Calling all ethnic minority graduates – Applications invited for paid work placements in 2008

Calling all ethnic minority graduates - Applications invited for paid work placements in 2008

A Skillset and UK Film Council-funded initiative to help graduates from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to fast-track their film careers is inviting applications for paid placements with leading film businesses starting in June 2008.

The Skillset Graduate Fellowship Programme pays fellows a full time training allowance of up to £17,000 per annum. In addition to fantastic work experience fellows also enjoy the benefit of a series of master classes and workshops led by senior industry personnel designed to increase their awareness of the film business.

Placements up for grabs this year feature roles in areas such as sales & marketing, public relations, accountancy, distribution, script development and producing. Host companies include Film Four, Cameo Productions, Material Entertainment, Eon Productions, Warp X, Focus Features and Ruby Films.

Alison Owen of Ruby Films said: “We offered a Development Assistant Fellowship last year and our Fellow, David Chikwe, was fantastic. We had no hesitation in signing up to the Programme for the second year running.”

Whilst the programme does not guarantee jobs at the end, over half of the Fellows on board the programme last year secured permanent jobs in the industry within a month of completing their placement.

Skillset’s research of the audio visual industries shows that there is under representation of those from the BAME community within the film industry. The aim of the Skillset Graduate Fellowship Programme is to improve diversity in by providing opportunities for those from the BAME community.

One of last year’s graduates was Prakash Patel who embarked on a Producer Fellowship with Warp X, he says:

“During the fellowship, I have gained great experience as a producer. My achievements included working as a production assistant on an Arctic Monkeys video, and helping to create the website for This is England. Also important was the fact that I had access to a range of experienced producers, some great mentoring advice and made some very useful contacts.

Since completing my placement I produced my first short film It’s My Party and have won a place on Screen Yorkshires competitive Sparks Screenwriting Programme where I am developing a feature length comedy horror. I am actively looking to develop work with other writers as well as develop my own projects as a writer and producer.”

Delivered by Diversity in Visual Arts, the Skillset Graduate Fellowship Programme is funded by the Skillset Film Skills Fund and the UK Film Council Diversity Department.

Skillset’s Janine Marmot, Director of Film, said: “We are delighted to be working with DiVa on the second Skillset Graduate Fellowship Programme. This is a really smart programme which carefully matches the industry’s skills shortages with bright BAME talent. The talent from the first programme have been exceptionally successful in finding employment and we will build on this success.”

Arit Eminue, from Diversity in Visual Arts said “This is a great programme that not only supports film talent but also Host Businesses. We look forward to working with Skillset once again.”

Applications are open from 10 March and close on 25 March, with placements beginning in May 2008. www.divafilms.co.uk

“The Skillset Graduate Fellowship Program is delivered under clause 37 of the Race Relations Act which allows training organisations to run programmes for people from black and ethnic origin groups which have been demonstrated to be under represented in a particular industry.”

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