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Tue, 15 Mar



Toxic: Screening and Conversation on Bullying and Harassment in Film and TV

In partnership with YouTube, Filmmaker Brian Hill has made a short film about the issue of bullying in the film and television industry. He conducted in depth interviews with producers, directors, researchers, assistant producers & commissioning editors who came forward to discuss their experiences.

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Toxic: Screening and Conversation on Bullying and Harassment in Film and TV
Toxic: Screening and Conversation on Bullying and Harassment in Film and TV

Time & Location

15 Mar 2022, 10:00 – 12:00 GMT

London, BFI South Bank, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XT, UK

About the Event

Please note this event has been rescheduled to Tuesday 15 March, 10:00am - 12:00pm.

This is an in-person event at the BFI South Bank and is open to all to attend.

This event is in association with Century Films, BFI, The Film and TV Charity and Directors UK.

The Film and TV Charity's 24/7 Support Line can be accessed here or via phone at 0800 054 0000.

In partnership with YouTube, filmmaker Brian Hill from Century Films has made a short film about bullying in the film and television industry. He conducted in depth interviews with producers, directors, researchers, assistant producers and commissioning editors who came forward to talk about their experiences. 

Of the 50 people who came forward, no one wanted their identity revealed. That’s one of the problems of being bullied, people are scared to come forward because it could damage their career prospects. So the bullies get away with it. The interviews were given to actors, who took part in a two day workshop in which they met the people whose stories they were going to tell. 

Toxic is a film that exposes some of the problems inherent in our industry. In association with Century Films, on Tuesday 15 March at 10:00, we will be hosting a screening of Toxic followed by a panel discussion at BFI’s NFT 3. 

The film shows the problem; we need to discuss the solutions. To support freelancers and staff working in our industry, director Brian Hill and key industry bodies are coming together to share resources and pathways that exist already to support better, safer, fairer working environments for all, in the hope that best practice becomes normal practice. Please come along and contribute to the discussion.

The panel will be chaired by Mia Bays, Director of BFI National Lottery Film Fund, and will provide practical steps and ways forward, especially recommendations on what to do when you are experiencing or witnessing bullying. A full list of speakers is to be confirmed.

Speaker biographies:

Mia Bays celebrates 30 years in film this year. She’s worked on over 150 films as a producer, as an executive or as a sales and distribution strategist, in both documentary and fiction. Across her diverse career, she has produced an Oscar winner, a cult classic, a film that hit no1 on iTunes in North America and is a renowned champion of new/emerging talent (working on the early films of Riz Ahmed, Arinzé Kene, Hong Khaou and Deborah Haywood, Gavin Hood and Lucy Walker). She’s spent the last few years being a cultural activist and equality agitator (through rebooting Birds’ Eye View and establishing Reclaim the Frame, the mission to bring ever greater audiences to films by women). As of October this year she is the Director of the BFI Film Fund. At £30 million a year, it is the largest public fund in the UK for film.

Meriel Beale is a producer in unscripted TV, unusual in that she both develops and makes. Having worked her way up from secretary to Executive Producer, Meriel also has experience in every department from location shooting to live studio and the edit. Experienced at working with household names and nurturing new talent, Meriel wants to make shows with heart and humour. A prominent campaigner for anti bullying and workplace inclusion, Meriel wants to transform the way we work behind the camera.

Rebecca Ferguson is a British singer/songwriter who came to prominence in 2010 when she became the runner-up of the seventh series of The X Factor. Rebecca has co-written four solo albums (Heaven, Freedom, Lady Sing the Blues and Superwoman) and has performed with some of the biggest names in the industry over the past 10 years including Lionel Ritchie, Andrea Bocelli, Burt Bacharach and John Legend. Rebecca is currently in the process of writing and recording her 5th Album with music legend, Nile Rodgers. Asides from her music, Rebecca has interests and projects in other areas and regularly features on TV and Radio – she has been a panellist on ITV’s Loose Women and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2. Her latest project has involved writing a series of children’s books, something she has had a passion for her whole life. In recent times Rebecca has been campaigning hard for an improved environment within the music industry - she has managed to set up a cross-creative industry committee that meets regularly with the government and members of the DCMS. Rebecca is fighting for independent regulation in the music business and is determined to drive change - already she has managed to implement processes that, in time, will see better practise for the creative industries.

Brian Hill is a multi Bafta winning director of documentary and drama, with credits including Feltham Sings, Falling Apart and The Confessions Of Thomas Quick. Like anyone who has worked in the industry for any length of time, Hill was aware of the plague of bullies who make life difficult for so many people. He was provoked into making Toxic after a friend of his was bullied out of a job in the early part of 2020. Toxic is a film makers attempt to go beyond talking about bullying and get something done.

Lucy Tallon is Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing at the Film and TV Charity – the charity which supports all those who work behind the scenes in the UK film, TV and cinema industry. Lucy managed the charity’s Looking Glass research, co-developed its programme of mental health work and leads its work on bullying, which was found to be one of the primary causes of poor mental health in the industry. She also created the charity’s Bullying Support Services, including the Bullying Advice Service. More resources will follow in 2022, including a toolkit for mentally healthy productions, as part of the Let’s Reset campaign. Previously, Lucy worked at Mind, advising content creators from many parts of the media who wanted to tell a story about mental health or explore an issue in depth. She worked on many groundbreaking TV dramas and documentaries. She’s also worked at Comic Relief, the BBC and The Economist.

Event Schedule:

09:45 Arrivals

10:00 Screening with introduction from Katie Bailiff, CEO of WFTV and Brian Hill, Century Films

10:30 Panel discussion and audience Q&A

11:00 - 12:00 Refreshments and further conversation in the Bar & Kitchen, BFI South Bank

12:00 Approx. end time

We will send you an updated Covid-19 policy closer to the event.

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