BBC Four to partner Institute of Art and Ideas

Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four, has today announced a broadcast media partnership with The Institute of Art and Ideas for the world’s largest philosophy and music festival held annually in Hay-on-Wye, HowTheLightGetsIn.

The partnership enables festival-goers to sample some exclusive screenings of forthcoming philosophical programming on offer from BBC Four, with added insight from invited speakers and consultants from the programmes.

Invited speakers include Controller of BBC Four, Richard Klein, who will be introducing a documentary called Justice: a Citizen’s Guide To The 21st Century; John Mullan, director of In Their Own Words: Great Thinkers, will host a question and answer session around two premieres of the series; James Rogan director of Storyville’s Amnesty documentary will host a debate; and Jonty Claypole, BBC Four Executive Producer, will present an illustrated talk of great philosophers through the BBC Archive.

Running from 26 May to 6 June 2011, this prestigious philosophy and music festival takes place in Hay-on-Wye, with over 200 events on offer, featuring some of the top musicians, academics and public figures from the philosophy and music world. The BBC will host sessions on Sunday 29 May and on the documentary celebration day, Thursday 2 May.

Richard Klein commented: “Whether it’s the exploration of Justice in our society, or a trawl through the BBC’s archives with the help of the Open University to find the voices of great philosophers, BBC Four is dedicated to in-depth coverage of a wide range of philosophy subjects.

“The channel seeks to explore the great thinkers, debates and issues that affect us today through programming with purpose and proposition. We’re delighted to partner with HowTheLightGetsIn Philosophy and Music Festival for the first time as we feel that we share very similar ambitions for intelligent, witty and in-depth discussion about a subject we both feel passionately about.”


BBC programmes and session at HowTheLightGetsIn are as follows:


Sunday 29 May


In Their Own Words Episodes 1 & 2

Featuring a Q&A with John Mullan, Director

BBC Four will present two screenings of Great Thinkers In Their Own Words, made in association with Open University. The series mines the BBC archive for footage of the great minds of the 20th century, including archival and rare footage of Sigmund Freud, Noam Chomsky, Carl Jung, William Beveridge, Margaret Mead and Richard Dawkins. The series also features interviews with leading figures of the modern age, including John Gray, Roger Scruton, Alain De Botton, David Milliband, Germaine Greer and David Attenborough, commenting on the great thinkers of the past. Both screenings will be accompanied by a Question and Answer session with John Mullan the director of the films.


Storyville – Amnesty! When They Are All Free 

Featuring a debate with James Rogan, Director

Storyville – Amnesty! When They Are All Free brings together an extraordinary cast of interviewees, from Sting and Rowan Atkinson to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, one of the organisation’s founders, and Jack Straw, the Home Secretary who released General Pinochet. Made with unprecedented access to Amnesty, the programme follows the new Secretary General Salil Shetty as he battles with the problems of prisoners in China and homophobia in Uganda and poses the fundamental question – has the human rights movement been able to hold back mankind’s capacity for atrocity? After the screening there will be a discussion with James Rogan the director of the film.


Thursday 2 June


Justice: A Citizen’s Guide To The 21st Century 

Richard Klein (Controller of BBC Four) to introduce this session with Q&A afterwards

Filmed in Boston, Berlin, London and Athens, in Justice – A Citizen’s Guide To The 21st Century, Harvard Professor Michael Sandel presents an extraordinary philosophical travelogue which combines the biographies of three leading thinkers from the Enlightenment and the Ancient World with a thought-provoking examination of modern ideas of social justice and citizenship. This thought-provoking film includes interviews with contemporary philosophers, politicians and thinkers from all around the globe.


Brains On The Box: turning philosophy into television 

Illustrated talk by Jonty Claypole (Executive Producer)

Jonty Claypole, executive producer of forthcoming series Great Thinkers: In Their Own Words (in association with the Open University), looks at how some of the great minds of the 20th century have used television to communicate their ideas.

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