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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Bradford’s newest generation of filmmakers backed by Channel 4

Bradford’s young creatives will be given the chance to develop films through a collaboration between Impact Hub Bradford and Channel 4.

Impact Hub Bradford in collaboration with Channel 4, Bradford Council and Keighley Creative launched an initiative yesterday to support the district’s youngest filmmakers.

The project called The Unit will support budding filmmakers by providing equipment, a space to film, workshops and training, and industry-standard professional editing software for free for a year.

The Unit will be based at The Impact Hub, on Peckover Street in Little Germany, for six months before moving to Keighley Creative in September.

The launch of The Unit comes after the UK-wide cinematic release of Ali and Ava, a BAFTA-nominated film shot entirely in Bradford, created by Yorkshire-based cast and crew.

Co-founder and CEO of Impact Hub Bradford, Kamran Rashid, said: “The Unit is a dedicated space for filmmakers and those working in the screen industry in Bradford.

Kamran Rashid, co-founder and CEO of Impact Hub Bradford.

“When Channel 4 came to Leeds one of the things they said was that they were impressed and attracted to the region because of Bradford’s young and diverse workforce. It is our ambition to attract this workforce and give them a space to connect and engage in opportunities in the district.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “We would not have got Channel 4 to come to Leeds without Bradford.

“I reflect sometimes, growing up on a council estate in Batley, wanting to be an actor from a very young age, not knowing anybody, not having any money, or coming from a family with no money, and being the first in my family to go to university, I got a good start because I had those opportunities.

“I want to make sure those opportunities are there for everyone in West Yorkshire because representation matters; what stories are told and who tells them.”

Leader of Bradford Labour Party and Bradford Council, Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “Bradford was a big part of the reason why Channel 4 located to the region. We have the diversity, we have the youth, we have the talent, and it is just waiting to be scooped up and glorified.

“The Unit is a tangible manifestation of what Channel 4 means to Bradford and what it means to the young people.”

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin.

Riaz Meer, trustee of Keighley Creatives added: “Filmmaking is a complicated and messy business. It uses arcane language, the craft is often secretive and esoteric, and it can seem daunting and unwelcoming for people outside it.

“For too long, filmmaking has been full of hurdles, and it has narrowed the range of people hoping to be successful. Thanks to the foresight of Bradford Council and the generosity from Channel 4, the unit will offer filmmakers everything they need to learn and hone their skills to make films.”

Kevin Blacoe, Head of Partnerships at Channel 4, added: “The Unit is exactly the thing Channel 4 wanted to be doing when it chose to move the national HQ.

“We have a purpose to help develop, support, and nurture talent and that is particularly focused on supporting diverse talent, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and people who are currently not well represented in the industry.

“Ultimately for us, it is about making the creative sector feel relevant and accessible for all people in the Bradford district, and Yorkshire overall. We don’t want people to feel if they have to move to London to have a fulfilling and rewarding career in the creative sector, which is why we are here and supporting The Unit to support emerging talent in the district.”

Channel 4 in partnership with Bradford Council will launch a funding pot of £50,000 for young filmmakers in the district. They will award four creatives a bursary of £10,000 to develop a film, and ten budding filmmakers of grants of £1,000. More details to be announced next month.

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