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 of 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 submitting an application for any opportunities or funding, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, including 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?
Up-and-coming producers and relevant senior crew will now be able to access a new bespoke Producer’s Handbook. The resource addresses some of the paperwork and jargon queries that producers may encounter when starting out in their new role and provides them with a handy reference guide to help them navigate their new grade. Visit ScreenSkills to read their Handbook to Support High-end TV Producers
ScreenSkills Masterclasses: Screen industry greats talk candidly about the secrets of their careers from their homes. TV commissioners reveal what makes a good pitch. Craftspeople share their top tips for success. These are videos of events commissioned during the coronavirus lockdown to encourage freelancers from the film, TV and animation industries in the time of crisis. Visit ScreenSkills to access the masterclasses.
Supporting Film Industry Resources
Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF): Founded in 2011, it’s an international film festival which takes place annually in York at the beginning of November. It a celebration of independent film from around the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing filmmaking. The festival is a BAFTA qualifying short film festival. This means that if your short film is screened or accepted into two or more of the BAFTA qualifying festivals, it may be eligible for a BAFTA. For further details, see the BAFTA website. ASFF is a hotbed for talent discovery and a key annual event for emerging and established filmmakers to meet alongside industry professionals. British and international films are in competition in their category for an award, alongside the Best of Festival Award, Audience Award and Best Screenplay. Films have gone on to win awards at BAFTA and the Oscars as well as other festivals such Sundance, SXSW and others. One of the UK’s most exciting site-specific events, ASFF showcases over 400 international films from emerging and established filmmakers in various venues across York. 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).
British Film Institute: (BFI): The UK’s lead organisation for film, television 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: The charity working behind the scenes of the UK film, TV and cinema industry founded in 1924. From research to writing, through casting and production, to editing, sales, distribution and exhibition, they support the lives of everyone involved. Today they offer a wide range of financial, practical and emotional support to people who have talent, spark and dedication … and yet find obstacles in their way. If you give your time and talent to film, TV or cinema, they’re here for you. 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. Led in partnership by HOME, Manchester, Showroom Cinema, Sheffield and Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne, we support and represent a wide-ranging group of exhibitors and filmmakers throughout the region. We award National Lottery funds on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network and BFI NETWORK. 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.
Into Film: The annual Into Film Festival is the largest youth-focused film festival in the world. Curriculum-linked films are screened for free across the UK, with guest speakers and chances to meet with filmmaking professionals. The annual Into Film Awards celebrates young filmmaking talent, with categories designed to highlight the large pool of young creatives in the UK. They provide 5-19 year olds with inspiring opportunities to learn about and with film, and develop a passion for cinema. Visit the Into Film website to find out more about their opportunities and the Into Film Awards.
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.
Sheffield Doc/Fest: An annual international film and arts festival and marketplace, with a mission to spark imaginations and empower our collective capacity for change through celebrating, championing and debating documentary film and art as a collective form of engagement. Through supporting and sharing non-fiction storytelling, Doc/Fest aims to provide a creative space for discovery, challenge and collaboration. As an internationalist and inclusive festival, we embody a commitment to equality and access for all our communities, bringing together established creatives, new voices, and our host city to shape and question stories of the world we live in. The Sheffield Doc/Fest Film programme offers filmmakers a place for inspiration, debate, growth and challenge and a relevant international platform to launch their films and art works. It engages audiences with a multitude of forms, ideas, ways of doing and thinking, through World, International, European and UK premieres, and through its historical and retrospective programmes. The festival screens over 180+ films of all lengths – with the 2020 programme encompassing works from 50 countries around the world, with 49 spoken languages represented. Sheffield Doc/Fest looks to question the boundaries of documentary through a programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches debate. The festival invites audiences to engage with experiences and stories from different parts of our world and to join the makers in inspiring moments. Visit the Doc Fest’s website to join in the Festival or find out how to submit your film(s).
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, festivals, funding and training.
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: They aim to help train and inspire the next generation of UK filmmakers, supporting talented and committed young people aged 16-19 to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film a reality. Visit the BFI Academy Leeds website to find training for every film industry role, from writing to production, sound design, editing and camera.
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 £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 appy 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. You’ll also gain an understanding of emerging technologies within TV and film and will leverage work experience and enterprise opportunities for 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.
Leeds Trinity University: Future Goals – TV Production Skills Course (free, online). Deadline not specified (posted 8th March 2021). Start date: Coming soon. Course length: 6 weeks – part time on Monday and Thursday evenings, 6.30pm – 8.30pm. Progression routes: This course can help you become a Production Secretary, Junior Production Co-Ordinator, Production Co-ordinator or Production Manager. Course description: This course is designed for anyone and everyone – from a beginner with no TV experience at all to those wishing to re-enter the industry. It is an introduction or refresher to the important role of TV Production Manager – ideal for anyone with a flair for organisation, an eye for detail and a desire to work as part of a creative team. Taught entirely by TV professionals, this course will outline all key aspects of the role you’ll perform to make sure a TV Production runs smoothly and successfully – from arranging transport and accommodation to keeping filming crews safe on location. The course will consist of online workshops, exercises and Q&As with industry professionals.
You are eligible to join a course if you are over the age of 18, employed, furloughed, at risk of, or facing redundancy and live in Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York. Please note: Individuals may undertake multiple courses however only one course can be fully funded (free). Any subsequent courses will be charged at full cost. To support those who have been made redundant due to the COVID-19 crisis, [re]boot courses are now available. Places for the unemployed may be limited however and proof of redundancy will be required. To find out more about the TV Production course and to register your interest, visit the Future Goals website.
National Film and Television School (NFTS) Leeds: Opened in 2019, NFTS Leeds delivers a wide range of the National Film and Television School’s world-class training courses, whilst offering bespoke courses, designed and delivered to support the breadth of talent in Yorkshire and the North of England. NFTS Leeds is pleased to be 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 television industry. It seeks to provide an enhanced and accelerated 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: Those who successfully apply and complete the courses receive industry recognised UK craft certificates for film and TV. No previous film and TV experience is necessary, but training is an investment both for the candidate and the provider, so candidates must demonstrate a clear commitment to achieving a high level of proficiency and dedication to the craft. The courses are specifically targeted towards people who want to break into film and television. They want to address under representation within the screen industries by encouraging people to apply whatever their background. The courses have been designed in response to increased demand for these craft skills across the UK’s booming film and television industries, particularly in Yorkshire. They will provide students from any background with a clear pathway into the industry, developing their craft skills for the specific considerations of working within these industries. Visit the Screen Yorkshire website to find out more about Film & TV Craft courses and when the next deadlines to apply are.
Sky Software Development Apprenticeship Programme in Leeds: Change the way customers interact with the NOW TV interface. Collaborate with our software teams across the globe on video streaming platforms. Create software technology that influences the way they watch their favourite shows. Use cutting-edge technology and contribute to the success of current and future products. Develop software that underpins our products and improves how we work. Make an impact and get all the support you need to do your best work. There’s only one place you’ll see action like this in your career – and that’s Sky. What you’ll be doing: 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 to evidence you have achieved 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: How do you get a job without experience, but how do you get experience without a job? Work placements at the BBC – be it in a television studio, busy office or any other area of the business – are that missing link. The BBC provides over 1,000 work experience opportunities every year, right across the organisation: from Radio or TV to Business and Support. They are 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): Each year 4Skills invites passionate individuals to participate in work experience at the channel. We have opportunities available suited to those who are passionate about working TV and want to get their foot in the door of a UK broadcaster. We want to make our work experience opportunities open to all, therefore if you are successful it will not cost you a penny to take part! We will cover all travel and lunch costs, and hotel and dinner expenses costs for those based outside of London. We offer opportunities across our office locations which are London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow, and have work experience in a number of departments such as 4creative, 4Sales, Marketing, Legal, Press, Audience Insights and more! Please note we only offer work experience on the weeks advertised on our website. Work experience will next be available in 2021. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more about their work experience opportunities and when applications are next open.
ITV News Traineeship (for ages 18 and over): The scheme offers the opportunity to 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 the age of 18, and be able to provide evidence of having a GCSE in English Language 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 ITV News Traineeship and when applications are next open, visit the ITV 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 and over): 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. Applicants must not be in education or employment if accepted onto the training. It’s primarily 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. Duration: The training is full time, Mondays-Fridays and involves working some weekends. The first 4 weeks is free training and upon successful completion, you will be eligible to apply for a further 10 weeks of paid employment / production of What’s Up TV, with 6 months of follow-up career support. Location: The training takes place in London. Due to COVID-19 we will be working in line with government health and safety procedures. Where possible, sessions will take place remotely utilising Zoom and other platforms. Financial Support: Trainees will receive a training allowance (National Minimum Wage). 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 will 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.
Sky Get into TV Operations: A week long work experience boot camp (in London or Hampshire) giving you a window into the world of TV broadcasting. Enjoy a hands-on introduction to the roles available and what’s expected of the TV Operations team. TV Operations is the team at the forefront of ensuring Sky customers get their channels & content seamlessly. We deal with live services, working closely with Sky Sports & Sky News as well as Sky’s entertainment channels and ensure the channels are delivered to the high quality demanded by Sky’s customers whether they are watching channels on SkyQ, SkyGo or Now TV or are streaming content from the 1000s of titles available via Catch up or Sky Store across all devices. Visit Sky’s website to find out more about their work experience opportunities.
Kemps Film, TV, and Video (KFTV): Visit the KFVT website to register your profile on an international database of production companies, services and crew.
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!
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 by creating your own profile and keep them up to date with your career.
The Production Guild of Great Britain: Helps bring film and TV drama professionals together. We’re the UK’s leading membership organisation for those working in production. So, if you’re a professional looking for work, or if you’re looking to crew a production, we can help you find exactly 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.
The Talent Manager: Connecting the best TV production freelancers with the latest TV jobs, and providing production companies with a unique CV and jobs’ store. Visit the Talent Manager to search for jobs (for free).
Talent Development Schemes
BBC Three Pitch: Sheffield Doc Fest invite applications from emerging film-making talents from the North of England. Five filmmakers will be selected to pitch their documentary idea to a panel of commissioners, for the prize of a commission for BBC Three, and with the support of a Northern based production company. BBC Three is passionate about:
• Identifying and championing emerging filmmaking talent in the North
• Bringing new voices to the channel
• Bringing compelling content and stories rooted in the North to a BBC audience
BBC Three is also in the unique position that it can commission and broadcast documentaries of different shapes and durations and they welcome ideas for both short (up to 30 mins) and long form (up to 60 mins) films. As well as targeting directors, BBC Three are open up the pitch to include new talent who are keen to break into the industry. The successful pitch, chosen on the idea which is the best fit for the channel, will be housed by a production company and will work on the film at a level which enhances their experience of documentary making for television. To find out more about BBC Three Pitch and when applications reopen, visit Sheffield Doc Fest’s website.
Channel 4 – 4Talent Screenwriting: Creating the right conditions for new talent to flourish, to express its voice and bring it to a wider audience; these are the key drivers behind 4Screenwriting. It’s a hothouse for writers. Graduates from the course include those who’ve gone on to write for Shameless and Indian Summers for Channel 4 and Youngers and Banana for E4. This is your chance, not to follow in their footsteps, but to discover your own path to making great television. How it works: A series of lectures from high-profile writers, producers and directors. The expertise and guidance of your own script editor. Workshops with other leading industry professionals. These are the tools at your disposal. You’ll use them to 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 when applications next reopen.
Channel 4 – 4Talent 4Stories: The new talent initiative, designed to bring on and help establish the next generation of writers and directors, is back! 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 underrepresented in TV Drama – including women, disabled talent, BAME talent and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. How it works: 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 then be commissioned to write scripts for production. They will be tutored by and work with experienced drama producers at BlackLight Television to develop their scripts. The series of 3x30min 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 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. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more about 4Stories and 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 television 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.
Depict Short Film Competition (free to enter, films must not exceed 90 seconds including titles and credits): Depict is Watershed’s international short film online competition running since 1998 as part of Encounters Film Festival (Bristol, UK) – one of the world’s leading international festivals for short film, animation and virtual reality, and also an official 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 as long as you show originality, imagination and are able to connect with audiences. The competition is open to anyone from anywhere in the world, and entry is absolutely free – but there is one simple rule: your film must be 90 seconds or less in duration. To get some inspiration, check out our archive of 20 years of shorts at depict.org. Depict is open to short films of all production techniques, including animation, documentary, drama, experimental or artist film and hybrid work. We do not accept advertisements. Whilst we do not have a premiere policy, we positively encourage entries made specifically for Depict. The maximum number of entries per individual is five. Please note that only the director(s) will be credited on the website and any other promotional material. In the case of shortlisted and/or winning co-directors, multiple prizes may be granted at the discretion of the organisers. The 2021 prizes included:
• £2,500 (GBP) Cash Awards thanks to sponsors including The Royal Photographic Society and Aardman Animations.
• Career development support from NFTS, BFI NETWORK, BAFTA and Channel 4’s Random Acts.
• Invaluable exposure and promotion through depict.org and at Encounters Film Festival (currently planned for 18 – 26 Sept 2021, subject to change) including a Festival pass with all the trimmings, tickets to the Depict Showcase & Awards.
• A 1 year subscription to IMDbPro
• Winning shorts get complimentary BBFC certification and captioning and are made available for theatrical / virtual screenings to exhibitors across the UK.
To find out more about the Depict Short Film Competition and to check when applications next reopen, visit the Film Freeway website.
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. Whatever your existing practice, the most important thing is your creativity. Scratch Me will help you realise your ideas on screen. Scratch Me is all about characters. Exciting, original, can’t-look-away characters. Over the course of a 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.
Screen Yorkshire Beyond Brontes Programme: Designed to break down barriers that can prevent young people aged 18 – 24 from diverse backgrounds establish careers in the creative industries. Training is tailored to the individual and typically includes internships, careers information, one to one support, skills training and mentoring. Visit Screen Yorkshire’s website to find out more about the Beyond Brontes Programme and to check when applications next reopen.
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 talents 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.
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.
The British Film Industry (BFI): They run the largest public film fund in the UK and, therefore are the biggest financial supporters of UK independent film. They invest over £26 million in the development, production and distribution of films. Amongst their diverse funds, they offer the ‘Short Film funding programme’ in collaboration with BFI Network which provides funding to fiction shorts and advice on finding screening opportunities, potential collaborators, festival strategies and other means of industry exposure. Eligible films should not exceed 15 minutes and can be provided with a maximum of £15,000 of funding. To find out more about their funding options visit BFI’s website.
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.
Doc Society: A non-profit organisation which works together with other funding agencies to offer different kind of funds enabling the creation of feature documentaries and shorts and connecting those to a global audience. 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: Another award-based film funding agency is the ‘Genera Quarters’. Unlike the John Brabourne Awards you don’t need to apply with an existing production. A script and a budget breakdown of your short film will suffice. The award is presented every quarter but opens for application 365 days a year. Apart from receiving £5,000 when winning the award, every applicant receives deals and discounts from Genera’s growing number of partners to other competitions or film festivals all over the globe. The only downside is that you need to pay an admission fee. Due to current circumstances, Genera Quarters offers to showcase ready-to-go short films on the Made at Home platform for free. 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, you can join ‘The John Brabourne Awards’ which offers financial funds up to £5,000 to UK-based filmmakers. The award is presented several times a year. Eligibility:
• At least 2 years working in Film and/or TV* (including aspects of digital broadcast). This doesn’t have to be consecutive.
• A talent for your chosen field
• A genuine need of financial assistance and support to overcome hurdles
• A commitment to progress their career
• Two referees working professionally in the film and/or television 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.
Screen Yorkshire Content Fund: Screen Yorkshire has been supporting the growth of the screen industries in the region through investing in content since 2003. We established the 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 in the future. The fund receives no additional ‘top-up’ and, therefore, its continued ability to invest is dependent solely on the performance of the projects it invests in. Since the Yorkshire Content Fund was launched in February 2012, Screen Yorkshire has invested in over 40 projects including: Official Secrets, Hope Gap, Ackley Bridge, Fighting For A City, Yardie, Ghost Stories, Dad’s Army, Swallows and Amazons, Testament of Youth, National Treasure and Peaky Blinders. Visit Screen Yorkshire’s website to find out more about the Content Fund and to express your interest.
Screen Yorkshire Indie TV and Film Development Fund: Totalling £200,000 it distributes awards between £2,500 – £25,000 to help independent TV and film production companies to develop new content. It is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the LEP through its new Creative Catalyst programme which was established in response to Channel 4’s relocation to Leeds and broadcaster commitment to increase commissioning in the Nations and Regions. Visit Screen Yorkshire’s website to check when applications reopen.
Together TV’s Diverse Film Fund (for documentaries): Got great ideas for documentaries? This newly created fund supports new creative talent to tell the stories that need to be told about Britain today. Together TV inspires positive change and connects people to their communities. The fund will provide opportunities to create meaningful and impactful content to drive this inspiring positive change. The documentaries produced will explore diversity, creativity, community and contemporary lives, with a strong focus on inspiration and calls to positive action. The theme might change each year (in 2021 it’s British Black Lives Today). Five filmmakers will be chosen to receive:
● £10k for development, production and post-production delivery costs.
● Mentorship from industry experts.
● The documentaries will be broadcast on television during Black History Month 2021 and distributed on digital.
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. We will be accepting applications from recent graduates of Masters programmes or degrees in film and television. 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.
Call Sheet: Connecting TV and Film Industry Professionals. The Call Sheet is an online directory of over 50,000 people, including BAFTA and OSCAR award winning talent. Visit the Call Sheet website to search for jobs in TV and Film (it’s free).
Channel 4: Not sure what kind of roles are available at Channel 4? The Channel 4 website shows you all of 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.
Leeds TV: Local Leeds TV Channel. Visit Leeds TV to search for TV related jobs.
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.
Project Noir: An art collective and creative networking group for people of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage that includes writers, presenters, film crew and photographers. Visit Project Noir on Facebook to find out about job opportunities (including entry-level positions) that support BAME creatives looking for work in the UK Film & TV industry.
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.
Screen Yorkshire: Screen Yorkshire’s experienced Film Office team is now offering a comprehensive region wide crew and facilities service. The service connects production companies filming in Yorkshire with locally based freelance crew and film and TV supply-chain companies. Sign up to our crew service: 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 or you are unsure if the service is for you then please get in touch with our Film Office team. We will be 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.
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 Manager: Visit the Talent Manager website to search for the best TV jobs.
The Mill: A visual effects and content creation studio collaborating on VFX, digital and design projects for the advertising, games and music industries. We partner with the world’s best agencies, ground breaking directors, creative firms and visionary brands. Visit The Mill to search for jobs related to the advertising, games and music industries.
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 television 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: A home for talent to accomplish their vision with ease and integrity. 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. The talented team of video experts turn ideas into visually compelling stories that deliver results. 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 television, 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: 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. As a Northern production company 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 television, 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: The Garden is one of the UK’s leading production companies, known for producing high-quality factual television at scale, and for award-winning documentaries and innovative formats. Based in London and Leeds (Kirkstall), it makes programmes for broadcasters in the UK, the US and around the world, and has had its work broadcast in over a hundred territories. Since it was founded in 2010, the Garden has produced more than 400 hours of memorable and ground-breaking television. 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 television. 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, True North makes 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: Television 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 in Manchester and Leeds. Factual Storytelling that fascinates and entertains. Part of Endemol Shine Group, they are based in Beeston, Leeds (and also in Manchester). Visit Worker Bee’s website to find out more about their TV productions.