Disabled filmmakers from Yorkshire can apply for help with short films

Creative people with disabilities from the north of England are able to get support and funding to make short films.

Screen International announced the launch of Film Routes, a new programme from Film Hub North, British Film Institute (BFI) Network and Beacon Films allowing people to make five-minute films.

Credit: Beacon Films.

Credit: Beacon Films.

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Made possible thanks to National Lottery funding from the BFI, the scheme will assist up to three filmmakers to develop short film ideas into full scripts through a series of supported workshops run by Beacon Films, a Newcastle-based, award-winning production company of filmmakers with learning disabilities, autism and additional needs.

After completing their scripts, the filmmakers will be matched with a producer who will apply for BFI Network Short Film funding to make the films.

Will Sadler, development director at Beacon Films, said: "It is through the creative sectors that society reflects and understands itself.

Credit: Beacon Films.

Credit: Beacon Films.

"If disabled people aren't in that reflection - as both creators and performers - then it's not just disabled people who lose out. Society loses out too.

"This new partnership isn't just about broadening opportunity. It's also about empowering filmmakers to dismantle misconceptions of disability among both audiences and industry - not by making films 'about' disability, but by being meaningfully included in the creative screen sector."

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Film Routes is aimed at addressing under-representation of people with disabilities in the screen industries.

It recognises that filmmakers can be excluded from accessing funding by existing application processes and proposes a model of how funders, artists and industry partners can work together to address some of the barriers talented disabled people face.

Film Hub North works across the north of England, including Yorkshire, to distribute National Lottery funds on behalf of the BFI.

It provides "funding and training that helps exhibitors expand their reach, develops local filmmaking talent and, ultimately, ensures that audiences in the North have access to a rich variety of cinema".

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Roxy McKenna, BFI Network talent executive at Film Hub North, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for creative people with disabilities to develop their short film ideas and make vital industry connections. We are looking forward to working with new talent from across the North through the programme.”

Applications are open now for filmmakers based in the north of England.

The deadline for applications is noon on Friday January 17, 2020.

Filmmakers can attend an application support session, where a Beacon Films mentor will discuss the programme and take filmmakers through the process.

A session will take place in Leeds, at a location yet to be confirmed, on Wednesday January 15, 2020.

For more information, visit https://www.beaconfilms.org.uk/filmroutes