The Bureau briefing


Skills shortages survey: A major ScreenSkills survey has revealed that in film and TV, the most difficult roles to recruit for are in production (including production accountants, line producers, production and location managers). There are also problems with technical and supervisory roles including VFX (supervisors, FX artists, creature FX and animators) and in games (programmers and project managers).Less than a third of screen professionals believe the industry is investing sufficiently in skills although 86% report recruitment difficulties.

Awards tonic for Doctors: BBC Birmingham’s Doctors (pictured on home page) was named as Best Daytime Soap in this year’s Inside Soap awards. The mutiple-award-winning BBC 1 show, which began in 2000, is filmed at the BBC Drama Village and has been widely praised for the quality of its stories and for the diversity of cast and themes. It has been a breeding ground for some of the UK’s leading talent.


10 days of horror : Birmingham hosts the Festival Of Horror with screenings from October 26-November 4. Highlights also include a film competition and an international convention on Saturday 3 at the Custard Factory, Birmingham.

BBC3 seeking fresh talent: Birmingham-based BBC3 have launched a nationwide search for emerging film-makers. Successful pitches will be commissioned and broadcast on BBC Three’s social media channels, including their Facebook page which currently has 2.4 million likes. Applicants are invited to send a 100 word pitch and examples of their work to

4stories – a TV talent scheme aimed at finding diverse voices across the UK – is looking for three directors to direct a new series for Channel 4. The closing date for applications is 5th November. 

Birmingham 2022 is offering people the chance to win tickets to the Commonwealth Games by sharing what they love about Birmingham in a video, picture or written message. #2022voice

Tickets are now on sale for Jan - 2 Feb 2019) in Silicon Spa, Leamington Spa - a new event celebrating the UK gaming industry,

Submissions for Birmingham's Flatpack Festival (30 April - 5 May 2019) are now open for selection.

Another blinding performance by Peakys: Steven Knight’s Peaky Blinders added another accolade with the prize for Series Launch of The Year at the Content Innovation Awards in Cannes.

Fable finds home in Silicon Spa: Leamington-based PlayGround Games has taken over the Popular Fable series of games after the demise of its previous developer. The company – established in 2010 and best known for its Forza Horizon games – was acquired by Microsoft last month and is now expanding, and looking to fill 200 jobs. 


Doc premiere for Disabled Heroes event: 104 Films' documentary Social Model (pictured right) was the centrepiece of a successful series of events under the Disabled Heroes banner at the MAC, Birmingham at the end of August. The three-day event included film screenings and panels.

Awards night gets crowd boost: Midlands Movies has beaten its £1,100 Kickstarter crowdfunding target to help fund an awards ceremony for the best in regional films, to talk place in Leicester on March 22, 2019.

Bellingham's debut selected for Locarno: Turner-nominated Cradley Heath artist Richard Billingham's debut feature film Ray & Liz has been selected for the prestigious Locarno Film Festival at the beginning of August. The film returns to the central theme of much of his work, his family and his upbringing in the Birmingham of the Thatcher era.

Trailer released for Debbie Isitt's Christmas blockbuster: The first trailer has been released for Nativity Rocks!, the fourth film in Birmingham film director and writer Debbie Isitt's hit Nativity series. The film is due to be released on November 23. Meanwhile, the musical based on the Nativity! series made a triumphant debut at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre before beginning a nationwide tour.

Caitlin Moran movie: Paddy Considine has joined the cast of Film 4's How To Build A Girl, based on the Wolverhampton-set autobiographical novel by Midlands' author and journalist Caitlin Moran. The film, produced by Monumental Pictures and developed by Film 4, is directed by Coky Giedroyc, best known for The Hour.

WMSB in EU debate: WMSB Strategic Project Leader Michael Gubbins chaired a European Parliament debate at Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic on strategies for getting young people to watch European content.

Walking Over Coals: Birmingham-based Friction Arts is looking for artists from any discipline to join its Walking Over Coals programme to create a "risk-taking" work from conception to performance.


MICHAEL GubbinsComment