UK (University of the West of England) Success for inaugural Bristol and Bath Screen Summit

The importance of nurturing the region’s exceptional creative talent, alongside innovation, diversity, and sustainability was highlighted as priorities by industry experts and the audience on the first day of the inaugural Bristol and Bath Screen Summit, yesterday (2 November).

More than 100 people attended the event at Arnolfini, which was hosted by broadcaster Carol Vorderman and The Outlaws’ Gamba Cole.

Showcasing the city region as a leading global production community, the Summit was opened by the Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees. Guests heard from programme-makers from some of the world’s biggest brands, including Bristol’s Grant Mansfield, founder and CEO of Plimsoll Productions, and Julian Bellamy, managing director, of ITV Studios.

Lynn Barlow, the Assistance Vice-Chancellor of Creative and Cultural Industries Engagement, said:

“A clear message from the first day of the event is that people are key to the industry’s success, and the incredible talent base and amazing track record of TV and film in this area are continuing to drive growth. We should celebrate what we have already achieved, but there is still much to do, particularly pushing innovation through creativity and technology, but also ensuring the industry is representative of all audiences by creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

“Thank you to the panellists who kindly gave their time to speak at the Summit – their insight really demonstrates how much the region has to offer as we look to the future.”

As day two of the Summit gets underway today (Thursday 3 November), academics from UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre and the University of Bristol will join regional and national policymakers and industry leaders to explore potential interventions needed to sustain clean inclusive growth in the city region’s production community.

The creation of the Screen Summit is a key recommendation from research by UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC); it found that while the screen industry in the city region is booming, more could be done to overcome the political and economic challenges it’s facing.

In particular, they will discuss ways of supporting and extending the emerging indigenous film and television drama in the area, considering the benefits of creating a ‘regional production fund’ and access to investment packages, either to companies already based here or to those looking to bring productions to the area.

Speakers from other regional screen agencies, including Liverpool City Regional Production Fund, will share best practices and provide insight into its key learnings and successes.

With attendees including representatives from the West of England Combined Authority, Bristol City Council, the BFI, and Screen Skills, the aim will be for a working party to oversee both how funding might be leveraged and how it could be used most beneficially once the resources were in place.