Punch champions black filmmakers in the West Midlands

Six black West Midlands filmmakers championed to create short films as part of development scheme BACK IN.

Creative agency Punch announces the next diverse and driven creatives that will take part in its six-month filmmakers’ development programme BACK IN.

The initiative has been running for two years and enables participants from the West Midlands to attend masterclasses, develop new skills, secure professional connections from the film industry and concludes with the creation of a short film.

The BACK IN sessions take place at ALCMY studios, an official partner who have donated their space to the program for a third year. Filmmakers will be supported by mentors throughout the process to ensure they have a strong network of industry figures to guide and empower them. This furthers Punch’s efforts and commitment to make a real change to the ethnic minority imbalance found within the film industry.

Curated by director and entrepreneur Daniel Alexander, participants from previous years have gone on to win awards for their short films, act in cinematic releases and create new media platforms.

Alexander says: “BACK IN has been an amazing two-year journey, we have seen 12 talented filmmakers excel through the program and go on to achieve success after success. Continuing in the path of the previous years, we have now launched the third year, which has again reinforced the belief that the Midlands is full of diverse talent that has not always benefited from the same access to opportunities as others. I’m looking forward to making this the best year yet and showcasing the regional talent to the world.”

This September BACK IN will take centre stage as part of BBC Digital Cities – a week-long series of events for the creative industries, offering insights, workshops, masterclasses, and free digital skills training. BACK IN will headline the series which will take place at the Millennium Point, Birmingham, where films produced by the previous years’ cohorts will be shown and then they will engage in an audience Q&A.

This year’s participants of BACK IN are:

Haydn Thomas – Director, cinematographer and approved drone pilot who was previously voted as one of Birmingham’s 30 under 30.
Follow on Instagram: @haydnthomasfilms

Daina Anderson – Award nominated documentary filmmaker, producer and founder of media training and development company Open Lens Media.
Follow on Instagram: @dainaanderson

Julie-Anne Bensley – A qualified teacher who works with creative young people at a performing arts school teaching film and TV.
Follow on Instagram: @julieannebensley

Abdul Ugas – Director and screenplay writer who entered a competition that led to his script getting optioned to be made into a film.
Follow on Instagram: @arugasuk

Nadine O’ Mahony – Director, screenwriter, and cinematographer who previously had a monologue she’d written performed and recorded after winning Write Now monologue competition.
Follow on Instagram: @mahon_media

Joshua Solomon – A triple threat creative with experience as a director, editor and photographer and a love of the animated film technique stop motion.
Follow on Instagram: @thaiuriah

For more information on BACK IN and other creative opportunities offered visit: www.wearepunch.co.uk


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