In late 2019, the Equal Access Network (EAN) was awarded funding from Sir John Cass’s Foundation to run a programme for young people who are NEET (not in education, employment or training), concentrating on four boroughs - Islington, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Hackney. The GiFT (Getting into Film and TV) programme provided 17 participants with an intense, paid training week covering topics across every aspect of the Film and TV industry as well as a window into the world of Games.

The training week took place in November 2019 and it included classroom based learning sessions with speakers including Film London staff talking about the different areas of the industry, case study discussions with talks by producers, screenings, cinema and set/location visits, masterclasses and interviews.

We were thrilled to be supported by venues and companies such as Ministry of Sound, Park Theatre, Sony Pictures Entertainment and ITV. The group went behind the scenes at Secret Cinema: Stranger Things with a discussion with the creatives behind the show and were invited to attend a show, watched Rapman’s Blue Story followed by a discussion and Q&A with actor Junior Afolabi Salokun and the producer Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor and Joe Wright’s Atonement followed by a talk with Line Producer Jane Frazer (Grand Budapest Hotel, The Night Manager) and a preview of HBO’s Watchmen followed by a talk with Anna Nicoll (SVP, Corporate Affairs and International Publicity at HBO).

Other speakers covered topics from short film producing to TV Publicity, Film Archives and How to write a killer Film/TV industry CV and prep for an interview. These included Emma Pike (Head of Production at Two Brothers Pictures - Fleabag, Liar), Dudley Cruse (Producer of The World According to Jeff Goldblum), BFI Vision Award recipient Producer Farah Abushwesha and Anne Foster (now Head of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC).

On the last day of the training, hosted by Ade Rawcliffe, Head of Diversity for Drama Commissioning at ITV’s headquarters in Holborn, the group had a number of interviews with:

  • Altitude Filmed Entertainment (Moonlight)
  • Bankside Films (In Fabric)
  • GreenDoor Pictures (In the Long Run/Idris Elba’s company)
  • Heyday TV (the TV arm of the film production company behind Harry Potter and Paddington)
  • Number 9 Films (Carol)
  • Pathé (Judy)
  • Sky News Archive
  • Sports Interactive (Football Manager)

Eight participants of the first GiFT programme are still working at their placement companies while others have had other opportunities within the industry