A large number of films made in the UK are set and produced in London, and as a result we tend to think of Britain’s film industry as operating primarily from the capital.
However, both the internet and the digitisation of film have stimulated a cultural shift in the way film is being produced, funded, distributed, and exhibited. As a result, filmmakers are no longer beholden to the capital, and work can now be made and distributed from where they are based – wherever that may be.
But as the production of films moves away from the capital and into the hands of filmmakers, the film industry needs to respond by providing venues capable of developing creative talent - all over Britain, and not just in London.
It was with this in mind, that Watershed launched FilmWorks, a professional development scheme for filmmakers to develop a network of regional film talent. The scheme, which was supported by the National Lottery through the BFI and Creative England, was managed by Watershed in Bristol and co-produced by ShowroomWorkstation in Sheffield and Broadway in Nottingham, and offered 48 filmmakers in or near Bristol, Nottingham, and Sheffield the chance to join peer filmmakers and leading film professionals at one of the three regional creative hubs.
Each of the hubs offered a series of practice-oriented workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions, masterclasses and networking events for a 360 degree view of the creative, business and technical aspects of the international film industry – from development to exhibition.
All three of the FilmWorks venues and regions specialise in different areas of filmmaking. Both Bristol and Watershed are internationally recognised for expertise in digital practice, animation, and short film; Sheffield is renouned for genre-specific filmmaking (horror, documentary, comedy, etc), and Nottingham has a long history of independent production. All the FilmWorks participants benefited from these areas of expertise, as all the talks and masterclasses were recorded and shared, or simulcast, across all three hubs.
A Film Networks Fund project, supported by the National Lottery through the BFI and Creative England.
Posted on Sat 1 Dec 2012.