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Northern Child’s latest commission starring Jordan North to air Wednesday 20th March

Posted on by North East Screen

Jordan North: The Truth About Vaping, a production from Newcastle based production company Northern Child, will air on BBC Three at 9pm on Wednesday the 20th of March.

As the UK Government moves to ban disposable vapes, Jordan North sets out to uncover the truth about vaping, and decide if it’s time he packed it in. 

Along his journey, Jordan meets young vapers similarly confused about the impact of vaping on their health. He visits his old university in Sunderland to find out how vapes work, joins Newcastle Trading Standards as they conduct raids on shops selling illegal vapes, and heads to Manchester to meet the scientist behind one of the first long term studies into the impact of vapes on our cardiovascular system.

The documentary will be repeated on Monday 25th March, 8:30pm on BBC One.

Jordan North will also be on The One Show on Wednesday to promote the documentary.

This is another fantastic commissioning win from Northern Child who, since opening their base in the region two years ago, have gone from strength to strength. Northern Child is the sister company to Middle Child who have been creating content for all the major British broadcasters as well as global platform for fifteen years.

Middlechild also have recently delivered The Tube:Keep London Moving! to Channel 5 which airs Sunday 24th March at 8pm. Though this was made under the Brighton based Middlechild, the four-part series was fully produced by our very own Katie Elliot – a North East Producer at Northern Child.

Watch the trailer below

BFI and film industry welcome landmark move to support UK film

Posted on by North East Screen

The BFI and more than 100 filmmakers and industry leaders have today overwhelmingly welcomed the introduction of a 53% expenditure credit (equating to a tax relief of approximately 40%) for UK film productions with a budget up to £15m.

The intervention was announced today in the Government’s Spring Budget to support this vital, but severely challenged, part of the UK’s film industry. This follows work from the BFI and industry and Pact’s proposal to model how tax relief could be made more effective and has been welcomed by filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton, Edgar Wright, Mike Leigh, Andrew Haigh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Barbara Broccoli, David Heyman, Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Kaluuya, Danny Boyle, Riz Ahmed, Gurinder Chadha, Sam Mendes, Steve McQueen, Elizabeth Karlsen, Andrea Arnold, Asif Kapadia, Emerald Fennell, Gareth Edwards, Joanna Hogg, Nida Manzoor, Paul King and Andrew ‘Rapman’ Onwubolu.

This uplift marks a transformative moment for the sector as producers and filmmakers have increasingly struggled to finance films at this level and get them into production in the UK.

Also announced today is a package of measures further supporting the sector including a 40% relief on gross business rates bills for eligible film studios in England, until 2034; funding for an extension at the UK’s world-leading National Film and Television School; and a 5% increase in tax relief for UK visual effects costs in film and high-end TV, under the Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit (AVEC) with an exemption on the AVEC’s 80% cap on qualifying expenditure.

David Parfitt, producer The Father, My Week With Marilyn, Shakespeare In Love; Chair of North East Screen, said “Independent film is in desperate need of support despite its global reputation and I am delighted that the Government has stepped up at this critical time – a successful industry will pay back in spades.”

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive, said: ‘This is a dramatic moment for UK film, and the most significant policy intervention since the 1990s. The positive impact will be felt across our industry, and through all the new films that audiences will get to enjoy. The films we make are vital to our culture expression and creativity – they reflect a diverse and global Britain, and build careers – and we’re grateful to Government, the DCMS, the industry and our friends at Pact for working together to realise this historic initiative.’

Sir Ridley Scott, director, said: “Expanding tax relief to support UK independent film has never been more needed if this vital part of the industry is to survive and thrive. Over the course of my career I’ve seen how creativity is born and lives within independent filmmaking, and has been intrinsic to the industry’s growth and success; as well as being the source of important stories that matter to society. It also happens to be something we do spectacularly well – expanding tax relief will help ensure we continue the pipeline of great British stories and talent, both in front of and behind the camera.”

David Puttnam, producer, Chariots Of Fire, Local Hero, Midnight Express, The Mission, said: “Fifty years ago, as a young producer trying to forge a career, I was hugely enabled by Government support then available in the form of the Eady Fund. Today’s young producers, already doing better work than I ever aspired to, need a similar boost if they’re to deliver the success the industry needs, and the nation craves for. The need is critical, the moment is now.”

Major studio development in Sunderland backed with new tools given to the region in the budget

Posted on by North East Screen

Today’s announcement of the trailblazing devolution deal agreed between the Government and North East in the Spring budget will equip the region with the tools it needs to make the Crown Works Studios development in Sunderland a reality, further proving that there has never been a better time to join the booming screen industry in the North East.  

With production in the region already up 28% last year, going against the national picture, the North East Screen Film Office has trebled the production scheduled for 2024, largely thanks to the work of North East Screen Industries Partnership, delivered by North East Screen. The development of the Studios provides the North East with the large-scale infrastructure that is the next step to welcoming productions all year-round, creating a sustainable industry for future years and generations. 

In reaction to today’s announcement, Chair of North East Screen, Academy Award winner David Parfitt said “The backing for Sunderland’s Crown Works Studios is significant in ensuring that local industry talent and businesses have a place they can create global film and high-end TV content without having to relocate to other areas of the UK. 

My generation had to leave the North East to pursue careers in the creative screen industries. Record investment in local talent from the North East Screen Industries Partnership and major UK broadcasters has started to produce substantial change, but this major investment in a large-scale studio development will take us to the next stage, supporting the incredible talent already working in the North East and bringing others home.”

With the other developments currently happening across the region, today’s announcement supercharges the range of opportunities the region’s screen agency are already providing for homegrown and relocating talent and companies. North East Screen are currently working with a range of industry experts to ensure the region’s production, facilities and service companies are ready to maximise and retain inward investment.  

North East Screen’s skills team continue to work with incoming productions to create real bridges to industry and support life-long career development for established crew based in the region. Working with a range of skills providers, including the wider NESIP group, the North East Skills group (represented by education partners) and Screen Alliance North, a BFI skills cluster in partnership with Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester and Screen Yorkshire to address wider skills shortages and improve access to quality training for diverse talent and communities; the team will continue to work closely with FulwellCain International and Sunderland City Council as the Crown Works Studio plans come to fruition. 

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen said “With the UK screen industry worth an estimated £12.5 billion in 2023, and regional production already up 28%, to have backing for the Crown Works Studios will supercharge the North East in becoming an international production hotspot, where world class content for global audiences is made all year round.  

“We have world-class locations, we have talented crew, we have indies winning commissions, and we have the support of all our local and combined authority partners to ensure our region is truly filming friendly. 

“Studio development will provide the infrastructure we really need to continue the trajectory, attracting major big-budget features, key suppliers and in the process, creating a broader range of opportunities for the people and businesses of the North East.” 

To find out more about how North East Screen can support you or your business, please contact us at  

We are hiring! – Evaluation, Monitoring and Funding Application Coordinator

Posted on by North East Screen

We have an exciting new opportunity for you to join the team at North East Screen as Evaluation, Monitoring and Funding Application Coordinator. This role is key to showing what an amazing impact our organisation has on the region. You will also be the first point of contact for Production Fund enquiries and applications, identifying appropriate next steps.

We’re looking for a team player who is a whiz with spreadsheets and handling data. If that sounds like you then follow this link to read the full job specification and how to apply.

This is a full time, permanent position based in our Sunderland office with some time working in our offices in Hartlepool. The deadline to apply is the 24th of March.

Screen Alliance North launches Connected Communities events as part of the BBC’s Bring the Drama Festival

Posted on by North East Screen

This March, Screen Alliance North will be hosting its first series of Connected Communities events, with the support of BFI National Lottery funding, and partners the BBC. These events aim to increase accessibility to the screen industry and help improve working practices, encouraging a more diverse and inclusive workforce. They form part of the BBC’s wider Bring The Drama festival which is running across the UK throughout March.

These learning and networking events will be hosted at key Northern Studios and facilities, including Space Studios in Manchester, The Northern Studios in Hartlepool, and FACT in Liverpool.

Open to all northern crew and those interested in working in the industry, the free events, which will take place in person, and can be accessed online, will focus on themes such as environmental and social sustainability, wellbeing and good working practices and inclusion and diversity, all aimed at encouraging access to the screen industry across the North of England.

Penny Hall, Skills Cluster Partnership Lead at Screen Alliance North said;
“Connected Communities is a new strand of flagship, annual Screen Alliance North events which aim to connect our underrepresented communities in the North through learning and networking, and to help grow and sustain a well balanced, forward thinking workforce. The free events are for anyone currently working in the screen industry as crew, in production companies as well as those interested in a career in the industry.

We hope the events will encourage local camaraderie and provide opportunities for learning, upskilling and making new contacts. For those new to the industry it will give that all important foot in the door providing a new network for helping to access future work. We are thrilled to be working with  the BBC on these events, and a number of other fantastic partner organisations will be participating in our panel discussions.”

Each event will consist of a panel discussion with the BBC and other industry experts, a workshop designed to inform, educate and inspire and a networking event encouraging collaboration, knowledge sharing and contact making.

Dawn Beresford, Director of Talent and Skills, BBC Commissioning, said:

“I am delighted that Screen Alliance North have created these three events in Liverpool, Hartlepool and Manchester as part of our Bring the Drama Festival. The BBC are committed to investing in and supporting local creative economies across the UK and the Connected Communities events are one of the important partnerships to help build skills and develop talent across the creative landscape.”

Screen Alliance North Connected Communities events:

Film and TV sustainability day in Liverpool
Wednesday 6th March
FACT, Liverpool

Overcoming barriers in film and TV
Thursday 14th March
The Northern Studios, Hartlepool
Overcoming barriers in film and TV Tickets, Thu 14 Mar 2024 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Film and TV
Thursday 21st March
Space Studios, Manchester

Tender for interim evaluation of NESIP Programme

Posted on by North East Screen

North East Screen is inviting organisations and consultants to submit a proposal for an Interim evaluation of “North East Screen Industries Programme – Year 1 and Year 2”.

The North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) is a vehicle established in 2022 to facilitate the strategic development of the TV and screen industry in the North East region. The development programme is delivered by North East Screen.

The programme aims to:

•              Strengthen infrastructure

•              Grow the sector through job creation, business growth and resilience

•              Develop, attract, and retain talent

•              Positively raise the profile of the region

•              Build wider awareness of the screen sector opportunities in the North East

•              Encourage pride in communities and a sense of belonging

•              Support the region’s agenda to attract inward investment

Your proposal should include:

•              A brief description of your organisation/area of work

•              A description of how you will approach the requirements for this work; specifically, your response should address the areas listed in section 2

•              A short description of the expertise that would be applied to this work (including CVs in appendix).

•              Examples of any previous work which is relevant (maximum 2 examples)

•              A quote for this work including VAT and expenses.

Click here to view the full Tender Specification.

Selection Process

Deadline for Receipt of Proposals25/02/2024
Review proposals and seek any required clarifications27/02/2024
Shortlist organisation to carry out evaluation study and report.29/02/2024
Evaluation study and report (First Draft)14/04/2024
Evaluation study and report (Final)12/05/2024

North East Screen joins calls of support for the CrownWorks Studio plan

Posted on by North East Screen

North East Screen, the regional screen agency for North East England, are fully supportive of the scale and ambition of the development of CrownWorks Studios, which would be a crucial game-changer for the region’s rapidly growing screen industry.

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen, believes in making brave and ambitious decisions and plans for the region, with the studio development clearly being an ambitious plan.

On North East Screen support for the studio plan, Alison said: “Through the work delivered by North East Screen and the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) we are already delivering real results to grow the screen industry across the North East. Capital investment however, in a large studio would supercharge the region’s capacity to deliver a much broader range of international production across the whole year. We know we have the talent, skills, locations, and experience, building on the impact of activity that has already been developed and delivered across the region in the last two years. Now we need the infrastructure to make the industry more sustainable and create long-term jobs and opportunities.

“Since NESIP backed North East Screen to deliver a strategic five-year development project in 2020, production has risen 28% in the last year (bucking the national trend), and for every £1 invested by NESIP, up to £8 is being spent in the region creating well paid creative jobs. We will likely see these figures continue to rise across 2024 and 2025.

“The North East is very much open for, and delivering business. It is vital for the region to maintain this momentum in a very fast-moving sector. FulwelCain’s plans for CrownWorks Studios presents a phenomenal opportunity to capitalise on, and bring real change to the North East’s infrastructure, helping the region become one of the leading film and TV production hubs not only here in the UK, but globally.”

Newspapers and news websites from around the North East have also come together to call on the Government to provide financial support for the CrownWorks Studios plan.

A joint statement from regional editors Ross Robertson, Ian Arkle, Graeme Whitfield, Helen Dalby, Sophie Barley and Gavin Foster said: “The CrownWorks Studios plan has the potential to be transformational for Sunderland and the wider North East. It could be the catalyst for growth in the North East creative industries in the same way that the Nissan plant was for the car industry 40 years ago.

“FulwellCain have developed a plan that has the backing of the whole region, as well as key players in the film and TV world.

“We felt it was only right that the regional media unite our voices to demonstrate the depth of that support in every corner of the North East. Politicians of all parties have supported the plans but now is the time for the Government to provide the financial support to back up those warm words.

“The CrownWorks plan is levelling up in action and an opportunity that cannot be squandered.”

Teesside to Stateside – Airport doubles as NYC in new romantic comedy feature film  

Posted on by North East Screen

A romantic comedy which sees Teesside International Airport stand in for New York International Airport will hit screens on Friday (February 9). 

Upgraded is the latest movie to be filmed in Tees Valley and comes to Prime Video this week.  

Secret shooting took place at the airport in August 2022, and saw Teesside transformed into “New York International Airport”. 

Upgraded sees Camila Mendes star as Ana – an ambitious intern dreaming of a career in the art world while trying to impress her demanding boss Claire (Marisa Tomei).  

When she’s upgraded to first class on a work trip, she meets handsome Will (Archie Renaux), who mistakes Ana for her boss – a white lie that sets off a glamorous chain of events, romance and opportunity, until her fib threatens to surface. 

The Amazon Original movie is directed by Carlson Young. Lead Camila Mendes and Spider-man: Homecoming actress Marisa Tomei were among the cast who filmed at Teesside Airport. 

Filming took place in just a day and saw the airport terminal signs and luggage trolleys changed to black and yellow “New York International Airport” while famous yellow New York taxis pulled up outside the entrance. 

Check-in desks and digital displays were also converted to the fictional “Sovereign Air” airline which appears in the movie. 

The shooting followed weeks of negotiations between the film’s production team and Teesside Airport staff to ensure filming went off without a hitch while the airport continued to fully operate. 

Teesside International Airport Managing Director Phil Forster said: “We were delighted to welcome the cast and crew of Upgraded to Teesside Airport and it’s fantastic to see our airport in the finished film. 

“We know our airport is a great location for our passengers and the fact that we can stand in as New York in a major Hollywood film shows how far we have come in transforming our terminal building into a modern and vibrant place from which even the stars want to travel.” 

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We know we have superb locations for filming across Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington and it’s great that Teesside Airport is now also firmly on that list. 

“Our airport was once a crumbling, failing business but in just the past year we have enjoyed the best passenger numbers in more than a decade, been named UK and Ireland Airport of the Year and are now starring in major movies.” 

Upgraded is the latest feature film shot in the Tees Valley and comes as major drive to grow the thriving local film and TV industry continues. 

Filming was supported by the North East England screen agency North East Screen. 

North East Screen Operations Director Gayle Woodruffe said: The North East is home to a diverse array of world-class locations, all of which have their own unique versatility which can be easily adapted to the needs of the production filming.  

 “Seeing Teesside Airport transform into New York International Airport shows this at its best, and it is a real asset in our North East locations portfolio.” 

North East film and TV production increased 28% in 2023, and Upgraded is the fourth time in 2024 that Tees Valley locations have appeared on screen, following feature film JACKDAW and ITV dramas, After the Flood and Vera, with further in the pipeline for the rest of the year. 

Upgraded is available to watch on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide from Friday, 9 February. The trailer is available here.

For filming opportunities at Teesside International Airport contact

Three North East Indies win their first BBC daytime TV commission 

Posted on by North East Screen

Three North East Indies are entering 2024 with a bang having won their first BBC daytime commission that will see them create inserts for BBC’s popular daytime show, Morning Live. 

Wander Films (Middlesbrough), Sea & Sky Pictures (Hartlepool), and Second Draft (Sunderland), were all successful with their pitch ideas and will now have their northern stories shown to a national audience. All three indies have been working closely with North East Screen over the last four years through a range of programmes and activities to support them becoming reputable broadcast-winning companies. 

North East Screen’s Development Director, Lisa Laws, believes this is just the beginning of the broadcast journey for these indies. She said, 

“It’s great to see the hard work of Wander, Sea & Sky and Second Draft paying dividends at last given the challenging commissioning climate we are in. So this is a real win not only for them, but for the North East. 

“This shows that our North East-based indies have built strong relationships with commissioners to really understand what audiences want and expect from a show like Morning Live.  

“This first step into broadcast is crucial for company growth, and I can’t wait to see what they deliver! Exciting times ahead!” 

The commission opportunity has been led by BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning Editor, Helen Munson, who is based in the North East. She said, 

“This is a really exciting opportunity to build on and develop key relationships with indies based in the North East. I know there is such a wealth of talent here and I’m really looking forward to working with them more.” 

Chloe Clover, Co Founder and CEO of Wander Films said,

“We presented five topical stories with positive messages. It was crucial that the ideas were unique yet in line with the Morning Live house style. We’re buzzing that the commissioners loved our angles, and we are now in production for TV!” 

Lou Brannon, Development Co-Ordinator at Sea & Sky Pictures said,  

“We’re over the moon to have been chosen for this opportunity to contribute to Morning Live on BBC One. We’d like to thank North East Screen and the BBC for allowing us to build on our previous successes with The BBC’s Small Indie Fund 2023 and North East Voices initiatives.  

“Our films will cover varied topics such as ways to combat loneliness and litter picking, and will give advice, inspiration and hopefully start conversations across the nation.” 

Mark Stuart Bell, Producer/Director at Second Draft said,  

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside the BBC’s flagship morning programme. We have a real affection for the warmth and optimism that Morning Live creates, and we hope that our film brings attention to the concerning issue of malnutrition in the UK, but also leaves the audience feeling inspired by the story of one ordinary woman’s mission to solve this crisis.” 

Morning Live is BBC One’s flagship daytime magazine show broadcast live from their Manchester-based studio, averaging over 1.2 million viewers. Since the new year, the show has been extended to 75 minutes from 45 minutes and strengthened its pool of on-screen presenters to include Cumbrian Helen Skelton. 

Shudder Films set up North East base prior to premiering latest feature at Sundance Film Festival

Posted on by North East Screen

Newcastle-based Shudder Films, are set to light up the international film market as they premiere their latest feature film at the internationally renowned Sundance Film Festival, which begins 18th January. 

Regional screen agency, North East Screen, have supported Shudder Films through their Reach programme to employ a development producer who will scout for talent and drive their activity in the North East, with the team also heading stateside to Sundance Film Festival, a key launch pad for some of the world’s best breakthrough feature films. 

KNEECAP, which shot in Ireland last year, is the story of the hip and naughty Irish language rap group, Kneecap. The film features the rap trio in lead roles, with Simone Kirby (His Dark Materials, Hidden Assets, Peaky Blinders, Jimmy’s Hall) and Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Inglorious Basterds, Shame, Steve Jobs) co-staring.  

Shudder Films is an acclaimed independent film company, led by BAFTA-nominated and BIFA winning producer Jack Tarling, that has had previous success with critically acclaimed films such as Gods Own Country.  

Jack has a long-term affinity with the North East, having studied at Northumbria University and regularly speaks at regional NFTS and broadcast events. He said,  

“We’re excited to be working with Dermot O’Dempsey as our first point of contact for North East talent and stories. I lived in Newcastle for 12 years and look forward to further strengthening our links and bringing new productions to the region and doing more work with local talent.” 

Lisa Laws, North East Screen’s Development Director said,  

“It’s great to be able to support an award-winning company like Shudder Films to strengthen their base in the North East. They have an outstanding track record at major international festivals.  

“We’re looking forward to seeing how Jack and his team bring their ambitious energy to the North East, providing another home for our local talent to develop creative and ground-breaking content.” 

North East Screen supported Shudder Films to both strengthen their marketing and distribution strategy, and create a new development post through the Reach programme. Reach is aimed at commercially and critically acclaimed companies (both production and supply chain) wishing to develop and diversify their products and services in order to win investment and create jobs within the region. So far, almost £120,000 has been invested in regional companies, with the latest round of funding currently accepting applications. To find out how you and your business can be supported in the North East screen industry, contact the Business Development team: