Press Release


30 June 2017

Directors UK are pleased to announce British directors, Simon West and Roger Graef OBE will be headlining this year’s Directors’ Festival, on Saturday 1 July at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre.
The Directors’ Festival is our annual celebration of the craft of directing, making this the only event by directors, for directors, about directing film and TV, and beyond.
Now in its fourth year, the festival will be highlighting the process from pitching to post-production, with a host of established industry influencers and new talent participating in a range of panels, talks, and sessions, including legendary documentary director and producer Roger Graef (Monty Python: The Meaning of Live, The Secret Policeman's Ball & Pleasure at Her Majesty's) who will be sharing insight into his work and life as a factual director, and feature film director, Simon West (Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider & The Expendables 2) who will take us through his incredible career.
Over the course of a day, Directors UK members will be able to attend additional sessions packed with tips and knowledge to help develop their craft, including; The perks and pitfalls of Mobile Filming with Dougal Shaw (World Hacks); How embedded directors live and work in some of the world’s harshest and most hostile environments with Zoe Hines (The Island with Bear Grylls), Jane Handa (Eden), Ross Blair (The Island with Bear Grylls), and Toral Dixit (Dispatches); Learning how to successfully plan and address any issues in pre-production for a low-budget film, with Aisling Walsh (Wallander), Suri Krishnamma (Waking the Dead) Florian Hoffmeister (The Deep Blue Sea) Kharmel Cochrane (Game of Thrones) and Jen Handorf (Prevenge); Tips and advice on how to gain political access for documentaries with Paul Mitchell (Inside Obama’s White House), and Norma Percy (Inside Obama’s White House); and How to successfully work with – and direct – actors with Hugh Quarshie (Holby City), Felicity Dean (Midsomer Murders), Ellora Torchia (Spooks), and Burt Caesar (Remembrance).
An exclusive session with Samantha Harrie (Doctors), Syd Macartney (Call The Midwife), and Bill Anderson (Mr Selfridge), in partnership with Creative Skillset, will delve into the benefits and individual experiences of those involved in the Directors UK High End TV Drama Directors Career Development Programme funded by Creative Skillset HETV Council.
This year we are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of Directors UK - formally known as Directors and Producers Rights Society (DPRS) – and looking at the changes that have taken place in the industry over the last quarter century. To commemorate our milestone anniversary, Directors UK will also be hosting a session on “What was directing like in 1992?” with Geoff Posner (Olympics Opening Ceremony), Moira Armstrong (Abide With Me), Tom Roberts (Staying Lost), and Piers Haggard (The Blood On Satan’s Claw), looking back at what the film and TV landscape was like in 1992. The panel will talk about how Film and TV was developed, shot, edited and delivered across TV drama and Factual, Film and live multicamera. 
Directors UK CEO Andrew Chowns commented: “The Directors’ Festival is the only event to celebrate directors, and the work that they do. This is our fourth year hosting the Festival and we are pleased to be able to champion the role and work of directors. It is a great opportunity for our members - directors of every genre, media and platform - to come together, network and build connections with other directors in the industry, learn new skills, and great tips and advice in their fields from a range of established industry influencers and new talent. At Directors UK we will continue to work hard to ensure directors have a voice to protect and celebrate the craft.”
Abigail Berry, Member Services and Events Manager at Directors UK said: “Every year we work to make the Directors’ Festival bigger and better for our members, and this year to celebrate our 25th anniversary and the work directors have accomplished, we have some of the UK’s most established and influential directors who have made an impact in the television and film industry, not just in the UK, but across the world. Directors are incredibly important to the creative work we see every day - that inform and shape our lives - and they can often be overlooked for their contributions. This festival was created to celebrate directors and their work, as well as a focus on the craft from the best in the industry.”
Directors UK is also pleased to welcome back ARRI as sponsors of the Festival Lunch and Dinner, and introduce Kodak, ProAV and Creative Skillset as session sponsors at this year’s event. 
The Festival is for Directors UK members only. To find out more about becoming a member of Directors UK please visit or contact us directly at [email protected].   
To find out more about the sessions at the festival, please visit

    Notes to Editors: 
    •       DIRECTORS UK is the professional association of UK screen directors. It is a membership organisation representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 6,500 members - the majority of working TV and film directors in the UK.  Directors UK collects and distributes royalty payments and provides a range of services to members including campaigning, commercial negotiations, legal advice, events, training and career development.  Directors UK works closely with fellow organisations around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns, promotes excellence in the craft of direction and champions change to the current landscape to create an equal opportunity industry for all.
    •       Find out more about the Directors’ Festival at
    •       Highlights from the 2016 Directors’ Festival is available at The YouTube Highlights from the 2016 Directors’ Festival is available at .
    •       To become a member of Directors UK for access to more benefits and discounts, please visit or contact us directly at [email protected]  
    •       Further information can be found at    
    •       Directors UK Social Media handle: @Directors_UK         
Download the press release (PDF)

Tolu Akisanya

Communications and Campaigns Officer

[email protected]

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