Jun 15 , 2020

BFI Young Audiences Content Fund Team: live action projects

  • When: 15th Jun 2020, 15:00-16:15
  • Organised by: ScreenSkills
  • Location: Online
  • Price: Free
  • Age: 18+
Sorbier Productions, Rùn BBA ALBA

Hear from the Young Audiences Content Fund Team on live action projects.

The Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) team will give an update on the fund after its first year in existence, referencing particular project awards, how the fund has evolved, what we’ve learnt, how it is still business as usual in lockdown, give advice and guidance to potential applicants with a particular emphasis on development, do’s and don’ts from a creative, budget, schedule & business affairs point of view, followed by a Q&A.

A £57m three year pilot, the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) was launched by the BFI in 2019 to support the creation of distinctive, high-quality content for audiences up to the age of 18. It has both production and development funding available for new programming – across all genres, techniques and formats – to air on free-to-access Ofcom regulated television and online platforms. Financed by the UK Government, the Fund is seeking content that entertains, informs and reflects the experiences of children and young people growing up in the UK today.

This session will focus on live-action projects/applications while the session on 16th June will focus on animation projects/applications


John Knowles is the Executive for Production of the Young Audiences Content Fund, responsible for assessing applications to the production fund and overseeing the productions of awarded programmes. He is also a BAFTA-nominated producer, development producer, director and voice actor who has worked for broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Nickelodeon, Disney and NBCUniversal. He has also worked for production companies such as Laughing Gravy Media, Brown Bag Films, Factory Transmedia and Impossible Pictures. He has also directed commercials for companies such as The Co-op Bank as well as various other digital content for a variety of agencies.

Harriet Williams is the Executive for Development of the Young Audiences Content Fund, responsible for assessing applications to the development fund and overseeing the development of awarded programmes. Harriet started working in children’s television in 2012 at Disney EMEA, originally as part of the Standards & Practices team. Building on her degree in Scriptwriting for Film & Television, Harriet moved into original programming to work on the development of scripted live action series for Disney Channels and Disney+.

Hesham Sabry handles all legal and business affairs matters relating to the Young Audiences Content Fund. Prior to joining the BFI, he spent six years at the BBC as an in-house lawyer in the BBC Children’s commercial, rights and business affairs team working across its full range of output. Hesham headed the teams handling acquisition and independent commissioned titles and also provided legal support to high profile in-house titles including Blue Peter and Something Special. Before working at the BBC, Hesham spent over thirteen years as a solicitor in private practice, including running his own law firm, Sabry Doyle.

Gill Biddle graduated in 2008 with a BA(Hons) degree in Animation and Design from the University of Sunderland during which she discovered her penchant for all things organisational and logistical related to content making. Gill has since gone on to work across various independent productions in a project and production management capacity including titles for the BBC, ITV, the Smithsonian Channel and National Geographic. Since 2012, Gill has gained extensive experience of the Children’s broadcasting landscape and the varying factors that have affected its output over the years.

This event is supported by the ScreenSkills Children’s TV Skills Fund which invests in training for those working in children’s live-action TV thanks to contributions from the industry.

It is part of a ScreenSkills programme designed to support freelancers to upskill and stay connected, helping keep the industry resilient in these difficult times.

This session will take place online via Zoom. Click ‘get ticket’ to reserve your place: you must login or register before you are able to get a ticket for this event. A booking confirmation with a joining link to the session will be sent to you via email.

If you are no longer able to use your ticket, we ask you to please contact support@screenskills.com so that we can release your place. Our sessions are often oversubscribed, so we’d like to give other freelancers the opportunity to fill available spots. Thank you for your consideration.