow we explore why Scotland houses 18% of the UK sector while in Wales it remains very small. How did Dundee develop into a significant creative hub and how can this be replicated across the Celtic nations? We learn how a game develops from concept to console and with technology constantly evolving ask what does the future hold for developers, publishers and the gamers themselves.
Chair: Dr. Eben Muse, Lecturer, Interactive Media, Bangor University
Contributors: Colin Macdonald, Studio Manager, Realtime Worlds
Clark Evans, Jester Interactive, Publisher
• 12:45 - 13:30pm Awards presented for: Radio Documentary, Current Affairs, Radio Presenter/Personality, Childrens, Young People

• 14:30 - 15:45pm What Not To Swear
One person's tasteful and hilarious is another person's offensive and off limits. What gets past the censors in Ireland which might not in the UK and vice versa? Post-Ross/Brand have we all become too politically correct? A session looking at pushing the boundaries, the 'rules' and the bits from cutting room floor - you can make your own mind up.
Chair: Sioned Wiliam, Boomerang
Kath Worrall, Broadcasting Consultant and Regulator; Ofcom Content Board ember & Chair, Ofcom's Fairness Committee
Elisabeth Mahoney, Radio Critic, The Guardian
Peter Feeney, Head of Public Affairs, RTÉ

• 16:15 - 17:30 A Welshman, Irishman and Scotsman walk into a newsroom...
What can the Celtic nations learn from each another about topical humour?

For a significant minority of its audience, HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU is their principle source of news and current affairs. Surprising? Maybe... but telly news is dull, so we turn to comedy to have current affairs knowledge delivered in an entertaining manner.

Humour can be a very powerful tool in establishing cultural identity. In Scotland, Wales and N Ireland - 3 devolved, or devolving, nations / regions - the importance of national identity and interest in events that affect citizens everyday lives has never been greater ... and yet their presentation has never been more conservative.

The session will explore the ways in which topical comedy is handled in the various Celtic nations (radio, on the whole, is more adventurous than TV...) - what we can learn from each other and how we can get people to take an interest in the world on their doorsteps and the decisions that are being taken which directly affect them.

Contributors: Myfanwy Alexander, Writer Sian Harries, Writer, Alan Tyler, Head of Entertainment, BBC Scotland, Neil Delamare, Presenter / Comedian

• 19:15 - 0:00 The 30th Gala Dinner & Final Awards

The final awards will be presented:
Radio Station of the Year
Jury Award
Spirit of the Festival

Full programme info can be found at

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