The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Wish Films – Attending CMC and Supporting CMF

Will Brenton
MD, Wish Films

When most people initially hear of the CMF they picture the CMC – the event every Summer that brings everyone together. They're different - though with similar aims - and both have  become hugely important. Here’s why…

The Children's Media Conference isn’t a fair, a market or a sales conference. Sure, programmes get pitched and discussed, but what was needed was a more neutral space, where the ideas behind what we as media-makers do could be talked about, where the direction our audience was heading in could be examined, where our own creative goals could be shared, research discussed, and channels or trends identified.

Greg Childs and the originating team realised that pitching shows can get in the way. Of course the sales end of what we do is ultimately where business gets done, but in order for everyone to get the best out of that process, an open forum for discussion, shared knowledge and analysis was vital.

I have appeared on panels, produced panels, been discussed in panels and created panels. I have deliberately raised the temperature of on-stage discussions to try and get to the heart of what people need to hear and step away from the usual corporate lines. But most importantly I have been able to watch panels as an audience member, and question those on the stage – this access to all cross-sections of the industry was ground-breaking.

The CMC also crucially gives access to the industry to its future creatives, programmers, writers and technicians. The forum for the passing of the baton is one of its most valued achievements.

And what of the Children's Media Foundation? CMF grew out of the CMC - as a dedicated movement championing our audience’s interests to governments who need pushing, and pushing hard to make change happen. It supports the industry in that advocates for the best possible backup for us to create the best possible content or kids. And it understands the industry because so many of he volunteers who do much of the work for CMF are from the industry. The Uk is fortunate to have a dedicated Foundation that spearheads the interests of our young audience often from the perspective of those who work with them daily and know what is needed, protecting the audience and the industry from knee-jerk reactions to tabloid click bait and making our politicians aware of the genuine concerns facing us.

The CMF and CMC have been a crucial part of my access to knowledge that has made my work possible, and that is why I became a CMF Supporter.

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