Northern Heart Films announces winners of new Filmmaking Mentorship Scheme
27 January 2023
Northern Heart Films have just announced the three lucky winners who have been selected to be part of the company’s very first documentary fund, a new mentorship scheme to support new Northern documentary talent.
The Northern Heart Doc Fund is a scheme that has been built to help support emerging North-West based filmmakers to create their first fully funded short documentary. Along with a £500 budget, each winner will receive mentorship from the team at Northern Heart Films and a fantastic big screen premiere at Leigh Film Factory.
Competition had been fierce but the three winners were Matthew Reese from Chester, Vicky Best from Bolton and Sam Oddie from Ashton-Under-Lyne.
“The Northern Heart Doc Fund is a great opportunity to learn from a talented team that champions northern creatives and stories.” Says Sam, who will be exploring post university blues in his film Existential Dread & Other Vibes.
Vicky says “This scheme has provided me with the perfect opportunity to fulfill my longing to make a film up North and tell northern stories. This feels like the perfect next step for myself and the chance to shape my identity as an independent filmmaker.”
Vicky Best (Bolton)
Working Title: Gujarat to Bolton
My film will explore the relationship between Gujarat and Bolton, its rich history (and future) and the Gujarati people who have shaped Bolton and been shaped by Bolton.
This scheme has provided me with the perfect opportunity to fulfill my longing to make a film up North and tell northern stories. This feels like the perfect next step for myself and the chance to shape my identity as an independent filmmaker.
Matthew Reese (Chester)
Working Title: The Way I See It
‘The Way I See It’ is a documentary about Louis, a young boy with Asbergers, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, and his desire to belong in a world that would have him believe he doesn’t. The film paints an intimate portrait of one young man who, at such a young age, has already experienced so much suffering, exploring his struggles with bullying, suicide and loneliness, and demonstrating the strength it took for him to begin his life again.
As Louis's older brother, this film is incredibly personal to me and the funding from Northern Heart Films will prove invaluable to its creation. While this amount of funding is modest for some, one thing it undoubtedly does is help bridge the gap for indie filmmakers between self-funded projects and fully-funded, large-scale productions. I'm incredibly grateful to NHF, Wigan Borough Council and Creative Lancashire for this opportunity.
Sam Oddie (Ashton-Under-Lyne)
Working Title: Existential Dread & Other Vibes
When the “best three years of your life” are over, what happens next? This is a film about post-uni blues and to the extent it can affect a young person. More importantly, it's how thousands of people make that transition into adulthood every year and find balance once again.
The Northern Heart Doc Fund is a great opportunity to learn from a talented team that champion northern creatives and stories. I hope to make a film that captures the same ideas and create something young people can relate to.
All three winners will now begin pre-production in preparation for their big screen debut on the 13th of April 2023.
Northern Heart Films are looking to partner up with a North West based Post-Production house to help our three filmmakers with the online edit. We’re also looking for national and regional charities to get onboard to help support these three wonderful and important stories.
If this is something you’d like to discuss with us please email Director of Production, Scott Bradley, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northern Heart Films is an award winning production company headed by BFI Network alumni Scott Bradley and Natasha Hawthornthwaite who are passionate about creating clear pathways for Northern talent to get into the Film & TV industry.
Natsaha, Creative Director at Northern Heart, goes on to say, “It’s really exciting to have announced the winners. As North West based filmmakers ourselves we know how hard it is to begin a career in the film and TV industry so this scheme is something we’ve been desperate to get off the ground for a number of years.”
The duo will be working closely with the three winners over the next few months as they begin pre-production.
The Northern Heart Doc Fund is supported by Wigan Borough Council, Creative Lancashire and Leigh Film Factory. The premiere for all three films is the 13th of April 2023 at Leigh Film Factory.