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November Deadline for 4Stories Emerging Directors

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4Stories, the new-talent initiative, designed to bring on and help establish the next generation of writers and directors, is back! 4Stories is the evolution of the Channel 4 talent initiative Coming Up, which most recently created the BAFTA and Broadcast award-winning film ELLEN. The first year of 4Stories resulted in ON THE EDGE, an anthology of films to be broadcast on Channel 4 this August. 4Stories is aimed at finding genuinely diverse voices, exploring contemporary stories of and by communities that are rarely seen on mainstream television. We encourage applications from talent currently under-represented in TV Drama – including women, disabled talent, BAME talent, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Initially we are looking for six writers, who will be tutored by and work with experienced drama producers at BlackLight Television to develop an original half hour idea as part of an ambitious anthology series to showcase their unique voice. Of those six, three will then be chosen for further development and production. We are also looking for three new exciting directors to direct the final scripts. The series will be broadcast on Channel 4. At the end of the process the three chosen writers will also have the opportunity to develop an original series, serial or single with BlackLight Television and Channel 4.

Directors will learn how to hone their skills and deliver their vision under the guidance of experienced drama professionals, kick-starting their careers directing drama for television. This is a unique opportunity for emerging writers and directors to make an authored TV drama with a guaranteed network broadcast. Commissioned by Channel 4 from BlackLight Television, the aim is to create an eye-catching, original and bold anthology.   We aim to start pre-production in the spring of 2019.

 Who can apply

We’re particularly interested in hearing from people who are currently under represented in TV drama, namely: women; people with a disability; BAME talent; and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is in line with the positive action provision of the Equality Act 2010. We want to hear from emerging UK writing and directing talent who bring a distinct and alternative view of modern Britain.

Writers

We want to hear from you if you haven’t had an original single, serial or series broadcast on UK television. It’s fine if you’ve contributed to episodes on soaps, series or serials but you should have no more than two hours of broadcast credits. You’ll need to submit an original full script for TV, radio, film or stage.

Directors

Those without a TV drama credit on a single or series and no more than two hours of broadcast credits on soaps. You’ll need to submit a short or long-form film.

Applications are welcomed from any writer or director who meets the criteria set out above. Although all applications will be considered on their individual merits, in order to promote diversity and to increase participation of those who are currently under-represented in TV drama, use may be made of the positive action provisions in the Equality Act 2010 when deciding between two equally qualified and talented applicants. All applicants must be a resident of the United Kingdom.

Closing Date for writers: 10th September 2018

Closing Date for directors:  5th November 2018

Click HERE to apply.

How Do You #DocSociety Midlands?

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How do you #DocSociety is a listening tour around the UK, and Doc Society is extending the following invitation:

“As the BFI’s delegate partner for the UK’s documentary funds, we are interested in how and why you document society. Together, we will remap how we capture, craft, shape and share the stories that matter most now. And, we’ll share the latest on how to apply for and access the BFI Doc Society funds. In a handful of immersive regional events exploring the new national BFI Doc Society fund and current landscape for non-fiction film, we hear from the filmmakers and decision makers serving the docs community.

Our next stop is Birmingham. We want to know how the good people of the Midlands #DocSociety. Alongside local partner, Film Hub Midlands we will be hosting a full day at MAC Birmingham, of doc appreciation, news on opportunities and support for non-fiction filmmakers, case studies, discussion, networking and one-to-one doc ‘surgeries’. Whether you’re a doc-maker, doc-lover or simply doc-curious, join the community as we embrace a new vision for documentary film in the UK.”

Register here to commit to joining for the whole day.

 

Event Details:

Wed 14 November 2018, 09:30 – 18:00 GMT

MAC Birmingham (Midlands Arts Centre),

Cannon Hill Park, Queen’s Ride, Birmingham B12 9QH

 

For more information on the BFI Doc Society Fund please visit https://docsociety.org/bfi-doc/

If you have any questions about this event or to make a request for financial support to attend this event, please contact fiona@docsociety.org

WFTV Event: Hear From the Makers of Doctors

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Are you a Midlands creative interested in working in Drama? Perhaps you are curious to know more about a genre you don’t work in? Or you want the opportunity to meet like-minded women working in the industry? Then this is the event for you. Come along and meet the women behind the scenes and on the screen of BBC Daytime’s phenomenally successful Doctors drama series.

Doctors is the award-winning daytime drama set in a busy Midlands practice following the turbulent lives and loves of the staff and patients. Traditional medical and crime stories plus hard-hitting story lines combined with light moments filled with jokes and laughter has proved a winning formula.

The Women in Daytime Drama event is a unique opportunity to meet the women behind the scenes and on the screen who play a vital role in producing two and a half hours of great drama a week. Find out from award winning writers, script editors and producers how they work to tight deadlines and demanding budgets and hear from the actors the challenges and joys of daytime drama.

Speakers include: Award-winning writer Claire Bennett, script editor Nasreen Ahmed, producer Caroline Slater and actor Dido Miles, who plays Dr Emma Reid.

To register – click here.

This event is for women in the film and television industry only, it is open to both members and non-members of WFTV.  If you are not already a member and would like to join, please click here. If you have any issues, please email admin@wftv.org.uk 

Event details: 

Thursday 1st November
6:30pm to 8:00pm (Session starts at 7:00pm)

BBC Birmingham – The Mailbox
Birmingham, B1 1RD

Channel 4’s future lies in young, diverse and bullish Birmingham

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At the end of this month, just shy of its 36th birthday, Channel 4 will decide where to move its head office. In the world of media this is a moment of considerable significance. But the potential impact of the board’s verdict is much greater. Here’s why the relocation of this particular broadcaster matters far beyond the cacophonous republic of programme makers, digital entrepreneurs and aspiring film directors.

The bidding process, overseen by Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s chief commercial officer, has yielded a shortlist of three: Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. Each of the cities has a decent claim to the prize – but it should unquestionably go to Birmingham, which has a hunger for the regeneration its presence would galvanise, and a civic trajectory that is perfect for Channel 4. Preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and the prospective arrival of the HS2 link have enlivened the UK’s “second city”, which was once known as the “workshop of the world”. Today, unemployment is falling across the West Midlands but it is still too high: the jobs that a “hero brand” such as Channel 4 would generate are badly needed.

But the city does not present itself as a hard-luck case. Quite the opposite: the municipal spirit that animated Joseph Chamberlain is surging once more. Birmingham’s digital infrastructure, early rollout of 5G mobile capacity, and the tech hub in nearby Leamington Spa are seriously impressive. And while it is true that MediaCityUK in Salford has been home to a chunk of the BBC machine since 2011, it is also certain that Channel 4 would be overshadowed in that setting. In Birmingham, it would be the unchallenged media-mafia family, a potent force in the life of the city from day one.

True, Leeds claims to offer the diversity that Channel 4 is seeking in its new home. But it can scarcely compete with the unparalleled pluralism of Birmingham – whose population embraces more than 187 nationalities – or, crucially, the age demographic of the Midlands city. More than 40% of Birmingham’s citizens are 25 and under. And this – above all else – is what makes the city the ideal new location for this, of all broadcasters. As it approaches its fifth decade (and I’m old enough to remember its launch night), Channel 4 – facing competition from Amazon Prime, Netflix and YouTube – badly needs access to the pulsing marrow of youth. Even in the world of virtual business, the geographical setting of the modern corporation’s HQ still matters tremendously. If Channel 4 moves to Birmingham, it will be living amid its target audience.

Soaring above the bid decision itself, there is an even greater principle at stake. For as long as I can remember, senior ministers have been paying lip service to the argument that London’s grip on the life of the nation is seriously excessive, and that more attention must be paid to what is variously called “decentralisation”, “devolution”, “regionalisation” and much else besides.

Not all of it is verbiage. There are now devolved assemblies in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stormont (the last suspended, it is true, since January 2017); six metro mayors, most notably Andy Street in Birmingham and Andy Burnham in Manchester, and the “northern powerhouse” established by George Osborne. Still, the gravitational pull of London remains overwhelming. Even when power is parcelled out from Whitehall, its recipients are left in no doubt that the real action remains in the Big Smoke. The BBC’s presence in Salford is important. But, come on: the big decisions are taken in New Broadcasting House in London, and everyone knows it.

What makes Channel 4’s relocation so remarkable is that it absolutely does not fit this pattern. For once, a blue-chip national institution with global reach really will be leaving London. And – though the move involves only a single company and 300 employees – its ripple effect is potentially immense. For the first time, a front-rank media organisation at the heart of the nation’s cultural life will be unambiguously based outside the capital. I can already sense the panic in the clubs and bars of Soho. And you know what? It’ll be good for them (which, if you work for a national newspaper in London, is also to say: for us). I have lived in the capital all my life, and make no apology for loving it. But it would be idle to deny that its overwhelming dominance in almost every sector has frayed the social cohesion and economic balance of this country.

As far as the rest of the UK was concerned, it was London that came up with the double whammy of the crash and austerity – and everyone else who picked up the tab. It is impossible to understand the 2016 vote for Brexit without acknowledging the strength of this resentment: the feeling that an ill-defined “metropolitan elite” has long treated the rest of the UK as an annex to its glorious Renaissance city-state, and as the lucky beneficiary of its munificence.

The best way to deal with such broiling sentiments is not to argue but to take action. The relocation of Channel 4 to Birmingham would show that London is ready to devolve human capital and cultural muscle, as well as to subsidise local organisations kept on a tight leash from the centre; that it is truly prepared, at last, to let go of some of its greatest assets. Brexit has inspired an often frantic debate about what sort of country we want to be. Let’s be in no doubt that this is part of the answer.

 

Source: The Guardian

£60 million competition for Children’s TV Content

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The search for “the next big thing” in UK Children’s Television is gearing up as part of a £60 million initiative being introduced by Government to support the nation’s vibrant broadcast sector. Minister for Digital Margot James has announced that the Contestable Fund which aims to halt the decline of UK produced children’s content and reverse the growing trend of airing repeats, will also include more support for programming in indigenous UK languages such as Welsh and Gaelic, a multi-million pound boost for commercial radio and a special fund to help fledgling production companies develop and pitch their original ideas to make them a reality.

In December 2017 plans for a pilot fund were announced and following further engagement with industry including broadcasters, producers and other interested parties the final elements of the initiative have been unveiled. See them here.

Minister for Digital Margot James said, “young people in the UK deserve high quality content that entertains, informs and reflects their experiences growing up across the country today. The UK broadcasting and production sectors are world renowned, and a success story to be proud of. This innovative project is an instrumental part of our support for the UK’s vibrant media sector and will help it continue to go from strength to strength.”

Production levels of new children’s content have declined over the past decade, with public service broadcasters spending roughly 40% less than they did in 2006. As a result a significant amount of children’s programming on children’s channels now consist of repeats.

In 2016, 98% of children’s content on commercial children’s channels and 91% on public service broadcasters were repeats. To directly combat this decline in content for younger people in the UK, £57 million will be invested in to a Young Audiences Content Fund, administered by the BFI. This will focus on funding a new influx of creative and distinctive content that represent UK children and teenagers today. Five per cent of the Young Audiences fund will support production companies develop their ideas.

Additional features of the £60 million Contestable Fund include a welcome boost to indigenous UK languages programming, with an aim to invest five per cent of the total fund on this. Ben Roberts, Director of Lottery Film Fund, BFI has said “We’re excited to be working with Government to deliver the new Young Audiences Content Fund to help support UK companies to create exciting and distinctive new programmes for young people. It goes hand-in-hand with the BFI’s own mission to connect audiences with the widest possible range of content. We look forward to making the most of this new opportunity to back talent to create bold and original programming and expand the choices available for young people.

John McVay OBE, Chief Executive of PACT also weighed in, saying “Pact welcomes the contestable fund pilot and is pleased that the government has listened to industry feedback to help shape the fund. Pact championed the need for development funding and the focus on children’s content and is pleased this has been recognised. This will help bring new voices into the industry and people’s lives.”

Read the full story here.

Free Workshop for Film Producers

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Film producers in Birmingham are in for a treat with a free upcoming workshop, run in partnership with Creative Enterprise and Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. The organisers acknowledge when it comes to “the film producer – no position is more nebulous or complex. But similarly, there’s no role more directly involved with the creative, technical and financial aspects of filmmaking. This workshop offers a detailed analysis of the producing process with an emphasis on the creative, and what it takes to be a producer in today’s combative market. From the project inception to collaborating with writers, directors and crew to handling eclectic and difficult personality types – we go through the 25 creative, practical and fiscal skills a producer needs to work in today’s film industry, using real life case studies.”

Key topics covered in the workshop will be:

  • Script / idea analysis
  • Collaboration and relationships
  • Negotiation
  • Pitching
  • Budgeting / Scheduling
  • Managing the production
  • Distribution and sales

Leading the workshop will be Rob Speranza, an award winning film producer and line producer from Brooklyn, New York. Now based in Sheffield, UK, Rob has produced multiple genre movies, including the 2012 horror feature ENTITY starring Charlotte Riley and Dervla Kirwan, released internationally and domestically in the USA and Canada. Other credits include 2015’s fantasy feature ARTHUR AND MERLIN and the comedy TALKING WITH ANGELS (2017) starring Vic Reeves and Jane Horrocks. Rob is highly experienced with raising funds and pitching for finance, and since 2004, he has ran the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network (www.syfn.org). Rob is also a programmer for 2018’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

DATE AND TIME: Tue 6 November 2018 12:00 – 17:00 GMT

LOCATION:  Gowling WLG Suite Birmingham Hippodrome Hurst St Birmingham B5 4TB

 

To register, please click here.

Netflix Recruiting Accounts Trainees for UK Offices

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Due to record levels of film and TV drama production in the UK, Netflix is looking to recruit a select, small group of trainees, with the right skills and experience, to work in the production accounts department on their productions across the UK. Trainees will complete four weeks of classroom training in assistant production accounting, run by The Production Guild at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden Park. Successful trainees will then be trained on two/three Netflix productions over a six-month period, supporting the work of production accountants and assistant accountants. Duties will include sorting and distributing paperwork, inputting data, processing payments and general office admin.

The training programme is full time, for up to ten successful candidates. At the end of the programme, there may be an opportunity for those successful to continue working for Netflix productions as a freelancer in the production accounts department. Applicants must have academic or vocational qualifications in accounting or an equivalent level of competence through work experience, for example as a cashier, book keeper or in a junior financial administration capacity. They should also:

  • be highly numerate and have a passion for film and TV
  • have a permanent UK address and be eligible to work in the UK

    Previous experience of working in an accounts environment will be taken into account when considering applications

For an application form please email pg@productionguild.com. Download the guidance notes here to see whether you are eligible to apply.

This exciting opportunity is funded by Netflix and delivered by The Production Guild of Great Britain. Please look at this link for an example of the kind of areas that may be tested: http://amby.com/tests/clerical/pract_a.html If you are struggling with this test, you may wish to reconsider whether this career is suitable for you. We will seek to offer places on the programme (subject to references) by Thursday 22nd November 2018. The programme will formally commence on Monday, 14th January 2019 at the Production Guild’s offices at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden Park, Hertfordshire.

Interviews will be at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden Park on 19th, 20th and 21st November 2018.

Application Deadline: 5.00pm Friday 9th November 2018

 

Source: Production Guild

“Been So Long” Birmingham Screening + Filmmaker Q&A

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Film enthusiasts in Birmingham and the West Midlands can head over to MAC Birmingham on Friday 9 November, 6.00pm to see the modern day romance Been So Long and hear from the director, producers and music director. Fresh from its world première at the BFI London Film Festival, Been So Long is enjoying an exclusive 11-cinema event tour as part of Birds’ Eye View’s Reclaim The Frame programme; playing just 10 cities/11 cinema dates UK-wide and kicking-off in Black History Month, the tour commences on Oct 22nd and will feature Q&As with the filmmakers and actors, including Michaela Coel and Arinzé Kene.

In Birmingham on 9 November director Tinge Krishnan, producers Nadine Marsh-Edwards & Amanda Jenks and music director Arthur Darvill will be on hand for a post screening discussion. If you’d like to apply for one of the free tickets you can do so here, however you’ll need to bring someone who has paid for a ticket in order to redeem yours – this will be checked when you pick up your ticket on the night of the event. Your paid guest is also entitled to a discounted ticket for the screening, the discount code is RTFGuest (only available when booking in advance online, by phone or at the box office).

Adapted from Ché Walker’s hit stage play and retaining Arthur Darvill’s original songs, Been So Long is a contemporary musical set on the streets of London’s Camden Town. Krishnan shoots the streets bathed in neon and enriched with romantic possibilities. BAFTA® winner Michaela Coel lights up the big screen as dedicated and whip-smart single mum Simone whose encounter with the confident yet secretive lothario Raymond, played by The Pass star Arinzé Kene (reprising his role from the Young Vic theatre production, currently blazing a trail in his one-man hit show MISTY), has her head spinning.

This charismatic pair lead an all-singing and dancing ensemble populated by a wealth of homegrown talent. Ronke Adekoluejo steals scenes as Simone’s fearless best friend Yvonne, while the volatile Gil (George MacKay) has a score to settle at the bar owned by Barney (Luke Norris). Other faces to note include Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones) and Arsher Ali (The Ritual), with the eclectic soundtrack adding a soulful personality of its own.

Birds’ Eye View is personally hosting each event – director Mia Bays and curator/producer of Reclaim The Frame Jo Duncombe will be on hand all night. This project is funded by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery. The film launches globally on Netflix on 26 October and fans can follow the action and spread the word via the dedicated Facebook Group.

 

 

 

New apprenticeship opportunities with 4Talent

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Channel 4 are looking for 6 new apprentices to join their team!

  • Opportunities available in London and Glasgow
  • Roles include Online, Social Media, Press and Publicity and Production Runner
  • Salary is £19,600 in London and £18,500 in Glasgow
  • Roles begin in January 2019
  • Contracts are for 14 months
  • Include a Level 3 qualification in Content Production or Events Management (dependent on the role)
  • Deadline 16th November.

To apply you’ll need to click through to the roles here: https://jobs.channel4.com/pages/default.aspx

We welcome applications from disabled applicants and are able to offer support and alternative application formats more details on which can be found here: https://careers.channel4.com/4talent/support Support is also available if successful candidates need to relocate to London or Glasgow for the roles.

Women in Film and TV: How To Create A Hit Drama Series

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Are you a female midlands creative with a fantastic idea for a ground-breaking drama series? Would you like to find out the best way to get your programme proposal commissioned? Then come along to the BBC Birmingham Library on Thursday 4th October, 18:30 – 20:00, where Film Birmingham will host the event. Channel 4’s Drama Commissioning Editor, Lee Mason will share his thoughts about what makes great television and explain what you need to do to create a hit drama series.

Lee Mason is a Drama Commissioning Editor at UK broadcaster Channel 4 and has overseen series including The End of the F***ing World, Ackley Bridge, Loaded, Crazyhead and Hollyoaks. Before Channel 4, Lee worked with a number of UK production companies and broadcasters including Tiger Aspect, BBC, MTV, Endemol, Shed Media and Keshet International. Upcoming series include The End of the F***ing World 2 by Charlie Covell, No Offence 3 by Paul Abbott, Adult Material by Lucy Kirkwood and The Boys by Russell T Davies.

This event is for women in the film and television industry only, and it is open to both members and non-members of WFTV. To register or find out more, please click here.