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First year of screen agency drives talent development, accessibility and Cornish Language production

Set up through joint investment from Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership in July 2019 to drive economic growth in the film, TV, games & animation sectors, Screen Cornwall has spent its first year focusing on the foundations – harnessing great talent and establishing a clear brand positioning within the industry.

The core offer to external production companies is a location & crew-finding service which launched at FOCUS production show and, along with a partnership agreement with Creative England, generated over 50 enquiries before lockdown hit.

We have also been working with a wide range of local landowners, including the Cornwall Council, to promote their natural and building assets.

Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Culture, Economy and Planning, Tim Dwelly commented: “Connecting the unique offer in Cornwall with national and international production is vital to attracting spend into the region. Having a single point of information through Screen Cornwall has really built our connections and laid the groundwork for future impact.”

Secondly, the Screen Cornwall team has focused on talent and accessibility through a wide range of interventions, most notably BBC New Creatives which has resulted in 10 young people between 16-30 receiving commissions to make work for BBC platforms (7 audio pieces, 2 films and 1 interactive), including two projects which are supported with additional access funding.

So far, two completed pieces are available to the public: Miles Sloman’s comedy short ANORAKS on BBC iPlayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p084qj0y and Florence Browne’s AGAN GERYOW YW KANA HWATH (Our Words Sing Still) on BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08dwg1z  

There has also been significant engagement with the British Film Institute through activity with BFI NETWORK in the South West and the national Young Audiences Content Fund, which supports the development of factual and scripted programmes aimed at young people up to 18.

As well as supporting Hypatia Trust to commission 8 short documentaries on local women in music stories, Screen Cornwall has also partnered with the School of Film & Television at Falmouth University to commission a number of graduate short films in animation, documentary and drama.

Managing Director Laura Giles said: “Following Mark Jenkin’s BAFTA win earlier this year, the spotlight is increasingly on distinctive regional voices and authentic storytelling. 

“Working with regional stakeholders and our connections right across the creative & cultural industries has unearthed  a diverse range of talent in Cornwall that is really exciting, so we relish the opportunity to connect individuals with national funding and opportunities to drive their careers.”

Finally, Screen Cornwall has worked with the Cornish Language Office in the Culture and Creative Economy Team to take forward the recommendations of the MEDIA GONIS POBLEK KERNEWEK (CORNISH PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA) report with key stakeholders at the BBC and DCMS, as well as commissioning the first screen and app content specifically for early years learners through Goldentree Productions and Bosena. And, following the success of Zoe Alker’s YN MOR in the Single Drama category at the Celtic Media Festival Awards recently, Screen Cornwall are this year commissioning two contemporary short dramas in the Cornish Language through the Fylm K scheme:

  • MOS (Lass) is the coming of age story of sixteen year old Truro girl, Jenna, who discovers there’s more to where she grew up than she thought, written & directed by Bryher Flanders
  • KESTAV (Contact) is an ambitious sci-fi film about language and communication, written & directed by Chris Morris.
“The combination of grassroots outreach to ensure talent development is accessible for all, with the high service levels that national and international production expects, proves that a screen agency is a vital part of the creative & digital eco-system for the region.”

Chair Phillippa Giles said: “I am immensely proud of what Screen Cornwall has achieved and would like to thank the team, the Board and our fantastic industry Steering Board for helping work towards our vision. Despite the challenges of coronavirus, we are focused on our core goal of a Screen Growth Fund to attract high quality production to the region and support local companies to develop market-focused projects.”

Emmie Kell, board member of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and chair of the LEP’s Creative Industries Task Force, said: “Our investment in Screen Cornwall has already produced some great results in its first year and we’re excited to see the momentum build in the sector, which we hope will bounce back strongly in 2021 from coronavirus disruption.

Page last updated: 13:30, 2nd July 2020
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Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, PO Box 723, Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro, TR1 1XU
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