London’s Evening Standard newspaper in partnership with Netflix UK hosted a long 3 day weekend of screenings, seminars and panels full of the best UK talent across film.
Starting on Friday 23rd at Londons Picturehouse Central a lovely evening where ES Editor Emily Sheffield hosted and welcomed us to celebrate new up & coming writers of their writers competition to recognise diverse screen talent across the industry.
So many incredible speakers, actors, writers, poets and more gathered all weekend to share their journeys and skills with the gathered audience.
My favourite panels so far are the Sex Education cast, followed by cast and creator of Top Boy …Ashley Walters and Ronan Bennett shared the history of the now global brand and shone a light on their development training programmes with Netflix revealing that directors, producers and editors had come up through the ranks to now being fully fledged talents in their own right and thriving in the screen industry!
Stand out quotes for me were:
Creator Ronan Bennett says when he first took #TopBoy into pitch to the BBC they had a problem with the word “milf”. “I thought if u have a problem with the word Milf then the whole of TopBoy isn’t going to be for you”
Lead character Ashley Walters says he never expected #TopBoy to become the beast that it became over the past 12 years, how he’s taken the younger new actors under his wing and mentoring them as they come up and why he’s proud to be a part of the show.
“Like communities in Ireland where I’m from, or Hackney, when u come from a community that’s demonised/shown to have no moral centre,I wanted to present them in a humane way.I spoke to youth to find out what was important in their lives, hence the trainer’s narrative” Ronan Bennett.
“Netflix have given us the freedom to tell the story at scale. As a storyteller at Netflix u can invest more into the characters narrative. Netflix has given us creative freedom, an amazing platform and the space to tell the story honestly” says TopBoy creator Ronan Bennett.
Other sessions that were brilliant were of course the ever effervescent Ricky Gervais and Stormzy’s MERKY Books talent imprint. A great weekend nod to the incredible talent across the UK screen industries. Great job everyone at Evening Standard and Netflix UK!