Hopeful filmmakers and TV series creators from across the West Midlands pitched their ideas to executives from leading international studios at the first Birmingham Film Market.
Senior representatives from 12 top production companies including Sony Pictures, Bad Wolf Studios, and Acorn TV listened to proposals from 50 delegates at The Grand Hotel, in Colmore Row, on November 26. Endorsed by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and Kidulthood and Tomb Raider actress Jaime Winstone, the event was set up to give talented local people the rare chance to meet top-level industry bosses on a one-to-one basis.
With several aspiring writers receiving interest from the studios, organisers and partners of the film market hope it will help improve investment and interest in Midlands-based film and TV productions.
“It’s been amazing,” said Jaime, who attended the event. “With the buzz of young filmmakers and pitchers, it’s such an environment for creative scripts to flow and it’s so important to see just how much Birmingham has to offer in terms of talent. Especially after the pandemic, people are really delivering on obscure and amazing creative material.”
Through a speed networking process, each delegate had 10 minutes to present their ideas to five executives from the production and distribution companies to a prepared schedule. Having heard the outline ideas and raised questions about their potential, executives can now follow up the stories they want to develop. Writer Hakam Poselay, of Checklist Films, said: “We are passionate about the Black Country and Birmingham being better represented. People should not have to go to Manchester or London for productions to be made. It is exciting to be part of an event like this and seeing where it takes us.”
The Birmingham Film Market was set up by Sophie Ivanova, Mellissa Donello and Louise Osbourne. Louise said: “We had more executives take part than we originally expected and we have had a great response from Midlands filmmakers.
“It has been an incredibly positive event which encourages us that there is a great future for the Birmingham Film Market. Giving the region’s talent the chance to pitch locally to top decision makers will, we hope, set in motion new productions which raise the profile of our local film industry.”