Monthly Archives

July 2019

Midlands Filmmakers on screen at Leicester’s International Short Film Festival

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Leicester’s international short film festival, The Short Cinema returns to Phoenix for its 13th edition screening some of the best short films from around the world with a strong focus on Midlands makers. Why not walk the red carpet and celebrate the talent in our region and beyond?

See below a list of events during the festival, ranging from The Short Cinema programmes to workshops, award shows and industry days.



Tue 20 Aug, 7pm – Oska Bright presents Window into our World. Take a peek into the lives of people with learning disabilities from all over the globe and challenge your world view.


Wed 21 Aug, 7pm – Thinking of applying for BFI NETWORK funding? Here’s a chance to see some of the films successfully funded by BFI NETWORK and hear from the filmmakers.


Wed 21 Aug, 8.30pm – Iris Prize is regarded as the Academy Awards of LGBTQ+ film. These award-winning films from Iris 2018 tell modern stories from around the world with humour, heart and honesty.



Thu 22 Aug, 7pm – Enjoy a mix of global talent in live action, animation and documentary.



Fri 23 Aug, 7pm – Phoenix Interact Labs resident and virtual reality filmmaker Alex Rühl presents her short VR film Keyed Alike.


Fri 23 Aug, 8.15pm – What does it mean to be British in 2019? Comedy, drama and horror come together to showcase individuals, communities and stories from our nation.


Fri 23 Aug, 10pm – This Encounters curated programme includes zombie feasts, extreme foley sessions, psychological thrills, and domestic nightmares.


Sat 24 Aug, 10.30am – Fortune favours the brave in this collection of animated shorts from around the world, curated by Flatpack Festival. Suitable for ages 4+


Thu 22 Aug, 11am – 5pm – On Thursday 22 August, BFI NETWORK will be hosting a free industry day for talent from the Midlands region.

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BFI Network’s Short Film Funding Day – August 23rd

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About the Event

The BFI NETWORK Midlands Short Film Fund Application Workshop is for talent based in the Midlands who want to apply for BFI NETWORK short film funding.

The day will give an in-depth look at the specific requirements of the fund guidelines and elements of the applications including:

  • Presenting the creative track record of your team
  • Communicating why your story is pertinent and why you are the best person to tell it
  • Budgeting
  • Scheduling
  • Ensuring your script is ready for application

The morning will look at the application process led by BFI NETWORK and the afternoon will focus specifically on script development run by Writer/Director Steven Shiel.

Event Details

Fri, 23 August 2019, 10:30 – 17:00 BST

Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre

4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG


Book your place HERE.


PLEASE NOTE: Not turning up or cancelling last minute reduces the opportunities we are able to offer to regional talent and impacts on our ability to continue to provide these free events. Please help us by only booking if you definitely intend to come.




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Industry Talent Day for Midlands Creatives – August 22nd

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On Thursday 22 August, BFI NETWORK will be hosting a free industry day for talent from the Midlands region.

About the Industry Day

In the morning the British Council Film Team are leading a session for writers, directors and producers, providing a chance to hear more about British Council’s Travel Grant Scheme, which has recently been further developed to help filmmakers travel to international labs, as well as international short film festivals. Come along and hear from a filmmaker from our region who has travelled internationally with the support of the scheme, and meet some of the British Council’s Film Team.

Following a networking lunch BFI NETWORK will be joined by the BFI Young Audience Content Fund team who will give some more information about the new £57 million scheme. The fund has been set up to stimulate the provision of public service-original UK content for 0-18 year olds, and will be a positive injection of investment to open new avenues for creators of original content and bring new voices to the market.

Event details:

Thu, 22 August 2019, 11:00 – 17:00 BST

Phoenix Cinema, 4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG

PLEASE NOTE: Not turning up or cancelling last minute reduces the opportunities BFI NETWORK is able to offer to regional talent and impacts on their ability to continue to provide these free events. Please only book if you definitely intend to come.



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talent Lab

B3 Talent Lab for BAME Creatives – Deadline August 5th

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Are you the creative who needs to skill up? Do you have an amazing story to tell across a range of platforms? Does your project need that extra ‘edge’ ? See the opportunity by B3 Creative netowrk below:

What is TalentLab ?

B3’s TalentLab is a bespoke talent development programme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) creatives working in film and across multiple platforms (digital storytelling (VR/ AR) , photography, theatre, spoken word and music). TalentLab aims to reach writers, directors, creative producers, artists, digital artists and media creators, helping them to re-assess their professional practice, improve their skills, and give them the confidence and contacts to push their careers and projects to the next level.

We want to take you and your project to the next level and beyond.

Who are we looking for ?

Be part of our cohort group this year if your project is digital art, cross-platform film: shorts to features (fiction and documentary) . Take part in a series of intense development labs this November. Up to 12 projects will be selected for further development and 6 will be given a development commission of up to £1000. You will also get an opportunity to present your project to funders at our B3 Futures industry showcase in November 2019.

Project ideas

• Apply with a short or long form film or cross platform project or a multimedia project which includes moving image as a key component.
• Submit a project appropriate to your level of experience. For example, if you’re submitting a feature idea to us, we need to see a short or evidence of commissioned
work in other areas (e.g. tv, theatre, digital media) that shows that you have fresh, original and unexpected ideas and narratives.
• Non-genre, genre and cross-genre films – drama/comedy/horror/thriller/sci-fi, etc. – are welcome.

How do I apply ?

• You can apply as a writer, director, writer/director, artist, creative producer, or digital artist.

• Read through the FAQs and submission guidelines.

• Complete and submit an online application by Midday on Monday 5th August, 2019.

See more FAQ’s.

Apply for the Talent Lab HERE.




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expressions of interest

Call for Expressions of Interest from the Inaugural Chair of Screen Industry Body

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Below is a message from Ed Shedd, Inaugural Chair of Screen Industry Body

In the most significant shake-up of support for the West Midlands’ screen sector for nearly a decade, the region will soon have a new industry-led membership body.

I am now seeking expressions of interest from individuals who want to join me to be part of this unique opportunity to help shape the future direction of the WM screen sector.

This powerful new private-sector leadership structure has the mandate from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the three Local Enterprise Partnerships to help shape public funding, to secure new public/private investment, to develop dynamic programmes of delivery and to oversee the promotion of the regional screen sector.

The idea is to establish a new way of working in the region in order to create an agile and responsive screen ecosystem which is able to respond to the rapidly changing nature of the global content industry.

To do this, the new body will put industry in the driving seat. It will connect with public sector organisations, stakeholders and existing networks by adopting a collaborative leadership approach rather than creating a top-down agency or quango.

This game-changing new initiative was announced by the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street on 4th July, following extensive consultation with businesses and partners across the region and with support from national stakeholders such as BFI, PACT, Creative England, Ukie and ScreenSkills.

To kick start this process, I have been appointed as in the body’s inaugural Chair.  As a proud Brummie and now Deloitte’s North and South Europe Technology, Media, Telecommunications (TMT) Industry Leader, I hope to be able to bring my global perspective and contacts to help support to the region

A report detailing the background and setting out the next steps can be found here –


Inaugural members will be individuals with an exceptional track record with the following experience:

  • Currently working in the private, for-profit screen sector.
  • Creating content, products or services for national or international markets.
  • Operating at a senior level or demonstrating significant influence within your field.
  • Exemplary contacts and networks within your field.
  • A passion for growing the region’s screen sector.
  • Operating from a base in Greater Birmingham, Solihull, Black Country, Coventry or Warwickshire.

Inaugural members will initially work with me, industry-specialist Suzie Norton and WMCA to help shape the new body ahead of a formal launch in early October.

The role is non-executive and unpaid, with members expected to have the capacity to attend a physical meeting every two months, with regular virtual communication between members.

I am  initially seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from potential members, ahead of a more formal appointment process. 

To submit an EOI please complete very short survey HERE 


‘Screen Sector’ is defined as film, television, games, animation, high-end TV, branded-content, vlogger/influencer, VFX, immersive tech and those businesses directly in the supply chain such as legal, real estate development, marketing and communications.

‘Screen Industry’ refers to businesses within the screen sector supply chain.

‘Private-sector’ refers to commercial enterprises or individuals developing content, products or services for profit.

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Chair of New West Midlands Screen Industry Body Announced

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A new Screen Industry Body to boost the West Midlands’ TV, film and games industries has been announced today by Andy Street – a move that could help bring 29,000 new jobs to the region.

The new body, which has been developed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in conjunction with the region’s three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), will be chaired by Deloitte’s international industry heavyweight Ed Shedd.

Birmingham-born Shedd will preside over the board, which will comprise top talent from across the region’s screen businesses and will serve as a single point of contact for national and international film, TV and game makers.

It is hoped the new body, which will be industry-led, will revolutionise the current screen industry, helping to drive investment, growth and thousands of new jobs.

Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “The West Midlands has a strong screen industry with a string of success stories – not least Leamington Spa’s gaming cluster which employs 10% of the UK gaming industry. However we have learnt from the region’s Channel 4 bid and from engaging with industry leaders that there is a lot more that can be done to support the screen sector so the West Midlands can truly be recognised as a world-class centre for creative content.

“We plan to see 29,000 new, high skilled jobs in the digital and creative industries by 2030, but we will not be able to achieve this without having an industry body in place to help the region capitalise on the fast-growing creative sector. For the screen sector to realise its full potential, the brightest and best entrepreneurs from the industry need to have the structure and mandate to drive forward that growth. This new body will provide just that.” 

With an aim to launch in the autumn of this year, the body hopes to act as a coordinating and powerful voice for the sector. Existing networks like Film Birmingham, Screen Central and Silicon Spa will partner with the new body to deliver programmes of activity, which will be at arms-length from local government.

There are four key aims of the new body, including:

  • Develop a single delivery plan and help turn strategy into action
  • Secure and deliver both public and private funds
  • Commission a variety of programmes of activity
  • Both lobby and promote the West Midlands screen industry

Inaugural chairman Shedd, who is Deloitte’s TMT North and South Europe leader, is a well-known screen industry figure operating at an international level with a wealth of experience.

He said: “I am extremely excited about becoming the inaugural chair of this new Screen Industry Body. The screen industries are undergoing fundamental transformation, driven by the advent of near ubiquitous, high-speed connectivity in both fixed and mobile forms. The West Midlands is perfectly positioned to respond to and benefit from that transformation. 

“The traditional media structure and locations that have dominated UK and global media are changing. Creatives no longer need to be wholly present in London, New York and LA. I look forward to working with industry, WMCA and partners to establish this powerful industry structure to help the region capitalise on this opportunity.”

Other members of the new board will be announced in the coming weeks, with applications for those in the screen industry opening soon. As well as announcing the new Screen Industry Body, the WMCA has also produced a report around the region’s screen industry and where its future lies.

It comes after the UK’s first Local Industrial Strategy was launched in the West Midlands earlier this year, with greater economic emphasis placed on the creative sector going forward.

Councillor Ian Brookfield, the leader of City of Wolverhampton Council and the WMCA’s portfolio lead for Economy and Innovation, said: “As the new portfolio lead for the Local Industrial Strategy and the creative industries across the West Midlands, I welcome the mayor’s announcement today of a new screen industry body.

“It is important that this body serves to support the whole of the region, in all its diversity and difference. I want to ensure that creative talent and businesses from the Black Country to Birmingham, from Coventry to Leamington Spa all have the chance to benefit from this new opportunity. “So, I am making a commitment today as creative industries lead to work with my colleagues at the WMCA and the various city councils and LEPs to support this new exciting phase for the West Midlands screen sector.”

Mayor Street announced the new body and report at a West Midlands Screen Bureau event this week. The third Design Lab event, which debated the structure and recent developments around the screen industry, was the final event in a programme supported by the BFI’s Creative Clusters Challenge Fun through National Lottery investment and supported by both the WMCA and Birmingham City Council.

BFI CEO Amanda Nevill has welcomed the news of the new industry body.

She said: “We really congratulate the West Midlands for having the foresight to capitalise on one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK, worth over £100bn to our economy today.  This is great news for a whole range of businesses that will benefit from a thriving screen sector in the area, creating jobs and new international trading opportunities.

“It has been great to see BFI National Lottery funding being part of this new chapter supporting the next generation of creative storytellers in The West Midlands.”


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Safety Management in Film and TV Production – October 12th

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The Production Guild is running their Safety Management in Film & TV Production delivered by Media Safety Limited – a one day course held at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden Park on the 12th October which will not only help keep you and your colleagues safe, but will look great on your CV.

The lead course tutor is Jake Edmonds who has been at the forefront of film safety for 30 years. Jake has overseen many productions – including all eight of the Harry Potter films, and provides safety solutions in the UK and abroad. For more information click here:

This one-day course is designed and delivered by Media Safety Limited covering Health & Safety for freelancers and the employed working in Film & TV Production. It is IOSH and Safety Passport approved. Training is a comprehensive industry specific course delivered by Health & Safety practitioners allowing you to fully understand what skills and knowledge are needed for you to perform your role in production safely and efficiently. These essential skills are recognised and valued by productions and HoDs.

This course is for those working at all levels in Film or TV particularly attendees on past Runner and Location Assistant courses and media students. You must be over 18 to attend this course.

How will it benefit their career?

  • Delegates who successfully complete the course received an IOSH Safety Management in Film & TV Certificate, work book and registration onto the ScreenSkills ‘Hiive’ database.
  • Develop their health and safety knowledge and skills on production.
  • Help their employment opportunities with productions and HoDs.

Skills covered include: Risk Assessment, Checking Competency and Case Studies, H&S Legislation and IOSH Safety Management in Film & TV certificate

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dark money screening

Free Dark Mon£y Screening in Birmingham – July 17th

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The dramatic new 4-part BBC drama Dark Mon£y was filmed exclusively in Birmingham and the West Midlands in late 2018, and coming to screens on Monday 8th July at 9pm on BBC One. It was directed by Birmingham-born Lewis Arnold, and executive producer Mark Pybus of The Forge. Lewis and Mark will be present at an special screening of episode 1 presented by Screen Central, in association with Vermillion Films. The screening will be followed by a Q&A.

Event details
Date: Wednesday 17th July 2019
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm
Location: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham B4 7XR

Get your free tickets HERE.

About Dark Mon£y

Dark Mon£y was written by Levi David Addai and directed by Lewis Arnold. The series will air on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th July and concludes the following week on Monday and Tuesday.

Dark Mon£y tells the fictional story of The Mensahs, an ordinary working-class family from North London whose youngest son has recently finished filming a major Hollywood movie role. But Manny and Sam’s world is shattered when Isaac reveals he was abused whilst out in America by a renowned filmmaker. Although guilt-ridden, the family decide to accept a substantial pay-off to keep silent, believing the money will help start a new life, enable them to heal and avoid the publicity hell of pressing charges against a celebrity. They are wrong. Damage runs deep, and the price of taking the money may be too high.

The drama stars Babou Ceesay, Jill Halfpenny, Rebecca Front, Susan Wokoma, Olive Gray, Ellen Thomas, Arnold Oceng, Joseph May and Rudi Dharmalingam. It was produced by The Forge with Mark Pybus and George Faber executive producers alongside Lucy Richer at the BBC.

Get your free tickets for this Dark Money screening HERE.

Lewis Arnold, The Director

Prior to directing DARK MON£Y for BBC One and The Forge, The Birmingham director directed the first four episodes of CLEANING UP for Sister Pictures. Lewis was also responsible for developing the six-part drama with up and coming writer, Mark Marlow. The show stars Sheridan Smith and is set within London’s financial world and aired on ITV in 2019.

His previous credits include BROADCHURCH and HUMANS, which became Channel 4’s most successful original drama in over 20 years when it aired in 2015. After directing two episodes on series one, he was asked back a year later to direct the lead block of the second series for Kudos and AMC.

It was on graduating from the NFTS in March 2013, that Lewis embarked on directing his first TV project, directing with two episodes of the final series of BAFTA-winning C4 show, MISFITS. He followed this up by directing the first four episodes of Russell T Davies’s new E4 show, BANANA, and was named a Broadcast Magazine Hotshot 2014 for his work on both shows.

His short films CHARLIE SAYS and ECHO, made whilst studying his MA in Directing Fiction at the National Film and Television School, screened at a host of international film festivals, picking up various awards including a National Film Award for Best Short. Lewis has a host of projects in development including DES, a four-part crime drama with New Pictures, as well as feature film projects BULLY and PLAYING DEAD.

Mark Pybus, Executive Producer

Mark joined The Forge from Company Pictures where he produced Uncle Adolf, Wallis & Edward, both for ITV, and Einstein & Eddington, Women in Love and Wolf Hall for the BBC. For The Forge, Mark has executive produced The Last Post, a Peter Moffat series for the BBC which transmitted in 2017, and Collateral, written by David Hare, which aired on BBC2 in early 2018. Currently he is executive producing Dark Mon£y, a four-part original drama series for BBC1 written by BAFTA-winning writer Levi David Addai.

This Dark Money screening would not be possible without the generous support of Vermillion Films. Vermillion Films is an award-winning production company producing branded content, corporate films and commercials for global brands and local companies.

Get your free tickets for this Dark Money screening HERE.

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peaky blinders world premiere

World Premiere of Peaky Blinders in Birmingham – Get your tickets!

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World Premiere of Peaky Blinders returns to Birmingham this summer with a red carpet, fan screening and cast Q&A. The hotly anticipated fifth series of Peaky Blinders is returning to BBC One later this year. But for fans who can’t wait that long, BBC Birmingham and BBC One are hosting an exclusive world premiere in Birmingham.

On Thursday 18 July fans can get a sneak preview of the first episode before anyone else at Birmingham Town Hall, and get a chance to see their show favourites with a spectacular red carpet event. They’ll then be able to put their questions to the cast and creators with a special question and answer panel straight after the first episode.

Series 5 of the BAFTA award-winning drama finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy Shelby MP (Cillian Murphy) is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.

Creator Steven Knight, comments, “Birmingham is of course my first choice for the world premiere, the cast and crew love it here. Birmingham is the epicentre for the show and it means so much to me to come back here year after year and start the series with a bang. This year we’re at the Town Hall, which is a great venue, with more fans than ever before able to see the programme. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions on the night.”

How to Get Tickets

Tickets for the Peaky Blinders World Premiere will be allocated via random draw with 60% of the tickets going to Midlands postcodes* and 40% going to the rest of the UK.

The ticket ballot goes live on 4 July and you can register at any time until 10pm on Wednesday 10 July. You can apply for a maximum of two tickets.

Tickets will be released via the BBC Shows and Tours website  here .

Tickets are strictly non-transferable. Photographic proof of ID must be shown. If you cannot provide this proof you will be refused entry. If your photo ID does not match the name on the ticket you will not be admitted. If you request two tickets because you are taking a guest along, that person will only be allowed in if they are accompanied by you. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please take a look at the FAQs to see what type of photo ID is acceptable.


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Production Guild Movie Magic Budgeting training – July 20th

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Do you want to learn more about Movie Magic Budgeting? Over the weekend of the 20th July, the Production Guild will be delivering a hands-on introduction to Movie Magic Budgeting at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden Park.

This is a hands-on introduction to Movie Magic Budgeting. No previous experience is required but basic computer literacy and a familiarity with Film / TV production basics is assumed. Training includes practice in breaking down a narrative script and extracting data from the script at a level of detail required to build industry standard budgets and schedules.

Course outline

Introduction to the principles of budgeting
Overview of Movie Magic Budgeting tools
The interface between the Movie Magic Schedule and Budget
Setting up and applying and working with: currencies, globals, fringes and groups
Setting up and using library
Setting up the topsheet
Contractual charges and tax incentives
Preparing for cost reports

By the end of the course you will have a greater understanding of the whole budgeting process and feel confident about starting to use Movie Magic Budgeting software on your own productions. Where required, laptops and software will be provided for use during the course.

This training will be delivered by highly experienced Executive Producer, Producer and Line Producer Paul Sarony. Paul has extensive experience of working across feature films, dramas and documentaries. His credits include Mrs Brown, Show Dogs, Juliet Naked, and Being Mick.

Event details
Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st July
Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden

For more information and how to book visit:
For any enquiries, please email

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