Tag: Candle & Bell

Four North East indies selected for the BBC’s Small Indie Fund 2024 

Posted on by North East Screen

The BBC has announced that four North East based indies will be supported through their £1.5m Small Indie Fund, providing a huge boost for the screen sector in the region. 

Candle & Bell (Gateshead), MCC Media (Sunderland), Schnoobert Productions (Newcastle) and Wander Films (Middlesbrough) will all receive strategic investment and regular mentoring from a BBC commissioning editor.  

The £1.5m Fund was launched in 2020 to support the development of small independent production companies with turnovers below £10m across Drama, Entertainment, Comedy, Factual, Daytime, Children’s, and this year, BBC Film. 

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

“Once again, our North East based indies are making an impression with the BBC, and it’s great to see these four companies winning BBC Small Indie Fund Awards. This award will provide them with the time to build and strengthen relationships with commissioners and get a real understanding of BBC Daytime, Peak-time or Comedy audiences to hone their pitches and improve chances of winning commission opportunities.  

“We are seeing the impact on the companies who were recipients last year: some have either moved into paid development or have won commissions thanks to the support they received.” 

Jason Cook, Founder of Schnoobert Productions, based in Newcastle, said:  

“We are over the moon to once again be selected for the BBC Small Indie Fund. Last year’s fund was so vital in our growth as a company and we are looking forward to working closely with BBC Comedy to keep this (slightly unsteady) rocket on trajectory together.” 

Maria Caruana Galizia, Producer and Managing Director of Candle & Bell said: 

“We’re very grateful to the BBC for their investment in Candle & Bell. It’s great to be working with Emma Lawson [BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor] and the BBC Comedy team for a second year in a row. Being recipients of the Small Indie Fund last year opened many doors for us, so we’re looking forward to building on the successes of 2023 which included two script commissions and an audio commission. We’re hoping for a bigger and better 2024!” 

Lou Tonner, Co-Founder of Wander Films said:  

“We are stoked to be selected for the BBC Small Indie Fund. This is an incredible opportunity for Wander to continue to grow. We’ve had a few cool wins over the past couple of months and it’s class to have the BBC on our side! We owe a huge thanks to the guys at North East Screen for providing us access to such a strong support network.” 

Paul McCoy, CEO of MCC Media said: 

“MCC Media are delighted to have been selected for the BBC Small Indie Fund. This helps to further cement our relationship with the BBC as we start working more on the factual side as well as kids and family. We hope that this opportunity will help our growth plans for 2024, and for what is gearing up to be a busy year for the North East production scene and beyond.” 

North East Screen provides support to regional based independent production companies, as well as those looking to set up a North East base, through a variety of programmes to help them develop their products and services. For more information about these programmes, contact the Talent and Business Development: talent@northeastscreen.org  

Caroline Norris joins Candle & Bell as EP for Comedy

Posted on by North East Screen

BAFTA award winning and Emmy nominated producer Caroline Norris has joined Candle & Bell as Executive Producer of Comedy. As a producer on Motherland, Tracey Ullman’s Show, and Horrible Histories (amongst many others) Caroline brings a wealth of knowledge in developing and producing comedy for television. Gateshead based Candle & Bell has a strong track record in producing scripted comedy films, and with the help of Caroline, the company is now breaking into the Television industry, by developing new ideas for sit-coms.

“I’m so excited to be working with Candle & Bell.” Said Caroline. “They have a wealth of fantastic ideas and talent relationships, and also an excellent office dog which is obviously of vital importance”

In June 2023, Candle & Bell celebrates 10 years in business. The company has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and has won two RTS awards and produced hundreds of hours of commercial content, as well as numerous award winning short films. Most recently Candle & Bell produced series 2 of ShortFlix for Sky Arts.

In February 2023, Candle & Bell was awarded Small Indie Fund for comedy from the BBC, alongside investment from the REACH Film and TV grant from North East Screen. This finance has been crucial in aiding the growth of the company and helping the team pursue their ambitions to grow their slate of TV projects. The company has also added award winning producer Zahra Zomorrodian to its team, to lead development of the comedy slate.

The company recently won a development commission on a TV sitcom idea with local writer Elijah Young, and founder Maria Caruana Galizia is looking forward to working with Caroline on developing the slate of projects even further.

“Working with Caroline has already had a huge impact on Candle & Bell. She is just as driven as we are to succeed and we knew from our first meeting with her she would be the perfect person to help us develop and produce outstanding comedy TV shows. The money from BBC and North East Screen has made a substantial difference to Candle & Bell, and by adding Zahra and Caroline to the team, our comedy slate has progressed at a rapid pace over the last few months. It’s a really exciting time for us and we’re incredibly grateful to the BBC and North East Screen for their support. ”

North East Screen is the screen agency for the North East, dedicated to helping production companies and talent in the North East of England thrive. Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen, commented ‘’NE Screen are thrilled to partner with BBC Comedy to support Candle and Bell with these exciting new appointments. Caroline brings an exceptional track record, connections and world class experience that will give the development team a real boost. We cannot wait to see what new voices and stories they uncover for BBC audiences.”