_from_left__sarmad_masud__kat_wood__anwar_boulifa_sot_2017_dsf0517_square_bannerl - r: Sarmad Masud, Kat Wood, Anwar Boulifa Photo: Screen International / Peter Searle
Posted by Creative Skillset

Growing our own

It’s not quite back to the land, but we’re certainly seeing nationwide interest in growing our own food to guarantee quality, variety and freshness.  While the 'Big Allotment Challenge' may not have gripped British TV viewers, our film industry is benefiting from bumper crops of exciting home-grown talent.

The essentials for successful plant-growing – the right location and nutrients – are pretty much what’s needed for nurturing film talent ‘green shoots’.   

Successful creatives are often asked about their move from being potential talent to making their name in the industry.  It’s interesting that many of them talk about finding a place – a production, a creative hub or an organisation – where they could really flourish.  They also mention the importance of feeding their creativity and growing their skills through a combination of training, mentoring and networking.   Seetha Kumar, CEO

Our world-class crew, facilities and locations attract international productions and creative talent to the UK – and inward investment is an essential part of our creative industries’ growth.  But we also need to invest in growing new talent – producers, writers and directors – to build a sustainable future for our home-grown industry. 

In 2016 BFI-commissioned research highlighted a shortage of the professional, business and leadership skills vital for our indigenous screen industries’ growth. There’s a lack of good quality guidance on career progression, so talented industry entrants may not be finding – let alone taking advantage of – skills development opportunities. 

There are particular barriers to progression, especially among those from under-represented groups who may not have the contacts and networks in an industry where ‘who you know, not what you know’ is still a major factor.  Stars of Tomorrow helps to tackle these barriers by putting upcoming actors, writers, directors and producers firmly in an international spotlight.  Creative Skillset continues to support Stars as it’s a great showcase for the richness of new UK talent.                  Seetha Kumar, CEO

The 2017 Stars of Tomorrow include Kat Wood and Rubika Shah, who participated in 'Filmonomics’ run by Bird’s Eye View and Missing in Action; Anouar Balifa, who took part in B3 Media’s ‘Talent Lab’ and Film London’s ‘London Calling’; Farah Abushwesha benefited from Creative England’s Market Trader; Leanne Welham took part in Film London’s ‘Micro Market’ programme;  Sarmad Masoud received a project support grant from Film London’s ‘London Borough Film Fund’.

Through these and other successful development programmes – such as Lighthouse’s ‘Guiding Lights’ and Ffilm Cymru Wales’ ‘Cinematic’ – Creative Skillset is proud to have supported the next generation of UK film-making talent through targeted training and support.

Our industry needs diverse voices to support its continued growth and success.  Creative Skillset provides inclusive opportunities so that new talent, whatever their background, can access skills development to meet their needs and grow their careers.  I’m excited to see how this latest generation of ‘green shoot’ talent blossoms into tomorrow’s industry stars.      Seetha Kumar, CEO

For more information about Stars of Tomorrow visit the Screen International Stars of Tomorrow hub.

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