Six Tees Valley creatives share their love for Hartlepool as it welcomes the world-famous Tall Ships race

Posted on by North East Screen

North East Screen in partnership with Hartlepool Council, have provided six Tees Valley creatives with an opportunity to develop their own unique ‘Postcard from Hartlepool’ taking inspiration from their surrounding area and the arrival of the Tall Ships as the race comes to the town for the second time on 6-9th July.

The six creatives represented a broad spectrum of talent, from experienced content creators to promising new talent. They all received a bursary from North East Screen as well as mentoring support from project lead, Jen Bradfield, to enable them deliver their short showcasing Hartlepool and why it makes a great place to live and visit. The format of the shorts was entirely at the discretion of the creatives which has resulted in some truly brilliant Postcards from Hartlepool.

North East Screen’s Head of Talent and Business Development, Lisa Laws, said:

“This has been a fantastic partnership with Hartlepool Council allowing us to support six brilliant Tees Valley creatives to deliver a short taking inspiration from Hartlepool, the Tall Ships and its tall tales.

“The slate of shorts developed give a rounded audience experience from corporate to comedy and everything in between, highlighting some very personal and touching experiences of Hartlepool.

“This opportunity has given these creatives a launch pad into the North East screen industries and allowed them to share their love for their local town. We are really looking forward to seeing what’s next for them.”

The creatives include experienced content creators, 33mm Ltd; entrepreneur photographer and drone operator, Jamie Bulman; emerging comedy talent, Jess McDonagh and Beth Chapman; Tees Valley Screen Fast Track recipient, Chris Tritschler; and BBC Comedy Creator Bursary recipient, Scott Turnbul, aided by the superb directorial talent of Teesside local Andy Berriman.

Each short is between 90 and 120 seconds and will be shared across digital platforms in and around the Tall Ships event.

Click here to learn more about the creators.

Former Channel 4 Commissioner joins Wander Films

Posted on by North East Screen

Former Channel 4 commissioner and Big Brother Producer, Ramy El-Bergamy, has been appointed as Head of Development by industry trailblazers, Wander Films. With nearly 20 years of experience in the TV industry, Ramy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Wander, taking the well-established Middlesbrough based content marketing agency to the next level.

Over the last 5 years, the team of 20 has had incredible growth, creating social media content for brands around the world such as KPMG, Hampton by Hilton and McDonalds. The agency feels like now is the perfect time to break into the world of TV, developing IP and original, groundbreaking formats in the factual entertainment genre.

Before joining Wander, Ramy served as the On-Screen Diversity Executive at Channel 4, where he was responsible for promoting diversity and inclusivity in on-screen talent, before moving into commissioning in the Daytime team, where he looked after some of the channel’s biggest brands, including Four in a Bed, Come Dine With Me and A Place in the Sun.

“I’m very excited to join the team at Wander and help them grow their ambition of moving into TV and digital. The North East has some huge creative potential, and I’m very excited to be working with such talent in an already strong and sound infrastructure in Wander”

Under Ramy’s leadership, Channel 4’s On-screen Year of Disability initiative in 2016 saw a significant increase in diverse representation, with more than 20 of the network’s flagship programmes featuring double the number of individuals with disabilities than in previous years. Ramy brings this same dedication and passion to his new role at Wander, where he will continue to positively impact the TV industry, aligning with Wander’s values of an inclusive culture where everyone has the opportunity to be seen and heard. 

The expansion to TV has always been part of Wander’s long term strategy, selected as a Pact Future30 company for being one of the UK’s most exciting up and coming indies, Wander was also recently in paid development with BBC Three. Founders Lou Tonner and Chloë Clover are excited to continue scaling and developing Wander.

“We’re stoked to have a proper TV legend like Ramy join the team! It’s a super exciting time with a lot of momentum in Wander. The TV & digital space right now is ready to be shaken up and we’re going to be part of the movement, 100%.”

This appointment has been supported with match-funding from the REACH Film and TV Development Grant Award. The grant from North East Screen is designed to support the development of exceptional content for screens and support the growth of creative businesses based in the North East of England.

Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen, is focused on providing support to the region’s creative business talent who are making waves on a range of platforms.

Speaking on Ramy’s appointment, she said:

“Ramy’s appointment, with his exceptional track record, feels like the perfect fit to drive Wander’s broadcast TV development slate forward. He has the connections and experience to develop and win broadcast commissions. Wander brings a new voice, fresh perspectives and a real appetite for television that audiences and commissioners will love. We cannot wait to see what new formats and stories the supercharged team uncover for our screens.”

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