ScreenSkills welcomes new patrons and ambassadors

Nainita Desai (© Lee Kirby/Saffron Tech Dissect), Amma Asante (© Joseph Sinclair) and Mim Shaikh (©Jake Buckley)

ScreenSkills today welcomes new patrons and ambassadors to support our work in building a skilled and inclusive workforce and reaching out to the next generation of behind-the-camera talent.

Amma Asante, the screenwriter and director, and costume designer Sandy Powell join longstanding patrons including Lord Puttnam and Lord Hall as well as the writer/producers Daisy Goodwin and Sally Wainwright who took on the role when the new name of ScreenSkills was adopted two years ago.

They are joined by the first of a new set of ambassadors whose support will be targeted at helping highlight the range of opportunities in the screen industries to young people.

Our thanks go to Charlie Covell, actor and writer whose work includes the adaptation of The End of the F***ing World, Nainita Desai, a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2016 and composer of For Sama, and Mim Shaikh, the writer, actor and broadcaster for TV and BBC Asian Network, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, for agreeing to take part in this work.

Nainita said: “I do feel it’s very important to open up the industry to a greater diversity of talent, including those from other cultures and more women. There are many female performers and songwriters around but very few female media composers and sound designers. When I started, there were almost no female role models.” She added: “Nurturing up-and-coming composers and making people aware of what writing music for the media involves is something I strongly believe in.

Mim said: “I’m still learning and still have so many things to achieve and do. But if on the journey you can stop off and share what you have learned and experienced, that’s good. You hope that in speaking about what you’ve done, it can spark something in someone else.”

Amma said: “I’m passionate about how the industry can find ways to open up training, employment and retention of crew from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups, creating viable opportunities for success.  What progress we will have made when it becomes normal to step on a set and see not only black women directors but, for example, black women grips and sparks, directors of photography and location managers.

“Giving people the skills to progress and offering support structures such as the ScreenSkills Mentoring Network, is vital to this process. I am delighted to put my name to the constructive work ScreenSkills is doing to help build a skilled workforce and embed inclusion in the UK’s screen industries.” 

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