Monthly Archives

March 2019

bafta scholarship

Apply for a BAFTA Scholarship – Deadline May 28th

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The BAFTA Scholarship Programme is part of BAFTA’s charitable activity to support talented people at all stages of their career in film, games and television. Applications for 2019/2020 are now open. So if you are interested in becoming a BAFTA scholar, please apply here. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 28 May 2019.

The BAFTA UK scholarship programme is open for British citizens to take eligible undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK. However, the scholarships are for those in need of financial assistance.  Each BAFTA Scholar receives up to £12,000 towards their annual course fees, as well as mentoring support from a BAFTA member, winner or nominee. They will also have free access to BAFTA events around the UK.

Three individuals studying in the UK will each receive one of the Prince William Scholarships in Film, Games and Television. BAFTA and Warner Bros. supports this scholarship. It includes a short paid work placement within the Warner Bros. group of companies, access to a Warner Bros. mentor, and invitations to a series of industry masterclasses.

Three BAFTA Reuben Scholarships will support one individual each on a film, games and television course respectively. BAFTA is also offering a Tinopolis Scholarship, with support from Tinopolis, to support a talented television enthusiast from Wales.

Read more on BAFTA’s past scholarship recipients here. You can also see the eligible courses for 2019-20 here.

If you have any questions about the BAFTA Scholarship Programme please take a look at the frequently asked questions or contact



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BBC Writersroom

Submit Your Comedy Script to BBC Writersroom – Deadline 29th April

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The BBC Writersroom regular window for unsolicited comedy scripts is open from 10am on Monday 1st April 2019. Writers have a deadline of 5pm on Monday 29th April 2019 for scripts (TV, film, radio, stage or online).

What to submit to BBC Writersroom

1. One comedy script of at least 30 full pages in length for TV, Film, Radio, Stage or Online* with your personal details removed. (If you are submitting a sample script for Children’s TV or Online, you are welcome to submit 2 x 15 minute episodes as a single PDF document.) Your script should be saved as a single PDF document of no more than 10MB in size, with your name removed from the document.

If you are writing your script using a piece of software called Final Draft and do not know how to remove your name and contact details from your script, please refer to Final Draft’s own trouble shooter. If you are using Microsoft word processing and do not know how to save your file as a PDF, please refer to Office Support(All software will come with its own user guidelines if the above links do not cover your queries. We cannot offer technical support for third party software).

2. A brief biography of your writing to date. Up to 1 paragraph to be included on your E-submission profile.

3. If you are submitting an episode script for a series/serial, you may also attach a brief outline, 1-3 pages, of further episodes. (This is not a requirement and would only ever be read if you made it onto our Comedy Room writer development scheme). This should be attached as a separate PDF document to your script. Please note, the outline is not a requirement and would only ever be read if you made it onto the Comedy Room Scheme.

Please remember to remove your name and contact details from every page of your script. All scripts will be read “blind” i.e. without a name attached, until after the full-read stage.

What BBC Writersroom is looking for

BBC Writersroom looks for what the script tells us about the writer. We see all scripts as a calling card to showcase a writer’s talent, ability and sense of humour.

Also, we are especially looking for distinctive voices – and scripts that express those voices. We do not look for more of the same – we look for the writer’s ability to pull an audience into a world and hold them in it. It’s not necessarily about finding precincts or situations that have ‘never been done before’. But it means having an original take on stories that have the potential to have wide breadth of appeal. Characters who are well rounded and consistent and who drive the comedy rather than serve it. A sense of storytelling ability – handling of pace, climax, mood.

We want to see the best possible draft you can achieve. We are not looking for early/first/rough drafts of scripts. Only submit to the Script Room when your script is ready. This might mean waiting for a later Script Room submission window. We are not just looking for competent, well-structured pieces. Instead, we are looking to unearth the treasures, the page-turners, the new perspectives, the engaging dialogue, the surprising character creations. We want to find that special, funny something that makes us want to read more.

Outcome of the Script Room

Finally, a group of writers will be selected to join the BBC Comedy Room writer development group for 2019/20. Script Room is not a competition but a means by which the BBC seeks out the best writing talent. We look for writers with the strongest potential to be developed and produced for BBC broadcast. You could be new to writing or new to the BBC but equally, you may be a playwright looking to write for TV, or you’ve written for radio and would like to try your hand at writing for CBBC. We know carving a career as a writer takes time, and each writer’s development needs will be different.

We will also consider whether scripts have real potential to be developed further towards production. If we believe a script could be developed further by a BBC department, we will send it to them with the writer’s knowledge. Original scripts written on spec’ are produced extremely rarely, and writers should not send them in with the expectation that they will be produced. However, original spec’ scripts are the means by which writers get noticed, so you should always write your script with the same level of commitment as if it were for production.

BBC Writersroom will not accept late submissions under any circumstances.

Visit the Writersoom to submit your script. for additional information and advice, Terms and Conditions, or to read the FAQs for the E-Submissions system.

To contact BBC Writersroom, email or call 020 8743 8000.

For more industry opportunities, visit our news page.

BBC Documentaries New Directors

BBC Documentaries New Directors’ Initiative – Deadline 7th April

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The BBC Documentaries New Directors’ Initiative is looking for the next generation of documentary film makers. Six candidates will have the opportunity to produce and direct their first long-form documentary for BBC Three. Previous films made by new directors on the initiative include: Abused by My Girlfriend and Manchester Bomb: Our Story, as well as Grandad, Dementia and Me.

A leading production company will house successful applicants for the duration of the project. This company will oversee the development, filming and post production of the idea. Please note that BBC Documentaries New Directors Initiative funds filmmakers for the duration of the project but this is not a staff role at the BBC. Positions will mostly be based in London; opportunities outside of London are not yet confirmed. The length of the contract depends on the length of the production, and could be anything from three to five months.

Find full details including application criteria and apply on the BBC Careers website

Watch an introduction to the initiative and find out more about BBC Documentaries Commissioning on the BBC Commissioning website

Deadline: 7th April 2019



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iFeatures Funding for Emerging Writers and Directors

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iFeatures, a premier UK filmmaking programme, is offering development funding for the UK’s emerging  writers, directors, and writer/directors. It is currently driving the development of low-budget, high-quality debut features from the most outstanding, daring and distinctive storytellers. The programme is run by Creative England and supported by the BFI, BBC Films and the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund with contributions from UK film productions.

As well as receiving development funding, selected teams take part in an intensive, exploratory 10-month programme. This includes residential Lab events, dedicated support and access to industry and networks, plus mentoring and high-level training with established industry professionals. Following the programme, BFI and BBC Films have committed to at least three of the projects progressing to production.

The programme targets emerging writers or directors across the UK who have yet to make a funded feature film, and at producers who are still at an emerging stage of their career. We look for creative talent whose work has already garnered positive industry and/or public attention. This includes short films, theatre, TV, web, art film, video gaming, commercials/advertising, graphic novels or music promos.

iFeatures believes that low-budget, ambitious, well-told stories can achieve critical, audience and commercial success. Multi-award winning and acclaimed films developed through the lab have included iFeatures productions ApostasyLady MacbethThe Levelling, and The Goob, as well as further films such as God’s Own Country, Adult Life Skills and Pin Cushion.

Before completing an application form for iFeatures 2019, please read the following:

Apply for iFeatures by clicking here.

To find out more about last year’s programme, listen to this podcast and read up on the 2018-19 selected teams. You can also check out other funding opportunities for feature film development and production here. If you are an emerging producer not applying to this year’s iFeatures but interested in being considered for future selected iFeatures projects, contact them.


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West Midlands Production Fund

Get Production Funding in the West Midlands

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Do you have a feature film, High end TV drama series, serial or single drama in development? Are you looking to make in the West Midlands? Then you could be eligible for funding from the West Midlands Production Fund. You could also benefit from Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS) or Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) schemes.

Screen Central is organizing an event to provide information for filmmakers. The event will take place at Zellig, Birmingham on Monday, April 8, 2019, 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM.

Paul Aston, Head of Film at Creative England and an EIS/SEIS expert will lead this two-part workshop. The workshop will explain in detail:

1 – 3pm: how the WMPF fund works, at what stage applications should be made and what they are looking for in terms of the regional test and commercial returns.

3 – 5pm: how the EIS/SEIS scheme works, how it can benefit your company and how they are set up.

Sign up here.

About the West Midlands Production Fund

This fund supports the development of the West Midlands as a dynamic, sustainable film and TV drama hub by providing access to finance for start-up SME’s who are active in moving image content production. The fund generally invests between £100,000 – £500,000 in any one project. This can be a mix of both debt and equity.

Previous investments have included Jawbone, The Marker, The Girl with All the Gifts, Spooks: The Greater Good, The Call Up, Nativity 2, One Mile Away, Toast, Hustle, Line of Duty and Dancing on the Edge amongst others. The European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 – 2013  has part-financed The Fund.

The fund can support the production of

  • Feature films of all genres including documentaries and animation;
  • High-end TV drama series, serials and single dramas

It cannot support the cost of development or the production of shorts films, other television programmes or games.

Applying for the West Midlands Production Fund

At the time of application your project will need to have a director and producer formally attached, be ready for packaging and have a budget, financing plan and sales/distribution strategy in place. Your company must also own or have under option the relevant rights in the project. Your project must be capable of scoring 11 points or more in the Regional Test to be eligible. All projects should be able to evidence a clear commercial/business strategy and a realistic expectation of a return on our investment. Any investment by the Fund – either as debt or equity – must be matched £ for £ by an equivalent amount of private and/or public sector risk finance.

This is a rolling fund so there is no current deadline for applications.

Further details on the fund can be found here.

About Paul Ashton

At Creative England Paul has backed filmmakers through our Emerging and Production funds. These include BFI NETWORK programmes iShorts and iWrite, and Sky partnership shortflix. He was Executive Producer on the BIFA and Tribeca winning Adult Life Skills, the award winning Netflix Original Calibre, brummie noir The Marker, the comic-romance Old Boys, and the shortflix films transmitted on Sky Arts in 2018. Paul has also been Exec on numerous nominated and award-winning shorts

Further films which have converted from his Emerging development slate include Westwood (Sundance premiere, released 2018), England is Mine (Edinburgh closing gala film, released 2017), and The Ritual (Toronto premiere, BIFA winning, released 2017). Paul now oversees the wider Film team work, which includes the iFeatures programme with three new films in the pipeline. It also includes the West Midlands Production Fund, which recently backed the BIFA winning and BAFTA nominated films The Girl With All the Gifts, and Jawbone.

Paul was previously Development Producer at the BBC, where his credits included OSCAR and BAFTA nominated shorts and features. His book The Calling Card Script: A Writer’s Toolbox for Screen, Stage and Radio is published by Bloomsbury.


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High-end TV Bursary

High-end TV Bursary – Apply by March 31st

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About the High-end TV Bursary

This bursary is supported by the High-end TV Skills Fund. It grants of up to £1,000 for professional high-end TV freelancers to undertake training in priority skills areas. These are:

  • Accounts
  • Assistant directors (ADs) and locations
  • Art and construction
  • Camera
  • Costume
  • Hair and make-Up
  • Lighting and electrical
  • Locations
  • Post and VFX
  • Production
  • Props
  • SFX
  • Sound
  • Rigging and grips

High-end TV Bursary: Are you Eligible?

You can apply for a high-end TV bursary if:

  • You can demonstrate proven professional experience of working regularly in the UK screen industries. Dailies work is acceptable as long as it is on broadcast material and you have more than three credits. Trainee experience does not count. Work undertaken at film school or in education is also not considered suitable experience;
  • You have been accepted on the training course(s) you want to attend;
  • You are able to demonstrate how the training you are applying for will benefit your career to progress within the HETV industry;
  • The course you want to attend falls under the priority departments, and skills, identified above, starts no earlier than one working day after the date your application is received by ScreenSkills, is delivered by a recognised training provider and starts before 31 March 2019.

You cannot apply if you:

  • Are in full-time education
  • Are employed on a permanent contract
  • Do not have a permanent UK address
  • Are applying on behalf of an organisation

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2019. However, these funds are in high demand and will close when all of the funds have been allocated, which may be before this date.

You may only apply for up to £1,000 of funding per financial year but you can apply for more than one course. The training course must start at least one day after your application is made – we cannot accept applications for training which has already begun.

High-end TV Bursary: How to Apply

Before you apply, please read the complete application guidelines (PDF). Then, log in or register to ScreenSkills here to read further information and apply. The first page of the application is an eligibility test. Should you be successful you will be directed to the online form. This takes you through the application step by step and should not take more than 30 minutes to complete. After submission, you will automatically be sent a receipt of application email with a tracking number. If you do not receive this, please check your junk mailbox and if it is not there contact us immediately.

High-end TV Bursary: Judging

Applications will be individually assessed by ScreenSkills’ bursaries team. If your application is successful you will receive an offer email and letter outlining the offer and our terms and conditions. You must accept the offer within two weeks of the date of the email. This means signing the offer letter and returning it to us electronically with your bank details. We may also ask for proof of your address – this will be indicated in your offer letter. Any offers not accepted within two weeks will be withdrawn. ScreenSkills cannot release any funding until we receive your signed offer letter.

You will know if your grant application has been successful within four weeks of the date your full application is received.

If you decide to attend training before receiving notification from ScreenSkills, ScreenSkills does not accept responsibility for funding your attendance should your bursary be declined or considered ineligible. If we offer you funding for training but you no longer wish to accept it, please let us know in writing.

ScreenSkills will notify you by email if your application is unsuccessful.

Please address any queries to: or call +44 (0)20 7713 9800.

Source: ScreenSkills


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Fighting Spirit Film Festival

Fighting Spirit Film Festival back in Birmingham

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Fighting Spirit Film Festival

The UK’s one and only fighting film festival will be in Birmingham on Sunday 28 April, 2019. Fighting Spirit Film Festival is a celebration and screening of martial arts and action movies. Now in its 4th year of bringing together the martial arts and action film fan and film making community, it continues to inspire others to participate in martial arts and/or make films with martial arts and action content.

The Mockingbird will play host to the festival’s second visit to Birmingham and promises to be a flip-kicking event with the UK premiere of “Triple Threat” directed by Jesse V Johnson and starring Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Michael Bisping, Celina Jade and Jeeja Yanin as well as the UK premiere of the eagerly awaited “Ip Man” spinoff “Master Z” starring Max Zhang, Tony Jaa, Michelle Yeoh, David Bautista and produced by Donnie Yen!

Throughout the event there will be screenings of short films: Chopsticks / Dead End / Tranh et Nowak and Shaolin Warrior Monk as well as martial arts demonstrations – British Wushu champions Samuel Mak and Steve Coleman, Wolverhampton based Kru Linford Melbourne (Muay Thai/Kickboxing) and Sifu Tony Clements (Southern Praying Mantis).

Fighting Spirit Film Festival Reviews

“I have learned a lot, had fun, and made new friends who have the same passion for making martial arts films. This is the festival that I wouldn’t want to miss” by Pau Han Kho [STEAM]
“An absolutely incredible time, with some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. All other organisers  have been super helpful and involved right from the submission process, and it was an absolute pleasure attending the festival. I can’t recommend it enough!” by Aeddan Sussex [CHOPSTICKS]
“Great Festival! What a pleasure to see all these international guests and cross path with some very talented artists and filmmakers. It’s the best place to be in London for all action and martial arts film fans. Thanks to everyone involved. See you next year!” by Francois Mequer [THE RETURN OF

Fighting Spirit Film Festival Tickets

Tickets are available online from Friday, 22 March 2019 at 1.00pm. For more information please contact organisers via email or social media channels:
Facebook: @FightingSpiritFilmFestival
Twitter: @FSFilmfestival
Instagram: @fightingspiritfilmfestival
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Birmingham Indian Film Festival

Birmingham Indian Film Festival Turns Five!

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The Birmingham Indian Film Festival is thanks patrons for continued support as it returns for its 5th year. On Friday 21 June, they will reveal a new programme of independent films – save the date! If you can’t wait, here’s how you can get your fix of independent South Asian cinema until then.


BIFF, Sampad South Asian Arts & Heritage and Birmingham City University come together with Film Hub Midlands, Saathi Nights and Brum Asians LGBT to present a one night celebration of the South Asian LGBTQI+ experience through film, dance and conversation.


Oscar winning documentaries, Saving Face and A Girl in the River, are part of this debut touring festival that arrives in Birmingham this month. Features include Lakeer, a love story set against the backdrop of partition and Josh which includes a Q&A with director Iram Parveen Bilal.

Releases nationally 29 March

Eaten By Lions won the Audience Award at the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival. It was also hugely popular at our screening last year. It stars The film stars local talent Brummie comedienne Janice Connolly aka Barbara Nice and Antonio Akeel. Plus, Britain’s Got Talent’s Jack Carroll as well as Nitin Ganatra, Asim Chaudhry and Johnny Vegas.


We’re always grateful for the support we receive – so a massive thanks to all our sponsors and partners. You can get involved as a sponsor of Birmingham Indian Film Festival. You’d have your logo sitting alongside BCU, Birmingham Airport or Asian Business Chamber of Commerce. You could also just place an ad in our programme then do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t keep Birmingham Indian Film Festival to yourself, share with your family and friends and get them to sign up here.

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Flatpack Film Festival

Flatpack Film Festival 2019 – April 30th – May 5th

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Flatpack Film Festival 2019 will be unrolled in Birmingham 30 April – 5 May. You can get your tickets or festival passes here.

Here’s what Flatpack has to say about their annual festival:

Flatpack is a festival which takes over venues across the city every spring. It draws people from far and wide with a mixture of films, performances, contraptions and surprises. And, it has been described as “magnificently eclectic” (Time Out), “joyously inventive” (the Guardian) and “the UK’s most creatively curated film festival” (the Independent).

But Flatpack is not just a festival – it’s also a state of mind. Actually, that’s overstating it, but it’s not confined to one time or place. The annual event was spawned from the year-round antics of 7 Inch Cinema. This was originally a mixed-media film night at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth. This then grew to embrace inflatable cinema-tents, archive detective-work and DVD compilations. So ten years on we continue to produce our own projects and provide guest programming for others throughout the year. Recent collaborators have included Home of Metal, Green Man Festival, First Light, Birmingham International Dance Festival plus the Independent Cinema Office.

The kind of work we put on depends upon the project. However, recurring themes include animation, music, artists’ film, archive discoveries, offbeat shorts for kids and live cinema. We are firm believers in creating a sense of occasion, exploring the fertile territory where film bumps up against other artforms, and showing people things they might not otherwise have seen.

Flatpack is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (no.1162754) and a member of Birmingham Festivals.


To find out more about Flatpack Film Festival 2019, email: or call 0121 771 1509.

You can get your Flatpack Film Festival 2019 tickets or festival passes here.

For more industry events, visit our news page.

Making Your First Blockbuster

Making Your First Blockbuster : Book Talk in Birmingham

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“Making Your First Blockbuster” is a brand new film-making book by Paul Dudbridge. It is aimed at the intermediate/professional film-maker and covers writing, directing, cinematography, editing, special effects, visual effects, action, stunts, and working with firearms. The opening line of the introduction reads “I wanted to write the book I wish I had when I was 18.”

The book’s Birmingham launch will be at the Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, Thursday, March 21, 5:45 – 8:15. Paul will be talking about his book and showing some clips. Then, books will be available for purchase which he will be signing.

“Making Your First Blockbuster” is a conversational book with helpful tools, tips, and techniques to help film-makers. The publisher, Michael Wiese Productions, previously published “Save the Cat”, “Shot by Shot” and “The Writer’s Journey”.

“Making Your First Blockbuster” Author Bio:

Paul Dudbridge is a British director, producer, and cinematographer.

As a producer and director, he helmed the science-fiction series/feature film, “Horizon”, which went on to win a number of awards at international film festivals, as well as earning him a Best Drama Director nomination at the Royal Television Society awards here in the UK.

This year he’s producing horror feature film “Hobbe’s House”, and producing and directing a re-imagining of H.G. Wells’s classic novel, The Invisible Man, titled “Fear the Invisible Man”, which goes in to production this Summer.

When not filming, Paul guest lectures at various universities and colleges around the country. Most recently, he ran the ‘Writing and Directing’ module for the Masters course at the University of Bristol. He also taught Cinematography at Falmouth Film School, and Advanced Cinematography workshops for BECTU, the UK’s media and entertainment trade union. His first book, Shooting Better Movies: The Student Filmmakers’ Guide, was released by Michael Wiese Productions in 2017.

“Making Your First Blockbuster” Reviews:

“What a great book! Can’t recommend this enough. Practical, experienced advice on all aspects of film making, from start to finish. I’m going to recommend this to my students. I wish I’d had this book when starting out”. – Dean Cundey A.S.C., Director of Photography (Jurassic Park, Back to the Future trilogy, Apollo 13)

“An absolute wealth of filmic knowledge. Jam-packed with essential skills and techniques for both amateurs and veterans alike.” – John Badham, Film Director (Bird on a Wire, The Hard Way, Drop Zone)

“Intelligent, informative, and creative in all areas of film making. A must read if you have any visual effects in your movie.” – John Swinnerton, Visual Effects Artist (King Kong, Casino Royale, London Has Fallen)

Register for the event here.

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