Bradford’s growing screen sector is to get a real boost with the launch of a brand new mentoring programme designed to identify and nurture emerging talent across the district.

The FilmMakers 25 project is jointly funded by Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Bradford2025 in association with Bradford UNESCO City of Film and ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen industries, using National Lottery funds awarded by the British Film Institute (BFI) as part of the Future Film Skills programme.

25 filmmakers and digital content producers will be selected to receive mentoring support from industry experts and they’ll become part of a network that it’s hoped will create a strong talent pool of exciting producers by 2025, the year the Bradford district is bidding to win UK City of Culture status for.

Richard Shaw, director of Bradford2025, says: ‘An inclusive mentoring programme for the screen sector in Bradford is vital to develop the uniquely diverse voices of this district.  We know that talent is everywhere in the Bradford district, but opportunity is not. A high-quality fast-track mentoring programme is an amazing opportunity and a real game changer for the diverse, talented people looking to forge a career in film, television, digital and the wider screen sector in the years up to 2025 and beyond’.

The Bradford district has a strong association with the screen sector and was designated the first UNESCO City of Film in 2009, a permanent title bestowing international recognition on the district for its rich film heritage. Film literacy is nurtured through festivals, educational programmes and related events, numerous movies and TV series have been shot in the district and community engagement with film is encouraged across the whole of the district.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, who holds the healthy people and places portfolio for the council, says ‘Having the title of UNESCO City of Film is more than a title for us in the Bradford district. It’s about the talent pool we have here and how we ensure we are mobilising our young filmmakers and content makers. We want to encourage the next generation to be able to create and produce work here, building successful careers within the screen industries. It’s vital Bradford Council works in partnership with funders and the sector to develop programmes like FilmMakers 25, which are supporting our creative workforce.

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, a screen industry conference for producers and broadcasters working outside London.

 ‘Through our work matching mentees with industry leaders we have learned that both parties gain a lot,’ says Ruth. ‘Mentees get real insights into commercial content production and distribution, and mentors get a reality check from working with talented, diverse people who’ve got something fresh to say. Mentoring is without doubt the fastest way to bring about change in the screen industries.’

With Channel 4 opening its national headquarters in Leeds, the BBC, ITV and Sky employing thousands of people across the North and dozens of independent digital content producers growing across the UK, it’s hoped the new Bradford-based FilmMakers 25 mentor network will help local producers get a bigger slice of the media cake.

Those with a demonstrable skill in digital screen production can find out more about the mentoring network by visiting or emailing Approaches from diverse and under-represented groups are particularly welcomed, as are enquiries from potential mentors willing to share their expertise for the benefit of others.

For further queries please contact: Ruth Pitt at 07713 063447

NB: Applications for this opportunity close on August 28th 2020