Former Birmingham Student Leaps to Hollywood Silver Screen

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Former Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College student turned Hollywood filmmaker, Tayyib Mahmood returned to his roots this week, visiting his former stomping ground to promote the British Film Institute Academy.The programme, run in partnership with the Midland Arts Centre, gives young people the opportunity to make a short film under guidance from industry practitioners.

Last week saw ex-student Tayyib Mahmood return to Joseph Chamberlain College to showcase the thriving British film industry. A British Film Institute Academy alumni and now mentor, Tayyib now works at Pinewood studios. As a Studio Unit Trainee on the front line of production, his repertoire spans films including Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One – famously filmed in Birmingham – as well as brand new James Bond film, No Time To Die.

Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College is the only OFSTED Grade 1 college in Birmingham and Solihul. It’s already received high praise for its arts, performance and media department and Tayyib Mahmood’s story is testament to the college’s reputation of excellence. Tayyib’s passion for film was discovered whilst he attended the college. He then honed his skills at Birmingham City University.

Tayyib Mahmood on the College

Talking about his time at the college, Tayyib said: “Joseph Chamberlain College helped me discover my passion and love for film which I knew I had but didn’t know how to access. The facilities were amazing as well as the teachers for both Media and Film. They helped me achieve filmmaking at the highest level during my time at the college”.

Joseph Chamberlain College has been rolling out the red carpet for its alumni with former students achieving huge success across the Arts and Film industry.

Other famous faces amongst the JCC alumni include: British social commentary artist, Mahtab Hussain. He uses photography to explore the important relationship between identity, heritage and displacement. Successful actor, Adrian Lester OBE, is also a former student of the college. He’s now gone on to star in many box-office films, plays and TV series.




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Submit Your Short Film to ShortFuse – Deadline October 31st

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 Submissions are now open for Film Birmingham’s next ShortFuse event on Tuesday 26th November 2019! West Midlands filmmakers have the chance to screen their short films at the Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen to an audience of their peers and film enthusiasts.

ShortFuse is a bi-monthly event, aiming to engage with regional audiences and provide a platform for the work of emerging filmmakers. We are also proud to have premiered a number of regional films at our film night, and opened the floor to a number of award-winning filmmakers. We are accepting films of any genre from emerging or established filmmakers for this regional event.

Past ShortFuse Events

Past events at the Mockingbird Cinema showcased regional films, including the BAFTA-winning short 73 Cows, directed by Alex Lockwood and ‘Sylvia’, winner of the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker award at Cannes. Audience members are invited to participate in a Q&A with filmmakers following the screening and to network at a post-event mingle.

Filmmaker Adam Palmer, whose short film Answer was featured on ShortFuse’s opening night, said: “It’s great that ShortFuse offers a platform to showcase the work of filmmakers who sometimes get overlooked in the Midlands; it’s often London and elsewhere. There are some really great films screened as well. “If you have a short film, submit it. You get to watch it with an audience so you can gauge how your film is. A lot of the time you sit there one-on-one with your film. You don’t know how it’s going to be received so it’s good to be part of a community of filmmakers and film lovers.”

Attendee Lee Davis said: “When I saw the regional films, it made me feel like filmmaking is something I could do. I thought the range of the films was very varied, and it was good to hear from BAFTA-winners.”

To Submit

Deadline for ShortFuse submissions is midnight, October 31st, 2019.

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, and a £25 screening fee.

Please email for any further information.


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West Midlands’ Esteemed Creatives Unite to Turbo Charge Screen Industry

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Some of the UK’s most creative individuals including Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight this month launched a powerful new body to turbo charge the region’s screen industry.

Knight, together with Nativity film franchise founder Debbie Isitt and other leading minds from the region’s TV, film and games industries joined Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street to officially launch Create Central – Home of Original Story Telling.

Create Central has been 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.

Unveiling the name, branding and website ( during an event at The Bond Company in Digbeth, Mr Street said:

“There has never been a better time to invest and support our creative sector in the West Midlands. This is a boom time for production in the industry with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Disney, and Netflix all investing hundreds of millions of pounds in original UK content. As the home of original story telling, our region has the tradition and talent to capitalise on this in a big way. The tales of Shakespeare and Tolkien still generate enormous value and interest to this day, and our modern-day storytellers are continuing this success with hits like Peaky Blinders, the Nativity franchise, and Citizen Khan. Create Central will harness the talent of the brightest and best people within the industry so we can turbo charge our creative sector and lead the way once again.”

The Mayor said the WMCA, which he chairs, would work with Create Central to deliver an innovative scheme to train more people for jobs in the film, TV and games sectors.

The WMCA will make up to £500,000 available to launch a series of pilot Create Central Bootcamps in collaboration with ScreenSkills, Ukie and local colleges and providers by the end of the year.

The Mayor added: “We know we cannot grow our screen sector without the right talent and skills in place here in the West Midlands, which is why the WMCA in partnership with Create Central will be piloting new ways to help the industry source great local talent.”

He said the WMCA was looking to see 29,000 new, high skilled jobs in the digital and creative industries by 2030.

Create Central, which also includes Citizen Khan creator Adil Ray and will be chaired by international industry heavyweight Ed Shedd, will dovetail with the region’s wider cultural and tourism sector including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the forthcoming Coventry City of Culture in 2021.

Steven Knight said: “The West Midlands will be the big new everything in European film and television production. It will be bigger and better and the people who make the region what it is will be nurtured and inspired to make great moving image content. Watch this creative space.”

Create Central also aims to capitalise on the region’s status as the UK’s only city-wide 5G testbed – a technology it believes will be invaluable to digital and creative innovators including Leamington Spa’s internationally recognised games companies.

The area around the town has been dubbed Silicon Spa due to the concentration of games companies producing console blockbusters like, F1,Forza Horizon and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

The launch of the new body follows the 18-month long West Midlands Screen Bureau Project which was funded by the BFI through National Lottery funding from the Creative Clusters Growth Fund.

The project ended with the publication this week of the Clusters Development Plan which sets out a number of recommendations including the setting up of:

  • A screen industry body such as Create Central
  • A strategic approach to new infrastructure such as studios, hubs and flexible spaces
  • Screen skills training and development
  • Networks to help the industry work together on joint projects and other initiatives

Ed Shedd, chair of Create Central, added: “I am so excited about Create Central and the impact we will have on the West Midlands creative sector. We are perfectly positioned to respond to and benefit from the fundamental transformation the screen industries are undergoing, driven by the advent of near ubiquitous, high speed connectivity. I look forward to working with the industry, the WMCA and partners to help attract and stimulate our next generation of storytelling, be they telling that story on TV, film, social media, or games formats. And I also look forward to that next generation of storytellers enrapturing audiences, both locally and globally.”




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New Perspectives Documentary Film Funding – Oct 31st Deadline

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Doc Society’s New Perspectives seed fund is an international film fund supporting the development of documentary features. It focuses on issues of social justice, driven by filmmakers who exhibit a unique perspective granted by their connection to the community or issue at hand.

Doc Society recognizes we are at a time where perspective is key to capture the truth of a story. It aims to support documentary film that ignites passion and creates real impact in audiences. They also recognize it’s incredibly difficult to get started. Doc Society is excited to launch the New Perspectives Seed Fund. This will support the development of non-fiction projects by filmmakers around the world.

They are particularly looking for filmmakers who offer a rare insight of the often underrepresented and overlooked. We’re looking for those stories that break barriers and explore nuance over polarity.

By global they mean global – from London to Dallas, Charleston to Taipei, Missoula to Nairobi. They want to hear from you and support your story no matter where you are from.

Funding and Mentorship

The fund will be providing more consistent, deeper support for filmmakers. From developing their creative approach, to casting characters, to advising on additional funding opportunities – they will be mentoring filmmakers on both the development and the progress of their project. In addition to supporting established filmmakers they will be empowering the next generation of non-fiction storytellers to be brave and curious in pursuing the stories they seek to tell.

This fund supports diversity across gender, sexuality, race, regions, mixed-abilities and class. Talent from non-filmmaking communities are encouraged to apply. This is an open call for filmmakers across the globe – whether you’re in a major city or a small town. Documentary pioneers simply need to be eager to share their perspective of the world around them.

This is strictly a development fund. Grants are non recoupable from $5,000 to $20,000 with all rights retained by the filmmaker.

Who Can Apply

Directors from anywhere around the world, of any level of experience can apply. They should be working on films around issues of social justice and equity, be in the early shooting phase, or editing selects. Doc Society’s New Perspectives seed fund does not fund Art Films, Biographies, Films in mid-production, Profiles, News, Current Affairs, Fiction.

To Apply

The deadline to apply is Oct 30. Grantees will be notified by the beginning of 2020.

All Grants are offered with a mentorship component from Doc Society’s Film and Impact teams.

For more information, click here.

Apply here.



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New Shoots Film Funding – Deadline October 31st

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New Shoots is Shooting People’s film competition which aims to support filmmakers wanting to take the next step in their career. Win £1,000 in film funding, industry mentorship, filmmaking equipment, prizes and a public screening of your short in London. Shooting People members can submit to any round. Entry is free. Not a member? Join the community now at 50% off (offer ends 31 October).

There will be four rounds to the competition in 2019 with entries open in January, April, July and October. Each round winner gets mentorship and prizes. An overall winner will be announced at our awards ceremony in December and will receive an additional £1,000 of funding to go towards their next film production.

Apply to New Shoots:

  • Submission periods for each round open through January 1st – 31st; April 1st – 30th; July 1st – 31st; October 1st – 31st
  • One month after submissions close, three shortlisted films will be announced
  • Then, these three films will be sent to a filmmaking patron who will select the winning film
  • Each round winner will be screened at a New Shoots live event
  • The overall winner will be announced at our awards ceremony at the end of the year

Submissions Open: Oct 1st – 31st

For more information and to apply, click here.

New Shoots Prizes:

Awards include industry mentorship from:

  • Channel 4/Random Acts
  • Oscar Winning Producer Simon Chinn
  • Andee Ryder/Misfits Entertainment

Additional prizes are also available:

  • Zoom H4N Audio Recorder
  • Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital System, Lavalier Set (including ME2 clip-on lavalier mic + portable wireless system)
  • Sennheiser Shotgun Microphone MKE600
  • Final Draft 11 Screenwriting Software
  • A years subscription to MUBI
  • A years additional membership to SP
  • A screening of your film at Shooting People’s New Shoots event, RichMix London.

2018 Winner

Chloe White (An All Encompassing Light): “I was absolutely thrilled to be Shooting People’s winner. It’s been fantastic having my film screened in front a large audience (and making some great contacts through that), and then having some wonderful mentoring from top documentary producer Simon Chinn and production company Wildgaze. As a result of the mentoring, it’s helped me to rethink my feature and restructure my trailer. The kit was fantastic to receive and the cash is a HUGE bonus. As an independent filmmaker it’s so wonderful to have this kind of support and exposure. I’ve been a member of Shooting People since I began my career and through it, I’ve made really good friends, have taken advantage of the great discounts and heard about so many events and funding opportunities that have led to great things. Thank you!”



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Open Doors Leicester: Careers in Screen – October 17th

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Want to get the low down about working behind-the-camera in the screen industry? Open Doors aims to give you insight into what jobs are out there and help you build connections with industry professionals.

What’s It About?

This event is for people eager to get their foot in the door and interested to hear about different careers open to them in Film, TV, Animation, VFX and Games. You’ll get the opportunity to:

  • Connect with industry professionals
  • Hear their advice and insights about getting started in the industry
  • Network with like-minded people

Join us at the Grand Hall in St Martins House where you’ll meet industry professionals working in the Screen Industry in round tables of 10, followed by an open networking session. They will also be pizza on the night. To have a look at previous Open Doors event search #OpenDoorsCareers on Twitter.

Who Will Be There?

Industry professionals joining us on the night are:

More speakers to be announced in the coming weeks.

Chat to the ScreenSkills team about Trainee Finder, a scheme that places new talent on paid traineeships with UK films and TV shows like Wonder Woman, Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders, and get inside advice before applications open in November. Find out about regional boot camps & CV clinics and how they can help launch careers in screen.

Event Details

This ScreenSkills event will take place October 17th at the Grand Hall in St Martins House. Leicester, between 6pm and 8pm. Admission is free. Age: 18+. Click here for more information and to register. If you have any questions email Vicky on




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FHM Screening: The Peanut Butter Falcon – October 8th

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Join Film Hub Midlands at The Electric Cinema for a drink from 7:30pm, and the film ‘Peanut Butter Falcon’ starts at 8:15pm.

Dir. Tyler Nilson and Michael Shwartz  | Cert. TBC | 1hr 33 min | U.S.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a modern Mark Twain-esque adventure starring Shia LaBeouf as a small-time outlaw turned unlikely coach who joins forces with Zak, a young man with Down Syndrome on the run from the nursing home with the dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Dakota Johnson stars as Zak’s loving, but stubborn, carer.

For Film Hub Midlands members only.

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Screen Central’s Screen Bytes: A Programme of Regional Films – October 5th

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Our quarterly Screen Bytes screening of regional films comes to Birmingham Weekender for the first time. It’s a packed programme of films and Q&As from film makers, so not to be missed! We celebrate talent from the region. From BAFTA award-winning films to official selections at prestigious film festivals, our film selection goes from the bizarre to the heartfelt but above all, the films present a unique craft in storytelling.

The programme includes:

Film-maker Q&A – Meet film-makers in person as they discuss their work

A Scribbled Memory – We all have demons following us around. In the case of this anonymous individual, his demon is a lack of emotion. Via a real local radio interview, he tells us a harrowing story of domestic abuse from his childhood. This animation serves as a visual element to him and the story – messy, tangled and abstract.

Martha – A town on the borderlands of Texas. A place out of time. A desert where strange lights dance in the night sky. A mecca for lovers of minimalist art. A landscape of lost horses, freaks and food trucks. And then there’s the giant lemon.

Antarctica – The First Dance – Award-winning choreographer Corey Baker creates the first ever dance film on the world’s last great wilderness, Antarctica. Inspired by the austere beauty and fragility of the ice and snow structures, ANTARCTICA: THE FIRST DANCE features Madeleine Graham, Royal New Zealand Ballet, with music by London Grammar. Released on Earth Day 2018, this short film celebrates Antarctica’s awe-inspiring landscape while we still have it. ANTARCTICA: THE FIRST DANCE was directed and choreographed by Corey Baker, produced by Anne Beresford and commissioned by Channel 4 Random Acts, The Space and supported by Antarctica New Zealand, The Royal New Zealand Ballet,  New Zealand High Commission and Dance Hub Birmingham.

Out on a Limb follows Geoff, Dan and Isaac, three wheelchair users who embark on a mission to conquer the Swiss Alps and prove that having a disability won’t tame their sense of adventure.

The Blue Room – BAFTA nominated “The Blue Door” directed by Paul Taylor, written and produced by Megan Pugh & Ben Clark (13th Door Films). Starring Gemma Whelan (“Game Of Thrones”). Clare is a caring nurse opening the door to her new job. But maybe some doors are best left shut…

Yum Yum Song – A jaunty little music video for all ages, exporing the unadulterated joy of eating bogeys, earwax and other delicious fruits of the human body – for an incredibly catchy song written and composed by Iven Gilmore.

Expect a fun and lively Screen Bytes event showcasing work from regional filmmakers and producers. You can also meet the filmmakers themselves and hear a little about the challenges they faced making their films.




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WM Screen Industries Christmas Party – December 5th

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Start Christmas early and in style! This Christmas party is your chance to let your hair down with fellow screen professionals working in the region. We’ve had some great support from some kind sponsors and there will be a healthy amount of Christmas cheer before the cash bar kicks in.  There will be music, food, arrival drinks and a cash bar so get on down!

Generous sponsors: Film Birmingham, BFI Network, Performance Film and Media Insurance and Pannyhire

Book here to attend the Christmas party!


Date: Thu, 5 December 2019

Time: 19:30 – 23:59 GMT

Location: The Engine Room Digbeth, Floodgate Street, Birmingham. B5 5SR

Book here to attend!




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West Midlands New Indie Studio to partner with Channel 5

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West Midlands Studio Chapter 1 Films has joined forced with Channel 5 commissioners to develop mainstream ideas and deliver commissions. They are among the nine mall to medium-sized BAME-owned indie production studios to partner with Viacom-owned UK terrestrial Channel 5.

Along with Chapter 1 films in the West Midlands, the studios involved (listed below) will work alongside Channel 5’s commissioning team. The Channel will then guide them in the development of new projects, receiving development money from a dedicated fund.

Selected Indie Production Companies:

Chapter 1 Films (West Midlands)
Chapter 1 Films is brand new indie set up through a partnership with Producer/ Director Shurwin Beckford and Karma Productions. Their aim is to create unashamed populist mainstream factual television.

Afro Mic (Belfast)
Owned by Emma Dias, Afro Mic started as a short form digital indie in 2014, producing fact entertainment as well as drama shorts. In 2017 it won its first terrestrial TV commission for BBC NI.

Heenahn Bhatti (Yorkshire & the Humber)
Heenahn is a multi-award-winning programme maker, with experience in all factual genres, from obs doc to specialist factual and factual entertainment. Having directed a number of documentaries, Heenahn is now creating his own independent production company.

Big Deal (London)
Owned by Dhanny Joshi and Thomas Stogdon, Big Deal were founded in 2014 and specialise in factual, factual entertainment and scripted formats.

Meridian Line Films (Yorkshire)
Nacressa Swan has 15 years of experience working in factual television and international documentary production and co-founded Meridian Line Films, based in York.

Chatterbox (London)
Owned by Nav Raman and Ali Quirk, Chatterbox is a new production company which is female and BAME-led. Their ambition is to create for major content and platforms with new voices fresh perspectives and thought provoking content.

Ten66 (Hastings, Sussex)
Ten66 is a small, regional BAME-owned indie owned by Rukhsana Mosam, an executive with 27 years’ experience in the business. Their main slate is in factual and they have also recently started creating scripted content with new BAME comedy talent.

King of Sunshine (Manchester)
King of Sunshine Productions is the brainchild of former BBC Commissioner and Entertainment Exec Sohail Shah. Salfordian Sohail has 20 years’ experience in the industry.

Doc Hearts (London)
Owned by Andy Mundy-Castle and Roy Agyeman, Doc Hearts specialises in factual entertainment, scripted, feature documentaries, children’s content, branded content and reality formats.


What People Say

Channel 5 director of programmes Ben Frow said: “We are passionate about working with hungry, creative and enthusiastic small independents who offer a new perspective, whilst being tuned into our channel and audience needs. So this important scheme, brilliantly engineered by Simone from The TV Collective, offers business opportunities to nine talented production companies across the UK, many of whom are start-ups. In broadening our creative influence, our ambition is to see new mainstream commissioned programmes also in the peak time schedule.”

The TV Collective’s Simone Pennant added: “It was a real pleasure working on this project. For years I’ve been saying the talent is out there and they are – in abundance. So this is such a fantastic opportunity by Channel 5 and has the potential of providing life changing business opportunities for the selected companies, which can only be a good thing for the industry.  I really hope this project inspires other broadcasters to move past platitudes and look for meaningful ways to not only diversify staff teams but suppliers as well. Massive Respect to Ben and his team for showing just how easily it can be done.”


Source: and


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