Meet the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits 2014



Reposted from BAFTA

Meet the newest stars of film, television and games, BAFTA's 2014 Breakthrough Brits.

BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, in partnership with Burberry, is a BAFTA initiative now in it's second year, developed with the ambition of celebrating and supporting the UK’s emerging talent. The 2014 group was carefully selected by a panel of expert jury members who included Richard Ayoade, Barbara Broccoli OBE, Mike Newell and Olivia Colman. 

The talented 18 new-comers were revealed on 27 October 2014 at an evening reception held at Burberry's flagship Regent Street store. The event was hosted by BBC Radio 1 presenter Greg James and each of the Brits were presented to a room full of influential industry figures. They are: 






Congratulations to all of the fabulous Brits named. 

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Emmerdale’s Jane Cox to judge ’60 Seconds of Shakespeare on Film’ challenge


jane cox

Shakespeare wrote of “That one short minute” in Romeo Juliet and that’s exactly how long 15 actors had to create their own 60 Seconds of Shakespeare on Film.

The group of performers from across the UK were set the challenge as part of new competition from Chicken Shop Shakespeare – a collaborative project based in Leeds and the north of England. The final films will be showcased at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds on Saturday 25 October 2014 and judged by an industry panel made up of Emmerdale actor Jane Cox, Nick Ahad writer, broadcaster, director and journalist and casting from Beverley Keogh and Act4TV.

chicken shop

“We bring Shakespearean words and scenes to unexpected situations, environments and new audiences” explained Tanya Vital from Chicken Shop Shakespeare. “We have challenged the actors to take our flash mob formula and make it their very own. Each of them had just one hour to work with our creative team in Leeds to capture their 60 Seconds of Shakespeare on film. It’s a brilliant way of bringing Shakespeare to unshakespearean places and the results are intriguing and wonderful."

For more info, visit

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Watch| Second Coming starring Nadine Marshall & Idris Elba


Check out a clip from 'Second Coming', an upcoming film written by debbie tucker green starring Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba. 

The film follows a tight family unit navigating their way through family life as it breaks down in the aftermath of an unexplained pregnancy. Produced by Hillbilly Films' Kate Norrish and Polly Leys, Second Coming was developed and co-financed by Film4 and the BFI Film Fund and supported by the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program. The film received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014.

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Opportunity| Open newsroom day hosted by CDN



Reposted from Broadcast

Broadcasters will open up their newsrooms to 500 budding journalists and news producers from under-represented backgrounds in an event organised by the Creative Diversity Network (CDN).

The CDN Open Newsroom Day will be held on 16 October in the regional and London newsrooms of the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, ITN, Sky and CNN. Those attending will take part in workshops and will learn about the range of skills needed for news production.

The CDN has contacted various institutions such as schools, colleges and local groups to ask them to put forward suitable individuals with an interest in carving out a career in news.

Senior editorial figures within the broadcasters were brought together to devise the day alongside the CDN News Industry Working Group.

Michael Jermey, chair of the CDN News Industry Working Group and ITV director of news and current affairs said: “There has been a huge amount of enthusiasm across the broadcasters to offer a really enjoyable and informative day, with real access and insight, demonstrating a joint commitment across all members to open our doors to aspiring journalists from under-represented backgrounds.”

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ABC’s Keli Lee in Conversation with Oona King on Diversity in TV [Part 2]


keli lee

Reposted from The GEITF

In the second part of our Q&A with ABC’s Keli Lee, we asked how her casting job works on a day-to-day basis; how she plans to expand her Talent Showcase and whether she can offer any advice to help boost diversity in the UK.

What does the role of executive vice-president casting, ABC, entail?

My role is unusual and unique even in the US in that I manage the casting for the Network and ABC Studios – which produces not only for ABC but for Fox, CBS, cable outlets etc. So the moment there is an idea on the Studio side, we help the producers sell their show, saying, ‘can we attach talent, can we package that show, let’s put together a shortlist’, so that’s on the development side before it’s even pitched to the Network.

On the Network side, any show idea that has an actor attached as a producer or an actor, I’m in those pitches.  So the conversation is, ‘ok this person has this idea, is this the right show for ABC and is this the right character for this person?’ And these are the discussions early on before there’s even a script. Of course, we’re the most involved right before we’re greenlighting some of these scripts, and of course, during pilot season.

So you are the person that decides at the end of the day?

It’s completely collaborative. It’s the vision of the creators and who they have in mind, but we ask whether they can write for this person every week – that’s so important. And then there’s the Studio executives and Network executives  – it’s a conversation and a collaboration but ultimately if the writer feels this is the person they can really write for and is inspired by, we want to support that decision.

But if you don’t think the lead is going to work?

It’s a negotiation…it really comes down to who is the most passionate.

What’s the biggest challenge in making diversity mainstream?

Comedies are harder because if that comedy writer is writing about a personal experience and that writer grew up in the Midwest, they are writing about what they know. That’s a challenge when it comes to adding diversity, especially if it’s about your childhood. If you think about The Goldbergs which is a really fantastic show, Adam Goldberg  is writing about his family and  it’s really hard to say: ‘can your sister be somebody else?’ 


Opportunity| Welcome Back: helping BAME professionals get back into TV



welcome backReposted from BBC Academy 

Bookings are now open for Welcome Back - a brand new free event for BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) professionals on 5 November at BBC New Broadcasting House in London.

Delivered by the BBC Academy in partnership with The TV Collective and Creative Skillset, the event is open to 50 BAME professionals seeking to return to the television industry.

The last Creative Skillset census found that BAME representation in the creative industries has seen "a decline from 12,250 in 2009 to 10,300 in 2012. BAME people represented 7.4% of the total workforce in 2006, compared to 6.7% in 2009 and 5.4% in 2012".

A packed day will offer informative and insightful panel sessions, hands-on training and exclusive one to one networking opportunities

With this statistic in mind, Welcome Back aims to encourage, equip and empower BAME professionals to re-enter the TV industry with renewed confidence and up to date knowledge. The event will also provide a chance to network with industry execs and to gain practical help, inspiration and advice.

A packed day will offer a series of informative and insightful panel sessions, hands-on training and exclusive one to one networking opportunities with industry talent managers and series/exec producers. Danny Cohen, BBC director of Television will open the day and sessions will give access to senior figures from broadcasters and indies talking on a variety of subjects, such as career strategy, the commissioning process and the business of television.

By the end of the day, delegates will have the contacts, confidence and information to help them step back into television. 

This day is a Creative Skillset funded initiative and is supported by the TV Skills Fund.

For more information on the itinerary and how to apply, click here

Good luck! 

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ABC’s Keli Lee in Conversation with Oona King on Diversity in TV


keli lee

Reposted from The GEITF

Keli Lee, executive vice-president, casting at ABC, was back in the UK by popular demand last week following her appearance at the TV Festival’s diversity session, Minority Report: Is TV Racist?

Her timing couldn’t have been more perfect. As she flew over from LA for our diverse casting event with Creative Skillset, one her shows was taking Twitter by storm. Black-ish, written by Anthony Anderson and starring Laurence Fishburne, achieved ratings which rivalled Modern Family’s opener, and looks set to become the first successful black sitcom on network television in a decade.

Lee casts for all of ABC’s scripted series – currently 37 – with shows such as Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal among the line-up. With a host of new Autumn shows starring people from ethnically diverse backgrounds, the network is receiving praise for having “the most diverse slate on US television.” (Hollywood Reporter)

How? We asked Baroness Oona King and Channel 4’s diversity exec to find out how Lee operates and what role her diverse casting initiative, something that has run for 13 years, has played in that.

Tell us about your background

I was born in Korea and moved to the US when I was 2-years old and growing up I wanted to assimilate. I wanted to be as American as possible and what is that? It’s television. But it was only when I was working in television that I stopped and asked ‘where’s the diversity? This is not real. How can we make this as real as possible? 

Did you feel like an outsider growing up?

I never felt like I really belonged and I think that’s the way a lot of immigrant families feel as well. Feeling like I didn’t belong made me empathise with so many different kinds of people.

Were your parents disappointed that you moved in to TV?

They still don’t understand what I do. Even when I was vice-president of casting at Disney they asked me when I was going to law school!

How did you get in to TV?

I had a summer job at Caroline’s comedy club – right before Roseanne and Seinfeld were about to get that shows. I was taking reservations and socialising with comedians and thought it was the greatest job in the world. One said ‘what are you doing with a philosophy degree? I’ll introduce you to a casting director at Warner Bros.’ I met her and asked her ‘what is casting?’ I was hired as an intern and my first job was as an assistant on Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.

Progression at mid-and senior-level is one of the issues in the UK Did you ever experience a glass ceiling?

No I don’t think that’s an issue. And currently our head of network drama, head of studio drama, head of comedy, head of marketing and head of casting are all diverse.

There’s a 360 strategy on the workforce side and a mentoring programme aimed at everyone. But there arecertainly efforts and commitments to find as many diverse people as possible.

Why did you launch the diverse talent showcase?

The conversation I was having with so many producers and industry colleagues was we’re seeing the same diverse talent, where’s the rest. It was an issue of pipeline.

If that’s the issue I thought how do we find talent for you. I’d been to a lot of showcases and sat through them for hours so I created a showcase that lasts an hour, and leaves people wanting more.

The first 2 years we learnt a lot. We initially broke it down into 4 showcases for different ethnic groups but we then combined it into 1 fully diverse showcase. We interviewed 700 diverse actors in New York and 700 in LA. This year, we interviewed 7000 so it really has grown.

We have an ABC casting page, Twitter, Facebook.

What are the mechanics?

I do this in addition to casting for 37 series. When pilot series is over in April/May we release breakdowns for our showcase. We go through submissions and my team select 14-20 in each city.

We give them material which is written by diverse writers – who can have their work showcased to the whole industry – NBC, CBS, Fox, agents, casting directors.. – I keep it open because this is the early stage of their career and I want to give them as many opportunities as possible. ABC is never going to have enough so we need a combined effort.

To read more, click here

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Watch| Gone Too Far – Official Trailer


Check out the trailer for Gone Too Far, a film adaptation of Bola Agbaje’s Olivier award-winning play of the same name and directed by Destiny Ekaragha. The official UK release is 10th October. 

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Apply for BBC’s Expert Voices: BAME Talent Days



Do you want to share your expertise and knowledge by appearing on television and radio? Are you from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background?

The BBC Academy is holding a series of free introductions to the world of broadcasting to help BAME men and women feel comfortable appearing on television, radio and online as expert contributors or presenters. 

These events will help boost the diversity of experts in the media and follow the acclaimed Expert Women campaign which ran in 2013.

The days will offer a range of practical media experiences, including sessions on camera and in a radio studio as well as masterclasses and networking with experienced programme makers and industry leaders. 

BBC are running five days across the country – while the London date has now passed, there following locations and dates are still open for applications: 

27 November 2014 – Birmingham 

29 January 2015 – Bristol 

26 February 2015 – Salford

12 March 2015 – Glasgow 

For more information on how to apply, click here.

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New Series from creators of ‘Brothers With No Game’ shortlisted for Raindance / Dailymotion Competition



In association with leading video platform Dailymotion, Raindance Web Fest are hosting a web series pilot competition to find a future talent of web series.  The winning pilot will win a £2500 award from Dailymotion towards the production of their series as well as post-production help courtesy of Dailymotion’s state of the art Paris studio. A Day in the Life of Daddy,  the new series from BWNG TV (the creators of the award winning web-to-TV hit Brothers With No Game) has been shortlisted. To cast show your support and cast your vote, using a laptop only, follow this link and click the 'vote' button in the top left corner of the video. 

The vote closes on 22nd September so hurry!

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