Diversity conference 2020: action not words – breaking the barriers

Industry professionals shared their personal stories of challenges to building successful careers so others could learn from their experience. All the panellists had faced barriers due to their ethnicity or social disadvantage or attitudes to disabilities. The panel highlighted what changes could make a difference to finding and supporting a diversity of talent.

The session was chaired by Iyare Igiehon (BFI) and featured Bryony Arnold (producer), Harjeet Chhokar (Channel 4), Charanprite Dhami (runner/now assistant script editor) and Jude Spencer (mental health trainer).

You can watch more videos from this conference here.

About the speakers

Iyare Igiehon is inclusion partnerships and events executive at the BFI. He is also the co-founder of the film talent development platform Screening Our Unseen Live (S.O.U.L) and director of the S.O.U.L. Fest film festival which supports diverse talent in film and TV.

Bryony Arnold is a drama producer and development executive at Tiger Aspect who is disabled. Her credits include Peaky Blinders and producing Intergalactic, a new sci-fi series for Sky.

Prior to working in his current role as factual commissioning editor at Channel 4, Harjeet Chhokar worked across a wide range of factual programming and recently series produced Ambulance, Junior Doctors and Pilgrimage. He was formerly on ScreenSkills’ Series Producer Programme.

Graduating from Prague Film School in 2009, Charanprite Dhami became a ScreenSkills trainee on the Trainee Finder programme and has since worked in the production and AD departments for TV and film. Since the conference, she has been appointed assistant script editor at Sky

Having spent a decade working in production, Jude Spencer is a mental health trainer who offers mental health first aid training, resilience training and consultancy within the film and TV industry.

About the event

The UK screen industries need to be more inclusive. People such as women and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented across the sector. People from disadvantaged backgrounds also often struggle to break in.

ScreenSkills organised a half-day conference in Leeds on 11 March about the practical ways in which the industry can improve diversity and inclusion in screen. The conference was supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.