Film Forward: new career progression programme to address under-representation in film

Career stages
Experienced, Expert
ScreenSkills funded

Film Forward is a new programme designed to create change in the UK film industry by supporting experienced Black, Asian or minority ethnic professionals to advance into more senior roles.

Film Forward will match professionals with at least five years’ experience in below-the-line roles in film, with paid placements on UK productions. It also offers financial and coaching support.

Successful candidates will gain experience in a step-up role that will enable them to apply for future positions at that level.

The programme will launch with up to six individuals matched with productions across the UK crewing up in 2021 or early 2022.

Successful candidates will receive: 

  • The opportunity to be matched with a paid placement to support career development
  • Access to bespoke Film Forward career coaching led by an accredited industry coach, before, during and after placements
  • Access to a bursary of up to £3,000 to support the step up for expenses such as equipment or software

Placement allowances will be in line with salaries for the associated roles (to be confirmed by the production company).

Successful candidates will become a part of the production they are placed on, additional to crew, and will have an associated development contract for their time.

Applying to Film Forward does not guarantee applicants a placement. We will work with production companies across the year to design development placements to then match with up to six candidates from the Film Forward Talent pool subject to shortlisting criteria, interview and practical considerations.

This is not an entry level scheme. We run entry level schemes such as Trainee Finder, details of which can be found on our Trainee Finder page

The programme will be delivered by ScreenSkills supported by the BFI with National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.  

How to apply

Eligibility criteria: 

For the first intake of the Film Forward scheme applicants must be from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic group. The groups included can be found on our diversity and inclusion page. Ethnicity information from the ScreenSkills profiles of applicants will be reviewed to check eligibility, so applicants must ensure that their ScreenSkills profile is accurate and up to date. Once eligibility is confirmed, this information will not be accessed again. 

Any questions regarding eligibility for the Film Forward programme, or objections to the use of individual ethnic diversity information as part of the programme, can be forwarded to

  • Applicants must have 5+ years of experience in a below-the-line role in film (or a very closely related industry such as HETV). Applicants must show a clear desire to continue their career in the film industry. 
  • Applicants should be ready to make their next move within their area of expertise. 

Applicants must be prepared to be flexible with dates and locations of potential placements.

In-house, writing and development roles are not applicable for the scheme. 

Please click "apply now" and complete the application form.

Judging information

We want to keep potential opportunities as broad as possible to maximise the opportunity to match talent with development placements. We recognise that there is under-representation across all areas in film.

We will have constant discussion with upcoming productions across the UK. We will look at the development placements (in below-the-line areas) production companies have expressed an interest in hosting and endeavour to match candidates from the applications we receive. In addition, we will share relevant information on the range of applications we have received with production teams to explore the possibility of creating additional development placements across departments. 

ScreenSkills, with input from the wider industry, will do a first review of eligible applications in the month following application close. 

We will then invite shortlisted applicants to a virtual meeting with a ScreenSkills panel to go over application forms and discuss areas of interest for a potential development placement as well as practical details such as dates and locations.  

Following this, we will continue to liaise with productions to identify potential development placements. If we have a potential match with a development placement, we will be in touch for a final virtual discussion and interview with ScreenSkills and the production company. 

On the application form we will also ask individuals, if shortlisted, if they want to give consent for their application information to be shared with stated, selected third party organisations, when appropriate, for signposting to further local opportunities. On launch, this will be ScreenSkills, Screen Scotland, Creative Wales and Northern Ireland Screen. This is to further support productions and diverse talent across the UK. If this list of third parties is added to, ScreenSkills will ask applicants who originally consented to the sharing of their information to consent again.



ScreenSkills develops skills and talent to support the UK's screen industries.

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