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CHILDREN’S MEDIA CONFERENCE ANNOUNCES OPENING AND CREATIVES KEYNOTES

6 May - 2024

Tags from the story: Children’s Media Conference.

This year’s Children’s Media Conference (CMC) will see two creative women bring powerful perspectives to the Keynotes in Sheffield. Musician, broadcaster and philanthropist YolanDa Brown will give the Opening Keynote on 9 July 2024, while award-winning co-founder and Creative Director of Cartoon Saloon Nora Twomey will give the Creative Keynote on 10 July.

Recently named Chancellor of the University of Kent, and recipient of an OBE from King Charles in 2023, double MOBO award-winner YolanDa will offer her multi-faceted perspective on creation, content, and connecting with children, at what promises to be a lively opening event.

Along with a successful career as a saxophonist, touring and playing her fusion of reggae, jazz, and soul. YolanDa has hosted CBeebies series YolanDa’s Band Jam and is currently composing music for Sesame Street, and the Netflix Series CoComelon Lane. During the pandemic YolanDa’s online music lesson plans were used by teachers, parents and primary school pupils nationwide.

Her keynote theme, “Keeping It Real”, focuses on authenticity in both the content children see and the roles they are encouraged to adopt, as well as the processes behind content creation.

Her unique perspective – performing live for thousands of children and young people – also informs her thinking on how media can be the catalyst for “real world” activities for kids that alleviate stress and enhance well-being.

Connecting with young people, collaborating across all platforms and offering the maximum commitment to kids’ best possible lives is YolanDa’s call to action for CMC 2024.

Nora Twomey’s Creative Keynote on 10th July will reflect on 25 years of visual storytelling with Cartoon Saloon. She will share insights about the evolution of Cartoon Saloon’s unique storytelling perspective and her own journey as a visual storyteller. From award-winning short films to series and feature films, a behind the scenes look at how a small company started by a group of friends, found its place on the world stage.

With five Academy Awards® two Golden Globe® nominations and a long list of BAFTAs, IFTAs and Emmy Awards, Twomey’s credits include: feature film Academy Award® nominated The Secret of Kells; The Breadwinner which she directed to huge critical acclaim winning Golden Globe® and Academy Award® nominations; also Golden Globe®, Academy Award® and BAFTA® nominated WolfWalkers, and TV series like Puffin Rock, Silly Sundays, Skunk Fu, Dorg Van Dango, Viking Skool and My Father’s Dragon which are currently being broadcast around the world.

Nora will share the highs and lows of the creative journey. How can creators find the resilience to express their voice in today’s tough international animation landscape?  And if we can navigate these stormy times what is next for telling stories through animation?

Greg Childs OBE, Editorial Director at CMC said: “The keynotes at CMC set the scene for this year’s conference theme: ‘Connect, Collaborate, Commit’. Both our speakers are passionate about connection with and commitment to the audience. And in turbulent and difficult times connecting the industry to more effectively collaborate is what CMC is about. Beyond the Keynotes the conference will offer delegates the opportunity to meet broadcasters, platform providers and creative and business leaders in the kid’s media sector and hear what matters to them. And we’ll hear from young people too – committed, concerned, and ready to collaborate. Keen to help the media sector turn its thoughts to the better world they aspire to.

CMC’s 2024 event will include a packed schedule of masterclasses and panels tackling the urgent issues facing the children’s media industry and young audiences. The conference’s sessions and networking events will take place at the Showroom Cinema, the City Hall and other venues in Sheffield.

After the conference delegates will have access to the entire event on video with complete coverage of all the topics explored in Sheffield. Including research insights in “Understanding Kids”, the ever-popular practical strand “The Art of…”, the CMC ”Inclusivity Now” panels which offer deep understanding of the routes to diversity and inclusion, and a new strand  “Sustainability Now” which will offer the same practical approach to the issues and opportunities around content associated with climate change.

As always, business intelligence features at the core of the programme with sessions on international co-production development, digital distribution, leading creative companies and setting out as a freelancer or SME. This year our range of speakers will be enhanced by a new influx of international guests from broadcasters, producers and distributors from Europe, Canada and the USA, who will also attend the CMC International Exchange one-day market on Tuesday 9th July – live again in Sheffield Town Hall for the first time since 2019.

As part of the CMC’s outreach programme in the run up to the conference CMC will host a free “Get In, Get On” webinar on Thursday 6 June for newcomers to the industry.

Tickets for CMC 2024 are now on sale. Further details on registration and delegate pass rates are available at: www.thechildrensmediaconference.com


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