Focus Conference Zooms in on U.K., China, Technology


Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, will headline Focus, the conference and exhibition event devoted to the production sector. Focus takes place at London’s Business Design Center on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wootton will talk about how Film London, which supports production in the U.K. capital, has contributed to the city’s success as a global production hub. Movies that have shot in London recently include “Allied,” starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, and “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” starring Tom Cruise. Wootton will be interviewed onstage by Variety’s Leo Barraclough.

Focus will feature more than 100 speakers across 35 panel discussions, presentations and workshops, covering film, TV, advertising and interactive content. More than 160 exhibitors from 55 countries will be showcasing their filming incentives and production services.

The event, now in its second year, has an increased focus on the U.K. this edition, and one of the sessions will look at how the country’s film and television tax relief works. Speakers include Samantha Perahia, the BFC’s head of production, tax expert Darren Drake, a director at Saffery Champness, and Anna Mansi, head of certification at the British Film Institute.

Another area of interest is working in Asia, and in particular with Chinese partners. In one session Edwin Tan, president of Wanda Studios, will explain what the studios have to offer, including its 40% production incentive. Another session, entitled “Access China,” invites two producers who have worked with Chinese partners, Daisy Newton Dunn of Lion TV, and Christopher Granier-Deferre of Poisson Rouge Pictures, to discuss their experience.

Other sessions look at new technologies, such as virtual reality and drones, diversity and sustainability.