New programme supports BAME talent to progress behind-the-camera in UK film

A programme to support black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) talent behind-the-camera in UK film to progress into more senior roles launches today.

Make a Move: Film will support large-scale productions to offer opportunities to industry professionals with at least three years’ experience to advance in their careers. Up to £10,000 is available per candidate. Productions are also expected to invest in the beneficiary and provide details of a training plan on application.

The initiative, supported by the BFI with National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy, will be open to films that pay the maximum contribution of £55,000 into the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund – making sure that successful candidates get a chance to work on the biggest possible movies.

The initiative is modelled on the highly successful Make a Move scheme which has been run by the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund for five years and has seen more than 330 individuals successfully move into more senior roles at all levels.

Make a Move: Film is targeted at supporting BAME talent in recognition of concerns that when crew from under-represented ethnicities do find opportunities to enter the film industry, they often experience barriers to progression.

The programme will also prioritise job roles identified by industry through the ScreenSkills Skills Forecasting Service as in demand, such as 1st assistant director, editor, line producer, production manager, production accountant, script editor, script supervisor, location manager and post-production supervisor. Productions may make the case for other roles which they believe are difficult to recruit for.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, ScreenSkills head of film, says: “This is a practical approach to the nurturing of BAME talent into more senior roles in the industry. Bringing in new entrants is vital to the continued buoyancy of UK film, but it is equally important that crew get the chance to move up and onwards. This is aimed at ensuring a diversity of crew in narrative and documentary features are progressing in their careers.”

Tariq Wahr, ScreenSkills film production liaison manager, says: “Any production eligible for Make a Move funding is welcome to discuss supporting an individual in this way. To work effectively, this has to be a collaboration between us, the production and the individual, with a proper programme of activity, whether mentoring, coaching or training, for successful candidates.”

Leigh Adams, Head of Education and Skills at the BFI, says: “Our world-class crews are in increasing demand, yet workforce surveys have highlighted there can be barriers to meaningful career progression. Adapting Make a Move for film is a positive step in supporting both individuals and productions to help people progress in their careers and address skills gaps.”

In detail:

Make a Move encourages on-the-job training of crew identified by productions as ready to move up into a more senior role with some support. At the end of the programme, the beneficiary will be established in a new role or able to apply for a promotion.

Up to £10,000 is available per candidate. It can be used for a range of uses including travel, subsistence and relocation expenses where the beneficiary is required for work or training away from home, training courses, professional coaching or costs incurred buying equipment related to the job role.

Make a Move: Film is not for trainees and all candidates must be at the experienced or expert stage of their career, in accordance with the ScreenSkills Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework.

It is hoped that up to 15 candidates will benefit from the programme in the first year.

Full details, including how to apply, are available on the ScreenSkills website.


About ScreenSkills

ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success. 

ScreenSkills’ work in finding, developing and retaining a skilled workforce for the UK’s screen industries includes:

  • Providing careers information, both online and through UK-wide careers events, to help find and inspire next generation talent
  • Finding and supporting new entrants including through the Trainee Finder work placement programme
  • Investing in skills and training for the existing workforce, including programmes to help professionals return to the industry after a career break for caring or parenting responsibilities, programmes to support progression into more senior roles across the industry and programmes to further diversify the workforce. All programmes have diversity and inclusivity targets
  • Strengthening the industry through initiatives including the ScreenSkills Mentoring Network which includes best practice guidance for effective mentoring and aims to match 3,000 mentoring pairs by 2022
  • The ScreenSkills Skills Forecasting Service to provide up-to-date information on the UK screen workforce and skills needs.

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of UK and world cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class filmmakers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting UK film and talent to the world 
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences


The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK


Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.



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