Soho Media Club, the network that brings together film, TV and media communities, has announced that Sir Lenny Henry will headline its annual festival. The Soho, London event will run on 13 July, more information and tickets are here: BE YOU Festival
BE YOU Festival, which accelerates and celebrates positive change in media culture, will feature the actor, comedian, singer, television presenter and writer in a Fireside Chat as part of its agenda which aims to deliver authentic stories and representation, wellbeing and belonging, and inspire new talent.
Praising the festival, Sir Lenny Henry said, “I want the next wave of talent to feel inspired and empowered about building a career in film and TV and feel confident that their voices will be heard. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and stories, but I also am keen to hear from the younger talent and have an honest conversation on how we can create a safe and equal industry - that’s why I am excited to be part of Soho Media Club’s BE YOU Festival this year.”
Soho Media Club is built on bringing diversity and inclusivity to the community, organising monthly meetups, and creates video content, articles and podcasts to share stories, exchange ideas and collaborate.
Other speakers include Dubbing Mixer, ADR Recordist and Sound Editor Emma Butt, Commissioning Editor at ITV Satmohan Panesar, and Lead Commissioning Editor at BBC Storyville Emma Hindley.
Soho Media Club’s Resident MC, Muki Kulhan will lead a dynamic discussion between Sir Lenny Henry and an industry rising star to challenge the status quo, compare and contrast generational experiences and explore what we can all do to improve culture and drive positive change.
Co-founder of Soho Media Club, Tomasz Witkowski said: “We are excited that Sir Lenny Henry, who has long been an advocate for equal rights and representation, will be opening the BE YOU Festival to talk about paving the way for positive change and increasing diversity on and off screen. The conversation is going to be fresh and fun, so be prepared for a few surprises.”
This year’s BE YOU Festival tackles a whole slate of topics which address media culture, including why authentic storytelling and representation matter, how young filmmakers can get their foot in the door, curating a culture of belonging for young intersectional identities and advice on how to call out toxic behavior.
New to the programme this year, is also an exclusive “Ask Me Anything” session, where anyone, including new and rising talent, have the opportunity to hear industry experts share their personal career stories and ask the panel for invaluable advice.
Co-founder of Soho Media Club, Jaisica Lapsiwala said: “This is Soho Media Club’s second edition of the BE YOU Festival and it’s back with a bang! Along with covering topical themes and bringing inspiring speakers to the stage for panels, interviews, workshops and a Festival Party, we are building an active community of talented changemakers to move the dial and change the narrative of the media industry.”
BE YOU is designed to spark honest conversations about the whole slate of film, TV and multimedia cultures, including the visible and hidden challenges of diversity, inclusion, belonging wellbeing, having your voice heard and inspiring and nurturing this and future generations of talent. A dynamic mix of over 200 industry heavyweights and fresh newcomers come together in Soho to passionately discuss the challenges of media culture and celebrate successes.