The diversity issue is everywhere of late and I don't think it's unfair to say that there is a 'Diversity Zeitgeist' in the UK. Most people in the TV and film industry are acknowledging that the time has come for our screens to reflect our current society a little more closely.
Many are pointing the finger for the state that we find ourselves in. Over the past 10 years of facilitating access and inclusivity across the industry, I have found that it's about engaging heads of departments and increasing their own 'diverse experience'. It's this two way conversation that moves things forward. Otherwise we risk a simple change in palette, rather than embracing truly diverse stories as part of a long term cultural change.
The term 'diversity' is in itself a little divisive, and the barriers of access differ from individual to individual and region to region. There can never be a 'catch-all' to encompass the range of human experience that we want to see on our screens, but what can be achieved is a more worthwhile and tangible receptivity in the industry by being more varied in its production, casting and commissioning.
A key issue is that many decision makers are from similar backgrounds and are used to finding new talent in a way that echoes their own paths into the industry. It's difficult for them to work out how to access more diverse talent.
I know first-hand that talent from diverse backgrounds exists in its droves with managers, producers, writers, directors, entrepreneurs and 'predators' (the all in one package that can take a project from concept to end-product) creating content successfully at all levels for many years, in exactly the demographics these organisations and broadcasters want to find them in.
Diversity isn't something to be sought, it is all around and the more diverse backgrounds and experiences are embraced, the content and output we see will automatically transform.
On November the 22nd we hold the third annual TriForce Short Film Festival (TFSFF) at BAFTA. Focusing on Short Film, it is our way of addressing the problems that face film makers that may not come through the more 'traditional' routes. It also gives access to that talent who otherwise may not have their work shown at such a prestigious venue with such attention.
We saw a need to address some of the issues that we ourselves experienced, which is why we established TriForce. It is being these 'insider-outsiders' that has given us a unique perspective and ability to act as a bridge between the talent and the gate keepers, by speaking in a language that all parties understand.
The day is aimed at demystifying the process for talent, destroying barriers of access and giving tangible information and outcomes to participants. We will continue to do what we have always done and provide a bridge between worlds for the decision makers, and access to all people, from all walks of life. If you open your doors to everybody, then you don't have to exclude anyone.