Tag: North East Screen

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  

UK Premiere of Jackdaw to take place in the North East

Posted on by North East Screen

The star-studded UK premiere of British action thriller JACKDAW, the feature film debut of North East-born writer-director Jamie Childs (The Sandman, Willow, His Dark Materials), will take place at the Showcase Cinema de Lux Teesside in Stockton-on-Tees on 24 January 2024.

Childs will be joined on the red carpet by the film’s stars including Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man, Emily, The Haunting of Hill House) Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, The Sandman, Victoria), Thomas Turgoose (Creation Stories, The Gallows Pole, This is England) and North East actor Joe Blakemore (The Third Day).

In addition to the premiere, there will also be a special paid public preview screening of the film in tandem with the premiere screening so members of the public in the region can come along and be part of the evening. Tickets for this unique premiere preview can be booked HERE, audiences are advised to book early to avoid disappointment. 

JACKDAW was shot on location in the North East of England in Hartlepool and the Tees Valley, around sites including Seal Sands, Nunthorpe, Redcar and the North Sea, filming against the backdrop of the region’s breathtaking coastlines and dramatic industrial landscapes. It also utilised The Northern Film and TV Studios, the North East’s only large-scale film and TV production facility. The film has seen significant investment from The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority and the North East Production Fund, delivered by regional screen agency North East Screen on behalf of the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP), as part of their ambitious plans to make the region one of the UK’s leading film and TV production hubs.

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director for North East Screen, said: “We’re delighted to support the UK premiere of Jackdaw at the Showcase Cinema de Lux Teesside. It’s right on the doorstep of all the amazing Tees Valley locations that were used in the film, so is very fitting.

“Supporting ambitious, world-class local talent like Jamie Childs is integral to the work we are doing to make the North East one of the leading UK film hubs where regional folk can live, create and work.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’ll be fantastic to welcome the cast and crew of Jackdaw to Teesside for the star-studded premiere this month and I’m certain this event will be a great celebration of our growing local film industry. 

“We know our area has superb locations for TV and film productions and the success of Jackdaw shows how our investment in the North East Screen Industries Partnership is paying dividends in creating jobs and developing skills.”  

Writer/Director Jamie Childs said: “I can’t wait to bring Jackdaw up to the North East for its UK premiere, and celebrate it with the rambunctious Northern souls who made it all possible.”

We are hiring! – PA to Chief Executive/Office Coordinator

Posted on by North East Screen

We are looking for someone with excellent organisational skills, a calm demeanour, and a keen eye for detail to support our Chief Executive and work with our team to achieve our vision.

You will be the first point of contact for our CE, coordinating their diary, meetings, and other administrative tasks. You will liaise with our Board members and stakeholders to organise and take minutes of meetings.

You will also be a central part of the team, ensuring we are working well together and be responsible for the smooth running of the office on a day to day basis.

Click here to read the full job specifications and find out how to apply.

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes series 2 to air on New Year’s Day

Posted on by North East Screen

TV star Robson Green meets a new set of famous guests in this refreshing second series as they discover the roads less travelled and immerse themselves in the great outdoors.

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes showcases the North’s breath-taking landscapes, cultural heritage, and wealth of activities that are perfect for the mind and body.

Set against the backdrop of some of the UK’s most stunning scenery, this new BBC series is the perfect tonic to chase away the winter blues and will see Robson, along with family and some famous friends, appreciating a slower pace of life.

On each journey, Robson tries an outdoor activity with a different famous face as they share their favourite memories from places close to their hearts across the North East, Cumbria, Yorkshire and the Scottish Borders.

From former footballer Shola Ameobi, celebrity wine enthusiast Olly Smith, and TV personality Denise Welch, to actors Kevin Whately, Mark Benton and Tessa Peake Jones, they all join Robson for a weekend getaway they’ll never forget.

Across the series Robson hits the road in a traditional horse-drawn wagon, is in fits of giggles during laughing yoga, cruises down a canal on a narrowboat, puts his best foot forward while learning ballet in a field, and takes a scenic drive in a motorbike sidecar.

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes has been produced by Signpost and Robson’s own production company River Meets Productions.

Commissioned by Helen Munson, the BBC’s Commissioning Editor for Daytime and Early Peak based in the North East, this 15-part series starts on Monday 1st January on BBC Two at 7pm, but subsequent episodes will be in the usual 6.30pm slot and will be stripped Mon-Fri.

BBC commission new documentary from Newcastle-based indie Northern Child starring Jordan North

Posted on by North East Screen

North East indie, Northern Child has won a BBC Three commission for a documentary to be filmed in Newcastle, featuring BBC Radio 1 presenter Jordan North.

What’s Really in Your Vape? (w/t) will see Jordan North front his first documentary as he explores the truth behind the UK’s vaping phenomenon.

The number of young people vaping has skyrocketed in recent years. Annual sales in the UK are now worth more than £1.3 billion.

But do we really know what’s inside these vapes? What are they made of, how are they made, and where? What chemicals go into the liquid? How much nicotine’s really in them? Which ones are sold legally, which ones aren’t?

As someone who uses vapes himself, Jordan North seeks answers to all of these questions. As well as meeting scientists performing cutting edge testing on vapes, and researchers looking at the possible long term effects of vaping, Jordan investigates the problem with illegal vapes in the UK. How big is the market? Where are they coming from? Who’s selling them? And just how dangerous might they be?

Jordan North says: “I’m really excited to be back on BBC Three, I’ve always wanted to make a documentary and I’m really interested in this subject, as a vaper myself I’m desperate to know what’s inside my vape!”

Andrew Eastel, Executive Producer says: “Vaping has become incredibly popular in the UK. Not just with those trying to quit smoking, and especially amongst younger people. So, it’s more important than ever for us to have a better understanding of what’s actually inside a vape; how they are made and where they come from, the types or brands of vapes that may pose a risk, and whether there could be longer term implications for the health of people who vape? Jordan is the ideal person to help us answer these questions. He’s naturally inquisitive and open-minded – without being preachy – and as someone who vapes himself, he has a vested interest in getting to the truth.”

Nasfim Haque, Head of Content of BBC Three says: “Jordan is the perfect guide for this fascinating and insightful new documentary as he takes a deep dive into the rapidly expanding phenomenon of vaping and showcases his findings to viewers on BBC Three and iPlayer.”

What’s Really in Your Vape? will be broadcast on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer in early 2024.

What’s Really in Your Vape? (1 x 30) is a Northern Child Production for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer produced from Newcastle. The Executive Producer is Andrew Eastel, the Producer is Katie Elliott and the programme will be Directed by Simon Rawles. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Mark Harrison for Current Affairs.

Cinema release date announced for Teesside-shot action thriller Jackdaw

Posted on by North East Screen

British thriller, Jackdaw, that filmed in Teesside, will be released in cinemas on the 26th of January. 

JACKDAW, which Vertigo Releasing has acquired for a nationwide UK theatrical release from producers and sales agents Anton Corp., stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man, Emily, The Haunting of Hill House) as the title character, along with Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, The Sandman, Victoria), Thomas Turgoose (Creation Stories, The Gallows Pole, This is England) and Rory McCann (Game of Thrones). Further cast includes Joe Blakemore (The Third Day), Vivienne Acheampong (The Sandman) and BAFTA Breakthrough Performer 2022 Leon Harrop (Ralph & Katie).

The film was shot on location in the North East of England in Hartlepool and the Tees Valley, around sites including Seal Sands, Nunthorpe, Redcar and the North Sea, filming against the backdrop of the region’s breathtaking coastlines and dramatic industrial landscapes. It also utilised The Northern Film and TV Studios, the North East’s only large-scale film and TV production facility.

The film has seen significant investment from The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority and the North East Production Fund, delivered by regional screen agency North East Screen on behalf of the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP), as part of their ambitious plans to make the region one of the UK’s leading film and TV production hubs.

JACKDAW had its World Premiere at the legendary Fantastic Fest in Texas on the 22nd of September, and will be followed by a star-studded UK Premiere which will take place in the North East.

Writer-Director Jamie Childs said: “We see so many American films set in atmospheric towns that don’t tie themselves to local, kitchen-sink stories. I thought, why don’t we do this in Britain? We set out to push the envelope of what was possible stylistically and tonally in our region. Its clash of pastoral and industrial worlds is the perfect setting for an exciting, pulpy chase thriller. I wanted to prove to an up-and-coming wave of potential filmmakers that we can take advantage of what’s right on our doorstep and still appeal to an international audience. I’d like to thank North East Screen and the Tees Valley Combined Authority for helping us make this all possible.” 

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director for North East Screen, said: “We have exceptional world class talent, amazingly diverse stunning locations and extremely experienced crew here in the North East. Supporting Jamie’s feature film debut as a writer-director via the North East Production Fund was a straightforward decision.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Jamie is a fantastic example of another homegrown talent taking huge strides on the global stage. It’s wonderful to have him back on his home patch with JACKDAW. This is yet another fantastic chance for us to showcase ourselves as a filming and production capital, with our big investment into the industry already reaping rewards. There truly has never been a better time for local people to get into the film industry – not just for writers and directors, but for engineers, costume makers and technicians. Our cash is helping get us onto screens and in front of people across the UK and JACKDAW is another wonderful example of that, and I can’t wait for the premiere!”

JACKDAW is an unrelenting action thriller set over the course of a single night against the backdrop of North East England, an area where breath taking coastal landscapes meet the brutality of industry. Jack Dawson, a former motocross champion and army veteran, returns to his hometown to care for his brother after their mother dies. Hoping to start a new life, he takes what could be a life-changing job for an old school friend turned local criminal, Silas. What should have been a straightforward pick-up of a package in the North Sea turns into a nightmare when Jack is double-crossed, and his brother is kidnapped. As he fights for survival and searches for answers, Jack encounters friends and adversaries old and new across a violent night-time odyssey through England’s Northern rust belt.

The film features a pulse-pounding soundtrack including classic dance music tracks from The Prodigy, The KLF, Aphex Twin and Robin S, as well as new wave music from Adam and the Ants, The Revillos and a brand-new exclusive track from North East star Sam Fender.

JACKDAW is produced by Sebastian Raybaud (Greenland, Canary Black), Callum Grant (Cleaner), Kate Glover (47 Meters Down, Black Mirror) and Jamie Childs. Childs directs alongside his regular DOP Will Baldy (The Sandman, Willow).

JACKDAW will open in cinemas on 26 January 2024

Watch the trailer below

Tull Stories nominated for ‘Best Documentary Campaign’ at Big Screen Awards

Posted on by North East Screen

Tull Stories, a film distribution and exhibition agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne, is part of a collective nominated for a prestigious ‘Best Documentary Campaign’ award at the Screen International Big Screen Awards.

Tull Stories is nominated as part of a collective including Met Film Distribution, along with film publicist Zoe Flower and production company Labor Of Love Films for the release of A Bunch Of Amateurs

Jonny Tull, who set up Tull Stories in 2017 after almost 30 years of frontline experience in the North East film sector said,

“Being part of a collective nominated for an award is a very surprising and lovely thing. Tull Stories worked with Met Film Distribution to book the documentary film A Bunch Of Amateurs (2022) into over 120 UK cinemas. To be asked to work with Met Film Distribution was a real watershed moment last year and allowed me to combine my admiration for regional film clubs, my experience of archive film, my love of the North and these ‘outsiders’ of filmmaking in one project. It connected with me deeply”.

This nomination comes within a year of incredible firsts for Jonny. Working with Met Film Distribution and Doc Society, undertaking a major BFI data analysis role as an associate with Indigo Ltd, having a Tull Stories release nominated for a BAFTA, and attending Sheffield DocFest, Toronto International Film Festival and Film London’s Distributor Slate Days as a newly formed distribution company are just some of the outstanding achievements from this year.

“To cap this year off with an awards event, and a prestigious one too, gives me real pause for thought about how lucky I am, how exciting this work is and how energised I am about it all. Imagine if we win!”

Lisa Laws, Talent and Business Development Director at North East Screen said,

“We are thrilled to see Jonny nominated for a prestigious national award for such great work on such a brilliant film.

“Our REACH funding supported Tull Stories to attend Toronto Film Festival and Slate Days, which has already yielded great results: meeting international sales agents, pitching for, and winning contracts and bookings, as well as profile raising. At Slate Days Jonny and Jens Meurer (director of Seaside Special) were even cheered on and off stage!”

2024 is set to be a transformational year for Tull Stories with Jonny commenting on what is to come,

“2024 will see Tull Stories grow and employ new staff in the North East. It’s fundamental that we operate and thrive in our region. The screen sector is on a path of growth, and distribution and audience engagement is a key part of that. We’re even expanding into new areas of film and TV, as well as distribution we now work with production companies, and are helping the company, Park the Bus, to develop their slate for film or TV and to build key partnerships.” 

Forthcoming Tull Stories releases include Jeanie Finlay’s new documentary ‘Your Fat Friend’ and Hilmar Oddsson’s Icelandic comedy-drama ‘Driving Mum’.

BBC One commissions Making It with Sara Davies (w/t) for all us eager would-be inventors

Posted on by North East Screen

BBC One has today announced a brand-new commission: Making It with Sara Davies (w/t). Produced by Gateshead based Twenty Six 03, and backed by the North East Production Fund, delivered by North East Screen, this exciting new series will air on BBC One in 2024 and has been commissioned for 15×30 episodes.

Each programme will feature ordinary people who think they’ve come up with a brilliant or innovative idea for a new product, but just don’t know where to start to see if it could ever become a reality.

Enter Sara and her crack team of highly-skilled experts…they’ll meet all of the aspiring inventors to help develop their initial ideas with the aim of turning them into fully-functioning, and potentially even money-making products. Life changing stuff!

But will the ideas always work or are the aspiring inventors dreaming of the impossible? With her keen eye for innovation, and amazing concepts, Sara will be joined by her team in their specialist workshop, based in the North East of England, to see if these dreams can become a reality.

Sara, has been a successful business woman since the age of 21, when she spotted a gap in the craft market when she invented an envelope-making tool for card makers. With the help of her engineer dad, she tested and refined her product before she made a prototype and started to sell it. And since then, her life has changed, and her personal success has seen her become a major investor in some of the UK’s most successful businesses through her role on Dragons’ Den.

Sara says, “There are thousands of people across the UK who have brilliant and big ideas, but are stuck on how to get started, so I am delighted that I am going to be able to help these wonderfully innovative people develop and make their inventing dreams a reality. I can’t wait to see what ideas are out there and get them into our workshop of dreams!”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive at North East Screen comments, “We’re excited to be supporting Sara Davies next project, this is a great example of how our development and production fund supports North East production and on screen talent to develop and drive future content. The BBC have made a solid commitment to having commissioners based in the region and we can see that really making a difference.”

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director at North East Screen comments, “The North East Production Fund is really starting to have an impact, supporting regional based indies and talent reach new markets, attracting international films and ground-breaking TV series, which all bring investment and jobs to our region growing businesses, skills and talent.”

Helen Munson, Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime comments, “Where better to make a programme about inventing than the North East?! This is where Joseph Swann invented the lightbulb, and George Stephenson became the ‘Father of the Railways’. We are in good company! And with the brilliant Sara Davies at the helm we know we are going to unearth brand new inventions for the 21st Century. Gateshead based Twenty Six 03 will be working with a host of local off screen talent to bring this exciting new series to BBC One.”

Rob Unsworth, Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning comments, “The UK has always been an innovative nation, but could any one of us be the next to come up with a game-changing new invention? Viewers are in for a treat as the brilliant Sara Davies and her team of experts discover which of the clever, creative or crazy ideas so many of us have knocking around our heads could ever become a reality. I hope this will be a warmly inspirational addition to our schedule, and can’t wait to see what our budding inventors bring to the workshop.”

Duncan Gray and Antonia Hurford-Jones, Executive Producers for Twenty Six 03, comment, “We’re thrilled to get the chance to be making this series with the brilliant Sara Davies and our fantastic team here in Gateshead.  Ingenuity in the UK is alive and well and we’re already getting in some amazing ideas.” Making It with Sara Davies (w/t) will be on screens in 2024, it was commissioned for BBC One and iPlayer by Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning Rob Unsworth, the Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime is Helen Munson. The programme is produced by Twenty Six 03’s Duncan Gray and Antonia Hurford-Jones with funding from North East Screen.

Channel 4 ‘In Too Deep’ Digital Development Initiative

Posted on by North East Screen

Channel 4, in collaboration with North East Screen, has launched a new digital commissioning opportunity for production companies and creatives in the North East to create a hard-hitting piece for their ‘In Too Deep’ Documentary strand.

The Channel 4 Digital Commissioning team are on the hunt for brilliant youth-focused ideas. They are dedicated to reaching young audiences in the digital space so your ideas should authentically speak to young people across the UK and be social native.

‘In Too Deep’ is a doc strand where brave young journalists delve into a world, expose something and experience it first-hand for the audience. The films should be high-octane and immersive and will see a rotating roster of (sometimes undercover) journalists get closer to the action than ever before: scammers, con artists, criminals, pyramid schemes, nothing is off limits.

Click this link to watch the first ‘In Too Deep’ documentary (TW // Sexual Violence).

‘Exposing from the inside’ is a phrase to keep in mind. They are looking for pieces that take them into hidden and dark youth culture by shining a light behind the scenes. What is the darker side of big topics that interest young people? You tell us, but more importantly, show us!

These films are circa 15-20 mins each. Digital Original commissioning tariffs are between 1-3k per min and the budget will depend on the scale and ambition of your submitted projects.

Don’t be afraid to pitch ideas that you think just couldn’t be made, because Channel 4 believe there is always a way!

The deadline to send in your pitches is the 9th of November.

Send your pitches to digitalcommissioning@channel4.co.uk

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email talent@northeastscreen.org

Check out the video below to learn more.

Kaleidoscope Film Distribution picks up Sea and Sky Pictures produced horror ‘Lore’

Posted on by North East Screen

Kaleidoscope Film Distribution has acquired worldwide sales rights to Scottish-set horror Lore, following the film’s world premiere at the UK’s FrightFest earlier this year. 

Kaleidoscope acquired the film from producers Sea and Sky Pictures, and will present it to buyers at next month’s American Film Market. It will also distribute it in the UK through its distribution arm Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment in 2024.

Lore was directed by James Bushe, Patrick Ryder and Greig Johnson, and written by the trio with Christine Barber-Ryder. It follows four scare-loving friends who book a horror-themed camping excursion in Scotland; who release forms of malevolence when telling stories by the campfire.

Richard Brake, Andrew Lee Potts, Bill Fellows and Rufus Hound lead the cast. Adam Bouabda of Sea and Sky Pictures described the film as “a horror anthology with a little something for everyone”, while Kaleidoscope CEO Spencer Pollard called it “an excellent genre film”.