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Rasheed at The Edinburgh Television Festival - start of article

Rasheed at The Edinburgh Television Festival

The Edinburgh TV Festival took place at the end of last month and was an incredibly successful virtual event. The five-day festival welcomed guests from all over the country and around the world, for interviews, panels, lectures and interactive sessions.

Channel 4, Screen Alliance Wales and Bad Wolf trainee, Rasheed Bello, was given the opportunity to attend the virtual festival. This was his first time at the festival and he got to experience everything the event had to offer, being spoilt for choice with a wide range of content available.

Here’s what he had to say about his experience of the festival. Over to you Rasheed!

“Attending the Edinburgh Television festival as a delegate for Bad Wolf/Screen Alliance Wales was an eye-opening experience. One of my highlights was watching Jane Tranter’s interview with Lin Manuel Miranda and learning about his journey. I had the opportunity to ask him a question, ‘What advice do you have for someone who has a story to tell but may be struggling with self-doubt?’

His answer was honest and inspirational. ‘Self-doubt doesn’t go away, but nobody can access the stories or the epiphanies in your head, so it is your duty to overcome your self-doubt, sing louder than your fear and let us see your story.’ So I feel more motivated than ever to get that story out there, and eventually get the opportunity to thank Lin Manuel for his advice.

It was the first time trainee Rasheed got to experience the festival
Jane Tranter's interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda was a personal highlight for Rasheed

London Hughes’ alternative MacTaggart lecture taught me the importance of resilience. Sometimes you must leave your comfort zone and go somewhere else to find better opportunities for yourself. An important thing that she kept saying is ‘Talent speaks, keep working, put on the shows that you like, write what you like and then things will happen.’ I also found it interesting that she said the first show that she did at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London Hughes: Superstar (it's just nobody's realised it), she spent a lot of money on and it did not do well, but the one she did not spend a lot on was the one that had lots of critics and people from Amazon, and Netflix coming to. That taught me that, sometimes, you just need to distance yourself from your work a little bit and try not to be so desperate for it to be successful. Just love what you are making and that will shine through.

I loved Jack Thorne’s MacTaggart lecture and how it highlighted our need to do more for the disabled community within the television industry. I loved that he described TV as an empathy box, as that is what it has the power to be, and that is what it should be when it’s at its best. Jack Thorne talked a lot about how during the Lockdown we did not have guidelines in place that protected disabled people. His message was important and was a wake-up call to me – I am not a part of the disabled community, but as someone who is part of a minority group, I understand the importance of representation of all groups, and I want to do what I can to help support and assist in telling these stories too.

I enjoyed watching Anne Mensah and Fiona Lamptey talking about what they are doing to make Netflix more of an inclusive space. I learnt that you may have the best idea but you need to be able to partner with a production company, or a team with the means to bring your vision to reality, particularly if you are trying to get a company like Netflix to make your idea. I thought that was a good piece of advice in general. Make sure you have something/ someone behind you to help you realise your vision”.

A huge thanks to Rasheed for telling us about his experience and giving us an insight into the festival. We’re so glad he got so much out of it and learned from some of the best in the industry. Roll on next year!

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