Developing Skills and Talent in the Creative Industries
Here you can find help and advice on the creative film / video and moving image industries. This comprehensive guide includes a list of links related to: careers, communities, courses, developing skills, funding, jobs and work experience.
Please note: Our site contains links to and from other websites. Studio12 and Leeds City Council do not necessarily endorse or support the organisations that are linked to or from our website. We cannot guarantee that links will work all the time, and we have no control over the content or availability of the linked pages on other websites. We aim to keep this page as up to date as possible, however please check details yourself before applying for opportunities, some of which may be paused or cancelled due to the pandemic. If you’re a Studio12 member and need some help or advice in applying for any opportunities or funding, please get in touch: email@example.com
Want to break into the screen industries but feel your financial situation is holding you back?
Some of the opportunities in this guide take place outside of Leeds. Did you know ScreenSkills can provide bursaries to support you? You can apply for money to pay for most things that relate to training, work and work-related activities. This includes training fees, accommodation, care, disability access costs, equipment, software and travel. Visit the ScreenSkills website to find out about bursaries.
Want to break into the screen industries but don’t know where to start?
Visit ScreenSkills to learn what to study, how to choose a relevant degree, get an apprenticeship or become a trainee, and how to approach employers.
Visit the BBC website to explore your creative career options.
Need a portfolio that demonstrates your creativity?
Visit ScreenSkills for advice on developing your portfolio in Animation, Costume, Games, Sound, Showreel, Visual Effects, Writing, & more.
Want to explore the different types of roles available in Film & TV Drama, Visual Effects (VFX), Games, Animation & Unscripted TV?
Visit ScreenSkills to explore job profiles in the screen industry
Want to work in TV, be on TV, or pitch to TV?
The Want to Work in Television website has useful advice, from pitching to running to acting.
Interested in becoming TV or Film Production Runner?
Visit the National Careers Service to find out about Production Runner careers.
Interested in becoming a Producer?
The Producer’s Handbook addresses some of the paperwork, jargon and queries that producers may encounter when starting out in their new role. Visit ScreenSkills to read their Handbook to Support High-end TV Producers
ScreenSkills Industry Information: Browse research, videos, case studies and other useful information published by ScreenSkills and other industry organisations. Filter according to your interests. Visit ScreenSkills to access free industry information.
Supporting Film Industry Community
British Film Institute: (BFI): The UK’s lead organisation for film, TV and the moving image who actively seek out and support the next generation of filmmakers. Visit the BFI website to find out about their courses, internships, jobs, and funding for film projects.
Creative England: They uncover, connect and back the best original storytellers; driving diversity, collaboration and growth in the creative screen industries. To nurture diversity and champion the best talent in the games, TV, film and digital media industries they provide direct investment and loans in addition to business mentoring. Visit Creative England to find out more about loans and business mentoring.
Film & TV Charity: Founded in 1924, the charity working behind the scenes of the UK film, TV and cinema industry. From research to writing, through casting and production, to editing, sales, distribution and exhibition, they support the lives of everyone involved. They offer a wide range of financial, practical and emotional support to people who have talent, spark and dedication, yet find obstacles in their way. Visit the Film & TV Charity’s website to find out more about how they can support you.
Film Hub North: A network of organisations committed to fostering a vibrant, flourishing film culture in the North of England. We support and represent a wide-ranging group of exhibitors and filmmakers throughout the region. We provide funding and training that helps exhibitors expand their reach, develops local filmmaking talent and, ultimately, ensures that audiences in the North have access to a rich variety of cinema. Examples of their funding include talent development funding to help you make films, and exhibition funding to help you in screen films. Visit Film Hub North’s website to find out more about how they can support you.
Leeds Film: Part of Leeds City Council and supported by the British Film Institute, Leeds Film delivers three annual film festivals: the Academy Award and BAFTA qualifying Leeds International Film Festival (November); the UK’s largest family film event, Leeds Young Film Festival (Easter); and the new Independent Directions Film Festival (Easter). Leeds Film also delivers year-round audience development support for film culture in Leeds and the wider city region, including: LIFF Presents and LIFF Selects; projects and programmes for young people including Burberry Inspire, the INDIs Network, and the BFI Film Academy Leeds; and the Leeds Short Film Awards with seven regional, national and international competitions. Their website features information and listings for all Leeds Film activities, including what’s on for our film festivals and year-round programmes. To make sure you receive the latest announcements and updates, sign up for their monthly newsletter. Visit the Leeds Film website to find out more about their year-round audience development support for film culture in Leeds.
PACT: The trade association representing the commercial interests of UK independent television, film, digital, children’s and animation media companies. Pact supports its members with legal and business affairs advice and support, as well as a wide range of services and campaign work. Visit PACT to find out more about this trade association.
ScreenSkills: The industry-led skills body for the screen industries who work across the UK to ensure that film, television, VFX (visual effects), animation and games have the skills and talent they need. Visit ScreenSkills to find out about their apprenticeships, bursaries, career development, industry insight, mentoring, training and other opportunities.
Screen Yorkshire: Their ambition is to grow a world-class screen industries hub of international significance in the Yorkshire and Humber region. They deliver this vision by investing financially in productions; developing talent to create a skilled workforce; building best-in-class studios and fostering Yorkshire’s global reputation as an outstanding location for creatives. Visit Screen Yorkshire to find out more about their funding, training and other opportunities.
Women in Film & TV: The leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK and part of an international network of over 13,000 women. Members of the organisation come from a broad range of professions spanning the entire creative media industry. They host a variety of events throughout the year, present a prestigious awards ceremony every December and run a mid-career mentoring programme for women. They also host networking evenings, collaborate with industry bodies on research projects and lobby for women’s interests. Visit the Women in Film and TV website for opportunities and events.
BFI Film Academy: Age 16-25 and interested in film, or wanting to explore a career in film? Visit the BFI Film Academy for range of opportunities, workshops, courses and more.
BFI Film Academy Leeds: It’s designed to train and inspire the next generation of UK filmmakers, supporting young people aged 16-19 to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film. No experience is necessary. It offers training for every film industry role, from writing to production, sound design, editing and camera. As part of the course participants will get to make a short film and gain the NCFE Level 2 qualification ‘Preparing to Work in the Film Industry’. Visit the Leeds Film website to find out more about the Academy course and to apply.
Channel 4 Apprenticeships: If you’re new to the industry, apprenticeships offer the perfect way in. They’ll give you the experience you need to get on and a qualification to help you take your next step. Plus, you get paid £18,500 while you’re learning so they make for a great alternative to university. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out about their Apprenticeships and when the deadlines are.
ITV Apprenticeships: A minimum 12 month paid programme within one of their departments, and during your time there you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience from working with industry experts. Visit the ITV website to find out more about their Apprenticeships and when the deadlines are.
Leeds City College – TV and Film BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: Are you aged 16 – 18? They offer an exciting free opportunity to study and achieve a qualification on the TV and Film BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Practice course. Enrolment fees apply if you’re aged 19 or over. To apply you’ll need 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, (including English language or equivalent). This creative programme is designed to teach you the technical skills needed to succeed in the media production industry. You’ll work to industry standard on client briefs and gain an understanding of emerging technologies within TV and film. You’ll also receive work experience and enterprise opportunities for your personal development. Visit the Leeds City College website to find out more about the TV and Film BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma and to apply.
National Film and Television School (NFTS) Leeds: Since 2019, NFTS Leeds has delivered a wide range of the National Film and Television School’s world-class training courses. In addition they offer bespoke courses, designed and delivered to support the breadth of talent in Yorkshire and the North of England. NFTS Leeds is located within the ITV Emmerdale experience in the city. Visit the NFTS website to find out more about their Film and TV courses.
Screen Yorkshire Boot Camp: A skills and knowledge development scheme for prospective new entrants into the film and TV industry. It provides a bridge between training and the industry through an intensive 3 day ‘Boot Camp’ programme. It’s aimed at individuals who are interested in a career in the film industry but who have yet to convert that interest into a regular stream of work. Applications are welcome from individuals who did not study a film-related subject but who have a demonstrable desire to enter the industry – a degree is not necessary. Boot Camp is free to attend to successful applicants! Visit the Screen Yorkshire website to find out more about Boot Camp and when it’s next open for applications.
Screen Yorkshire Film & TV Craft Courses: An exciting initiative for individuals interested in a career in film & TV… Those who successfully apply and complete the courses receive industry recognised UK craft certificates for film and TV. The National Film and Television School (NFTS) Leeds, Screen Yorkshire and ScreenSkills run part-time film & TV craft courses, offering training in areas identified as ‘in demand’ locally. No previous experience is necessary to take part. The craft certificates, in grip, lighting, hair & make-up, costume and production assistant (scripted), have been designed to provide trainees with a clear pathway to working in the film & TV industry. The courses are taught by craft specific tutors alongside film & TV professionals through a combination of practical training in person, online tutorials, online masterclasses and mentoring support as a pathway to industry. In 2020 local industry partners included ITV, ProVision and Prime Studios in Leeds. Visit Screen Yorkshire’s website to find out more about Film & TV Craft courses.
Sky Software Development Apprenticeship Programme in Leeds: The Software Development programme might see you create the NOW TV interface, develop capabilities for our front-end platforms or become a full stack developer for our search and recommendations team. You’ll learn a lot on this 18 month programme. After just five weeks, you’ll be familiar with the major software engineering principles, Java development, test-driven development, continuous build, and integration. Over the remaining 17 months, with our guidance, you’ll put your newly acquired skills into practice on live projects, before moving into a delivery team where you will continue your career as an Associate Software Developer. After completing the programme you’ll achieve a Software Developer Level 4 qualification and will get a permanent position with Sky! To apply you’ll need GCSEs grade A – C (or equivalent) in English and Maths. If you haven’t achieved them or can’t provide evidence, then you’ll be required to achieve them as part of the programme. To find out more about ITV Apprenticeships visit the ITV website.
BBC Work Experience: The BBC provides over 1,000 work experience opportunities every year across the organisation – from radio or TV to business and support. This is your chance to use cutting edge equipment, make contacts, and see how well your ideas are received. Visit the What We Do section on the BBC website to find out about the kinds of work they do – it will help you figure out which work placement to undertake. Visit the BBC’s website to find out more about work placements and when applications next reopen.
Channel 4 Work Experience (for ages 18 and over): Every year 4Skills announces work experience opportunities at Channel 4, suited to those who are passionate about working in TV and want to get their foot in the door of a UK broadcaster. We offer opportunities across our offices in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow. Work experience is available departments such as 4creative, 4Sales, Marketing, Legal, Press, Audience Insights and more. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more about their work experience opportunities, and to check when applications reopen.
ITV News Traineeship (for ages 18 and over): Join the ITV national and regional news teams as a trainee journalist – learning how to film, edit, produce and so much more. We are particularly interested in talented and enthusiastic people who have committed themselves to a career in journalism, either through their writing, work experience, academic choices or their career so far. If you are looking to change your career and you can demonstrate an interest in journalism, your application will also be welcome. You will need to be over age 18, and able to provide evidence of a GCSE in English or equivalent (Grade B or above), as well as being able to evidence your genuine interest in news output. Successful applicants gain a position within one of the newsrooms (there is one at ITV in Leeds). To find out more about the News Traineeship and to check when applications reopen, visit ITV’s website.
Lime Pictures: A British TV production company, founded by producer and writer Phil Redmond in the early 1980s. They produce award winning drama and entertainment shows for the international market including Hollyoaks, The Only Way is Essex, Geordie Shore and Free Rein. Visit the Lime Pictures website to find out about their internships and work experience opportunities.
Mama Youth What’s Up TV Training (for ages 18+): Participants work in a team to produce 6 half hour episodes of a TV show called ‘Unmuted’ (previously known as ‘What’s Up TV’), which is aired on Sky Arts. Eligibility: Applicants must not be in education or employment. It’s aimed at individuals from under-represented backgrounds and those with limited educational or employment opportunities, including unemployed graduates. Individuals who have a passion for the TV and Film industries and who have little or no experience are encouraged to apply. The training is in London, although sessions are run online where possible (you don’t need to live in London to apply). It’s full time, Mon. – Fri. and involves working some weekends. The first 4 weeks is free training to you and upon successful completion, you’ll be eligible to apply for a further 10 weeks of paid employment / production of What’s Up TV ( paid at National Minimum Wage), with 6 months of follow-up career support. Additionally, trainees who are successful in completing the programme may be offered work placements at Sky or one of our other industry partners for 4-8 weeks. Visit the Mama Youth website to find out more about the What’s Up TV Training and when they next open for applications.
Shine TV: A British media production company with offices in London and Manchester. We offer four weeks paid work experience for anyone who is over 21 and keen on a career in TV. You will spend the first three days with our office runners learning your way around the company, then spend the rest of your placement either on a production or working with our development team. No previous experience is required – we look for people with a passion for TV, who are prepared to work hard to make the most of the opportunity. Visit Shine TVs website to find out more about the Production Company and their work experience opportunities.
Talent Development Schemes
BBC Three Pitch: BBC Three are passionate about nurturing northern filmmaking talent and telling authentic and compelling stories rooted in the region, that appeal to a 16 – 24 year-old audience. Once a year, we work with Sheffield Doc/Fest to invite new and emerging filmmakers to pitch a documentary idea in front of a live audience at the festival, direct to a panel of BBC commissioners and the BBC Three controller. The winner gets to make their film for BBC Three. Five candidates are selected to do a pitch each, based on a proposal submitted in advance via the Doc/Fest website. The winner is then placed in a northern production company who will build a team around them to help turn their idea into a brilliant new film. This opportunity targets directors and those who have enough production and film making experience to confidently construct a compelling documentary story. To find out more about BBC Three Pitch and when applications reopen, visit Sheffield Doc Fest’s website.
Beyond Brontes – The Mayor’s Screen Diversity Programme by Screen Yorkshire: Aims to address under representation within the screen industries, by breaking down the perceived and actual barriers that can prevent young people (aged 18-24) from diverse backgrounds starting and establishing careers within the industry. Successful applicants who have a passion for TV and film are offered a bespoke training package tailored to their interests, to prepare them for a wide range of industry jobs. This training involves industry masterclasses, CV and interview workshops, mentorships, one-to-one support, and detailed careers information. Also, where practical this includes internships and work experience placements, and our trainees have enjoyed experiences on All Creatures Great and Small, The Syndicate, Saved and Remade, and Ackley Bridge, and with high-profile production companies such as True North, Wise Owl Films, ButtonDown Productions, and Meridian Line Films. Visit Screen Yorkshire’s website to find out more about the Beyond Brontes Programme and to check when applications next reopen.
Channel 4 – 4Talent Screenwriting: 4Screenwriting creates the right conditions for new talent to flourish, express their voice and bring it to a wider audience. Graduates from the course have gone on to write for Shameless and Indian Summers (Channel 4) and Youngers and Banana (E4). This is your chance, not to follow in their footsteps, but to discover your own path to making great television. The course involves a series of lectures from high-profile writers, producers and directors, and the guidance of your own script editor. You’ll also have opportunities to attend workshops with other leading industry professionals. You will also craft an original one hour drama or drama serial; we option your script for six months and set up a meeting with our Drama Commissioning team to discuss other opportunities to work with us. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more about 4Talent Screenwriting and to check when applications next reopen.
Channel 4 – 4Talent 4Stories: The talent initiative is designed to develop and establish the next generation of writers and directors. 4Stories is aimed at finding genuinely diverse voices, exploring contemporary stories of and by communities that are rarely seen on mainstream TV. Initially we are looking for six writers who will be commissioned to write a treatment for an original half hour idea that can form part of an ambitious anthology series. Of those six, three will be commissioned to write scripts for production. They will be tutored by and work with experienced drama producers to develop their scripts. The series of three 30 minute dramas will be broadcast on Channel 4. Additionally, at the end of the process the three chosen writers will also have the opportunity to develop an original series, serial or single with 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. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more about 4Stories and to check when applications next reopen.
Channel 4 – Production Trainee Scheme: For entry level talent who want to break into the media industry and are passionate about making TV programmes – no experience is necessary. Applicants applying for this annual scheme may already have a degree in Film and Television (or related) or have some previous experience of the television industry through running, work experience or short-term placements, but no more than 3 months. The scheme aims to offer opportunities to those currently underrepresented in the TV industry, so they are particularly keen to hear from disabled people, people from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background and people from lower socio-economic groups. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more about the Production Trainee Scheme and when applications next reopen.
The FLAMIN Fellowship (Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network): Film London and Arts Council England’s FLAMIN Fellowship is a major scheme for early-career artist filmmakers living in England. The Fellowship aims to support the most exciting, innovative and challenging moving image practices from filmmakers at the early stages of their careers, with development and funding for new work. It has provided specialist support to a range of artists who have gone on to achieve major solo exhibitions, win awards and screen in competition at international film festivals. It offers a unique opportunity in developing professional artistic practice with a series of monthly workshops, which cover key areas including selling artwork, film festival strategy, writing funding applications, archiving your work, sound design, insurance, copyright and sustaining a practice. Each year, it supports six artists at the early stages of their career, each with projects that they would like to develop. Artists receive £2,500 funding for their project, workshops, mentoring, and promotion. Visit Film London’s website to find out more about the FLAMIN Fellowship and to check when applications next reopen.
Scratch Me: A filmmaking lab for people who don’t make films – yet! It’s a talent development programme for writers and writer-performers from a range of disciplines who want to experiment with the moving image. You might be a comedian, spoken word artist, scratch performer, theatre maker, social media storyteller or DIY filmmaker… Scratch Me will help you realise your ideas on screen. It’s all about exciting, original, can’t-look-away characters. Over the two-month programme of workshops, mentoring sessions and writing challenges, lab participants will develop a fully formed character who has the potential to lead to a short film, TV series or feature film. At the end of the programme, our writers will collaborate with a team of emerging filmmakers to create a short scratch monologue film which will be presented to industry executives at a special showcase event. You’ll leave Scratch Me with a powerful new addition to your creative portfolio and the confidence to develop your film and TV skills further. Scratch Me is a Film Hub North and BFI NETWORK project delivered in partnership with Screen Yorkshire and SIGN (Screen Industries Growth Network). Visit Film Hub North’s website to find out more about Scratch Me and to check when applications reopen.
Screenwriters’ Fellowship by Netflix and Sky: A talent initiative that offers up to six successful applicants the opportunity for one year of professional development. This fellowship, for each writer, will include a bursary of £22,568 to write a spec script for an original idea over the course of a year, monthly development events and workshops, and a paid placement in a writers room of a Netflix or Sky series. We are looking for applications from writers of Black, Asian and other racial and ethnic backgrounds that are under-represented in the High-End TV and film industry. In addition, the Fellowship offer will include credit for writers’ room participation, production shadowing and mentoring meetings, and the allocation of an industry mentor. We’re looking for dedicated writers with an authentic and original voice in all scripted genres, so we’ll need to see an example of your work – this means submitting a script. If you are chosen to join the Fellowship, you must be available to take part for 12 months. To find out more about the Screenwriters’ Fellowship visit the Netflix Screenwriters website.
ShortFLIX: A short film initiative for aspiring new filmmakers aged 18-25 who are not in full-time education, employment, or training (no previous experience is required). They seek out ideas from creative, talented, and ambitious young people that have the potential to make great short films for broadcast on Sky Arts. Their programme nurtures young talent via training, mentoring and script development support, with those commissioned securing a £10k budget and professional crew to make their film. They are particularly interested in applicants who may have had fewer opportunities to get started in filmmaking, including those who are currently underrepresented in the industry. Visit the ShortFLIX website to find out more about the short film initiative and to check when applications next reopen.
The Network by TV Festival: The Network is a free entry-level scheme for anyone aged 18+ who wants to start a career in TV. The Network takes place every August alongside the Edinburgh TV Festival. The 60 delegates selected for the 2021 programme got three days of digital sessions, masterclasses and workshops led by industry professionals, as well as a free Festival pass, a year of mentoring and access to exclusive paid jobs. Eligibility: Anyone living in the UK can apply, and you don’t have to move to Scotland to take part in the scheme. You must be available to start work in TV from September – so if you will be studying full-time, you can’t apply until your final year. Note the scheme isn’t for actors / presenters – The Network is about finding talented people who want to work behind the camera. To find out more about The Network and to check when applications reopen, visit the TV Festival’s website.
Awards / Funding
Bankside Films: A London-based international sales and film finance company offering independent films, no matter their genre or budget, financial and distribution support for international theatrical release. The size of the fund depends on the scope of the project and the creative idea. To submit your film idea, contact Bankside Films via their website.
British Film Institute (BFI): They use National Lottery funds to develop and support original UK filmmakers and films, and to increase the audiences who can enjoy them. They fund production, development and completion of short and feature films, in addition to distribution and exhibition. They also fund short and feature documentaries. Eligible films for short film funding shouldn’t exceed 15 minutes and can be provided with up to £15k funding. Visit the BFI website to find out more about the different funding streams available.
Creative England: They offer diverse funding and distribution support for projects of any size from shorts and features to high-end TV programmes. One of the funds that they offer is called the ShortFLIX and nurtures emerging filmmakers via training, mentoring and script development support. To find out more about Creative England’s film funding options visit their website.
CrossCurrents International Documentary Fund by HotDocs: Development and production grants for interactive, short or feature-length films by emerging international filmmakers whose perspectives have been historically underrepresented. The Fund’s mandate is to help develop understanding and appreciation of unheard voices by encouraging projects that aim to reach not only members within the community, but also expanded audiences. Project funding support will include $10,000 for one short or interactive film; and up to $30,000 for up to three feature films. In addition to the production grant, the successful recipients will be considered for a Hot Docs Fellowship that includes travel, accommodation and accreditation to the annual Hot Docs Festival (in Canada) and enrollment in the Emerging Filmmakers Lab and mentorship initiatives. Applicants must be an emerging filmmaker with three or fewer professional directing credits. You must ablso be the (co)director, and majority rights holder attached to the film project. Visit the Hot Docs website to find out more about the CrossCurrents film funding.
Doc Society: A non-profit organisation which works with other funding agencies to offer funding that enables the creation of feature documentaries and shorts, and connects the films to a global audience. Based in London and New York we work with filmmakers and partners all over the world. To find out more about Doc Society’s funding options visit their website.
Film London: They support the creation of both feature and short independent films by offering substantial grants and training, allowing young filmmakers to get hands-on experience and get their craft noticed. To find out more about the different funds they offer visit Film London’s website.
Genera Quarters (for Short Films): An award-based film funding agency is the ‘Genera Quarters’. Unlike the John Brabourne Awards you don’t need to apply with an existing production, you just need a script and a budget breakdown of your short film. The award is presented every quarter but opens for application 365 days a year. Entry fees apply (around £20 – £30). Apart from receiving £5k if you win the award, every applicant receives deals and discounts from Genera’s partners to other international competitions or film festivals. To submit your short film or find out more about the award visit Genera Film’s website.
John Brabourne Awards: If you already have a showreel but face obstacles to success… The Awards provide financial assistance up to £5k to individuals working in the UK film and TV industries. We are a stepping stone for individuals who are talented and driven, but who face hurdles in developing their career. Difficulties faced by award recipients in recent years have included: lack of finances, accident, illness, and personal circumstances preventing time or ability to work. The award is presented several times a year. To apply you’ll need at least 2 years working in Film and/or TV (including aspects of digital broadcast, it doesn’t have to be consecutive). You’ll also need to be in a genuine need of financial assistance and support to overcome hurdles and show a commitment to progress your career. You must provide two referees working professionally in the film and/or TV industries. If relevant, one referee can be from an educational institution. Visit the Film and TV Charity website to find out if applications are open and to apply for the John Brabourne Awards.
Liverpool Film Office: No matter your origin or location of your company, if you are planning to film in the region of Liverpool, you are eligible to apply for the Liverpool City Region Production Fund. It can fund up to 20% of the production budget with a maximum of £500,000 per production. International co-productions with Liverpool based producers are encouraged. To apply or find the detailed guidelines on this fund visit Liverpool Film Office’s website.
Pat Llewellyn Bursary Fund by Women in Film and TV (WFTV): Eligibility: Anyone who self-identifies as a woman can apply for this bursary (you don’t need to be a member of WFTV). The fund is for the next compelling talent led documentaries. Do you think you’ve discovered the next Stacey Dooley, Nadia Hussain or Louis Theroux? Pitch us a winning proposal and not only will we give you £10k, we’ll also match you with a mentor to help you make your idea happen. Examples of talent-led documentaries: This could be a documentary contributor, a content maker/YouTuber with an online following, a stand out expert in a professional field, a celebrity with a personal story to tell, or a complete unknown who has the potential to be a brand new onscreen talent. The 2020 fund gave four successful applicants £10k each to develop their TV proposal. The Fund is a collaboration between WFTV, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, All3Media and The Welsh Government. It’s free to apply, but you can only submit one application with one idea. Visit the WFTV website to find out more about the Pat Llewellyn Bursary Fund and to check when applications next reopen.
Screen Yorkshire Content Fund: For producers based in Yorkshire and Humber, or for national and international production companies wishing to film or establish a base in the region. Open to TV, film, video games and digital sectors, the fund typically invests up to £500,000 per project, providing this investment is matched on identical terms with an equivalent amount of private sector investment. Returns made on investments go back into the fund, allowing us to continue supporting content development and production in the region. Since the Yorkshire Content Fund was launched in February 2012, Screen Yorkshire has invested in over 40 projects including Ackley Bridge, Peaky Blinders, and many more. Visit Screen Yorkshire’s website to find out more about the Content Fund and to express your interest.
Studio21 Script Competition: We look for pilot scripts for an international drama that will appeal to audiences and coproducers worldwide. The competition offers the winner a £10k development option and unique opportunity to connect with the global drama business. The winning project will be developed by Studio21, supported by an advisory board made up of the most creative showrunners and television executives in the business. Studio21 will connect the project with the right coproducer, platform, channel or partner. From the pool of submissions a shortlist of 21 scripts will be selected and from these six finalists will be chosen to present their script to the global drama business at Content London, or through the Content London digital initiative. This audience includes key commissioners from digital platforms. Visit Studio 21’s website to find out more about the Studio21 Script Competition.
Together TV’s Diverse Film Fund (documentaries): This fund supports new creative talent to tell the stories that need to be told about Britain today. The 2021 the fund’s theme was Black British Lives Today, and welcomed submissions for 10 minute documentaries. Five filmmakers received £10k for development, production and post-production delivery costs, in addition to mentorship from industry experts. Eligibility: If you are working in TV, film or video, but do not have a previous broadcast credit, you can apply. As the successful applicants will be responsible for creating their documentary, some filmmaking experience is required. You can apply as a production company so long as you have not had a previous TV broadcast credit as Producer/Director. To apply you will need to provide a description of your documentary and details of your background in filmmaking. Visit Together TV’s website to find out more about the Diverse Film Fund and to check when applications next reopen.
Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF): An annual international film festival across venues in York, at the beginning of November. It showcases over 400 international films from emerging and established filmmakers. It a celebration of independent film from around the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing filmmaking. ASFF is a BAFTA qualifying short film festival, therefore if your short film is screened or accepted into two or more of the BAFTA qualifying festivals, it may be eligible for a BAFTA. Films have gone on to win awards at BAFTA and the Oscars as well as other festivals such Sundance and SXSW. The programme also includes industry masterclasses, networking sessions and panel discussions. Visit the ASFF website to find out how you can get involved in the festival, or how to submit your film(s).
BFI London Film Festival (entry fees apply): For UK and international short films 40 minutes or less, or for UK feature-length films 40 minutes or more. Each year (usually in October) the festival presents a selection of the best in world cinema, showing audiences a wide array of films, representing a variety of languages, genres and filmmaking styles. The festival showcases exceptional British filmmaking alongside international work, and the programme spans features, shorts, fiction, documentary, artists’ moving image, restorations, animation and films for families, alongside titles destined for awards-season glory. We consider the widest possible pool of new work, from directorial debuts to established talent. Visit BFI’s website to find out more about the London Film Festival and to find out how you can submit your film (deadlines are usually in June).
British Independent Film Awards (BIFA): For theatrical feature films and short films. The majority of categories are only open to British independent films. There are separate eligibility criteria for international independent films. The BIFA awards highlight and reward the best, most innovative and creative independent filmmaking and filmmakers in the UK. We identify and encourage emerging talent, support and celebrate the independent film community and promote British film and talent to the public. Visit BIFA’s website to find out more about the Awards and to submit your film (entries usually open in June).
Depict Short Film Competition (free to enter): An international online short film competition. It’s part of Encounters Film Festival – one of the world’s leading international festivals for short film, animation and VR, and a gateway to the world’s most prestigious awards: the Academy Awards, BAFTAs and the European Film Awards. We want to see great films – it doesn’t matter what your budget is or what genre you’re working in. There is one simple rule: your film must be 90 seconds or less in duration, including titles and credits. To get some inspiration, check out our archive of 20 years of shorts on our website. Depict is open to short films of all production techniques, including animation, documentary, drama, experimental or artist film and hybrid work. The 2021 prizes included £2,500 cash and career development support from NFTS, BFI NETWORK, BAFTA and Channel 4’s Random Acts. To find out more about the Depict Short Film Competition and to check when applications next reopen, visit the FilmFreeway website.
FilmFreeway: A fantastic website for filmmakers to submit their films to hundreds of film festivals globally. It has over 10,000 of the world’s best film festivals and screenplay contests, including 178 Academy Award / BAFTA Award accredited festivals. Use FilmFreeway to research festivals and submit your films.
INDIs (Independent Directions) Film Festival: The Festival celebrates and nurtures young filmmaking talent through specialist screenings of films including independent British and International cinema, industry sessions, panel discussions and other events entirely curated for an audience of 15-30 year-olds. If you’re interested in submitting your film to the Festival, it can be any genre and on any topic. They do accept films which look at or tackle challenging subject matters. The INDIs is presented by Leeds Film (Leeds City Council) with the support of the BFI (British Film Institute). Visit the Leeds Film website to find out more about the INDIs Film Festival.
Into Film: The annual Into Film Festival is the largest youth focused film festival in the world. They provide 5-19 year olds with inspiring opportunities to learn about and with film, and develop a passion for cinema. Curriculum linked films are screened for free across the UK, with guest speakers and chances to meet with filmmaking professionals. The Awards celebrate young filmmaking talent, with categories designed to highlight the large pool of young creatives in the UK. Visit the Into Film website to find out more about their opportunities and the Into Film Awards.
Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF): The largest film festival in England outside London. Founded in 1987, it is held in November at various venues throughout Leeds. A qualifying film festival for both the Oscars and BAFTAs, LIFF presents an extensive and diverse programme of discovery that celebrates the achievements of new and established talent from around the world. You can submit both features and short films when submissions are open via FilmFreeway. Visit LIFF’s website to find out more about the Festival.
Leeds Queer Film Festival (LQFF): We create spaces to showcase queer cinema with a focus on independent and DIY films. We screen films that elevate and prioritise the voices and work of those most marginalised within our LGBTQ+ communities. LQFF is run by unpaid volunteers and we are not for profit; money raised from our festival goes towards future events and supporting queer filmmakers. Visit the Leeds Queer Film website to find out more about the Festival.
Leeds Young Film Festival (LYFF): The largest family film event in the UK, Leeds Young Film Festival is now in its 22nd year. Taking place at Easter, the festival is aimed at children and families and showcases new and unseen films from around the world including VR, alongside workshops, masterclasses and special events that take you behind the scenes to learn about the art of filmmaking. Visit the Leeds Film website to find out more about LYFF.
Scalarama Leeds: An exhibition showcasing independent film in Leeds, during Scalarama’s nationwide Celebration of Cinema in September. Visit Scalarmara’s website to find out more about the film exhibition.
Sensoria Music & Film Festival: The festival presents live performance, film screenings, installations, exhibitions plus music and film industry activity at venues across Sheffield. It takes place annually in autumn and is renowned for its use of unusual venues, e.g. drive-ins, swimming pools and hotels. Visit Sensoria’s website to find out more about the Festival.
Sheffield Doc/Fest: An international documentary festival and Marketplace held annually during June in Sheffield. The festival screens over 180 films of all lengths – the 2020 programme encompassed works from 50 countries around the world. Sheffield Doc/Fest looks to question the boundaries of documentary through a programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches debate. Visit the Doc Fest’s website to join in the Festival or find out how to submit your film(s). The Marketplace is a major funding, sales and distribution platform of match made meetings for collaborations and to unlock UK and international market opportunities. The programme comprises MeetMarket, the Arts Talent Market, UK Broadcast Production Talent Market, industry talks, as well as our different pitch opportunities, and is open to everyone from first-time filmmakers to established talent. Visit the DocFest’s website to find out more about the Marketplace programme.
Yorkshire Silent Film Festival: An annual festival and a year-round programme of live-scored film across Yorkshire. You can regularly find us in Hull, Sheffield, Leeds, Harrogate and York. We screen films from all over the world, from dramas and documentaries to experimental shorts and films by contemporary artists. But film is only half the story – every Yorkshire Silent Film Festival event is also a live musical performance. Our musicians create music ‘in the moment’ as they watch the screen along with the audience, so every performance is different, and every score is a unique, unrepeatable live event. Visit Yorkshire Silent Film’s website to find more about the Festival and events taking place throughout the year.
Call Sheet: It’s an online directory of over 50,000 people, including BAFTA and OSCAR award winning talent. It connects TV and Film Industry Professionals. Visit the Call Sheet website to search for jobs in TV and Film.
Channel 4: Not sure what kind of careers are available at Channel 4? The Channel 4 website shows you all their different business areas, and you can also view all the roles currently available.
Creative Access: One of the UK’s leading diversity organisations. It fills a gap in the current creative landscape by helping young people from under-represented communities to secure both jobs and paid training opportunities in creative companies. Visit the Creative Access website to search a wide range of creative jobs.
Kemps Film, TV, and Video (KFTV): Visit the KFVT website to register your profile on an international database of production companies, services and crew.
Mandy Jobs for Cast, Crew & Creative Professionals: Visit the Mandy website to search for audition opportunities (for actors, dancers, and singers), voiceover work and casting calls for extras. You can also search for jobs in film, music, TV production and theatre.
Production Base: The industries they service are animation, commercials, corporate, film, mobile content, music promos, online, gaming, theatre, radio and TV – covering all grades of pre-production, production and post-production. Visit the Production base website to find the latest runner jobs in TV, radio, theatre, film and commercial production.
Radar Music Creatives: Connects the music industry with filmmakers, designers & photographers worldwide – commissions are available. Sign up to Radar if you are a graphic or interactive designer who is looking to make more music related work. This means Commissioners who like your portfolio can send you their briefs.
ScreenSkills Community Page: Visit the ScreenSkills website to showcase your work and skills alongside fellow industry professionals. You can also look at others profiles for inspiration!
Screen Yorkshire: Their region wide crew and facilities service connects production companies filming in Yorkshire with locally based freelance crew and film and TV supply chain companies. The crew database is open to all freelance crew members who have at least one professional credit and are either based in, or have worked in, the Yorkshire and Humber region. If you are new to the industry and don’t yet have any credits, then please get in touch with our Film Office team. We’re happy to advise you on targeting your CV towards the opportunities available and also to signpost to industry training schemes. Visit Screen Yorkshire’s website to sign up to their Crew and Facilities Service.
Shine TV Talent Database: Shine TV is a British media production company with offices in London and Manchester. If you’d like to work with us in a production or development role, please visit our talent database. We also regularly use Talent Manager so do make sure your details are up to date. Visit Shine TV’s website to add yourself to their talent database.
Simplestream: As the way we watch TV is changing, they work with leading media brands (Channel 4, Sony, Sky and UKTV) to create Next Generation TV services for broadcast, sports and media brands. Visit Simplestream to search for TV related jobs.
Talent Connect by Film Hub North: An online pitching forum connecting Writers, Directors and Producers. Talent Connect makes it easier for Writers, Directors and Producers to find collaborators. If you’re a Writer or Director, you might have a great idea for a short but no Producer to help bring the project together. Or, if you’re a Producer looking to expand your slate, you need an effective way to identify the strongest ideas that align with your creative vision. Talent Connect allows Writers and Directors to submit pitches for shorts in development and gives Producers an overview of the most exciting projects coming out the region. Projects can be submitted to Talent Connect at any time and will be shared with participating Producers monthly. Also, if you’re a Writer or Director, you’ll also find some useful resources to help you refine your pitch. Visit the Film Hub North website to sign up to the Talent Connect forum.
Talent Manager: Connecting the best TV production freelancers with the latest TV jobs. Visit the Talent Manager to register your profile and search for TV jobs.
The Production Guild of Great Britain: The UK’s leading membership organisation for those working in production, they help bring film and TV drama professionals together. If you’re a professional looking for work, or if you’re looking to crew a production, we can help you find what you need. Visit The Production Guild’s website to find out about their membership opportunities that allow you to search for production jobs, or to find talented production crews to work with.
UKTV: A multi award-winning media company with 7 channels: Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday and on demand service UKTV Play. Visit UKTV’s website to search for TV related jobs. You can also find apprenticeships and work experience opportunities on the UKTV website.
Note: You may also come across job vacancies by researching the list of Leeds TV and Media Companies below.
Leeds TV and Media Companies
Air TV: One of the UK’s fastest-growing independent production companies and is now officially one of the best places to work in TV. Since we were created in 2015, our award-winning team has won commissions for nearly 200 hours of programming from UK broadcasters. They are based in Tadcaster, Leeds. Visit Air TV’s website to find out more about the TV production company.
Channel 4: Leeds is the home to programme commissioners across a range of genres including comedy, daytime, entertainment, E4, popular factual and sport. Channel 4’s Leeds location is in the City Centre. Visit Channel 4’s website to find out more about their commissioning, and how you can submit your ideas to them!
Daisy Beck Studios: An independent TV company producing quality Factual, Factual Entertainment and Event programming since 2013. They are based in Kirkstall, Leeds. Visit Daisy Beck Studios website to find out more about the TV production company.
Duck Soup Films: Producing bold, authored content for film and TV, Duck Soup’s projects aim to take global audiences on an entertaining and thought-provoking journey exploring contemporary and resonant themes. They are based in Holbeck, Leeds. Visit the Duck Soup Films website to find out more about the TV / film production company.
Fresh Cut: A leading video production company with production offices in Leeds (Hunslet), Manchester and London. Since 2006, they’ve helped brands and businesses tell their stories on TV and online with standout video content. From cinematic TV adverts to corporate video production, they create high quality video content to engage, entertain and activate audiences. Visit Fresh Cut’s website to find out more about the video production company.
ITV: Over the years the Leeds studios have been used for filming television drama, mostly for Yorkshire Television. These series have included Heartbeat, The Royal, Wire in the Blood, Married Single Other, Fat Friends, A Touch of Frost, Bodies and Where the Heart is. Visit ITV’s website to find out more about their commissioning areas: entertainment, comedy, drama, factual, daytime, sport, current affairs and digital channels.
Manto: We’re experienced filmmakers who craft compelling stories for brands you’ve heard of. We’re creative, responsive and genuinely in love with film – and with a background in TV, we make content that people remember. Manto are based in Chapel Allerton, Leeds. Visit Manto’s website to find out more about the production company.
Prime Studios: A thriving film and TV production facility in Leeds City Centre. Prime Studios has also been the base for music shoots for artists including Nicki Minaj and commercials for big brands such as Adidas, Aldi and Lloyds TSB. Visit the Prime Studios website to find out more about the film and TV production company.
Rollem Productions: An independent production company dedicated to producing high quality drama. Rollem is truly a writer led production company and is passionate about producing programmes about real people and real lives; programmes that are entertaining and high drama; that are relatable, innovative and original. We’re dedicated to shining a spotlight on Yorkshire and the North of England through our productions and to nurturing the abundance of regional production, writing and acting talent that exists on our doorstep. They are based in Kirkstall, Leeds. Visit the Rollem Productions website to find out more about the production company.
Screenhouse: A production, communication, and training company based in Leeds (Roundhay), but working around the world. We are multi-award-winning producers in TV, online, and beyond for UK and international channels. We have a strong track record of hundreds of television programmes, web sites, live shows and amazing science machines. Visit the Screenhouse website to find out more about their production and training services.
Sky: Leeds Dock is home to Sky’s Digital & Technology Services Campus spread over three dockside buildings, which are home to 650 members of staff focused on software and hardware development, including their world-leading Software Engineering Academy. Visit Sky’s website to find out about their commissioning and how you can submit your ideas.
Studio81: The production centre at Studio81 is the UK’S first out of London facility to be dedicated to independent drama production, based near Leeds Train Station. Visit Studio 81’s website to find out more about their drama productions, space and facilities.
The Garden Productions: One of the UK’s leading production companies, known for producing high-quality factual TV at scale, and for award-winning documentaries and innovative formats. Based in London and Leeds (Kirkstall), it makes programmes for broadcasters in the UK, US and around the world, and has had its work broadcast in over a hundred territories. Since 2013 The Garden has been part of ITV Studios. Visit the Garden Productions website to find out more about their TV productions.
True North: The biggest unscripted indie in the North of England and home to some of the most creative and dedicated talent in TV. Working across genres including factual, factual-entertainment, features, children’s, reality and more, diversity is part of their DNA. True North has a stand-out track record in devising and delivering long-running, returning series and entertaining formats. With bases in Leeds (Beeston) and Manchester, they make compelling content that’s watched in almost every territory in the world. Visit True North’s website to find out more about their TV productions.
True Vision: True Vision was formed in 1995 to make television that engages the viewer with issues that matter. Our aim is to bring to the audience character led narratives that entertain but also inform and educate. They produce award winning international documentary films that are often human rights related, for BBC, Channel 4 and HBO. They are based in Farsley, Leeds and the company runs in parallel with True Vision in London. Visit True Visions website to find out more about their film productions.
Wise Owl Films: TV from the North and from the heart – embracing popular culture, social history and untold stories from the extraordinary to the everyday. The team’s social history output has seen a broad range of talked-about programmes – from hard-hitting documentaries to factual entertainment. They are based in Kirkstall, Leeds. Visit the Wise Owl Films website to find out more about their TV productions.
Worker Bee: Global broadcast TV focussing on Factual Storytelling that fascinates and entertains. Part of Endemol Shine Group, they are based in Beeston, Leeds (and in Manchester). Visit Worker Bee’s website to find out more about their TV productions.