Monthly Archives

July 2020

Birmingham’s NEC to open as film and TV studio complex

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The arenas and exhibition spaces plan to transform into film and TV studio spaces to avoid staying empty during the pandemic

The arenas at Birmingham’s large-scale events space, the NEC, are to be offered as film and TV production spaces, to provide a use for them during the Covid-19 restrictions. Specifically, the Utilita Arena Birmingham in the city centre and the Resorts World Arena on the NEC campus are going to be made available to film and TV productions.

The Utilita Arena has 62,500 square feet of space inside the arena bowl with a sports hall with 16,000 square feet below. Already existing in the space are dressing rooms, furnished production offices, crew and catering facilities – including a fully-serviced kitchen – staging, as well as an on-site team of rigging and technical experts (sound, lighting, video PAs etc).

Meanwhile, the Resorts World Arena offers 49,000 square feet of arena floor space, and an annex, known as Forum Live, with 30,500 square feet of space. The roof height clearance through the vehicle entry doors at Utilita is around 20 metres and the Resorts is 10.8 metres, so articulated trucks can get in. There’s also a suite of offices, dressing rooms, and rigging capability and expertise.

Productions also have the opportunity to use the NEC’s vast exhibition spaces (250,000 square metres of space).

The managing director of arenas within the NEC Group, Guy Dunstan, said his team have already been in discussions with a number of UK-based film and TV production companies interested in utilising the arenas for filming this autumn.

Dunstan said: “We’ve got a clear diary for both our arenas from now until the end of the year, so we’ve been exploring ways we can utilise our space to get business into the venues, and film and TV production seemed like the perfect fit. We’re aware there’s a big backlog in schedules for film and TV productions, and a lack of space to support that, as the industry gets back to filming.

“These two significant areas can either be used concurrently for filming, or productions can utilise one space for set builds and workshops, and the other for actual filming,” he adds. “A lot of the infrastructure normally found on sets is already in place for film and TV productions, so they don’t need to bring in portacabins and mobile kitchens etc.”


See and book West Midlands’ studios and build spaces here.




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Apply for investor relations programme Creative Enterprise Evolve

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Creative England have launched the second iteration of Creative Enterprise Evolve – a unique investment-readiness programme for content makers and innovators seeking finance for business growth.

Led by Creative England in partnership with the British Film Institute and UK Business Angels Association, Creative Enterprise Evolve is for high-potential screen-based companies and technology platforms that innovate across video-games, animation and visual effects, immersive media, film and TV and technology platforms that support the screen sector. This is a competitive 6-month programme with just 20 spaces available.

What is it?

Creative Enterprise Evolve is a development and investor relations programme for content makers and innovators who’re seeking investment for business growth.

Who is it for?

Led by Creative England in partnership with the British Film Institute and UK Business Angels Association, the programme is for high-potential screen-based companies and technology platforms that innovate across video-games, visual effects and animation, immersive media and film and TV.

Perhaps you’ve not raised investment before and don’t know where to start or you’ve already in the process of raising and you need some help – the programme will help you to evaluate your business offering, define your investment goals connect you with experts and investors who can help you take your business forward.

What is involved?

The programme is designed by investors and delivered over a period of 3 to 6 months through a sequence of one-to-one sessions, combined peer-to-peer group meetings and pitching platforms to prepare you for your investment round and facilitate investor introductions.

Successful applicants will join a cohort of 20 creative company founders to complete a 4-stage pathway;

  • Diagnostic – a review of your business, commercial model, and investment proposition
  • Define – set your investment goals and refine growth plan
  • Propose – build your investment strategy and investor pack
  • Connect –soft introductions to investors and pitch presentation showcase


To be eligible to apply you must;

  • be seeking private investment to grow your business
  • be able to demonstrate growth potential
  • have a draft business plan of how you intend to grow using investment
  • have a founding team with a strong track record in the industry
  • have identifiable customers and a proven business model
  • employ a minimum of three full-time people within the business
  • promote the use of storytelling and creativity with your content
  • be a screen-based company or technology platform that operate across videogames, visual effects and animation, immersive media and film and TV
  • be registered in the UK, preferably within the English regions, outside London

To Apply

Applications close Monday 24th August 2020 for the programme to start in September 2020.

Apply via the information page here.


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UK community cinemas call for zine and video submissions for visual project “Waves”

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UK community cinemas No Planet B (London), Caribbean Pop Up Cinema (Birmingham) and Sea/Film (Scarborough) are delighted to announce their collaboration on a special online screening event taking place in August 2020: WAVES

A wave is a form of affection and greeting, a valuable gesture in our current times. But waves are also what define and shape the movement of the sea. This project aims to bring people together, to think about and celebrate the sea, and how it both separates and joins us.


About the Project

Waves is a new collaborative environmental film event devised by No Planet B, London, Sea/Film, Scarborough and Caribbean Pop-Up Cinema, Birmingham. It is a special online event comprising of three parts; an online screening event of short films and presentations, a digital zine and a community-made film, all celebrating and exploring the theme of waves and how the sea connects us.

Martha Cattell of sea/film says: ‘Waves offers a great opportunity to create new partnerships with other community film organisations, and bring together new audiences and ideas in the process.’

Denyce Blackman of Caribbean Pop-Up Cinema says: “The Caribbean has a special relationship with the sea. The blue of the waves feature on island flags and form a vital part of Caribbean livelihoods, and West Indians of the Windrush generation traveled by sea to begin new lives in the UK. We invite everyone in the Caribbean diaspora to join this project which celebrates this significant part of our story.

Julia Brow of No Planet B says: ‘The oceans are integral to our life on Earth. Nearly half the global population depends on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. We are looking forward to engaging with audiences with this new creative project that explores both our interconnectedness with the sea and with each other.’


How to Get Involved

Zine Contributions: You can contribute to the community zine via submitting your work around the theme of waves, from poetry, art, photography, writing, histories here.

WAVES will be publishing the Zine as a free PDF and every contributor will receive a copy of their published work. Rules for contributions: Writing 550 words or less, the deadline for submissions is August 9th.

Video Contributions: Have you taken a clip of the sea whilst on holiday, or do you live by water? WAVES are creating a unified and continuous wave, so need your help via short clips of waves, 30 sec or less which will be edited together. Submit your video clips here. 

Attend the Screening: Details of the screening will be announced once confirmed, on the groups’ social media pages and newsletters (see social media links below).

Zine Call Out: WAVES

Images and Artwork: submissions of photos, a drawing/painting of waves and an image or set of imges, with maybe a small piece of text accompanying it, explaining the view depicted/your thoughts on the view. The description can be in the poetry or prose and may even just be a caption. Image or set of images + suggested word count: 250.

Creative Writing: Writing and poetry on waves, interpret how you like! Suggested word count: 500.

Non-Fiction Writing: Is there some waves from a film, a memory or history that have interested you or even the science behind oceans/rivers? Text word count: 500.

​This zine will form part of a collective project on the theme of waves; it will explore different ways of looking and depicting the same topic. WAVES want this project to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, so please email us with any questions or suggestions.  They will be producing an online version of the zine, which will be free to download and sent to all participants.


Film Call Out: WAVES

30 second or less clips of waves, maybe you live by the sea, from a past holiday, a clip someone sent you, or even a brief animation!


Video and Zine Submissions

Anyone can contribute to the zine or with video. Submissions are welcome from contributors of different ages and geographical locations.

Submit your work using this form: 

Deadline for submissions is August 9th.

Email any questions to

WAVES want this project to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, so please email them with any questions or suggestions.


Stay Connected

No Planet B: @noplanetbfilm on Instagram and Facebook, sign up to newsletter here.

Sea/Film: FacebookTwitterInstagram or visit our website.

Caribbean Pop-Up Cinema: TwitterFacebook and Instagram


The project is kindly supported by Cinema for All and BFI





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Film Birmingham

Submissions open for Heritage Films

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Film Birmingham is proudly hosting a culturally significant programme of films as part of This is My City – Sports & Culture Festival.

From August 29th to August 31st, our ShortFuse film programme will move online, showcasing a selection of local films of all genres. We invite you to submit yours! These films will form the official ShortFuse selection for the festival.


 About This Is My City

This annual project will showcase the heritage, history and successes of Asian, African, Caribbean and European migrant communities within the city. It features a weekend online festival combining the universal elements of food, film, music and sport, under the hashtag #TIMCBHAM. Participants in the festival will have a platform to showcase their creative projects and innovative activities, all aimed at supporting the health and well-being of communities during COVID-19.


About ShortFuse

ShortFuse is Film Birmingham’s short film event, providing a platform for the work of emerging regional filmmakers and engaging with audiences. We have been proud to premier a number of regional films at our film nights, and opened the floor to a number of award-winning filmmakers. 

Past events at the Mockingbird Cinema showcased regional films, including the BAFTA-winning short 73 Cows, directed by Alex Lockwood, Sylvia, winner of the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker award at Cannes and award-winning Faith, by renowned stuntman Nick McKinless.


What We Are Looking For

We want to celebrate authentic voices from migrant communities in our ShortFuse programme. 

Our themes centre around identity, heritage, migration and cultural linkages to the United Kingdom.

We are accepting short films under 30 minutes long, including narrative films, art films, documentaries and music videos. Emerging as well as experienced filmmakers are welcome to submit. 

For this event, submissions are open to film-makers from the diasporas of Asia, the Caribbean, Africa or Europe. Films are also accepted by non-residents if they speak to the above themes.


To Submit Your Film

Submissions close on July 31st at midnight. Please email with the following info:

All films must be under 30 minutes. If selected, you will then be asked to provide a hi-res version of your film. Please email


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john brabourne awards

John Brabourne Awards – Application Deadline July 31st

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The John Brabourne Awards has supported up and coming talent since 2007 and we’re proud to have over 100 alumni. We offer financial assistance of up to £5,000 to people in the UK film and TV industry who have already proved what they can do – but now face obstacles to their success. This may be financial, health-related or due to a change in personal circumstances.

The legacy lives on

Named in honour of legendary producer John Brabourne, these awards help to make sure talent isn’t wasted. In a continuation of his legacy, John’s son Michael-John Knatchbull and granddaughter Kelly Knatchbull (agent at Sayle Screen) are members of the awards panel – along with Cameron Saunders, Vice President International Theatrical Distribution at Paramount Pictures (Chair); Nigel Wolland of the British Cinema & Television Veterans; and Mark Clark, Talent Development Manager.

Winter Round 2020 applicants update

The JBA Panel will be shortlisting this week and we are hopeful that the shortlist interviews will take place by mid-June.

Please note that the situation is fluid due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus Covid-19. Updates will be added here and on Twitter at JBAFilmTV.

What can the award go towards?

It depends on your situation. You could put the award towards production projects, scriptwriting and development, education or training. This isn’t a definitive list, so feel free to contact us to chat through your plans. We’d love to help you to deal with any barriers and push your career to the next level.


The applications deadline is July 31st.

Can I apply?

Ready to apply?


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WOFFF – Short Script Contest for woman over 50 now open

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The WOFFF20 short script competition is now open. The competition is open to as-yet unproduced, complete short drama scripts, under five minutes, centring on a woman over 50 or written by a woman over 50. Shedunnit Productions returns as the key partner sponsoring this competition.

WOFFF Awards and Prizes

The Shedunnit Productions Prize awarded for the winning script is a script consultation with Helen Jacey, founder of Shedunnit Productions and Author of The Woman in the Story: Writing Memorable Female Characters. This consultation can be for a feature screenplay, TV pilot or short film. She says: “It’s a privilege to be judging the WOFFF Best Short Script Prize for the second year. I’m excited to discover some fantastic older female characters on the page – or scripts penned by fabulous older women filmmakers! Short scripts are not necessarily easy to write, but done well, they are utterly impactful.“

Other 1st place prizes include a signed copy The Woman in the Story: Writing Memorable Female Characters by Helen Jacey, a winner’s certificate and a bottle of Mother’s Ruin gin. This prize is sponsored by Mother’s Ruin Gin. Runner-up short drama scripts prizes include a signed copy of a Helen Jacey book and a winner’s certificate

Submit Your Short

This is a competition for completed short drama film scripts up to five minutes in length with a woman over 50 at its centre or written by a woman over 50. Submissions are open from 22 June 2020. The deadline for this competition is 25 July 2020 or the date when 50 scripts are received by WOFFF, whichever is sooner.
Click on the Filmfreeway below to read the full details of the competition and how to apply.




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Global Short Docs Forum – Open for Submissions

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Global Short Docs Forum connects short documentary filmmakers with digital media platforms. The Global Short Docs Forum 2020 brings together 12 filmmakers selected from a global call, to attend an intensive online training programme and one-to-one pitch meetings. Over four weeks of masterclasses, workshops and mentoring we will take your short doc from conception to commission.

What are the benefits?

  • Invaluable pitching training and mentoring
  • Workshops + masterclasses from industry experts
  • One-to-one meetings with digital platforms
  • Connect with doc filmmakers from all over the world
Who are we looking for?
  • Filmmakers of short documentaries with new and original narratives.
  • Open to applications from all over world, with documentary projects up to 30 mins.
  • Special interest in stories that have a social, political or cultural narrative, take a solutions journalism approach or give us a new perspective on the changes we want to see in the world.

How does it work?

  • The annual call for applications is open to all.
  • Selection is based on the filmmaker’s proven ability and the strength of the story, characters and footage provided.
  • 12 selected applicants participate in a 4 week intensive online training programme and one-to-one pitch meetings.
  • Applications to GSDF 2020 are free.

Global Short Docs Forum 2019

For the second edition of the Global Short Docs Forum, 16 short doc filmmakers, 7 digital platforms and a whole host of industry experts gathered at Docudays UA in Kyiv, Ukraine. The 4-day workshop was an incredible whirlwind of masterclasses, storytelling, collaborating and pitching. Find out more about GSDF 2019



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Production Assistant Intern Wanted – Slinky Productions Birminham

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POST: Production Assistant Intern (12 Months Full Time)

ROLE: 1 Year Student Internship for University Students Studying Video / TV / Film. You must be about to start your 2nd year of University as this internship must form part of your studies. If you are in any other year of study, have completed your course or have already graduated then unfortunately we can’t offer you the position.

LOCATION: Based in Birmingham (UK), but you will be expected to travel throughout the UK – and occasionally internationally – when required.

DURATION: 12 months, full time (circa end of August 2020 to end of August 2021)

STANDARD HOURS: Monday–Friday 0900-1700 although you will be expected to work outside these hours, at weekends and bank holidays as and when production and filming schedules require.

SUBSIDY PAY: £750 per month student internship subsidy

HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT: 20 days paid leave, plus statutory Bank Holidays

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday 19th July 2020 (11pm)
INTERVIEWS FOR SHORT-LISTED CANDIDATES: Week commencing 24th July 2020 (via Video Call)
PROPOSED START DATE: End of August 2020 (TBC) – *some initial pandemic remote working may be required


As a Production Assistant and junior member of the Slinky team, you will have a great positive ‘can-do’ attitude and work ethic. You will be self-motivated, extremely organised and committed to your role in the close team. You will assist in a large range of production and business tasks, both in the office and filming on location.

Slinky produces a huge range of productions; from corporate and commercial promos, through to live event and conference videos, TV commercials, training films and animations. You will be comfortable in adapting and contributing to these styles and work well under pressure when required.

Some of the roles you will be involved with across the year include:


  • Assisting production planning and pre-production: including research, travel logistics, scheduling and call sheet drafting.
  • General assistance of crew, contributors and clients on shoots
  • Driving duties to/from shoot (if driving license available)
  • Shot logging
  • Manning the B-camera when appropriate
  • Assisting with and working alongside the Post-Production and animation department
  • Assisting in Quality Control checks
  • Lots of other production duty opportunities to nurture and grow your skill set – including filming and post production opportunities.


  • Answering phones and taking messages
  • Equipment prep and pick-ups
  • Office housekeeping and systems
  • Assisting with general marketing and business development duties
  • Client hospitality and coffee runs


    • Confident English writing and typing skills
    • Comfortable with office applications such as Excel and Google Docs
    • Excellent communicator
    • Highly organised


  • Experience with Adobe CC
  • Driving license
  • Likes Back To The Future


Applications for this position will only be accepted from 2nd YEAR Video/TV/Film University Students. You must be about to start your 2nd year of University as this internship must form part of your studies. If you are in any other year of study, have completed your course or have already graduated then unfortunately you aren’t eligible.

All applications must be made through the online application form on their website. When you submit your application, you will automatically be emailed a copy of your application for your own reference. Strictly no phone calls to the production office please. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


Slinky Productions is a small-but-mighty busy video production company with large ambitions. They produce a wide variety of content working to very high standard with premium client service. Their roster of clients include Jaguar Land Rover, Autodesk, the NHS, L’Oréal, The PGA, West Bromwich Albion FC, Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s – as well as many other small and huge interesting clients you’ve probably never heard of!



Coronavirus COVID-19 Updated Guidance

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On July 7th, the UK Government announced an exemption to the quarantine requirements for film and high-end TV cast and crew. The exemption relates to those working on productions which qualify as British under one of the Government’s cultural tests or official co-production treaties.

This result is partly testament to the hard work of colleagues in the Screen Sector Task Force, who have campaigned for the change. The British Film Commission have issued further guidance via the Covid-19 section of their website. It is as follows:

British Film Commission – Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production

This document is intended to provide high-level guidance to manage COVID-19 specific risk in producing film and high-end TV drama in the UK. It has been prepared in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) with input from crew and crew representatives, industry bodies, unions and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

This guidance should be read in conjunction with the latest UK Government guidance. Productions based in Northern IrelandScotland and Wales should additionally check for the relevant devolved Government guidance as it may differ.


  • Download British Film Commission – Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production guidance here.

Current version: V.2.0 Published 6th July 2020

For optimised viewing, please open the PDF through Adobe Acrobat Reader or Google Chrome. If you read the PDF using Safari or Apple Preview, links to certain sections of government guidance may not work but Apple Mac users can access an adapted version of the guidance here.


  • Download Travelling to the UK for work in Film or High-end Television Drama Production During COVID-19: Self-isolation (“Quarantine”) Exemptions guidance here.

Current version: V.1.0 Published 6th July 2020

For optimised viewing, please open the PDF through Adobe Acrobat Reader or Google Chrome. If you read the PDF using Safari or Apple Preview, links to certain sections of government guidance may not work but Apple Mac users can access an adapted version of the guidance here.

Always make sure you are working from the current version.


  • The UK TV industry has produced guidance for managing the risk of COVID-19 in programme making which applies to all TV production and can be found here. In the case of high-end TV drama productions, this guidance should be considered alongside the UK TV industry guidance.


  • Guidance for Safe Working in Post-Production and VFX, produced in consultation with, and endorsed by, the British Film Commission Recovery Group, is available here.


  • ScreenSkills, are adapting and developing training initiatives to support the film and HETV industries’ recovery efforts.


  • Read law firm Wiggin’s Returning to Production Employment and Data Protection FAQs here.


  • For additional industry advice and guidance on Coronavirus COVID-19, see BFI info here.


Source: Production Guild, British Film Commission


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