Monthly Archives

September 2018

Women in Film and TV: How To Create A Hit Drama Series

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Are you a female midlands creative with a fantastic idea for a ground-breaking drama series? Would you like to find out the best way to get your programme proposal commissioned? Then come along to the BBC Birmingham Library on Thursday 4th October, 18:30 – 20:00, where Film Birmingham will host the event. Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor, Lee Mason will share his thoughts about what makes great television and explain what you need to do to create a hit drama series.

Lee Mason is a Drama Commissioning Editor at UK broadcaster Channel 4 and has overseen series including The End of the F***ing World, Ackley Bridge, Loaded, Crazyhead and Hollyoaks. Before Channel 4, Lee worked with a number of UK production companies and broadcasters including Tiger Aspect, BBC, MTV, Endemol, Shed Media and Keshet International. Upcoming series include The End of the F***ing World 2 by Charlie Covell, No Offence 3 by Paul Abbott, Adult Material by Lucy Kirkwood and The Boys by Russell T Davies.

This event is for women in the film and television industry only, and it is open to both members and non-members of WFTV. To register or find out more, please click here.



Market Trader Training For Film Producers and Junior Executives

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Creative England is offering subsidised training for its intensive development programme for talented professionals from different parts of the film value chain. The Market Trader programme is for British producers and junior executives outside of London working in sales and distribution. The purpose of this programme is to equip participants with the knowledge and support they need to understand the film market better, to plan and target their approach and come away from international markets with the best possible results.  Bringing together producers, distributors and sales agents at the earlier part of their career will also increase awareness of each other’s roles and help build stronger networks for the future.

Market Trader will be delivered through a combination of intensive workshops, mentoring, market attendance & networking with a specific focus on EFM/Berlinale 2019. The programme will consider and contrast differing needs and perspectives from filmmakers, buyers and sellers and hone skills in pitching, negotiating & closing deals.

Participants will receive guidance and training to:

  • Improve their knowledge of international markets, how they differ, who attends what and why;
  • Gain a clearer perspective on the context of UK film within domestic/international markets and a better sense of how and why this matters;
  • Identify the most suitable market(s) for their own individual projects and film slates;
  • Develop tools and strategies for successful market engagement;
  • Improve their skills, knowledge and confidence in packaging, pitching, negotiating, selling, understanding and closing deals;
  • Achieve effective follow-through and maximise the benefits of international relationships and opportunities.

Find out more about the programme and its guidelines here.


Source: Creative England



RTS Midlands Awards 2018 Nominees

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The Royal Television Society’s (RTS), Midlands Centre has shortlisted the nominations for its 2018 Programme Awards, with BBC Three hit comedy, Man Like Mobeen, receiving the most nominations. The awards will be presented at a prestigious red carpet event on Tuesday 20th November at Birmingham Town Hall, one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The awards celebrate the television and broadcasting industry across the region and will see the Midlands television industry out in force alongside a host of stars gracing the red carpet. For tickets please contact:

Caren Davies, Chair, RTS Midlands, says: “We have introduced some new award categories and received more entries than last year which is fantastic. The standard of the entries shows that the midlands TV community is in rude health, making some of the very best programmes with the best talent over the last twelve months.” In addition to the programme awards, the Baird medal will be presented to someone from the region whose contribution to television has been of national or international importance.

The full list of nominations can be found here


Birmingham Film Studio Plans ‘To Be Confirmed Within Weeks’

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Plans for a Birmingham film studio could be confirmed within weeks, with films being produced by 2021, according to the creator of Peaky Blinders. Steven Knight has been the driving force behind a scheme to create a studio with six sound stages in the region that would take advantage of the attractiveness of the UK to international television and film companies. He has been working on the idea, called Mercian, for three years and now believes a deal is “imminent”. He said: “I hope within a month we will be able to make an announcement that it is across the line and we are going to start films within two or two-and-a-half years.”

A site near Birmingham Airport – “a wheeled-suitcase walk from the international airport” – has been identified where six sound stages would be created that would cater for everyone from Hollywood studios to independent film companies. He has ambitions for the development to create a “halo” effect that would create a destination.

Knight said: “I want to make a neighbourhood that is attached to the studio that includes residential, bars and restaurants – all of those things that would become a destination for people to come who would want to be in an environment either because they are working in this industry, or because they are interested in the industry, or because they want to go to the premiere of a film that was made there.”

Speaking at the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, Knight argued the UK is “entering a golden age in film and television production” and demand is much greater than the well-known London facilities can serve.

“Everyone wants to come to the UK because of the skills of the crew and actors, the infrastructure and also the 20% tax incentive that filmmakers get when they come to the UK. As a result of this, all of the big blockbusters are coming here, and as a result of that Pinewood, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing are fully booked. A consequence of that is a lot of the big cities across the country are frantically converting factories into studios. What I am proposing is that in Birmingham we do it properly.”

His plans are for purpose-built stages “so they are not factories with birds nesting in the roof” that would be attractive to those people responsible for big productions.



Represent West Midlands in “Britain’s Best Home Cook”!

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West Midlands cooks have until Saturday 24th November to submit their applications for a culinary cook-off, where Claudia Winkleman hosts as Mary Berry, Dan Doherty and Chris Bavin put ten of the nation’s best home cooks through their paces. The BBC One culinary show will feature a new group of cooks who will battle it out for the title of Britain’s Best Home Cook.

Day-to-day cooking can be a real hassle but the show, produced for the BBC by Keo films, will be looking for home cooks who excel at creating fabulous meals for family and friends every single day as the judges look for dishes that define excellence in home cooking. This could be a winter-warming soup, a chicken casserole with a Spanish twist or a deliciously creamy chocolate mousse. This is a test of the real-life expertise of truly great home cooks.

If you think you have what it takes to be crowned Britain’s Best Home Cook, find out more here.

Film Hub Midlands Offering Funding to Exhibitors

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Film Hub Midlands is creating more opportunities for audiences across the Midlands to engage with the widest range of film in as many places as possible with its Pitch Pots initiative. The fund is open to exhibitors throughout the year, and will close once the available funds have been awarded. Below is an outline of the project:

Film Hub Midlands’ Pitch Pots are available to help support a risk and try something new. Whether you are new to film exhibition and want to put on your first screening or an established cinema or community screen who wants to trial a new type of programming, we want to help audiences in the Midlands engage with the widest range of film in as many places as possible. We will be prioritising proposals that seek to engage with new and diverse audiences and that can amplify regional cultural opportunities. All of our projects must be open and accessible. In order to reach the widest possible audience through our supported projects, we are committed to the BFI Diversity Standards.

The standards can be broken down broadly into the following four areas:
● Industry access or training (ensuring that we offer accessible opportunities through our projects and organisations).
● On screen (diverse narratives, cast and places depicted).
● Catering for audiences (provision of disability access, specialist projects for target audiences, providing for specific UK regions etc).
● A diverse crew (exploring who makes the films we screen and offers project leadership).

The total amount attributed to this scheme is: £10,000 for proposals to deliver activity from June 1st – March 31st 2019. We will review each budget submitted individually, but broadly, we can support screening costs, marketing & promotion project coordination and curation. we are anticipating making awards up to £1,500. To download guidelines and to apply, visit the site.



Film Hub Midlands Seeking “New Voices”

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Our friends at Film Hub Midlands are looking for expressions of interest from enthusiastic new curators, marketeers or producers. Read below their call for expressions of interest and the link to apply:

At Film Hub Midlands, we recognise that the film exhibition sector can, and should work harder to diversify the films we make available to the public, as well as the workforce in our cinemas. We want to help make interventions that can shift the culture of the sector. We are looking for expressions of interest from enthusiastic new curators, marketeers or producers; who either want to work with a local venue or festival to expand their film programme and reach new audiences, or to kick start film activity in an area of low provision. You must be a registered Film Hub Midlands member to receive support. The deadline is Wednesday 3 October.

Follow this link for guidelines and information on how to submit.

Applications Open for Women’s Film and TV Mentoring Scheme

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Women in the film and television industry have until October 12th, 2018 to apply for a career boosting Mentorship Scheme offered by WFTV. The organisation has announced its delight on opening applications for the 2019 edition of the scheme. The WFTV Mentoring Scheme is aimed at women working in creative, craft, technical or business roles who have at least seven years experience in the industry. The programme will run from February until July 2019. Successful applicants will get six hours of mentoring from a hand-picked mentor over six months, as well as an intensive programme of exclusive seminars, training workshops and networking opportunities.

It is free to apply and to participate in the WFTV Mentoring Scheme and you do not need to be an existing WFTV member to apply. The deadline for applications is 2:00pm on Friday 12 October. Complete the application form here.


West Midlands Filmmakers Invited to Submit Activism Shorts

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Modern Films, in partnership with UK SAYS NO MORE, is holding an open call to female filmmakers from around the UK for submissions of short films inspired by 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, which runs from 25th November to 10th December, between International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and International Human Rights Day.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence is an annual campaign, which has run since 1991, and has 164 countries and 3,700 organisations involved. It uses the 16 days between International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th November) and International Human Rights Day (10th December) to reinforce that eliminating all forms of violence against women is a human rights issue, and that the act of perpetrating violence against women is a human rights violation. The 2018 theme of 16 Days has been announced as ‘End Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work’.

Dates & Deadlines

September 2nd: Opening Date

October 25th: Regular Deadline

November 16th: Notification Date

November 25th – December 11th: Event Date

Click here for additional information on the campaign and how to submit.

Creative England Hiring: Project Manager

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Our friends at Creative England are seeking to expand their team in Birmingham. Have a look below at an outline of the role:


Project/ Partnerships Manager (Birmingham)

PT freelancer, 2 days per week, October 2018 to March 2019

Creative England discovers, champions and invests in world-class creative, tech and start-up talent. We nurture our sector through deep regional networks and partnerships. Business support is one of our key strengths and, in partnership with the Birmingham & Solihull LEP, we will be piloting a support programme starting in October 2018 running until March 2019.
We are looking for a part time (2 days per week) contractor to help deliver this activity. You must be a strong project manager capable of developing and running workshops to fit the programme. The ideal candidates will have experience coordinating events with an interest in the creative sector. You will support business development and be an advocate for Creative England in the region. There will be scope to develop this role subject to programme performance and further business development opportunities.

LOCATION: Birmingham central
REPORTS TO: Head of Business Development, Public sector
CONTRACT: Freelance, 1st October 2018 to end March 2019, average 2 days per week
FEE: dependent on experience £200-250 per day
TO APPLY: CV & cover letter to by 24th September* *we may close earlier subject to selection meetings*
Core responsibilities:
• Developing workshop content
• Project Management
• Events Management
• Partnerships
Person Spec:
• Significant experience providing similar services preferably within the creative sector.
• Good organisational skills with the ability to prioritise and to manage and meet deadlines
• Strong administrative abilities and experience of public funded programmes
• Excellent communication skills with the ability to deal effectively with people at all levels
• Self-motivated, collaborative and engaging
• Excellent attention to detail, and the ability to stay calm under pressure
• Enjoys developing new ideas and strategies with ability to execute

Creative England promotes cultural diversity and equal opportunities for all