Screen Northants make high quality professional films while creating a meritocracy within the film and TV production industry. Levelling the playing field by removing socio-economic, geographic, and cultural barriers so that anyone with the right work ethic will have a shot.
There are incredibly talented young people who, through no fault of their own, do not have the opportunities to both enter the industry and prove they are capable. Screen Northants bridges that gap.
We use the film making process to raise aspirations in young people, with a particular focus on engaging those who are severely disadvantaged and/or underrepresented in our industry.
We’ve now produced three feature films supported by BBC Children in Need. One of those films has been picked up by sales agents, the other is almost complete and the third, with support from RSA Films, will begin the festival circuit soon.
We believe that talent should have the opportunity to be identified, developed, and nurtured no matter the background of the young person. We have identified three main barriers to industry participation.
The entry level pay (sometimes no pay at all) makes it impossible for those from less affluent backgrounds to get their foot on the ladder.
Most film and TV is made in just a few concentrated areas around the country. If you don’t live in those areas, it is very difficult to break into industry. Particularly if this is coupled with the socio-economic barrier.
Exposure (You can’t be what you can’t see)
Young people are not being exposed to people who look and sound like they do in the industry. They are not seeing themselves reflected back and therefore do not believe that they belong and are able to participate. They are also not being exposed to the breadth of roles within the industry, often roles with skillset requirements that suit their interests.
Screen Northants is made up of three strands.
Screen Northants produce high quality professional films while creating a meritocracy within the film and TV production industry.
Levelling the playing field by removing socio-economic, geographic, and cultural barriers so that anyone with the right work ethic will have a shot.
Screen Northants Academy is a seven-year programme providing educational pathways and industry experience for 14–21-year-olds who are in education in Northamptonshire and from underrepresented demographics.
We identify young people through direct consultation with schools. From 14-16 we provide work experience on two films (one per year). We then guide them to an appropriate further education course and from 16-18 they gain experience on two more films. Throughout higher education they will gain additional experience on three additional films, focusing specifically on the department they want to work in – art, editing, production etc.
Our annual school film competition aims to engage underrepresented young people early, exposing them to opportunities and possibilities in film.
The competition, split into primary and secondary schools, will screen all entries during the Northampton Film Festival, with the winning schools awarded £2,000 of camera equipment.
“Screen Northants have identified the challenges and issues that sit at the heart of the UK Film Industry. That practical knowledge and professional access to film industry jobs is virtually non-existent at a grass roots level. The challenge for young people to break into film production begins with identifying and understanding what the opportunities are.
“RSA Films recognise the importance and vitality of initiatives like ScreenNorthants and will support their future productions in any way that we can”.
Luke Scott CEO, Ridley Scott Creative Group
“Working with Screen Northants has truly helped me build the foundations I needed to gaining work and confidence within the TV/Film industry. My first industry credit came from Screen Northants, and now I’ve just passed my one year anniversary of working in the film industry, gaining 5 HETV credits and working on a feature.” Sam Dudman Academy Graduate
“Screen Northants has played a massive role in starting off my career. From teaching me on set basics, helping me work out which department fits me best, building my confidence and then pairing me with a mentor and giving me my first jobs sparking.” Rhiannon Pallister Academy Graduate
Screen Northants productions have attracted a diverse mix of incredible new talent and seasoned professionals, pairing Olivier Award-winning actors\and BAFTA alumni with a host of young people.
We have produced three feature films in our model and worked with over 200 young people. Highly skilled professionals working alongside young people, allowing them to observe and gain hands- on experience whenever possible and without detracting from the quality of delivery.
Our adaption of Macbeth, produced with support from BBC Children in Need, is in the final stages of post-production.
“Macbeth became an ever-extending labour of love with each rise in quality designed to raise the profile of the cause and people’s understanding of what a social enterprise film could be”