First interactive TV producers' forum next month

LONDON: This is an event that will bring interactive broadcast professionals under one roof. The American Film Institute (AFI), BBC and BAFTA will organise the first of its kind forum INTERACTION '03: A Transatlantic Producers' Forum

The forum will be held at the BAFTA headquarters in London on 1 April, one week after the MIP-TV and MILIA trade shows are held in Cannes.

INTERACTION ’03 will encourage interactive television producers from both sides of the Atlantic to exchange insights into the achievements and challenges of creating in this relatively new medium. Producers from public service and commercial television in the UK and North America have been invited to lead discussions focused on particular programme types and methods.

An official release says that AFI, BBC and BAFTA will work to bridge the gap that still exists in the worldwide television marketplace. AFI associate director and founder of AFI’s Enhanced Television Workshop Nick DeMartino has been quoted as saying: "AFI has featured pioneering producers from across the world in its annual overview of the interactive television field in Los Angeles for many years. We want to heighten the learning curve, and encourage the leaders in America to recognise that interactive TV is not a distant future medium, but a lively contemporary production experience in millions of UK homes and hundreds of editing suites in Great Britain."

Interestingly, a Deloitte & Touche Survey conducted last month states that contrary to the hype during the boom of the 1990s, the mood for the importance of interactive programming has cooled.

Approximately 57 per cent of the 1000 respondents in the US consisting of content providers (32 per cent), software providers (six per cent), telecommunications operators (three per cent), network technicians (two per cent), MSOs felt that interactive programming and content on television would not be very important over the next three years.

BBC Training and Development and founding member of BAFTA’s Interactive Entertainment Committee Frank Boyd said, "Interactive TV is transforming the way BBC and other UK production organisations are dealing with all types of programming. As our country makes this historic transition, we can only benefit by seeing examples from our American cousins."

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