Catherine Allen: VR opportunities and challenges

In parallel with film screenings, PlayUK provided film professionals with an opportunity to discuss the latest trends in the film industry. These events took place in Cultural Centre of Belgrade and Artget Gallery and supported industry professionals network, exchange new ideas and develop international partnerships.



This session was organised as a script development workshop with Paul Fraser – writer, director and 'script doctor'. He wrote scripts for films 'Twenty-Four Seven', 'A Room for Romeo Brass', 'Once Upon a Time in the Midlands', 'Heartlands', 'Somers Town', 'My Father the Liar', 'Tube Tales', 'Dead Man’s Shoes' and 'Sheeep' – a children’s cartoon series. As a director, Paul has made several shorts including the award-winning 'Scummyman', 'Barney has the blues' and 'Street life'. Paul directed his first feature film, 'My Brothers', in 2011. He also  edits and advises on scripts, individually and in workshops, in the UK and around the world.



Lecture by Mike Downey producer and CEO of Film and Music Entertainment. He has produced more than 50 feature films and his catalogue includes 'White lightnin’, 'Guy X', 'Deathwatch', 'Before the rain' and 'Loving glances'. He was one of the co-producers of Srdjan Dragojevic movie 'Parada'. Serving his twelfth year as European Film Academy Board Member (the last two as deputy chairman), Downey’s books 'The Film Finance Handbooks – a Guide for European Producers' are published by the MEDIA Business School. He used to be a member of the Artistic Board of The Pula Film Festival and also the President of the Motovun Film Festival in Croatia, as well as the Artistic Advisor to the Zagreb Film Festival. Downey has served three terms as member of the Council of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as well as a term on the BAFTA Film Committee. 


11.00–13.00 | Caroline Cooper Charles | Producing in UK – my story 

Caroline works with emerging writing and directing talent at her production company, Universal Spirits. Among many projects she well-known for her works for The Incident. As well, Caroline was head of the Creative England’s Film Enterprise Fund. Creative England is an organization that supports the creative industries in the United Kingdom. The business promotes the development of creative companies, which in turn support business across games, film, creative and digital media as well as production services. The company works in partnership with the British Film Institute.

14.00–15.30 | Mia Bays |  Marketing and distribution of low budget/independent films 

Presentation by Mia Bays (Missing in Action), an Oscar winning, twice BAFTA nominated creative producer working across fiction and docs, with a proven track record of launching careers with over 22 years’ experience in film on over 50 features.

 15.30–17.00 | Yana Georgieva | What are the Sales Agent saying? 

Yana Georgieva (Bankside Films) has worked on various television programmes in production and film distribution as well as producing and directing multiple short films. 'Sleeping dogs' is the first feature film Yana produced, which received nominations from the British Independent Film Awards and was selected for several international film festivals including the Raindance Film Festival. Currently she is working for the Bankside films as International sales manager.


11.00–12.30 | Catherine Allen | VR: Opportunities and Challenges

Catherine Allen is an independent digital media producer. Her work is all about creating breath-taking, immersive experiences for audiences, where they learn something new or get a glimpse of life from a different perspective. This can be through apps, virtual reality, video, location based media, binaural audio, live experiences or a mixture of all of these mediums. Catherine comes with the belief that there's lots of untapped potential with non-fiction subject matter, so she tends to focus on that. Organisations she's worked with include the BBC, Siemens, the RSC, Disney and The Science Museum.

13.30–14.45 | Gabrielle Jenks | Abandon Normal Devices

Gabrielle Jenks is the Director of Abandon Normal Devices. She was previously at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and is a creative producer and film programmer interested in interdisciplinary practice. An advocate for the role of festivals in supporting emerging talent and practice she has over ten years of curating and programming work for a number of diverse organizations like the Tate, Liverpool Biennial, Google, Siemens and the BBC. She is executive producer of feature films by Gillian Wearing and AL&Al and has worked extensively with internationally established artists like Eva and Franco Mattes, the Yes Men, Oneohtrix Point Never and Rafael Lozano Hemmer.

15.00 – 16.15 | Jamie Mossahebi | Happy Finish from VFX to VR 

Jamie Mossahebi is an in-house VR Director & DOP at Happy Finish, producing VR content for leading brands and agencies around the world.