ScreenSkills launch Film Forward for Black, Asian, and ethnic filmmakers

Experienced Black, Asian, and Ethnic off-screen film professionals apply for a new ScreenSkills programme designed to extend the pool of talent productions work with.

Film Forward will match film professionals who have at least five years’ experience in a variety of below-the-line roles with paid opportunities which will also include professional coaching. The programme will be delivered by ScreenSkills, supported by the BFI with National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.   

The aim is for the successful candidates to gain practical experience in their chosen department working alongside a more senior colleague so they have direct experience of the demands and challenges of the senior role and can apply with greater confidence for future positions at that level. 

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, ScreenSkills’ head of film and animation, said: “The initiative has been designed to unblock some barriers to mid-career progression for professionals currently under-represented in it. We want Film Forward to champion the careers of those who in turn can support further positive change. .. We understand there are often time and budgetary pressures on productions that may lead them to stick with hiring the people they know. So, in direct response to requests from industry, we will make it easier for them to extend their networks to a greater diversity of talent.”  

Amma Asante, director, screenwriter , and ScreenSkills patron, said: “It’s so important that our industry provides the opportunity for professionals from diverse, Black, Asian, and all ethnic minority backgrounds to progress into more senior roles and change the industry from within. I hope that productions will use Film Forward to provide experience to those they don’t yet know, creating a pathway for them to be hired for a more senior job next time. Everyone wins.” 

Akua Gyamfi, founder, The British Blacklist, said: “We welcome Film Forward as a practical way of supporting Black screen professionals and would encourage productions to use this opportunity to find and develop more of the great talent we know is out there.” 

Applications are open until midnight Sunday 28 March.  For full details, visit the Film Forward opportunity page. 

Productions who would like to discuss being involved should contact 


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