He'll follow President of NBC Entertainment’s Alternative Programming, Paul Telegdy, who delivered last year's address.
The Emmy® nominated writer, producer, actor and director, created the hit television series Freaks and Geeks, directed episodes of Mad Men, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, executive produced episodes of the US version of The Office and has worked on a number of other comedies including Arrested Development, Nurse Jackie and Weeds.
Outside of television, Paul Feig directed the Academy Award® nominated film, Bridesmaids and has worked on a number of other films including The Heat, Spy, Ghostbusters: ATC and last year’s A Simple Favor.
Paul will bring his unique perspective on the global television and film landscape as he delivers this year's Worldview Address.
Speaking about giving the address, Paul said "My wife and I first came to the Edinburgh Festival almost thirty years ago and it quickly became my goal to one day be a part of it. And so to be delivering the Worldview Address for the festival that is at the heart of the British TV industry is quite a dream come true. I’ve had a lifelong love of UK television and so this is truly an honour for me.”
Feig has recently put his support behind the 4% Challenge, announced by Dr. Stacy L. Smith from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The challenge urges filmmakers to make a commitment to work with a female director within 18 months. Those who have already agreed to the challenge include Nina Jacobson, Angela Robinson, Amy Schumer, Franklin Leonard and Paul himself.
Further to the 4% challenge, Paul is an ambassador for Women in Film’s ReFrame programme, has launched a digital company Powderkeg, and through collaboration between Powderkeg and writer-producer Sameer Gardezi they have launched the emerging voices writers’ programme Break the Room.
Powderkeg’s mission is to create directing opportunities for women, people of colour and the LGBTQ community. The collaboration with Gardezi sees the Break the Room initiative taking this mission and bringing diverse voices together with community thought leaders for a week-long writers’ retreat.
Break the Room has already enacted two of these retreats–one in Los Angeles and one in Albuquerque–with another set to follow in Portland. The Los Angeles room produced a series called East of La Brea, about two working-class Muslim women in L.A., which is set to premiere at SXSW next month.
Executive Chair for the festival, Graham Stuart said “Edinburgh 2019 will be graced by an extraordinary man…blazing a trail for gender equality on and off screen. Paul Feig will bring a remarkable Hollywood resume and brilliant wit and humour to this year’s delegates. They will be highly entertained and almost certainly converted.”
This year will also see Universal Pictures release Feig’s latest film, Last Christmas which was shot in London and stars Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson. The film was penned by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimming and features the songs of George Michael.
This year's Edinburgh TV Festival runs from Wednesday 21st to Friday 23rd August and you can book tickets here