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Beryl Richards

Job title:
Director
Industries:
Film | TV

Beryl is a film and TV director, whose work includes the BAFTA nominated All About Me and My Life as a Popat, which was nominated for both BAFTA and Emmy Awards. In 2015 Beryl attended Filmonomics, which Creative Skillset supported though the Developing Creative Talent Fund.

We caught-up with Beryl in Ireland during the filming of her latest project, The Secret Life of Boys, a cross-media project for the BBC which melds broadcast TV with gaming.

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Beryl's latest film 'Recession.'

What drew you to the Filmonomics programme?

I currently have a feature film, Wrong Planet, in development with Creative England. It’s an unusual hybrid of creative documentary and drama, featuring real teenagers in a fictional setting. I attended Filmonomics along with my producer, Hilary Durman, as we felt it would be a great help with moving the project forward financially and creatively. I’m experienced as a TV director, but less in film – so the programme's focus on both development and distribution was particularly relevant to us.

Which sessions did you find most useful?

On the whole the scheme was very strong; the sessions were current and really valuable, and the wealth of industry expertise was consistently high. The session on Distribution, for example, with Oli Harbottle from Dogwoof, was really useful as he looked at how distribution is working right now for smaller budget films like ours. His talk was very comprehensive and gave us lots of new information and ideas.

Another highlight for me was the session with Caroline Goyder, this was a very intelligent and informed analysis of how we work together and how we come across to other people. Caroline’s acting background was really helpful and it also helps her put her points across very effectively.

Beryl's latest film 'Recession.'

Would you recommend the programme to other filmmakers?

It’s certainly broadened my knowledge in certain areas. I would specifically recommend it because of the emphasis on gender, though the key element for me was still how I could push forward my project, and gather insight about film industry structures. It was also really good to meet other participants – it’s very important to be able to connect to a pool of people in this kind of setting, with similar interests and ambitions.

Gender is a major focus of Filmonomics, and a primary aim of the scheme is to help develop female filmmaking talent – how do you feel it succeeded in this?

I’m a very confident person. I know it’s often said about women director’s that they lack confidence, and I don’t know how much that’s true – more that they lack opportunity. In my opinion this is an issue that effects women all the way through their careers, and not just an issue for women who are less experienced. I thought the scheme was particularly effective because it was female focused, and that participants could be much more open as a result.

About Filmonomics

Filmonomics is a training scheme for women and black or minority ethnic groups, which bridges the gap between development and distribution. The scheme was developed and run by Birds Eye View, who have celebrated and promoted the work of female filmmakers since 2007.

Further information

Click here to learn more about our Creative Talent 2015-16 training programmes

If you are an emerging or established writer, producer, or director and would like advice on training available, please contact Rebecca Davies, Creative Skillset Film Partnership Manager on 020 7713 9869 or by emailing RebeccaD@creativeskillset.org.