For the 13th time in the history of Inside Pictures 20 participants embarked last week on their nine month journey, receiving exclusive access to high-powered film and TV industry executives. Since its inception the programme developed from a premium professional development programme for the UK film industry to a truly international initiative, inviting film professionals from all over the world and a wide range of sectors to learn together and develop their professional skillset in four intensive workshops in London and Los Angeles. This year’s group includes professionals from 10 different countries.
The intensive 1-week workshop at Lee & Thompson was accompanied by many opportunities to get to know each other and network with alumni, speakers, sponsors, funders, partners and many members of the UK and international film community.
Jill Tandy and Michael Kuhn welcomed these year’s participants at the annual welcome dinner at the Union Club in Soho. Jill introduced Michael Kuhn, who currently runs Qwerty Films, however as CEO of Polygram Filmed Entertainment, initiated the idea of a high level training programme supporting the professional development of producers and film executives across the industry. Michael went on to share anecdotes from his rich and vast experience as a film professional having witnessed several reincarnations of our industry since he joined Polygram in 1975.
The Networking Drinks a few days later were attended by over 100 UK and European film professionals, providing ample opportunity for networking with former participants and high level film and TV executives. Nik Powell, director of the NFTS, introduced Andrew Cripps, President, International at IMAX, who welcomed the 2016 Inside Pictures cohort and greeted the assembled industry. Andrew is this year’s Inside Pictures Ambassador and as a fervent supporter of the course is not only lending his expertise as a speaker, but also represents the programme externally until graduation in January 2017.
Under the directorship of Mia Bays, the weeklong workshop provided insights into film finance, international and domestic sales and distribution, acquisitions, co-production, the TV landscape, digital aggregation & distribution and exhibition. The speakers, many of whom are alumni of the programme, shared their experience and expertise throughout the module sessions. These included: Agneta Perman, Andrew Cripps, Andrew Orr, Billy Hinshelwood, Bobby Allen, Christos Michaels, Claire Beswick, Conor Barry, Eve Gabereau, Fabien Westerhoff, Hugh Spearing, James Shirras, Joe Oppenheimer, Jordan McGarry, Joris van Wijk, Karen Finnegan, Lilla Hurst, Malte Grunert, Mark Woolley, Matt Baker, Michael Lee, Peter Dutton, Rebecca O’Brien, Reinier Selen, Reno Antoniades, Robert Walak, Steve Jamison, Sune Lind Thomsen and Tim Bevan.
The next module will take place in Los Angeles in September before the programme returns to London in November and, finally, concludes in January with final presentations of the 10 projects participants will be working on during the duration of their training. This project work will be supported by mentoring sessions provided by the alumni network of over 200 industry professionals. The aim of the mentoring scheme is to support participants throughout the second half of the course, but also to provide business development advice beyond the duration of the programme.