23 – 24 January, 09:00 – 18:00

The Blue Room, BFI Southbank London


If you have any queries about your application, please get in touch: Rachael.castell@locofilmfestival.com

LOCO is delighted to be bringing Kickstart Your Comedy Career back to the BFI in 2015 after 3 previous sell-out years, with our mission to kickstart the next generation of British-based comedy filmmakers.

The two day course for emerging comedy filmmakers offers insider advice from TV commissioners, film-makers, development executives, distributors, exhibitors and more. Previous speakers include Ben Wheatley (A Field In England, Kill List, Sightseers, Down Terrace), Alice Lowe (Sightseers), Julia Davis (Hunderby, Nighty Night, Human Remains), Kenton Allen (CEO Big Talk Productions), MJ Delaney (Powder Room), Rob and Neil Gibbons (Alan Partridge, Alpha Papa), Shane Allen (Controller, Comedy Commissioning BBC), Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, Babylon), Rachel Freck (Casting Director) and many more.

Course content

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. Think pitching your film to top industry execs with development funding (yep, that’s what we said… with development funding!)

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:

  • The commissioning process
  • Funding your comedy film
  • Pitching workshops and your chance to pitch your film to top industry execs
  • Making your first comedy feature
  • Working with agents
  • Casting your comedy film
  • Your comedy films and festivals
  • Working with improvisation
  • Marketing and distributing your comedy film
  • Selling comedy in the UK and Internationally
  • A comedy production company inside out
  • Inside the script development process
  • Career interviews
  • And more!

Confirmed speakers for 2015 (so far) include:

  • Selina Robertson, Programming Officer, ICO
  • Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy, Sky
  • Ian Coyle, Commissioning Editor, Dave
  • Steve Oram, Writer/Director/Actor, SIGHTSEERS, THE WORLDS END
  • Chris Sussmann, Executive Editor, Comedy BBC
  • Mark Boosey, Founder/Editor, British Comedy Guide
  • Destiny Ekaragha, Writer/Director GONE TOO FAR
  • Richard Holmes, Senior Film Executive, Creative England
  • Tom Harberd, Head of Finance, Bankside Films
  • Samantha Horley, Managing Director, Salt
  • Jon Drever, Director, SUPERBOB
  • Sarah Warren, Writer/Director MLE
  • Katie McCullough, Founder, Festival Formula
  • Jacqueline Wright, Director / Founder Jackal Films
  • Mustapha Kseibati, Director MOHAMMED
  • Kevin Dolan, Talent Development Manager, Film London
  • Cynthia De Souza, Acquisitions and Development Executive, The Works
  • Xavier Henry-Rashid, Managing Director, Film Republic
  • and more to be announced!

Previous speakers:

  • Farah Abushwesha, Producer and Founder of BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum
  • David Allain, Producer/Creative, Rankin Film Productions
  • Kenton Allen, CEO, Big Talk Productions
  • Chris Sussman, Commissioning Editor, Comedy (London, Wales and NI), BBC
  • Mark Talbot, Development Producer, Hat Trick Productions
  • Keri Collins, Director, CONVENIENCE
  • Deborah Sathe, Head of Talent and Development, Film London
  • Saskia Schuster, Commissioning Editor, Comedy, Sky
  • Rob and Neil Gibbons, Writers, ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA
  • Staten Cousins-Roe, Writer/Director, THIS WAY OUT
  • Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, Writers, PEEP SHOW, SMACK THE PONY, THE THICK OF IT, VEEP
  • MJ Delaney, Director, POWDER ROOM
  • Peter Dunne, International Film Consultant, PLD Communications and Producer, Electric Films
  • Destiny Ekaragha, Director, GONE TOO FAR
  • Rachel Freck, Casting Director, NATIVITY!, HIM & HER, HUNDERBY, TWENTY TWELVE
  • Christopher Granier-Deferre, Executive Producer, iFeatures, Creative England
  • Matt Harlock, Producer/Director, THE BILL HICKS STORY
  • Lindsay Hughes, Head of Talent, Baby Cow Productions
  • Oliver Kaempfer, Producer, BORROWED TIME
  • Mustapha Kseibati, Writer/ Director MOHAMMED
  • Paul Lewis, Marketing Consultant, Paul Lewis Consulting
  • Kevin Maynard, Short Film Programmer, LOCO London Comedy Film Festival
  • Katie McCullough, Film Festival Distributor
  • Katie Mavroleon, Associate Producer, DEREK, LIFE’S TOO SHORT
  • Corrie McGuire, Objective Talent Management
  • Eddie Mullins, Writer/Director/Producer, DOOMSDAYS
  • Jon Rennie, Producer, BENNY & JOLENE
  • Adam Riches, Writer/Performer, THE GUNS OF ADAM RICHES
  • Leigh Singer, Programme Advisor, London Film Festival and Deputy Editor, Film & Festivals
  • Bruce Webb, Director/Producer, THE BE ALL AND END ALL
  • Jacqueline Wright, Director, OUT OF WATER, LIFESPAM, STIFFY

Kickstart attendees gain free entry to LOCO’s Meet the Filmmakers Networking Drinks, Saturday night 24 January.


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

“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

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

 A little taster…



Click here to watch sessions from 2013’s Kickstart Your Comedy Career.

And for a full list of 2013’s Kickstart Your Comedy Career sessions, click here.

 Who should apply?

Kickstart Your Comedy Career is designed for new or emerging writers, directors and producers who want 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, editors, production designers, camera, sound designers and anyone else interested in learning about comedy film and TV.

Participants must be over 18 years old to apply.

How to apply

LOCO London is inviting people to apply for Kickstart Your Comedy Career through our online submission form. This is so that we can guarantee that participants on the course are the most talented and dedicated comedy writers, directors and producers who are at the stage in their career where this course will really benefit from the training.

Applications are now open!


Earlybird deadline (guarantees 25% off full ticket price): Midnight Sunday 14th December 2014

Final deadline: Midnight Wednesday 31 December 2014

Tickets: £112.50 earlybird / £150 full price*

*payment instructions will be provided to approved applicants (see deadlines below)

Key dates

14 Dec 2014: Earlybird Application Deadline (25% discount on full ticket price of £150)
19 Dec 2014: Earlybird Applicants informed whether they have a place on the course and payment instructions provided
31 December: Approved Earlybird Applicants deadline for course fees payment
4 Jan 2014: Final Application Deadline
9 Jan 2015: All applicants informed whether they have a place on the course and payment instructions provided
16 Jan: Final deadline for course fees payment

23 – 24 Jan: Kickstart Your Comedy Career!

Further info

If you have any questions about Kickstart Your Comedy Career, please get in touch with Rachael Castell or Rachel King, our Training Coordinators: Rachael.castell@locofilmfestival.com and Rachel@locofilmfestival.com