Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans team deliver creative keynote at the Children’s Media Conference 2019

Ahead of the cinema release of Horrible Histories: Movie – Rotten Romans, key creatives behind one of the most popular franchises in family entertainment take to the stage on 3 July for the creative keynote at this year’s Children’s Media Conference (CMC), which takes place from 2-4 July in Sheffield.

In a very special creative keynote, producer/writers Caroline Norris and Giles Pilbrow, director Dominic Brigstocke and original book-series author Terry Deary will reveal the secrets to creating kids’ comedy that parents love, how they made learning such a laugh, and the challenges they faced taking the funniest franchise in history on its biggest outing to date. Broadcaster and film critic (and self-confessed huge Horrible Histories fan) Rhianna Dhillon will host the panel.

First Horrible Histories conquered children’s books, with global sales topping 32 million. Then it revolutionised children’s TV comedy, with a multiple BAFTA, RTS, and British Comedy Award winning BBC series. This summer it storms the big screen in a major new family feature film, with a cast including newcomers Sebastian Croft and Emilia Jones, alongside celebrated performers Nick Frost (Fighting with my Family, Hot Fuzz), Kim Cattrall (Tell Me a Story, Sex and the City), Kate Nash (GLOW), and Sir Derek Jacobi (Tolkien, Last Tango in Halifax). Horrible Histories: Movie – Rotten Romans will be released in cinemas across the UK and Ireland by Altitude on 26 July.

CMC editorial director Greg Childs says, “As Horrible Histories conquers the world and transforms once again to a big-screen brand, we thought it time for CMC to celebrate that phenomenal success. Past creative keynotes at CMC have explored how a single creative genius finds their inspiration and translates that to the page, stage or screen. This year we’ll consider how the collective genius which is the Horrible Histories brand maintains its mojo and continues to make millions of kids worldwide laugh – and learn.”

The creative keynote will complement this year’s opening keynote on 2 July which will see writer and presenter Nadiya Hussain interviewed by Newsround presenter Leah Boleto.

Hussain’s keynote interview comes as part of this year’s overall theme of Limitless and will explore what kids’ media can do to support the limitless curiosity, imaginations and entertainment appetite of children, while making sense of the near-limitless choice and connectivity available to them. The conference will offer visitors a no-limits exploration of the unprecedented changes facing the industry, including new players and new funding models, new thinking on inclusivity and engagement, and pan-platform brands with limitless ambitions to connect with kids.

Highlights from this year’s conference include: The YACF – A User’s Guide, an insight into the brand new Young Audiences Content Fund pilot (supported by the UK Government and administered by the BFI), which is dedicated to supporting the development and production of public-service programming of all genres and techniques for children and teens up to the age of 18. In this invaluable and unmissable session, fund execs Harriet Williams and John Knowles and head of fund, Jackie Edwards will lay out the intentions and importance of the fund, discuss the story so far and offer sage advice that may be of very practical assistance with applications. Following the session, the YACF team will also host a surgery (part of the CMC speed meetings programme) accompanied by Andy Wright and Christopher Halliday from the certification unit at the BFI, where the team will offer advice and guidance on applications and criteria for the creative industry tax reliefs, including the reliefs for Children’s Television and Animation.

In addition, Harriet, Knowles and Edwards will be attending the International Exchange at CMC, where they will be talking to delegates in more detail about eligibility and suitability for the Fund.

The conference will showcase creative masterclasses on Clangers and Paddington; Stream If You Want to Go Faster, will decode the SVoDs with in-depth research insights; Going Global, looks at internationalising UK children’s learning content, and Are the Robots Coming For Our Children promises to be a lively debate on the advances in AI and the implications for how our children will interface with technology.

The conference, now in its 16th year, expects to welcome more than 1,200 delegates, kicking off with the annual market day, the CMC International Exchange on 2 July which plays host to a wide range of broadcasters, co-producers, funders and investors from across the world keen to meet sellers of content and services.