In conversation with the team behind A Pandemic Poem: Where Did the World Go?

Where did the world go event.png

TUESDAY 15 JUNE | 18.00 - 19.00 BST

In March 2020, director Brian Hill got in touch with the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and suggested they make a film together about the pandemic that was unfolding across the world. The two have worked together on numerous occasions, producing films such as BAFTA winning Feltham Sings, Songbirds, Drinking For England and The Not Dead. They’d tackled subjects as diverse as prison, mental health, addiction and trauma. Now there was an opportunity to make a film about the biggest event of all our lives.


The film was commissioned by the BBC and features a long form poem as the narrative spine. Around the poetry, a number of people  offer testimony about their own experiences during the pandemic: the man who lost his business, the woman who lost her mother, the pub landlord who fed thousands, the lockdown mum who vividly brings to life the experience of looking after toddlers all day every day. All of these people tell us about lives lived during the most challenging time in recent history.
As well as poetry and personal testimony the film uses dance, music and archive to try and make sense of this time.


In this talk, we’ll hear from Director Brian Hill, the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, comedy writer/performer and creator of YouTube series Lockdown Mum Victoria Stedeford in conversation with the film’s Executive Producer and WFTV’s CEO Katie Bailiff.


Members can watch A Pandemic Poem: Where Did the World Go? on Thursday 17 June at 9pm on BBC Two.


Simon Armitage is the current national Poet Laureate (2019-2029). Simon is a Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and was elected to serve as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford for 2015-2019. Armitage has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the 2017 PEN America Award for Poetry in Translation and was awarded the 2018 Queens Gold Medal for Poetry. In 1999 Armitage was named the Millennium Poet. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Armitage was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010 and presented with the Hay Medal for Poetry at the 25th Hay Festival in 2012.


Brian Hill is a multi BAFTA winning director of documentary and drama. He’s known for crossing barriers and merging genres and at the beginning of his career directed the first ever docu-soap (Sylvania Waters). He then went on to pioneer the documentary musical in films such as Drinking For England and Feltham Sings. Most recently he made the first feature documentary commissioned by You Tube Originals: Terms And Conditions - A UK drill story. At the start of the pandemic Hill was an executive producer and director on the BBC lockdown drama series; Unprecedented.


Victoria Stedeford is a comedy writer/performer. Victoria has performed in many sketch shows on the fringe, including Newsrevue, The Treason Show and her own comedy sketch show Stedeford & Kershaw. In 2008 she wrote and filmed her own Mockumentary called Autograph Hunters. In 2016, she took a break from the industry to have children. She has a 3 year old called Betty and a 5 year old called Matilda. During the last year she filmed a series of funny videos documenting the many highs and lows (mainly lows) of trying to entertain 2 small children throughout lockdown, called Lockdown Mum. Victoria is a contributor in the documentary.


Katie Bailiff is the CEO of Women in Film & TV (UK). Katie was previously creative director and partner at Century Films. As an award-winning producer Katie’s credits include Feltham Sings, The Secret History of Our Streets, Camila’s Kids Company: The Inside Story, Abused by My Girlfriend and Terms and Conditions: A UK Drill Story.


Event Schedule:
17:55: Please join the webinar
18:00-18:45: Webinar begins, conversation led by Katie
18:45-19:00: Audience Q&A opens


How will the online event work?
This event will be live streamed via Zoom.us. Viewing details below.
Attending participants will not be visible to others and will be muted throughout the session. After the talk, there will be an opportunity for audience members to ask their questions to the panel by using the Q&A feature.


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