Monthly Archives

February 2020

Celebrate Midlands films with Rural Media – March 4th

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Rural Media invites you to celebrate the remarkable young filmmaking talent emerging locally and across the Midlands.

Join them as they screen a selection of creative short films. These include the premiere of Rural Media’s BFI Academy films and a collection of shorts from the BBC’s New Creatives programme, plus more. There’s also the opportunity to find out more about gaining your very own short film commission from the BBC. Not to be missed.

The films will be followed by a discussion.


Hereford, The Courtyard

Wednesday, 4th March


This event is free, but please book your spaces here.




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BAME Sound Assistant Trainee Wanted for HETV Production

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A boom operator trainee is wanted for a HETV production filming in the UK from May 2020 – September 2020. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn from one of the best in the industry

This is a paid position. Applications are open to all, but a special invitation is open to people from BAME backgrounds. Please note there are available positions year-round so please apply for the chance to be added to the shortlist.


The candidate:-

  • Must have a love and appreciation of sound and want to work in the sound department.
  • Does not need to come from a conventional background i.e. does not need experience in film or TV
  • Does not need a CV to apply but you do need to show what you have done

Person specifications

  • Willing to learn
  • Excellent time keeping
  • Able to plan ahead
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Able to listen, take instruction and direction
  • Love of sound

To Apply

To apply, email Judi Lee at with a covering letter explaining:

  • Why you want to be a boom operator trainee
  • What you want to gain from the traineeship?




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Girls In Film Fund – Deadline March 4th

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Girls in Film and Dr. Martens stand by the belief that any woman, anywhere can take on anything, even when faced with knock backs. Read on to hear what they say about their latest film fund.


Being an independent filmmaker means that you get to follow your own path despite the challenges, and we respect that and want to support you. We seek projects that answer the question of what female strength means to you. We’re looking for projects with fleshed out characters, defined storylines and encouraging messaging.

Girls in Film Fund will accept applications from female filmmakers (minimum director & producer have to be female) with films of any genre up to 7 minutes in length. The films can be in any stage of production but have to be able to deliver to our project deadline in  July 2020.

Through this film we want to celebrate the spirit of female independence and resilience. The overarching goal of our granting program is to help ensure that important female stories and their creators are both told and heard.

Eligibility and Criteria

  • We’re providing £5,000 cash grant to 1 selected director or team.
  • Girls in Film & Dr Martens will organise a launch party for the film in August 2020.
  • Applicants must be resident of UK
  • Minimum director and producer must identify as a woman, trans or non binary womxn
  • Must be 18+ to apply
  • The film concept must be a standalone format, episodic or proof of concept are not accepted
  • Scripts & treatments need to reflect the requirements for length of the film and feasibility of delivering the film on the outlined budget and schedule
  • Additional personal finance is accepted but Dr Martens must stay the majority funder and third party funders are not accepted.


The Application

‍Each applicant will be asked to submit the following:

Team bio: information on director, producer and any other confirmed key HODs
Treatment: the story and your approach, include synopsis, director’s statement and visual approach with mood board
Itemised budget: give us as much information as possible into how you’re using the money
Schedule / post production schedule: project will be greenlit in March 2020 and need to be delivered by July 2020 – can you deliver on tight deadline?
Past work: submit samples of your past work


What are the project deadlines?
The application deadline is 4th March by midnight GMT. No submissions are accepted beyond this deadline.
The shortlisted teams will be notified by 18th March and final winner announced on 25th March after a round of shortlist interviews.

Am I eligible?
‍If you identify as a womxn or non binary and you are based in UK, you are eligible to apply. You don’t have to be citizen of UK but UK citizens based abroad are not eligible this time.

Are men allowed to work on the project? Do all-female teams have an advantage?
‍Men are welcome to work on your projects in positions determined by director and producer. All-female teams are not given preference over other teams.

I’d like to submit my script but I identify as male
‍If you are interested in working on this project as a man, you can find female-identifying director and producer and work with them on your idea. However due to subject matter, stories written from female perspective will be more suitable.

Does the film have to be centered on leading female character?
‍No, the film doesn’t have to be centered on women but it should in some way tell a female story although it can be from point of view of others.

Can the film have other funding?
‍You may supplement the grant using your personal funds as needed but majority sponsorship or funding from third parties is not allowed, Dr Martens remains the majority funder.

Does Dr Martens have to be referenced in the film?
‍While showcasing Dr Martens products is not the objective of the film, competitor product should not be obvious or visible in the final film. If you wish to use it, Dr Martens can provide product for you.

Do I own the rights to my film?
‍You will own all IP rights in your film. However, we require you to grant us permission to use, distribute, or edit the complete film for promotional purposes and distribute them on Girls in Film and Dr Martens channels.

Licenses and releases for the film
‍If there is music in your film, you are required to obtain the rights to use and/or reproduce the music in your film. At a minimum, this will require a license that includes all necessary digital, synchronisation, performance, festival and other necessary usage rights.You are required to receive a model release from all participants appearing in your film. Please avoid filming competitor logos and artwork — you may need their permission to share.

To Apply

All applications have to be submitted via FilmFreeway, after creating an account where you upload your project.  The competition is not searchable through website.
FilmFreeway has some automated submission options and not all of them are necessary to fill – so don’t worry if you don’t have all boxes filled in. Make sure you give us as much information about your project as possible and attach your treatment, budget and rough schedule.
For more terms and conditions, click here.



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New TV Skills Bootcamp to support creative talent in the West Midlands

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The region’s independent TV sector is calling on creative talent from across the West Midlands to join an innovative new skills bootcamp. The West Midlands Combined Authority is funding the innovative pilot scheme to help the region’s screen industry discover new talent, or to encourage people from other careers to switch to the TV industry. It is working in partnership with Create Central – the new industry-led body set up to turbo-charge the region’s film, TV and games industries.

Create Central members who work in the TV sector have helped to shape the bootcamp content and are offering real-life work experience for existing gaps in their businesses, with a guaranteed job interview at the end. The WMCA and Create Central have teamed up with Solihull College & University Centre and Screen Central who will provide the skills training.


About the Bootcamp

The bootcamp will consist of an intensive five-week programme and a three-week real-to-life work placement in one of the region’s top TV companies for people who have the drive and commitment to work as production coordinators, researchers or runners in the TV sector.

Developed by Create Central members working in the TV sector, Solihull College & University Centre and training providers, the bootcamp will help 20 creatives gain the experience needed to become researchers, production coordinators or TV runners. The WMCA is expecting to see 29,000 new, highly skilled jobs in the region’s digital and creative industries by 2030.

The first bootcamps will focus on:

  • Researchers
  • Production Co-ordinators
  • TV Runners

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “In the heart of the UK and the home of TV and film hits like Peaky Blinders, Citizen Khan and the Nativity franchise, there has never been a more exciting time for local residents to start a career in the creative sector. The creative industries are the fastest growing sector of the UK economy and are worth over £1 billion. We are ensuring people in the West Midlands have the right skills and talent to meet this increased demand.

“This pilot bootcamp shows we are delivering on the promises we made at the launch of Create Central, when we pledged up to £500,000 to train more people for jobs in the film, TV and games sectors.”



The successful candidate must demonstrate the following skills and attributes;

  • Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal.
  • Thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Dedicated to pursuing a career in the screen industry.
  • Highly organised and resourceful with ability to constantly prioritise and re-prioritise tasks.
  • A team player with a ‘can do’ attitude who is flexible and adaptable.
  • Self-starter with the ability to use their own initiative.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  • Crazy about content making opportunities.
  • Over 21 years of age.


How to Apply

To start your pathway into the screen industry, submit CV and cover letter outlining how you meet the person specifications and why you want to be involved in this exciting initiative. You may submit additional supporting evidence alongside your CV. CV’s and covering letters should be emailed to

The closing date for applications is Monday 9 March and the bootcamp starts in April.


About Create Central

Create Central was developed with national bodies including the BFI, ScreenSkills, UKie, Creative England, the Creative Industries Federation and PACT to build on the region’s existing creative and cultural talent and take it to the next level, helping to drive investment, growth and thousands of new jobs.

Chaired by international industry heavyweight Ed Shedd, Create Central’s members include Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight and Nativity film franchise founder Debbie Isitt.



Independent TV companies from across the region are involved in the first bootcamp, including Wonder, Full Fat and the sector’s largest employer, North One.

Neil Duncanson, CEO of North One, whose Birmingham base produces Gadget Show, Fifth Gear, Travel Man and all Guy Martin’s programming, said: “It’s great for Create Central to partner with the WMCA to develop these bootcamps, so the indie TV sector can get the right talent into our businesses to meet our immediate needs.

“Create Central members are really supportive of an industry-led approach, so that further education colleges can provide as real-to-work training as possible. We are looking forward to hosting the first work placements in the next few months.”

Lisa Cleaver, head of school for visual performing arts and media at Solihull College & University Centre, said: “We are delighted to be working with the WMCA and Create Central on this exciting project. It gives us the opportunity to work alongside industry to develop meaningful training which directly prepares people for the realities of a career in the screen industry. Every aspect of this programme is being co-designed and delivered with the industry, it is set to be an engaging and exciting programme.”

Cllr Ian Brookfield, WMCA portfolio holder for economy and innovation and leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “Expanding our TV and film sector is a great way of growing our economy in a way that benefits all our communities.

“We will help by equipping local people with the skills and hands-on experience they will need to land these new jobs.”


For more information about the pilot bootcamp, visit .




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‘Undateables’ and ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ Seeking Contributors in the West Midlands

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Singletons and engaged couples are wanted for upcoming filming of hit TV shows Undateables and Don’t Tell the Bride.


Uplifting Channel 4 show The Undateables is making a return – and producers are now casting new contestants. The emotion-tugging series has become a staple in homes up and down the country as people struggling to find love get their chance. Among those to feature on the show in the past was Justin Coling – who suffers from neurofibromatosis – a rare genetic condition that causes tumours to grow on his face .

The BAFTA Award-winning programme follows singles with conditions like Tourette’s, learning disabilities and Down syndrome, as members of their group take part in blind dates, matchmaking and speed-dating.

An Undateables spokesperson said: “Once again we will be following disabled people and those with a variety of conditions through the highs and lows of their quest to find love.

“As with all previous series, we will explore and challenge some of the issues and barriers faced. ‘Betty’ will work with one or more introductions agencies that find matches for their clients across the UK, based on what has been specified by that client in terms of common interests, likes, dislikes, and location. ‘Betty’ will be closely involved with the matching process and work with the agencies who will seek to provide introductions with both disabled and non-disabled people.”

If you would like the chance to meet your match and are interested in taking part, contact the show on 020 7290 0223. Alternatively you can email

Don’t Tell the Bride

If you’re engaged, you could have your wedding paid for by TV bosses. Don’t Tell the Bride is casting couples who want to tie the knot. The show – which sees couples live apart while the groom plans the special day – is offering those who take part £13,000 for their wedding.

Grooms have just three weeks to plan all elements of the big day, including the hen and stag dos. The programme usually features bizarre weddings, with one bride zip-lining into her wedding at 100mph.

To apply, fill in an application form online here. Producers also ask you don’t forget to attach a picture and a quick video of yourselves. Your application will be received by a member of Renegade Pictures and they will contact you directly if successful.





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NFTS Film and TV Masterclass in Birmingham – February 29th

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The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is excited to continue its new Access NFTS programme with an event in Birmingham. These pop-up events are designed to find, inform, engage and inspire a new generation of talent,  wherever they may come from and whatever their means so that they have the opportunity and support to reach their full potential.

When and Where

Birmingham City University
15 Bartholomew Row, B5 5JU
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Saturday, 29 February 2020
The morning (AM) session will run from 10am – 12noon. Registration is from 9.30am.
The identical afternoon (PM) session will run from 1pm- 3pm. Registration is from 12.30pm

On The Agenda

This event will focus on Producing and Production Management. Industry experts and NFTS Heads of Department, Bex Hopkins and Chris Auty will be leading sessions talking about their personal experience, pathways into the industry and opportunities available at NFTS. They will also give a presentation entitled “What IS the state of British film (and top-end TV drama) production today? And why is drama production in the age of Netflix such an exciting – and varied – career choice?”.

Also planned is the screening of a graduate’s short film with a Q&A with one of the films creators. Bex, Chris and our student will then be available to talk to attendees and answer any questions.

Speaker Information 

Chris Auty began his career as a journalist (Time Out, Sight and Sound, Hollywood Reporter), before launching his first business venture — a successful film distribution company that also acquired cinemas (the Gate in London and Cameo in Edinburgh); and then extended the business into international sales and film finance.  He spent the 1990s building up The Recorded Picture Company for owner Jeremy Thomas; working as a producer alongside him on numerous films; and with him created Hanway Films (one of Europe’s leading film sales companies). In the 2000’s he went on to build up TFC/The Works, a film finance and sales business that backed some 25 films.
As a producer or executive he has worked with a very wide range of directors — from Peter Greenaway and David Cronenberg to Shane Meadows, Bob Rafelson, Bernardo Bertolucci, Vincent Ward and Michael Winterbottom – filming everywhere from Argentina and the USA to Germany, Italy and of course England.
Chris joined the NFTS as Head of Producing in 2012. In 2013 he set up the school’s ground breaking cross-media business program (CBEE – Creative Business for Entrepreneurs and Executives), and in 2016 he planned and established the Marketing & Distribution (MDSE) course which is run by HoD Debbie Rowland.

Bex Hopkins began working in Sports production in 1999 as Assistant Producer and also Production Managing short films. She worked as line producer and producer of a number of award winning films, including the BAFTA nominated and Oscar shortlisted short film Lucky and BAFTA nominated Nits. She produced the feature film Mad, Bad & Sad which was released in cinemas in July 2009. Bex previously worked in the Producing Department at the NFTS and has been course leader of the Production Management course since 2011.


These events are open to anyone over the age of 16 interested in a career in the Film, TV and Games industry. Ideally you will have a special interest in the specific area covered in the event, but if you just want to learn more about it then do come along. Anyone is welcome regardless of your experience or background. The aim of these events is raise awareness and experiences of the industry and inspire you to aim to be a part of it.

To Book

For full details of the event, including  speaker information and to book tickets please go to our Eventbrite booking page .

For further information on the Access NFTS programme please go to

Do you have questions about Access NFTS Pop Up : Producing and Production Management? Contact National Film and Television School


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Birmingham-born Designer Screens Provocative Art Film at London Fashion Week

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Birmingham-born designer Osman Yousefzada joined the small but growing number of designers who forgo the traditional runway in favour of more creative and / or sustainable options. For his London Fashion Week presentation, Yousefzada collaborated with the Whitechapel Gallery and Livia Firth to screen his film Her Dreams Are Bigger.

The provocative art film aims to highlight the importance of sustainability, the harsh reality of fast fashion and the global concepts (or misconceptions) of beauty. The London-based designer says the idea for the film germinated on a trip to Bangladesh, where he showed a suitcase full of discarded clothing from British charity shops carrying the “made in Bangladesh” label to women who worked in the industry.

“These women were cogs in a wheel and would never have been allowed to try on the clothes they had made; it was heartbreaking to watch them. Although these clothes were cast-offs, they had a real respect for them, folding them neatly and packing them away afterwards,” the designer told The National in 2018, soon after screening a part of the same film at the Being Somewhere Else exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in his home town, Birmingham, England.

“They sat in a circle and started to try on various pieces, taking selfies and posing,” said Yousefzada, himself the son of working-class Afghani-­Pakistani parents who migrated to Birmingham in the 1970s. “I asked them to imagine who their muses were.”

Some of the responses he got – and went on to capture at the London Fashion Week Screening – were: “They are tall”; “They look beautiful”; “Their hair colour is red”; “They wear different types of dresses which makes them look more beautiful”; “They eat different kinds of food, they only eat fruit, they eat frog, they eat different kinds of snake”, “They’re not black like me, they’re much fairer and very pretty”; “Beautiful faces, their lips, they are like dolls”.

“The women who make clothes don’t really know who they are making them for,” added Yousefzada. “They don’t wear those kinds of clothes, clothes that are put on ships and then offloaded halfway around the world to wind up in high street stores. That’s fast fashion.”





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The Making of ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’

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RTS Midlands is putting one the country’s biggest shows under the spotlight in a special event in Birmingham on March 11th.

ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! returns for its 20th series later this year and the team behind the multi award-winning show at ITV Studios Entertainment are coming to the Midlands to reveal the secrets of its enduring success. From the bushtucker trials to the dingo dollar challenges, every year the celebrity camp mates leave their luxuries behind as they are put to the test living in the Australian jungle for three weeks. We’ll be given the inside track on the making of the show by our panellists and explore how the team keep it fresh and inventive, while also hearing about some of their favourite moments!

I’m A Celebrity… Get me Out Of Here! is a must watch for millions of people and if you want to work in entertainment television or just love the show then this is an evening not to be missed.

Where and When

Wednesday, 11 March, 2020
6pm – 8pm

IET Birmingham
Austin Court, 80 Cambridge Street
Birmingham, B1 2NP
United Kingdom

To Book

For more information and tickets click here

This event is free to attend but places are limited and so booking is required.



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New ‘Whole Picture Programme’ revealed to tackle ‘mental health crisis’ within the screen industries

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Regarded as a a pioneering industry-led action plan for better mental health in the film, TV and cinema industry, the Whole Picture Programme has been announced.

Nearly nine people in 10 (87%) working in the UK’s film, TV and cinema industries have experienced a mental health problem, according to a major study commissioned by the Film and TV Charity. That compares with two in three (65%) people in the UK population, prompting an urgent action plan and taskforce backed by leading studios, broadcasters, production companies and cinema groups.

The ground-breaking study was conducted by the Work Foundation and included a survey of more than 9,000 industry professionals

Key Findings

  • Workers are twice as likely to experience anxiety compared with the national average
  • Workers are three times as likely to have self-harmed compared with the national average
  • Over half of workers have considered taking their own life (compared with one-fifth nationally) and one in 10 have attempted to do so

The Work Foundation’s in-depth report, The Looking Glass, says “the survey findings suggest that there is a mental health crisis within the UK film and television industry”. The Film and TV Charity convened a summit on mental health last month. Industry leaders agreed an initial £3 million commitment to fund an urgent action plan, known as The Whole Picture Programme, which will launch in April. The industry-led Film and TV Taskforce on Mental Health will work closely with experts in mental health. The action plan – to be co-designed by industry partners – will include an enhanced 24/7 Film and TV Support Line and industry-wide behaviour change campaign.

Alex Pumfrey, Chief Executive of The Film and TV Charity, said: “I’m pleased to be working with the members of the new Film and TV Taskforce on Mental Health to spearhead a movement for change. Devastating though the findings from our research are, we firmly believe there is cause for optimism.

As a cohort, we are committed to working closely together to address the widespread issues, building an industry that has ‘great work’; where people are much better supported, in which bullying and the stigma of mental health is relegated to history; and where working practices take account of the very human nature of our work. As the charity supporting the film, TV and cinema workforce we often hear the stories that others don’t. We can no longer shy away from the need for real change.”

What Industry Supporters Say

Zai Bennett, Managing Director, Content at Sky, said: “The Film and TV Charity has delivered a compelling case for investment in the mental health of our industry’s workforce. We are proud of Sky’s reputation as a great place to work, and the Whole Picture Programme will allow us to enhance the support available to our own employees and extend valuable services into the freelance community and across the industry. We want to provide an exciting, vibrant and safe place to work, knowing that our industry will put people first.  We are delighted to play our part in the funding and launch of the Whole Picture Programme.”

Jonathan Allan, Chief Operating Officer at Channel 4, said: “Channel 4 actively supports the collaboration with other industry leaders to provide better mental health care and support for our people. An industry’s culture cannot be changed by one organisation acting in isolation, so by working together, we are sending a clear message to employees, freelancers and the next generation that their mental health and wellbeing are our priority.”

Julian Bellamy, Managing Director, ITV Studios said: “Our people, both behind and in front of the camera, are the lifeblood of this industry and as our Duty of Care Charter makes clear, their mental health and wellbeing is our top priority. At the heart of ITV’s social purpose strategy is our Mental Wellness five-year campaign and as part of it, we back taking an active role in the Taskforce and this programme. We support this initiative which brings the industry together to reiterate and say to our teams, we are there to support you.”

Paul Farmer CBE, Chief Executive of Mind said: “The Film and TV Charity’s research has revealed the scale of the mental health crisis in the film, TV and cinema industry – and a collaborative and industry-led approach to tackling this is crucial. I am totally behind the principle that ‘it will only work if we do this together’ and am really pleased to see such widespread and positive engagement from the industry. At Mind we look forward to working with the Film and TV Taskforce to make a real difference for the mental health of the industry.”

Heather Carey, Research Director at the Work Foundation, said: “The film and TV industry is one of the most creative and rapidly growing parts of the UK economy; but the results from the Looking Glass survey paint a concerning picture of working life in this industry.

Across a range of measures, those working in the sector experience significantly worse mental health outcomes. Our research has surfaced the underlying and interlinked causes – from working conditions and culture, to the capability of the industry to provide support to those that need it most. Many of these risk factors are heightened amongst the diverse talent the industry is working hard to attract; and it is particularly concerning, given skill shortages evident in UK film and TV, that 63% of workers have considered leaving the industry because of worries about the impact it has on their mental health.”

About the Film and TV Charity

The Charity works behind the scenes of the film, television and cinema industry in the UK. From research to writing, through casting and production, to editing, sales, distribution and exhibition, the organisation supports the lives of everyone involved.

  • The charity recently piloted a free, confidential, independent Film and TV Support Line to provide 24/7 support for everyone working in the industry on issues such as debt, depression and harassment. People can access the service via phone 0800 054 00 00, online chat at or by emailing
  • The Film and TV Charity was founded as the Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund in 1924 and later became The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. Alex Pumfrey was appointed CEO in October 2017 and the organisation and embarked on a bold new mission to extend its reach and impact as The Film and TV Charity. HM Queen Elizabeth II has been Patron of the charity since 1952. Registered charity no. 1099660
  • Follow the charity on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @FilmTVCharity


The Work Foundation is a leading British, independent authority that provides consultancy and in-depth research on the world of work and improving the quality of working life.


Source: The Film and Television Charity


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