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Hear from a panel of successful children’s media creators, working in animation and live action, chaired by CBeebies Head of Development Ros Attille. The panel will share the productions they have created that present a range of under-represented voices. They will discuss the importance of diverse onscreen representation and storylines and inclusive talent behind the scenes.

Speakers will also touch upon training and development that has taken place on these, and other productions, which contribute to the promotion of diversity and inclusion amongst the workforce.

Who it's for

This session will be of interest to those writers, producers and directors currently developing their own live action or animated children’s series.


Chair - Ros Attille, Preschool Development Exec, BBC Children’s

Ros came to BBC Children’s just over four years ago fulfilling the roles of Head of In-house Development and Development Exec for Preschool. An experienced TV professional with over 25 years’ experience, she has worked for a variety of broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Disney Junior, Sky, STV and GMTV Kids. She has also worked on some iconic children’s brands such as Doctor Who, Art Attack and Teletubbies. Ros’s successful commissions for BBC Children’s have included JoJo and Gran Gran, Yolanda’s Band Jam, Catie’s/Grace’s Amazing Machines, Kit and Pup, Daydreams and newly commissioned Colours.

Akin Akinsuki, Co-Creator, Director and Writer, Five Apples (Apple Tree House)

Akin is a BAFTA award-winning creative director with over twenty years’ experience working in children’s TV and advertising. As a kids TV brand creative, Akin has helped create short form content and rebrands for Nickelodeon UK, Nick Toons, Nick Jr and The Disney Channel.  He is also co-creator, director and writer on BAFTA-nominated and Broadcast Award-Winning CBEEBIES pre-school drama, Apple Tree House.  Akin is currently director at Department of Image and Five Apples.

Iain Gardner, Creator, Director and Writer, Animation Garden (Mustard & Ketchup

Iain Gardner’s short films have received awards from around the world. He recently established Animation Garden to develop his own IP, which has been presented at Cartoon Forum.  Animation Garden was invited to MIPTV 2020 as a ‘Producer to Watch’. His animation techniques are discussed within The Animation Bible by Maureen Furniss (2008), Animation - a World History (G. Bendazzi, 2016) and the 2nd edition of The Fundamentals of Animation (2016).  Iain was the Artistic Director of McLaren 2014, which celebrated the centenary of Scottish born Norman McLaren. He has served on various short film Juries including BAFTA Short Animation. 

Gráinne McGuiness, Creator and Director, Paper Owl Films (Pablo)

Gráinne is an award-winning creator of standout children’s stories that encourage them to see the world in different ways. As creative director at Paper Owl Films, she leads the development of content for international audiences. Creator of Pablo for CBeebies and RTÉJr., the series is celebrated for its portrayal of a smart little autistic character.  Current projects include Sol, a special about a young boy on a quest to bring the light back to the world after the death of his beloved grandmother, and Ladybird & Bee, a first-hand view of nature by two friends from Wild Meadow

Wa’qaar A Mirza, Creator and Director, Safi Ideas (Zayn and Zayna’s Little Farm)

Wa'qaar A Mirza is co-founder and global CEO of Safi Ideas and Safi Productions. He is an accomplished British entrepreneur, author, speaker, producer and director. Much of his work has been in cultural, charity and social impact production with a focus on content working towards greater equality and visibility for marginalised groups. Mirza has worked in programme-making for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel with his production team overseas. In 2020 Safi Productions launched Zayn and Zayna’s Little Farm, a kids and family animated show dedicated to teaching inclusive ideas, kindness, mindfulness and community to all children, with a meaningful emphasis on diversity. 

There will be the opportunity to ask the panel questions at the end of the session via the chat function.

This event is supported by the ScreenSkills Animation and Children’s TV Skills Funds with contributions from UK productions.

This session will take place online via Zoom. Click ‘get ticket’ to reserve your place: you must login or register before you are able to get a ticket for this event. Before the start of the session, a joining link will be sent to you via email.

If you are no longer able to use your ticket, we ask you to please contact  so that we can release your place. Our sessions are often oversubscribed, so we’d like to give other freelancers the opportunity to fill available spots. Thank you for your consideration.

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  • Free
  • 29th Sep 2020@16:00-17:30
  • Talk
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