Tag: Tees Valley

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 enquiries@teessideinternational.com.

Tees Valley location plays pivotal role in new ITV drama

Posted on by North East Screen

After the Flood, a new series produced by Quay Street Productions, that filmed in Teesside last summer, airs on ITV1 tonight (10th of January) at 9pm.

After the Flood is a mystery thriller set in a town hit by a devastating flood. When an unidentified man is found dead in a lift in an underground car park, police assume he became trapped as the waters rose. As the investigation unfolds PC Joanna Marshall, played by Sophie Rundle, becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to him and why.

The mystery unfolds across the series while we also see the real impact of climate change on the lives of residents in this small town. The floods threaten to expose secrets, and fortunes and reputations are at stake.

The Tees Barrage in Teesside was used to film the opening flood sequence which is a pivotal plot point of the series. Filming of the series in the region was supported by the North East Screen Film Office.

On filming the flash flood at Tees Barrage, lead actress Sophie Rundle said, “It was like being on a school trip. Before that we had been filming in and around Manchester, so this was the only time we all went away somewhere. We were all giddy and excited. It is where they train all the emergency services. There’s this water course and they have control of the speed and the scale of the water. They had all these big strapping six-foot lifeguards in all their emergency gear stationed along the water course who were lovely. They said, ‘If you fall the water is going to take you but don’t worry, we’re going to save you.’ Luckily, I didn’t ever stack it, so they didn’t have to save me. It was a really exciting moment as an actress and as a woman in this industry to be the hero reaching out for the baby dressed in all my police gear with the rain going. The water was really strong, and we were in and out of it all the time. On the last day I realised my hand was shaking because I hadn’t eaten anything. I was so pumped from the adrenalin. It wasn’t a normal day at work where you do your lines, and you go home. It really made the job for me.”

On the logistics of filming the flash flood that takes place in the opening sequence of the series, Producer Juliet Charlesworth said, “When Az Saleem came on board as Director, he decided we wanted real water. We talked about using the massive wave machine in Blackpool and the water tank at Pinewood Studios. Then it was the white-water rafting centres that we’ve seen in the Olympics. We then chose Tees Barrage International White Water Centre. That gave us a man-made bowl, meaning we could have actors and crew entirely safe in the water. I had filmed there before with Wolfblood, Vera, Emmerdale and 1917 had also filmed there. You can switch the water off with four Archimedes screws, going from zero to as high as 14, creating white water rapids which you can’t stand up in. We operated on between 6 and 8 which meant you could stand in it, and it will make enough water.”

Katie Strachan, the Film Office Manager for North East Screen, who worked closely with the production, said “The Tees Barrage works amazingly well as a filming location. They have worked with a whole range of productions over the years from Hollywood blockbuster 1917 to Emmerdale and more recently After the Flood. As a location they are well versed and experienced with the TV and Film Industry, working alongside productions to offer the most creative filming solutions whilst being extremely flexible.”

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.”

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

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”.

Jackdaw debuts with 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Posted on by North East Screen

Jackdaw, the feature-length writing and directorial debut from North East filmmaker, Jamie Childs, which received support from the North East Production Fund, has debuted with 100% on the popular review site Rotten Tomatoes. following its worldwide premiere at Fantastic Fest. 

Set in Hartlepool over the course of a single night, the crime drama follows a former motocross champion and army veteran (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) as he searches for his kidnapped brother.  

The film stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man, The Haunting of Hill House) as the title character, with other household names including Jenna Coleman – known for her work in Doctor Who, The Sandman and Victoria – This is England star Thomas Turgoose and Game of Thrones star Rory McCann.  

It has seen a £300,000 investment from 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. 

Production of the film took place in the Tees Valley area and wrapped at the beginning of this year. 

Since its debut at Fantastic Fest in Texas last month, the film has been receiving positive reviews with critics praising the cinematography and nuanced performance from the film’s cast. 

The film was also the first feature to make use of the newly opened The Northern Studios in Hartlepool, currently the North East’s only large-scale film and TV studios. 

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director for North East Screen, who manages the North East Production Fund, said: “Piloting JACKDAW through the North East Production Fund was an easy decision, it allowed us to not only support exceptional North East homegrown talent, but also showcase the North East in a different light for the big screen.  

“We have world class talent, world class crew and world class locations here in the North East, and all of these are showcased in JACKDAW – a testament to the work we are doing to build on the growing screen industry in the region.” 

To mark the film’s release in UK cinemas by Vertigo Releasing, a glittering star-studded premiere will take place in Tees Valley before a series of local screenings ahead of its release. 

Watch the trailer for Jackdaw below

Screen Alliance North are hiring – Skills Cluster roles

Posted on by Jo Macleod

Screen Alliance North, a new £2.3m BFI Skills Cluster led by Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester and North East Screen, is recruiting for two new full-time roles, to support development and training of the screen sector workforce across the North of England.

Skills Cluster Partnership Lead – £47,000 – £49,000

Skills Cluster Evaluation Manager – £42,000 – £44,000

These roles are full time (37 hours per week) and a three year fixed term contract. They can be based at any of the partner offices in Sunderland, Hartlepool, Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds and will see work across all of the partner regions.

For more information on the jobs and how to apply, please visit our careers page.

Applications close on Wednesday 24th May.

Tall Ships 2023 Digital Content Project

Posted on by North East Screen

The Tall Ships Race is returning to Hartlepool this year and we have partnered with Hartlepool Council to offer up to 8 digital commissions to Tees Valley-based creatives.


We are looking for short films, vlogs, or digital sizzles that showcase Hartlepool, Tall Ships, and the significance of the race being held in Hartlepool. The films should be 90 to 150 seconds in length and suitable for use across social platforms.


Successful applicants will receive a £500 bursary and will be invited to attend an in-person workshop on creating online content led by North East Screen.


Click here to view the full brief.


Click here to access the application form.


Click here to download the SME form.


Applications will close on the 1st of May. If you have any questions, please email hello@northeastscreen.org.

The Northern Studios in Hartlepool celebrates formal opening

Posted on by North East Screen

The Northern Studios welcomes Sir Peter Bazalgette, Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council, to an evening reception to celebrate the formal opening of the new North East based television and film studio complex.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, joins Sir Peter Bazalgette to conduct the formal opening alongside key figures from the screen industries and regional creative organisations.

The Northern Studios, Hartlepool, opened in November 2022, has already accommodated film and production crew for the forthcoming UK action thriller ‘Jackdaw’ directed by home grown talent, Jamie Childs (The Sandman, His Dark Materials).

The Northern Studios is a large-scale commercial facility for the region and, as such, supports the new film and television infrastructure ‘map’ for the North East. These are exciting times for the region with the recent confirmation of £16.5million of Government ‘Levelling Up’ funding to support a production village centred upon The Northern Studios, the surrounding creative quarter of Hartlepool and the announcements of further studio developments in Sunderland.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council, said: “I’m delighted to be here in Hartlepool celebrating the successful opening of The Northern Studios; as a region the North East has so much to offer in terms of talent and creativity. It’s important that all areas with the potential of the North East have both the training and commercial infrastructure they need to support their growing creative industries.”

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said: “The progress we are making in the North East is game-changing. There’s more to come and more to do but we’re on track to exceed the £25 million we promised to the region and have already delivered six new commissions while supporting production, talent development and the creative sector here.”

In September 2021, the BBC announced plans to spend at least £25m over the next five years across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support the creative sector as part of a wider partnership with the North East.

In return, Local and Mayoral authorities in the North East formed the North East Screen Investment Partnership (NESIP) and pledged to work with the BBC and independent producers, investing almost £11.5m to support talent, skills and infrastructure development to fuel the growth in the TV and film production industry across the region. The BBC is supporting the work of NESIP and huge progress has already been made.

The BBC is also launching the North East Tech Hub, delivering 70 new roles by the end of December 2023 which is hoped will act as a catalyst for further tech industry in the region. Production investment is part of the BBC’s Across the UK strategy to commitment to get closer to its audiences to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the UK.

David Hughes, Chairman of The Northern Studios Board, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Sir Peter Bazalgette to The Northern Studios and receive support from Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, who have both shown huge support for the emerging new film and television production infrastructure in the North East. With one production completed and others planned, the Studios continues to deliver on its commitment to support film and television production in the area. This fully commercial production facility is the catalyst for the creation of new businesses in the area – and it’s already happening”

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, said: “Hartlepool is nurturing world-class talent in the film and TV industries, and it now has the facilities to match. We have invested millions in supporting the sector which continues to go from strength to strength. The Northern Studios is at the heart of our plans for the Hartlepool MDC and is a real sign to the UK’s creative industries and global production firms that the region is open for business!”

The Northern Studios works closely with North East Screen, the screen agency for the North East of England which is supported by the newly formed North East Screen Industries Partnerships (NESIP).

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen, said: “The screen industries are a vital part of our economy and our goal of making our region a TV and film production hub is helped greatly by studio infrastructure. We are working hard to develop talent and businesses across the North East region as well attracting production companies to film here. Having studio space, filming friendly local authorities and a skilled and talented growing workforce makes us a very attractive region indeed.”

The Northern Studios is a large-scale television and film studio complex in Hartlepool providing studio and green screen facilities, available for long- and short-term hire, to suit a range of content producers – from features and HETV through to promo and immersive, for further information, please visit www.thenorthernstudios.com

The Northern Studios was opened in November 2022 supported by funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and the Tees Valley Combined Authority in Partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council.

Cllr Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The Northern Studios development is central to our ambitious plan for a Production Village which has the potential to completely transform the Lynn Street/Whitby Street area and bring huge benefits to Hartlepool and its residents as a whole. The Production Village project, which is to receive £16.5 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, aims to build on the high-quality facilities already in place at the studios and provide support to the town’s fast-growing screen and creative industries sector. The Council is delighted to celebrate this key milestone for the area and the creation of a new hub for business in Hartlepool.”

The Northern Studios neighbours The Northern School of Art which provides training and education courses for the creative industries from Saturday Club, A-levels, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate study, for further information, please visit www.northernart.ac.uk