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Supported by the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF)
Get help and support from CTBF [here]. Also supported by MindsEye.

Our popular 2-day workshop returns, bringing you the full skinny on industry & insider info, case studies, practical exercises and the connections you need to kick your career into action. This two-day course for emerging comedy filmmakers offers insider advice from TV commissioners, film-makers, development executives, distributors, exhibitors and more. We can’t teach you how to be funny, but we can help you turn professional.

Previous speakers include Alice Lowe (Sightseers), Ben Wheatley (A Field In England, Kill List, Sightseers, Down Terrace), Jane Bussman, (South Park, Brass Eye, Smack The Pony, The Fast Show), Julia Davis (Hunderby, Nighty Night, Human Remains), Kenton Allen (CEO Big Talk Productions), MJ Delaney (Powder Room), Rachel Freck (Casting Director), Rob and Neil Gibbons (Alan Partridge, Alpha Papa), Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, Babylon) and Shane Allen (Controller, Comedy Commissioning BBC).

“A great blast of confidence and invaluable connections…There isn’t anything else remotely like it.” Staten Cousins Rose and Poppy Roe.


DATE: Thursday 4th & Friday 5th May 2017
TIME: 9am – 6pm
VENUE: BFI Blue Room
PRICE: £150 (£125 earlybird or £250 for 2 people)


Think inspiring panel sessions and fun networking. Think directors, writers, producers, commissioners, development execs, agents, funders and more. Think collaborative and exciting contacts, new business skills, insider knowledge and getting those tricky issues tackled. At Kickstart Your Comedy Career you will not to be taught how to write, direct or produce excellent comedy, you will be taught how to get your foot (and maybe your ankle, possibly a knee) in the door as a good comedy writer, director or producer, with a few helpful connections and motivating insights to start you off.

Sessions will cover:

• An overview of the comedy film and TV landscape
• The TV commissioning process
• Funding your comedy film
• Working with a comedy production company
• The script development process inside-out
• How to stay motivated and be in it for the long haul
• Directing your first big break
• Working with agents
• What “Talent Development” is and how can it help you
• Selling, distributing and marketing your comedy film
• Pitching advice
• Career interviews
• Networking drinks
• Plus free entry to the LOCO Discovery Awards and the LOCO masterclass!

Watch this space as we confirm the speakers and schedule for 2017!!


(Individual titles correct at the time of their participation)
Adam Riches, Writer/Performer, THE GUNS OF ADAM RICHES
Bruce Webb, Director/Producer, THE BE ALL AND END ALL
Caroline Raphael, Dora Productions
Cassandra Sigsgaard, Producer, Jeva Films, Nina Forever
Celine Haddad, Senior Production Executive, Creative England
Chanya Button, Director Burn Burn Burn
Charlie Perkins, Development Producer, Blink Industries
Chris Sussmann, Executive Editor, Comedy BBC
Christopher Granier Deferre, Producer, Gone Too Far
Corrie McGuire, Objective Talent Management
Cynthia de Souza, Acquisitions Executive, The Works
David Allain, Producer/Creative, Rankin Film Productions
Deborah Sathe, Head of Talent and Development, Film London
Eddie Mullins, Writer/Director/Producer, DOOMSDAYS
Ed Morrish, Producer BBC Comedy (Radio)
Emma Comley, Producer Blonde to Black Pictures, Set the Thames on Fire
Farah Abushwesha, Producer & PYPO Director of Content (Europe)
Gavin Humphries, Executive Producer, NOWNESS
Hannah Patterson, screenwriter, filmmaker


Heather McIntosh, Acquisitions Executive, Curzon Home Cinema
Ian Coyle, Commissioning Editor, Dave
Jacqueline Wright, Director / Founder Jackal Films
Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, Writers, PEEP SHOW, SMACK THE PONY, THE THICK OF IT, VEEP
Jesse Cleverly, Creative Director, Wildseed Studios
Jessica and Henrietta Ashworth, writers, FRESH MEAT; Fangirl

Jon Drever, Director, SUPERBOB
Jon Rennie,
Producer, BENNY & JOLENE
Katie Mavroleon,
Associate Producer, DEREK, LIFE’S TOO SHORT
Katie McCullough, Founder, Festival Formula
Kenton Allen, CEO, Big Talk Productions
Keri Collins, Director, Convenience
Kevin Dolan, Talent Development Manager, Film London
Lee Dilley, Writer & Exec Producer, Jobseekers
Lindsay Hughes, Head of Talent, Baby Cow Productions
Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy, Sky
Mark Boosey, British Comedy Guide –
Mark Talbot, Development Producer, Hat Trick Productions
Mathilda Gregory, Writer, comedian and journalist
Matt Campion, Creative Director, Spirit Media
Matt Harlock, Producer/Director, THE BILL HICKS STORY
Max McGill, director, Hot Property
MJ Delaney, Director, POWDER ROOM
Morwenna Gordon, Development Executive, Sky Comedy
Mustapha Kseibati, Filmmaker, Mohammed, Painkiller
Oliver Kaempfer, Producer Parkeville Pictures, Senior Microwave Executive, Film London
Paul Lewis, Marketing Consultant, Paul Lewis Consulting
Peter Dunne, International Film Consultant, PLD Communications and Producer, Electric Films
Rachel Freck, Casting Director, NATIVITY!, HIM & HER, HUNDERBY, TWENTY TWELVE
Richard Holmes, Senior Film Executive, Creative England
Rob and Neil Gibbons, Writers, ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA
Ruth Pickett, EMMY nominated writer, actor & director
Samantha Horley, Managing Director, Salt
Sarah Warren, Writer/Director MLE
Saskia Schuster, Commissioning Editor, Comedy, Sky
Selina Robertson, Programming Officer, ICO
Simon Lupton, Senior Commissioning Editor, UKTV
Staten Cousins-Roe, Writer/Director, THIS WAY OUT
Steve Oram, Writer/Director/Actor, SIGHTSEERS, THE WORLDS END
Tilusha Ghelani, Commissioner, BBC Comedy
Tom Harberd, Head of Finance, Bankside Films
Xavier Henry-Rashid, Managing Director, Film Republic

All Kickstart attendees are invited to the LOCO Discovery Awards on Wednesday 3 May. They also get priority free entry to the LOCO Masterclass, followed by Meet the Filmmakers Networking Drinks to mark the end of the course, both on Friday 5 May 2017.


Earlybird deadline (guarantees 20% off full ticket price): Midnight Monday 27 March 2017. Places confirmed by Monday 3 April 2017.

Final deadline: Midnight Monday 10 April 2017. Places confirmed by Thursday 13 April 2017.

The training takes place at BFI Southbank for two full days on 4 – 5 May 2017

Tickets: £125 earlybird / £150 full price*

*payment instructions will be provided to approved applicants – payment must be made in full prior to the course commencing.


Kickstart Your Comedy Career is designed for new or emerging writers, directors and producers who are on their way to establishing a career in comedy film or TV.

You could already be working in film and/or TV but want to move more into comedy, or perhaps you are just starting out in TV and/or film. Either way, this is a fantastic opportunity to meet the people working in comedy, learn about how best to work the industry, how to get your ideas made and seen, and possibly even forge new creative partnerships with other participants on the course.

The course could also prove useful for actors/performers and anyone else interested in learning about comedy film and TV.

Participants must be over 18 years old to apply.

If you have any queries about your application, please get in touch:


LOCO is proud to be supported by the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) and Mindseye which enables us to deliver career development for emerging filmmakers in the UK with Kickstart Your Comedy Career. Their support also enables us to help participants towards the cost of course fees, travel, accommodation and childcare.

A small number of funds are available to participants who would not be able to attend the course without extra financial support. The maximum amount we can award per person is up to £200.

You can apply for help with costs when you fill in the application form for the course. This will be assessed entirely separately, if/after you gain a place on Kickstart Your Comedy Career.

Application deadline for help with costs: Monday 10th April 2017.


100% of previous attendees would recommend LOCO film festival filmmaker training to a friend or colleague!

“I LOVE LOCO! The opportunity to begin the year with such an inspiring motivating gathering of like minded people matched with approachable big players and influential souls is amazing!”  – participant 2014

loco industry event

“In 2012 I had the pleasure of attending The LOCO Training programme during the festival. It was a great experience to sit through 2 days of back to back workshops and seminars. I think the most beneficial thing I took away from it was the networking. There isn’t a lot of support out there for us comedy filmmakers so having the opportunity to meet execs, upcoming talent and established talent was awesome. I have made many good friends through it too. We are the future! And it’s up to us to make it happen and support each other.” – Film-maker Mustapha Kseibati, Screen International Star of Tomorrow, 2012

“As an emerging producer of (mostly) comedy short films, LOCO has been instrumental for me, both as a launchpad for films that were struggling in more traditional festivals but went on to screen and win awards at many more after premiering at LOCO, and as a way of meeting new peers and talent. I have met most of the filmmakers I am working with right now (or hoping to work with in the future) at LOCO Filmmakers Brunches or during the fantastic Kickstart Your Comedy Career course”  – Chiara Ventura, producer Satan Has a Bushy Tail (LOCO 2015)


“We had the fantastic experience of attending LOCO’s Kickstart Your Comedy Career in January 2013 – two jam-packed days of seminars, talks and networking. There isn’t anything else remotely like it. LOCO gather all this talent and knowledge from the best in the industry and put it all in one room – the only thing you have to do is turn up. Personally the course gave us a great blast of confidence and invaluable connections, both from the speakers themselves and from other like-minded attendees. We’ve gone from having our first short film in post-production to having it shown around the globe, gaining a place on the LOCO Mentor scheme with SKY and being long-listed for the Best Short Film BAFTA. LOCO want to help you be the best you can be, to fill your potential as comedy practitioners, which is a rare, brilliant goal. After all comedy is a serious business.” – Staten Cousins-Roe and Poppy Roe

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