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Oliver Jeffers at BDF 2023

We’re stoked to be welcoming the wonderful Oliver Jeffers to BDF in 2023. Oliver has fully embraced the BDF spirit and there will be multiple opportunities to hear from the best selling author and artist over the course of the week.

Over the past few years when we’ve been asked who we’d love to have speak at BDF the same name hasalways  been at the top of my personal list, Oliver Jeffers. I’m so very happy that in 2023, as we head into the first BDF Conference, we’ve been able to make it happen.

For nearly 20 years, Oliver’s work has captured the hearts and minds of children and adults across books, film and art. He has sold over 14 million books worldwide, tackling deep topics with humour, wit and his signature style, and handwriting that makes his work unmistakable.

Oliver has fully embraced the BDF spirit, and there’ll be multiple opportunities to hear from him, in addition to some exclusive merch and a wide array of picture books (that, if you’re lucky, he might even sign).

Read on to find out everything Jeffers related at BDF this year.

BDF Conference – Imagine

Friday 9th June, 10am–6pm at Birmingham Rep

Our showpiece event for 2023 is BDF Conference. It’s the biggest single event we’ve ever put on, with an audience of 800 folks making their way to Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

You can expect exceptional talks from eight world-renowned speakers, sharing their thoughts on our theme for 2023 – Imagine.

Oliver will be on at around 11:20am with a 40 minute talk heading into lunch break.

The Birmingham Design Shop will also be in attendance, selling a range of Oliver’s books and some exclusive merch (more on that below).

Get your Conference tickets

Screening + Q&A (alongside Philip Hunt, Studio AKA)

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Saturday 10th June, 10:30am at The Giant Screen (Millennium Point)

On Saturday, Oliver will be back on stage to present the 2020 film Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth based on the book of the same name alongside Director Philip Hunt.

Oliver and Philip first worked together on BAFTA-winning Lost & Found, an adaptation of one of Oliver’s first picture books 15 years ago. After the screening of Here We Are, held at the majestic Giant Screen, we’ll be delving deeper into the relationship between Oliver and Studio AKA and the process of bringing his wonderful picture books to life.

This event will be free to attend, and we encourage families to join us for the screening, which will be roughly 35 minutes. Once the film has finished, there will be a short break, after which we will be sitting down for a Q&A with Oliver and Philip. The Q&A will be aimed at folks looking to learn more about the development process of the film, so may be uninteresting for young children – but fear not, BCU’s family day is just around the corner from the venue to pick up entertaining duties.

Get your free tickets

Oliver Jeffers Books & Merch

In addition to a bumper selection of picture books and Oliver’s monograph For All We Know: The Working Mind & Drawing Hand of Oliver Jeffers (see my happy face, taking delivery below), Oliver has designed some exclusive merch for BDF this year.

Starting at BDF Conference, you’ll be able to get your hands on a limited selection of sweaters, t-shirts, tote bags and pin badges designed by Oliver (pictured above), featuring the phrase ‘Draw pictures not conclusions’ in his signature handwriting.

Post-Conference, there will be an opportunity to get books and merch signed before we head home for the day.

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