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Amazon, BBC, DR join C21 Summit

New BBC head of drama Polly Hill, the head of drama at Danish broadcaster DR and Amazon’s director of content strategy for Europe will be among the speakers at C21’s International Drama Summit in December.


Polly Hill

Hill, who took over from Ben Stephenson in May after a decade with the UK pubcaster, is among a stellar cast of execs taking part in the event at the British Film Institute in London on December 1, 2 and 3.

Head of BBC independent drama since 2011, Hill has been responsible for commissioning series including The Missing, The Honourable Woman, Death in Paradise and Wolf Hall, as well as the recent adaptation of Poldark.

On the back of such successful shows – both at home and abroad – her tenure atop the BBC’s world-renowned drama department comes as the corporation enters negotiations with the government to secure its future funding.

Piv Bernth

Piv Bernth

The BBC has played a pivotal role in championing foreign-language dramas such as The Killing among English-speaking audiences and Piv Bernth, who produced the hit series before being promoted to head of drama Danish pubcaster DR, also joins the C21 International Drama Summit line-up.

Bernth, one of the founding figures of Nordic noir, counts Borgen and The Bridge – formatted and adapted in the US, the UK and France – among her credits along with Legacy and recent financial crisis thriller Follow The Money

Amazon is among those at the forefront shaking up the economics of traditional television, earlier this year winning two Golden Globes for transgender comedy-drama Transparent – the first time an online property has garnered the best series award.


Chris Bird

In the UK, Amazon stepped in to revive Victorian-era crime thriller Ripper Street when the BBC decided it could no longer finance the show alone and Amazon Instant Video EU director of content strategy Chris Bird is also among the C21 International Drama Summit speakers, offering his insights into the retail giant’s latest projects.

The three-day event is the most significant drama gathering of the year, attracting up to 1,000 delegates from the creative and commercial side of the business. Many more speakers will be announced during the coming weeks.

Polly Hill is controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, appointed in May 2015. Prior to that she was head of independent drama from 2011, and was responsible for an eclectic slate and a range of Bafta-nominated dramas, including The Missing, The Honourable Woman, The Shadow Line, Accused, Ripper Street, The Village, Death In Paradise, Poldark and Wolf Hall. In the first of many drama chief one-on-ones, Polly will discuss her future commissioning strategy and showcase the latest BBC drama.

Piv Bernth is head of drama at prolific Danish broadcaster DR. Piv has produced the iEmmy-winning series Nikolaj & Julie and the internationally acclaimed The Killing (1-3). She is executive producer on The Bridge, produced by Nimbus Film for DR. In October 2012 she was appointed head of drama at DR Fiction, whose latest productions counts, among others, Borgen (1-3), The Legacy and Follow the Money. In a significant masterclass, Piv will take us inside DR drama to try to crack the code of this wonderful slate of work.

Chris Bird is director content strategy, at Amazon Instant Video EU, and represents a significant move into new platforms at Drama Summit this year. As a media distribution executive specialising in content acquisition and marketing, Chris has worked across a number of key UK distribution sectors over the past 15 years. From start-up organisations such as Momentum Pictures and LoveFilm to international studios such as NBCUniversal and Sony, he has worked through the emergence of the online distribution age. He has delivered retail growth to TVoD/EST and customer subscription growth to subscriptions platforms such as LoveFilm and Amazon, through curation, management and commissioning of content. As a content commissioner, Chris has been responsible for bringing a series of successful, exclusive first-run TV shows to Amazon Prime, such as Outlander, Vikings, Extant and Black Sails, as well as securing AMC’s drama output for Amazon. Chris also led the commissioning of the BBC1 hit Ripper Street (S3) for Amazon Prime in 2014.

International Drama Screenings to inspire creativity

Drama Screenings








The International Drama Summit also now features a full day of Drama Screenings on December 1, showcasing the best work from around the world. This is supported by the C21 International Drama Screenings Playlists, which provide a comprehensive picture of new and upcoming drama in one online marketplace.

The summit includes keynote interviews; commissioner briefings; producer masterclasses; buyer and channel showcases; genre workshops; craft sessions; territory overviews; development insight; showrunner one-on-ones; coproduction and finance workshops; director interviews; new drama screenings; networking parties; the C21 International Drama Awards; and so much more. If you are serious about drama you need to be at this event.

Contact us for speaker and sponsorship information by clicking here.

This event sold out last year. Make sure you get your ticket with earlybird rates by clicking here.

For more information or to book by phone call Nick, Richard or Hayley on +44 (0) 20 7729 7460


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