Creative Keynote: Beeban Kidron

Wednesday 4th July 2018, 6:30pm - 7:30pm BST

Crucible Main Stage

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In her 35 years as a screen director, Beeban Kidron has successfully navigated between pop culture hits like ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’, piercing documentaries like ‘InRealLife’, and taboo-breaking stories, such as BAFTA-winning TV drama ‘Oranges are Not the Only Fruit’. She is passionate about the role stories can play in the development of young people’s identities and their sense of what it is to be human.

In her own words, Beeban says: ‘I left school when I was 16. I did not understand school and it did not understand me. But I did grow up in a world of books and a world of stories…’ Starting out as a photographer, including two years working for Eve Arnold, she trained at the National Film School – first to be a camera woman, then switching to directing. At a time when male-dominance across the industry went largely unchallenged, she carved out a career heading up major projects in TV and film, working in the UK and Hollywood. She admits: ‘For the first ten years of my professional life, in a crew of more than one hundred, you could count the number of women on one hand – and that included me’.

Alongside building a body of creative work of dizzying breadth, Beeban has also played a major role in helping to enrich the cultural experiences of children across the UK and ensure their safety in the digital world. She is the co-founder of educational charity IntoFilm, enabling schools nationwide to run curated film clubs for 5-18 year-olds, and encouraging post-movie discussions – Into Film now has more than 10,000 clubs in UK schools. Beeban also founded 5Rights, a campaign to deliver the established rights of children in all interactions with the digital world. In 2012 she was appointed to the House of Lords, where she sits as a Crossbench Peer, and is a member of the House of Lords Communications Committee.

Baroness Kidron is a Commissioner on the UN Broadband Committee for Sustainable Development where she Chair’s a program for global digital literacy, and she is a fierce campaigner for children’s rights in the digital environment.

In her compelling TED Talk ‘The Shared Wonder of Film’, Beeban spoke of the power of movies where story, not sensation, is king; how when children are given films with stories that inspire and challenge them, rather than seeing the films as artefacts, they begin to see themselves. This is sure to be an inspirational and memorable CMC keynote.


This session begins with a presentation by changemaker Jay Hulme