Introducing the ITP Film Series 2021: Spotlight and In Conversation

Written by Anna Cottle, International Training Programme Coordinator

The ITP have an exciting new project beginning in 2021 – get in touch to feature in one of our films – read below to find out more…


While the last year has been challenging and unexpected, the ITP team has also found new and exciting opportunities to engage with the entire network of 299 fellows, our UK and programme partners and the wider heritage and cultural community. A new series of ITP films will demonstrate the many skills, individuals, museums and vast amount of knowledge across our network.

The Opportunity

In reaction to the recent increase in online museum content and after an extremely positive response to our online sessions and social media campaigns, we are launching a new legacy project using film for the first time. The film series will be split into two different parts – the Spotlight series will focus on a museum and heritage area which the participants wish to promote or highlight and the In Conversation series will be exactly that: a conversation about a particular, museum relevant subject between two people from the ITP network and beyond. We are asking you to send us your Spotlight films or propose an ITP hosted In Conversation film. The films will be edited by the ITP team if necessary and posted online, via the ITP website and social media platforms to be used as research, to share with the wider network and to make a record of the global activity and voices within museums.

In Detail

Spotlight Film Series

Short films lasting a maximum of 15 minutes long and shot by the applicant. These films will highlight a particular aspect of your culture and heritage career and will be used to showcase the huge breadth of knowledge, skills, countries and people represented in the ITP network. The ITP team will add opening and closing titles but the film should be at a point where it is ready to upload online when you submit and a guidelines document will help you to follow the correct format.

The series is flexible in subject matter and the ITP are open to suggestions, but here are a few ideas:

  • ‘Behind the scenes’ museum tour of storerooms, departments etc.
  • Projects
  • Programmes
  • Research
  • Gallery tours
  • Exhibition tours
  • Star objects from the collection
  • Digital projects
  • Educational programmes
  • Global networks

In Conversation Film Series

This series will feature two participants in each film, in conversation about a subject they have in common or wish to talk about. This could be two ITP fellows, an ITP fellow and a BM/UK partner or programme partner colleague but if you have other ideas, please feel free to suggest them. Films will be 30 minutes long and a member of the ITP team will briefly introduce the participants at the beginning and join again at the end of the 30 minutes, but it will be largely a discussion between the two people on Zoom.

Who to talk to?

You might want to think about someone in the ITP network who you have worked on a project with or another ITP fellow working in the same field as you in order to bounce ideas off each other and talk about how your work is similar or different and how you could help each other. Maybe there is an ITP rep from the British Museum that you have a shared interest with or a Programme Partner with whom you would like to work on something with or have already done so. Perhaps you had something in common with another fellow that you met during the ITP Summer programme and you would love to have the opportunity to talk about an aspiration, passion or project.

Potential themes

  • Is there a particular display, object or exhibition that you would like to discuss?
  • Comparing and contrasting collections: exploring traditions or tangible and intangible.
  • Collecting the modern world – what should be collected? Does your institution hold modern collections? Why is this important?
  • How does contemporary art respond to museum collections? Can contemporary art and artists help to reinterpret museum collections?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of trying to make your way as an independent, freelance curator or consultant in the cultural sector?
  • What is your experience of exhibiting the issues around empire and colonialism?
  • How can universal museums tell the stories of object histories and provenance?
  • Have you recently carried out fieldwork and want to share this experience? Are you or your institution planning any upcoming fieldwork projects?
  • How can the cultural sector ensure accessibility? Have you worked on an access project recently and why is this important?
  • Inclusion – how can the cultural sector ensure inclusivity? What can museums do to include underrepresented communities and their voices?
  • In terms of learning and engagement, what are the most important themes that museums should focus on? What kinds of programmes should be offered for children and schools?
  • Audiences are a vital part of a museum – do you agree? What can the cultural sector do to expand it’s reach and widen audiences? What are museums doing now, in terms of this? Who are they aiming their collections, programmes and exhibitions at?
  • How can the cultural sector respond to the climate change emergency? What should institutions do to ensure they are sustainable?
  • Does University work, and teaching sit side by side with museum work and studies? Are the two interchangeable? How is a university museum different? Does research sit with universities or museums? Or both?
  • What is the key to building strong partnerships and networks and how can they be maintained and monitored? What does it mean to be part of a global network?
  • Health and wellbeing are an important part of any industry and will be even more so because of COVID, how can museums and the cultural sector ensure that staff are offered this kind of support? Art and Museums are often seen as a place for healing, could this be the key?
  • What will a post COVID world for the cultural sector look like? What will be the main challenges and areas to focus on during recovery?
  • Should a museum be a safe space for activism and open-dialogue?
  • Power to the people: why is it important to democratise museums?
  • Who are the next museum professionals? What skills and experiences will the museum professionals of the future need?

To take part

If you are interested in the Spotlight or In Conversation film series, please contact Anna Cottle for more information on

Film Series Advert

You MUST ensure and confirm that you have the permission of your institution/employer/anyone appearing in your film, to use the footage and content and to film locations.