BFI NET.WORK Wales host BAME-focused Launchpad event

Are you an aspiring screenwriter, director or producer looking to progress your career in film or television?

BFI NET.WORK Wales presents their latest Launchpad event for writers, directors and producers in conjunction with BBC Wales and CULT Cymru at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on Saturday 28th March 2015. 

The event is targeted specifically at Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent with the aim of championing under represented voices and stories from Wales. We invite all new and emerging talent from BAME backgrounds born or based in Wales, as well as those developing stories with BAME content, to join us for this unique opportunity.

We have a great line up of screenings, networking opportunities and speakers including:
Producer Stella Nwimo (Human Traffic, Stud Life), writer-director CampbellX (Stud Life), producer John Giwa-Amu (The Machine, Silent Storm), Director Tina Gharavi (I Am Nasrine) Nadia Denton (Beyond Nollywood) Calum Gray (Independent Film Group), writer-director Faisal A. Qureshi (Four Lions, Coronation Street) Deborah Sathe (Film London), film maker and festival programmer Cary Rajinder Sawhney and writer-director Kolton Lee, plus BBC Drama Execs Stuart Cheetham (Casualty), Jenna Robbins (War & Peace) and James Robinson (BBC Radio Drama).
Screenings include 4 shorts from Film London’s London Calling+ scheme and Amma Asante’s first feature, set in Wales: A Way Of Life.
With our short film scheme Beacons coming up, this could be a great way for you to get your foot in the door and make connections to get your screen career off the launchpad!
Writer and Director Labs are subject to selection as places are limited. Please apply by 12pm Friday 20th March to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Send us a script and CV if you are applying for the Writers’ Lab. 
  • Send us a CV and a link to some visual work if you are applying for the Directors’ Lab.

In cases of hardship, we have some bursaries available.  Apply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tickets for all the other Industry sessions (including lunch, screenings and networking reception) are available on Eventbrite up to 27th March and are £20 for the day (see schedule below).


Industry Sessions

9.15am    Registration
9.45am    Funding and opportunities - what's out there to help you get work as a writer,
               director or producer or fund your project/career for development & production?
               With representatives from  Ffilm Cymru Wales, BFI NET.WORK, BBC Cymru Wales,
               CULT Cymru, Film London, John Brabourne Award, Cardiff Film Unit
10.30am  Script to Screen – producer Stella Nwimo,  writer-director CampbellX, producer
               John Giwa-Amu discuss getting a first film from development into production
11.30am  Coffee break
11.45am  Mind The Gap – Sales agent Calum Gray of Independent Film Group looks at
               what stories/genres sell and why? Plus how indie film makers can fill the gap left
               by studios leaving the market.
1.00pm    Buffet lunch
2.00pm    Nollywood & Beyond – Nadia Denton looks at the rise of the Nigerian film industry
               and whether there are lessons to learn from for our film makers?
3.00pm    Build It & They Will Come?  Film London’s Deborah Sathe and Festival Programmer
               Cary Rajinder Sawhney on how to create an audience for your film.
4.15pm    Tea break
4.30pm    Screening London Calling +: Daytimer, Two Dosas, 7.2 and Three Brothers
5.30pm    The Pitching (Half) Hour – pitch your projects to industry professionals
6.00pm    Screening of Amma Asante’s first feature, A Way Of Life  
8.00pm    Networking Reception 


Writers' Labs

Writers will receive feedback on their television or feature film scripts during 1-2-1 sessions with established screenwriting mentors, including award winning writer-directors Kolton Lee, Faisal A. Qureshi and a BBC Drama Executive.  Places on this lab are limited and by selection.  Writers will have the opportunity to attend other industry sessions and screenings during the day in between 1-2-1s.  There will be a networking reception in the evening and a chance to pitch your project to industry professionals.
Please apply with a film or television script and a CV. We are prioritising writers and/or stories from BAME communities so please state how this applies to you or your project.

Deadline for submissions is 12pm Friday 20th March 2015.  Submissions should be sent to the Talent Co-Ordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   You will be notified of selection as soon as possible, but at the latest by end of day on Friday 20th. If selected, there is a participant fee of £20.  In cases of hardship, some bursaries are available.

Directors' Labs

This lab is for new talent looking to break into film and television directing and will be led by experienced Director Tina Gharavi (I Am Nasrine).  Places are limited and we will prioritise those from BAME backgrounds or directors working on projects with BAME content and stories.
Please send us your CV and a link to screen work (e.g. Vimeo) plus a short letter outlining your aspirations as a director and stating why you feel the Lab would be beneficial to you.
Applications should reach us by 12pm Friday 20th March 2015. You will be notified of selection by close of day on Friday 20th March 2015. If selected, there is a participant fee of £20. In cases of hardship, there are bursaries available upon application. 

Some of our speakers:

Campbell is an award-winning filmmaker/curator who has written/produced and directed the queer urban comedy feature film Stud Life (2012) which was awarded the Screen Nations Independent Spirit Award (2013) and the Best Black LGBT film in the Hotter Than July Film Festival (2013). Campbell’s body of work was honoured by the Queer Black Cinema festival in New York in March 2009. Image, Memory and Representation was also a retrospective of work which was programmed at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2007. In 2013 Campbell was selected to be on the jury for Short films for Outfest LGBT film Festival in Los Angeles. Campbell has written published short stories and articles on film, sexuality and gender.

Nadia Denton has been working in the film industry for over 10 years. She has curated  programmes  at  the  British  Film  Institute  and  Institute  of Contemporary Arts and acted as a consultant for film festivals (Film Africa, London  Brazilian  Film  Festival),  funding  bodies  (Creative  England,  Film London) and film schools (London Film School).  She has  been  featured  on  CNN,  BBC London  News,  BBC Radio  4  and  BBC World Service; and recently spoken at Cambridge Judge Business School and Sheffield Doc Fest. Her publications include The Nigerian Filmmaker’s Guide to Success: Beyond Nollywood and The Black British Filmmaker’s  Guide  to  Success: Finance, Market and Distribute Your Film. She is currently producing the South Africa @ 20 Film Tour which is taking place at over 100 venues across the UK (Oct 2014 – Feb 2015).  Nadia has a BA in Modern History from St. Hilda’s College, Oxford and is a member of BAFTA.

John has just co-produced The Silent Storm starring Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) with Neon Films, Eon, New Sparta, The British Film Company and Ffilm Cymru Wales. The film was selected to have its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.

Sci-Fi Thriller, The Machine, starring Toby Stephens (Die Another Day), Caity Lotz (The Pact) and Denis Lawson (Star Wars) was released in cinemas March 2014 and hit number 2 in the UK iTunes charts and number 5 in USA and Germany. The film won a British Independent Film Award, Best Sci-Fi and Best Actress at Toronto After Dark, Three British Academy Awards Cymru including Best Film and Best UK Feature of the Raindance Film Festival. John’s first feature was the BIFA nominated Little White Lies, Official Selection at Moscow and winner of two BAFTA Cymru Awards. He’s been nominated for the Screen Nation Award twice, is an honouree of the UKFC initiative, Breakthrough Brits, and his short films have won The 48 Hour Film Challenge and the BBC New Filmmaker Award at Brief Encounters.

John sits on the Pact Film Policy Group, Ffilm Cymru Wales board, works with BBC Wales to mentor new directors and producers and guest lectures at The National Film and Television School and The University of Wales. Caradog and John’s partnership continues to develop and finance a varied slate mainly weighted towards elevated genre. Brit list winning screenplay The Call Up is currently in post-production and supernatural thriller Don’t Knock Twice is scheduled for production early 2015.

Calum Gray is Director of Sales and Acquisitions at Independent Film Sales and has eight years’ experience working in Feature Film and Documentary licensing and distribution. Whilst at independent he has worked on the international sales of such titles as Origin Pictures' family comedy What We Did On Our Holiday, David Mackenzie's prison drama Starred Up, Multi BIFA award winning, Sundance Audience Award winning Metro Manila, Sundance winning doc Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, the Oscar nominated doc Exit Through The Gift Shop and Independent’s own We Need To Talk About Kevin. Prior to Independent he was Head of Sales for Mercury Media, a London based documentary specialist where he worked with filmmakers of the calibre of Niall Ferguson and James Moll and he first cut his teeth at Celsius Entertainment selling such films as Paris, je t’aime and the Sundance Grand Jury Award winning documentary Manda Bala.

Kolton is an award winning filmmaker, novelist and playwright. He has made two feature films: he was the Writer and Director behind the romantic comedy Cherps (2007) and the Director behind the recently released Freestyle (2010), a street smart and snappy look at the world of Freestyle basketball. He has also had his first novel published, neo-noir thriller The Last Card, and the theatre piece – An Evening With Michael Jordan – performed at the National Black Theatre of Harlem. Kolton is currently developing his next feature film the neo noir thriller Last Chance For A Slow Dance.

Stella Nwimo began her industry career working in commercials and music videos before moving into production management and line producing for TV. Her first film as a producer, the short Is It The Design On The Wrapper? won the Golden Palm at Cannes in 1997. In 1999, Stella set up the production company Riverchild Films to develop work with new and emerging filmmakers, co-producing, among other things, Paul Cotter's award-winning Jeff Farnsworth. She subsequently became an in-house producer at Stealth Films where she produced Menhaj Huda's Asian ensemble youth drama Everywhere and Nowhere and the gay urban romance Stud Life, and exec-produced Hammad Khan's Pakistan-set feature debut Slackistan. She is now developing two features - femme-fatale noir thriller Necropolis, with Jens Jonsson attached to direct, and the thriller 18 Drops, written by Steve Lewis and Tony Owen - at the fledgling production outfit Northpoint Pictures.

Cary has a Track record of initiating and building diverse audiences. He set up Bite The Mango Film Festival in 1995 at Bradford's National Museum of Photography, Film & TV. Over 17 years it was the North of England's premiere BAME film festival. At BFI as Head of Diversity he conceived and led the UK wide Imagine Asia Festival (2002) and conceived the pan-institute Black World Festival (2005). Cary is a Programme Adviser to the BFI London Film Festival and as a freelance exhibitor he set up London Indian Film Festival in 2010 - now Europe's largest South Asian film festival and also runs Brixton Reel Film Festival (mental health and BAME film festival). He is also a filmmaker and his last film Khaana (about an orthodox Muslim woman's experience), screened at 19 film festivals worldwide and won two US awards and is on Indieflix. He was invited to be on the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2013 and is a member of BAFTA and Fellow of RSA.