A FILM mentoring project is to take place in Bradford for people keen to develop careers in film, television and digital content

Following the success of Bradford’s FilmMakers25 project, aimed at building a vibrant screen sector across the district, a second course will be launched this summer for a further 25 people.

The project is jointly funded by Bradford Council and Bradford 2025 with Bradford UNESCO City of Film and ScreenSkills, an industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen industries, using National Lottery funds awarded by the British Film Institute as part of its Future Film Skills programme.

The first group of 25 film-makers and digital content producers were mentored by industry experts, and now the search is on for a second cohort of 25. Those who apply and are accepted will become part of a network that it is hoped will create a strong talent pool of producers by 2025, when Bradford is bidding to win UK City of Culture status.

The Bradford district has a strong association with the screen sector and was designated the first UNESCO City of Film in 2009. The district is regularly used for film and TV production, but its indigenous commercial sector is currently very small. A new screen sector strategy has been devised to grow the sector and the FilmMakers25 project is part of a wider plan to build creative industries in Bradford.

Shanaz Gulzar, Chair of Bradford 2025 and an artist and TV presenter, said: "The diverse voices of this district hold so much promise for the screen sector in Bradford in the coming years. Talent is everywhere in Bradford but opportunity is not. This fantastic career development programme, now in its second year, is a game-changer for people looking to make a career and tell their stories in film, TV and the wider digital sector in the years up to 2025 and beyond."

Local mentoring experts Under The Moon will run the programme, led by media consultant Ruth Pitt, who also runs the Commissioning Mentor Network for Channel 4 and the Creative Cities Convention for producers and broadcasters working outside London. She said: "When we launched the first cohort last year we connected with some astonishingly talented people across the district. Our content creators were matched with some of the top people working in film and TV across the North and many of those partnerships have delivered professional development and work opportunities. Our mentees have had insights into production and distribution and despite lockdown they’re now forming their own networks. Mentoring is one of the fastest ways to bring about change in screen industries."

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