BAFTA award winner Sharon Horgan joins the Banff World Media Festival’s Keynote Summit series lineup

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce Sharon Horgan as a Summit Series keynote speaker, a premium lineup featuring the boldest voices and the world’s most influential media leaders and recipient of the Award of Excellence. The highly anticipated session will take place on Wednesday, June 14th. The 44th edition of the Festival will take place in person June 11 – 14 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

“Sharon is one of the top creators, showrunners and performers in the business, and her addition to BANFF’s lineup of keynote speakers underscores the Festival’s prominence on the world stage,” said Kevin Beggs, Chair of the Board of Directors for BANFF and Chair & Chief Creative Officer of the Lionsgate Television Group. “We are privileged to be partnered with Sharon on Motherland for the BBC and are beyond excited about its U.S. adaptation that recently received a pilot order at ABC. I’m thrilled that she will be joining us at BANFF.”

“Sharon is one of the most prolific creators of our time, having produced hit after hit of critically-acclaimed content,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director, Banff World Media Festival. “As an actor, showrunner, writer, producer and director, she’s made a virtue of being a multi-hyphenate and continues to deliver honest, clever and wildly entertaining portrayals of women on screen. We’re honoured to welcome Sharon to the BANFF stage to discuss her career and thoughts on the ever-changing industry.”

The BANFF Summit Series is a curated, future-focused lineup of keynote sessions that was launched in 2019 in honour of the festival’s four-decade legacy. As previously announced, Fremantle’s CEO Jennifer Mullin and George Cheeks, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS and Chief Content Officer, News and Sports for Paramount+ are also confirmed as Summit Series keynotes.

Furthermore, Horgan will be presented with the Award of Excellence at the Rockies Gala taking place on Tuesday, June 13th during the Festival. The Award of Excellence acknowledges exceptional achievement through a body of work over an extended period of time. Past honourees include Paul Feig, Jeremy Podeswa, Kenny Ortega, Eugene Levy, Carol Mendelsohn and David E. Kelley.

In addition to Summit Series keynotes, BANFF will return with an array of provocative panel discussions including the recently announced Universal Studio Group Spotlight session featuring Erin Underhill, President of Universal Television, Beatrice Springborn, President of Universal International Studios & UCP and Toby Gorman, President of Universal Television Alternative Studio. As previously announced, multi-faceted entertainer Lilly Singh and World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato are confirmed to participate in exclusive ‘In Conversation With’ sessions, respectively.

The Festival will again include celebrity master classes and networking opportunities to connect the global media industry to ignite new projects and support business development. Also returning are the Rockie Awards International Program Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious screen industry competitions, with participation from more than 45+ countries annually including an international jury of 150 industry professionals. Category winners, including the Grand Jury Prize, the Rogers Prize for Canadian Content, the Francophone Prize, and other special prizes, will be announced during the Festival on June 12th.

Sharon Horgan is a dynamic, witty, and talented multihyphenate whose exceptional storytelling skills have brought her international recognition. She is an award-winning creator, writer, producer, and actor who portrays the experiences of strong, female-driven stories.

Sharon is the writer, co-creator, executive producer, and star of the ten-part comedy thriller series BAD SISTERS with Apple TV+, where she has an overall deal. The series, which premiered on August 18, follows a group of five sisters (the Garveys) and the promise they make to always protect each other after their parents’ premature death. The series stars Sharon alongside Eve Hewson, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, Anne-Marie Duff, and Claes Bang. BAD SISTERS is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 100% critic score and Time has called the series “wickedly funny” and “genuinely poignant.” It has received 29 nominations, some of which include five Baftas, two Critics’ Choice Awards, two WGAs, and 12 IFTAs. She’s currently in production on Season 2.

Up next, she will star in the drama series,  BEST INTERESTS, written by Jack Thorne. It is a story about a family driven to make choices no parent would ever want to make, as well as highlighting the troubled relationship the UK has with disability.  The show will air this year on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Sharon stars opposite Michael Sheen who will play her husband.

Sharon is best known for her multiple award-winning sitcom CATASTROPHE, which she co-wrote and starred in with Rob Delaney.  She won the BAFTA TV Craft Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series in 2016 and also gained three BAFTA nominations for her extraordinary performance in the show, alongside a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. The final season of CATASTROPHE aired in January 2019 (UK) and in spring 2019 (USA). 

She is also the co-founder, alongside Clelia Mountford, of the TV and Film production company Merman. Under the Merman banner, it was just announced that ABC ordered to pilot DROP OFF, the American adaptation of the award-winning British hit MOTHERLAND. Ellie Kemper and Judy Greer will star in the pilot which is currently in production. Sharon co-created SHINING VALE, an eight-part horror comedy series starring Courteney Cox and Greg Kinnear, which premiered on Starz and is currently in production on its third season. Sharon’s other credits for Merman include executive producing and starring in the animated comedy HOUSEBROKEN on Fox, which stars Lisa Kudrow and was co-created by Clea Duvall, Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan. Season 2 just premiered in March 2023. Sharon also executive produced FRANK OF IRELAND (Channel 4/Amazon) and co-wrote and executive produced the BAFTA-winning MOTHERLAND on BBC. She was also an executive producer of FRAYED (Sky/ABC), THERE SHE GOES (BBC/Britbox) and THIS WAY UP (Ch4/Hulu), which she also starred in alongside creator Aisling Bea.

Sharon’s further recognition includes the  BAFTA TV Award for Best Short Form Programme (2018) for MORGANA ROBINSON’S SUMMER: DREAMLAND and an Outstanding Achievement Award for her debut short film THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS.  At the National Comedy Awards, Sharon was awarded the Caroline Ahearne Outstanding Achievement Award. She has also received two BAFTA Award nominations and two British Comedy Awards for her iconic BBC show PULLING which she co-wrote and starred in. She also wrote and directed an episode of Amazon’s anthology MODERN LOVE, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive” and starring Tina Fey and John Slattery.

On the film side, Sharon can be seen starring opposite Nicolas Cage in THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT, which was released last April. She also starred opposite James McAvoy in the Stephen Daldry-directed film TOGETHER for BBC Two and BBC Film. In 2021, she took on the role of Miss Hedge in the BAFTA-nominated feature film adaptation of the West End musical EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE. She also starred alongside Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Kyle Chandler in the critical and commercial hit feature film GAME NIGHT.  In 2020, she starred in MILITARY WIVES opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and the Irish comedy-drama film  DATING AMBER, for which she won an IFTA for Best Supporting Actress.

Sharon’s further acting credits include  CRIMINAL UK (Netflix), BOB’S BURGERS (Fox),  BOJACK HORSEMAN (Netflix), THE INCREASINGLY POOR DECISIONS OF TODD MARGARET (IFC),  ADVENTURE TIME  (CARTOON NETWORK), PSYCHOBITCHES  (Sky Arts), THE BORROWERS  (BBC),  FREE AGENTS  (C4),  DEAD BOSS (BBC) and  BAD SUGAR  (C4), as well as the films  RUN AND JUMP,  DEATH OF A SUPERHERO, and MAN UP.  Sharon also voices Queen Dagmar in the Matt Groening Netflix series DISENCHANTMENT.

Image courtesy of David Levene.