For Jenny Stimpson, the reason for reaching out to ScreenSkills was clear. Having worked as an experienced and award-wining producer for the BBC, Jenny wanted to realise her dream and establish herself in feature films. She applied for ScreenSkills’ Film Forward programme, a career progression initiative designed to create change in the UK film industry by supporting Black, Asian or minority ethnic professionals to advance into more senior roles.
Jenny’s first placement through Film Forward is as a production coordinator on a feature being shot in Glasgow.
She said: “It’s been great so far – the team I’m working with are lovely and I’m learning loads. The nice thing about it is that the line producer on the production is 100% behind the aims and objectives of Film Forward and that’s what makes all the difference. They genuinely believe it’s important and they are making every effort to make it happen and I really appreciate that.”
Jenny noted how important the programme was for the industry, adding: “ScreenSkills puts money, energy and resources behind promoting diversity and inclusion and to be a prod and poke to executives that are ultimately making the programmes. It’s a win win situation. It’s not just about productions taking crew from underrepresented groups for the sake of it, it’s about demonstrating the benefits and business case for why they need to widen up the sources of where they look for crew and talent. I consider ScreenSkills to be the conscience, heart and soul of the film and TV industry in terms of providing training and raising awareness of the need for change through courses like anti-bullying and harassment and unconscious bias, which are desperately needed.”
On how Film Forward has impacted her and can do the same for others, Jenny continued: “Talent comes in lots of different shapes and from different areas and backgrounds. ScreenSkills has opened the door up to potential employers who can see what I bring to the table and are open minded to work with people from different backgrounds. The industry is expanding at such an exponential rate and needs to attract talent from different areas and ScreenSkills is doing a fantastic job at facilitating this.”