Breaking Down Barriers: How Leading UK Organisations are Driving Inclusion in Film and TV

Zach Duthie
Zach Duthie Member, Administrator Posts: 61
edited June 24 in Crew

Notable UK training bodies and industry partners gather to reaffirm their mission to drive change and broaden awareness and access to production roles.

Leading UK training organisations and industry partners came together in Winnersh, Berkshire on June 6 to recognise the remarkable efforts being made to foster inclusivity in the film and TV industry and break down barriers to entry for the next generation of production professionals in the region and the broader South-East.

Hosted by FLB Accountants (an Entertainment Partners company), the event featured a panel discussion with FLB's Chanchal Panwar; Jocelyn Chandler-Hawkins, Outreach and Engagement Officer at Resource Productions; Teddy Nygh, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Fully Focused; Bob Clarke, Founder and CEO of MAMA Youth Project; and Edi Smockum, Managing Director of Think Bigger (shown left to right in the above image).

Each of these organisations offers unique training opportunities designed to open up the film and TV industry to a broader range of talent, with a particular focus on people who have traditionally been under-represented due to factors such as race, socioeconomic status, social background, disability or career breaks. 

In discussing why this work is so important, Teddy Nygh, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Fully Focused, said:

"It’s important that our industry is reflective of the communities we’re from, that we live within and alongside, and that we serve. When it isn’t, we’re not getting the real amazing potential that we could have within our industry. The content just isn’t going to be as good".

United by their mission to drive fundamental change, the panellists discussed how they provide trainees with hands-on experience in a broad range of production roles so that they can hit the ground running. As well as practical skills, this extends to personal skills such as on-set etiquette, networking and making yourself a valued member of the team. 

The panellists also touched on the need for greater awareness of the variety of roles that go into bringing a film or TV production to life, including production management and accounting roles, which are often in high demand. 

“There are so many interesting careers that aren’t just about directing, writing or producing... All those other careers which are really sustainable, we’re not as good at selling.” Edi Smockum, Managing Director of Think Bigger.

Despite being well known and respected in the industry—Bob Clarke’s MAMA Youth Project has been recognized at the Production Guild of Great Britain’s (PGGB’s) Talent Showcase, and recently received BAFTA’s Television Craft Special Award, one of the highest honours bestowed by the academy—the panellists were candid about the challenges they face in securing funding and the ongoing need for support from the wider industry. 

For Jocelyn Chandler-Hawkins, Outreach and Engagement Officer at Resource Productions, companies can support these efforts by focusing on the long-term gains rather than the short-term problem: “We get that you want to fill a job quickly, but if that person isn’t passionate about the industry and doesn’t see it as a long-term future, it creates more of an issue... Let us be your experts and help you to create amazing work – and amazing companies with engaged crew and staff.”

The event took place at the FLB Accountants office in Winnersh Triangle, Berkshire

Reflecting on the event, Chanchal Panwar, Partner – Production Accounting at FLB Accountants, said:

“FLB Accountants is committed to partnering with the industry to provide training and employment opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds looking to embark on or further their career in production accounting. It was a privilege to host this panel and hear about some of the incredible work being done across the region to make the UK film and TV industry more inclusive to all. By eliminating the barriers to entry and retention, we can help to future-proof our industry and ensure we have the talent in place to continue producing world-class content.”

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