Julie Hesmondhalgh and Christopher Eccleston will be among a number of people appearing at this years Pilot Light TV Festival taking place in May at Home in Manchester along with premieres, celebrations of classics, panels and retrospectives as well as its unique brand of communal TV experiences.

Now entering its third year, Pilot Light TV Festival opens with the Season 2 premiere of the critically acclaimed Westworld, in partnership with Sky Atlantic, which will be shown in glorious 4k on the big screen in HOME’s Cinema 2.

Also being celebrated at the festival is Arrow TV’s Gomorrah, the inside story of fierce crime organisation the Camorra, widely regarded as one of the best European foreign language TV shows of all time.

Salford-born Christopher Eccleston  appears at the festival in conversation with the University of Salford School of Arts and Media’s Dr Kirsty Fairclough, discussing his small screen triumphs and experiences across his definitive career.

Michael Cumming: Director’s Commentary sees the ground-breaking director return to Pilot Light with a unique show and tell, discussing some of his favourite work including Brass Eye, Toast of London, The Mark Thomas Project, Snuff Box, and the Mark Steel Lectures.

This year, Pilot Light introduces the In-Memoriam strand, dedicated to celebrating and mourning outstanding series that left us too soon, with those who brought them into this world.

This first edition celebrates Dennis Kelly’s Utopia, a beautiful, brutal and captivating British conspiracy thriller cancelled after only two short series. Following a screening of the first episode, creator Dennis Kelly is joined by the shows cast and crew for an exclusive Q and A.

Walter Presents: Tabula Rasa sees Walter Iuzzolino return to the festival to introduce the next big hit from his Channel 4 foreign language drama on demand brand, and discuss upcoming Walter Presents releases.

#Reality 2.0 is a screening of this award winning 8-part social commentary anthology web series about being young, Black and British. Writer and creator Nathan Bryon (Benidorm), will be joined after the screening by director Theresa Varga and Emma Bullimore (BBC Radio 5 Live) to discuss their show’s themes and production.

I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip is a screening of Contact and 20 Stories High’s warm and honest verbatim drama, about young people’s real experiences of abortion, which was produced for the BBC’s Performance Live strand and first aired on BBC 2 in January to huge critical acclaim. The screening is followed by a Q and A with writer and producer Julia Samuels, Contact’s Roxanne Moores (producer) and director Lindy Heymann.

This year the inaugural Pilot Light Excellence in Television Award goes to Julie Hesmondhalgh, known for her exceptional and trail-blazing roles in Coronation Street, Broadchurch, Inside No.9, Happy Valley and Cucumber.

She will appear at the festival in conversation about her performances and the stories behind her incredible career.

Pilot Light TV Festival once again champions work from the next generation of storytellers from across the globe, screening under-seen projects in order to get them in front of both the TV industry and TV fans. All the shows selected and screened, in six blocks across the festival, are in competition for the festival’s Best TV Pilots and Best Web Series Awards with the winners announced at the festival’s closing event.

Pilot Light is dedicated to celebrating the anniversaries of iconic shows, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of three iconic shows.

Sex and the City: The World according to Woke Charlotte, in collaboration with London’s Reel Good Film Club, examines the impact the show had on women of colour, and the progress in on screen representation made during the last twenty years, through a live script writing of the pilot recast entirely with people of colour.

A celebration of The Royle Family will take place with a special Q and A featuring Sue Johnston (Barbara Royle), Peter Martin (Joe Carroll) and director Steve Bendelack (The League of Gentlemen).

Big Train on a Big Screen is the final 20th anniversary screening, a three-hour Sunday marathon of the show featuring exclusive video introduction from creator Arthur Matthews and actor Kevin Eldon while Blue Peter’s The History of Everything is a celebration of the truly iconic show’s 60th birthday, a run that has seen over 5,000 shows, millions of viewers, and hundreds of thousands of badges awarded.

This screening features some of the most hilarious, charming and nostalgic clips of the last six decades interspersed with chat from some legendary Blue Peter presenters.

For ticket to the festival which runs from the 3rd-6th May, starting at £3,  visit: https://homemcr.org/event/pilot-light-tv-festival-season-3/


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