Hosted by journalist and broadcaster Mishal Husain, speakers at the OKRE Summit include writer and director Gurinder Chadha, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) Simon Gunning, BBC Commissioning Editor Ruby Kuraishe, MD of Dazed Media Priya Matadeen, former BAFTA Chair and BBC exec and now Creative Director, Factual Porgammes of independent production company Nevision Anne Morrison, CEO of Comic Relief Samir Patel, Channel 4 Head of Creative Diversity Naomi Sesay, BAFTA Special Award-winning children’s writer and producer Jocelyn Stevenson, and Greenpeace UK Deputy Director of Fundraising Chris Till.
OKRE was founded in 2020, emerging out of the lo0ng-running, successful broadcast, film and games unit at Wellcome.
The central aim of the OKRE Summit is to be a catalyst for change, by creating a forum for creative leaders drawn from across film, social media, games, and television to discuss the dynamic themes of social impact within entertainment, hopefully leading to closer collaboration and richer content for audiences.
The event will feature panel discussions, deep dives on genres, insights into expert research, and explorations of creative representations of issues that challenge audiences, from immigration stories to changing the world through continuing drama.
20 years on from the cultural phenomenon Bend it Like Beckham, and following the recent success of her most recent film Blinded By The Light, Gurinder Chadha in conversation with Mishal Husain will explore the themes of identity and British-Asian culture and the impact of her Chadha’s films in widening understanding of different communities.
Panel event From Fraggle Rock to Ru Paul’s Drag Race will explore the social impact of entertainment hits, featuring BAFTA Special Award-winning writer and producer for hits including Sesame Street, Jocelyn Stevenson, BBC Commissioning Editor Ruby Kuraishe, writer of The People Vs Tech: How the internet is killing democracy and presenter of two-part BBC TWO documentary series Secrets of Silicon Valley Jamie Bartlett, founder of Playtra Games Dan Bernardo, whose upcoming release Grid Force, which teaches players to understand different perspectives, was created in partnership with the It Gets Better Project connecting LGBT+ youth around the world, and former Chair of BAFTA and BBC Controller of Documentaries and Contemporary Factual, Anne Morrison, now Creative Director, Factual Programmes at Nevision, the independent production company behind ITV’s BAFTA-winning The Missing Children.
Discussion The Culture of Collaboration will bring together former advertising and music executive turned CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) Simon Gunning, Ambassador for WarChild UK and Director of Sports Interactive, the studio responsible for Football Manager, Miles Jacobson OBE, Group Director UK&I at Meta, Sophie Neary, and Chief Executive of Comic Relief and former digital strategist Samir Patel, to explore successful collaboration, authentic representation of difficult subject matters, and what needs to change to make collaborations work.
Speakers Naomi Sesay, Head of Creative Diversity at Channel 4, and Priya Matadeen, MD of Dazed Media, will take part in panel discussion Empowering Audiences, exploring how commissioners are working to develop new inspirational and innovative content.
Two events will take place discussing mental health. Deborah Coughlin, Founder of Method X Studios, working at the intersection of mental health, science, tech, and media, will discuss the design of entertainment to improve audience mental wellbeing, and Beyond Talking will explore the depiction of mental health in content, featuring Sangeeta Pillai, Founder of South Asian network Soul Sutras, BAFTA-nominated director Stewart Kyasimire, whose films include BBC Scotland’s Black and Scottish, Head of Media at Mind Alex Bushill, and Kate Martin, Head of the Lived Experience team in Wellcome’s Mental Health Programme.
Further diverse sessions will range from a discussion of continuing drama’s pioneering approach to developing storylines tackling big issues, to a presentation from Greenpeace on Connecting with Gen Z through GTA, bringing the real world impact of climate change into gaming, to a discussion of immigrant storylines with Erica Rosenthal, Director of Research at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, which studies the social, political, economic and cultural impact of entertainment on the world.
“Our inaugural Summit is a really important moment for the UK entertainment sector. When I joined OKRE, I wanted to move beyond trying to create change project by project, to building something that would generate progress for the whole sector, by nurturing fresh points of view and stories inspired by lived experience that bring people together in an often divided world.
I believe that audiences are interested in difficult subjects and want to know more about our world. Connections between charities and the entertainment sector haven’t been facilitated in this way before, so it’s a unique and exciting opportunity for our creative leaders to come together in an open forum, learn from each other, and build supportive partnerships for the future.”