Screen Yorkshire's Beyond Brontës scheme recruits for diverse film and TV talent

Screen Yorkshire has launched a new recruitment drive for its pioneering skills programme Beyond Brontës.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 3:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 3:59 pm

The free, part-time, training scheme started last year to support young people from a diverse range of backgrounds to overcome obstacles preventing their start in the industry.

The programme offers successful applicants are offered a bespoke training package to prepare them for a wide range of industry job roles such as make-up, set design, accountancy, editing or research.

Beyond Brontës will be run for the second year by Screen Yorkshire’s programme manager Sam Fray.

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Director Jordan Hogg.

She said: ''Now more than ever, programmes like Beyond Brontës are vital to addressing the inequalities faced by diverse groups attempting to enter the screen industries.

"It is not the only tool that we need, but it's a programme that will start the conversation and encourage equity into the entry-level roles within the region.''

''COVID -19 and Black Lives Matter have highlighted the need to have an industry that represents at all levels, so that diverse stories can be represented both on and off-screen. Striving to do better and be the change is at the heart of this programme.''

People aged between 18 and 24 who are from the Leeds City Region - Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York - can apply until noon on August 14.

Sam Fray, who will run the Beyond Brontes scheme.

Beyond Brontës has won the support of figures including Yorkshire-based TV Presenter Amar Latif, Meridian Line Films co-founder Necressa Swan and BAFTA-winning director Jordan Hogg.

Mr Latif, who has appeared in Travelling Blind and River Walks, said: “The TV and film industries need to hear from a diverse range of voices, so it’s great that Beyond Brontës is giving support for people from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Jordan Hogg, a director from Scarborough who has worked on Casualty, Ackley Bridge, Disney’s Evermoor Chronicles, first trained through the Channel 4 Cultural Diversity Network scheme.

He said: “Without a little help getting in the industry, I wouldn’t be a BAFTA winner, I’d just be a disabled kid in a Victorian seaside town.”

Amar Latif.

Nacressa Swan, co-founder of Meridian Line Films, said: “My first job in telly came from an initiative like Beyond Brontes - and 15 years on, I’m still so glad I went for it.

"To me, this is the best job imaginable. TV needs people from all walks of life, with different skills, voices and perspectives to make brilliant programmes and connect directly with all our audiences.’’

The six-month programme, which is free to attend, is tailored to the needs of the individual.

Modules include industry masterclasses, CV and interview workshops, mentorship and tailored one-to-one support.

Participants in year one of Beyond Brontës successfully completed the scheme in June 2020, with the support, input and encouragement of a wide range of broadcasters, streaming platforms, regional production companies, industry professionals and experts.

Katrina Pearson, a Beyond Brontës graduate from Bradford, said: "Beyond Brontës is a truly unique scheme that allowed me to tailor my individual development around excellent opportunities; from industry placements and mentoring, to incredible talks from industry professionals - all delivered by an incredibly supportive team.’’

Kudzai Chinembiri, a Beyond Brontës graduate from Leeds said: ‘’Beyond Brontës has been such an incredible experience, it has given me access to opportunities I never knew were out there.

"Most importantly I’ve gained a community of people I can talk to about my goals and feel understood because we are all in the same place.’’