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Supporting young creative talent - Random Acts

7th July 2015

Photo: Neville Campbell (Dance City performers)

A major new initiative is underway in the North to identify and develop creative talent, focusing on young people aged 16-24.  Tyneside Cinema have been successful in their bid to lead the Random Acts Network Centre in the North - one of five Centres across England, in a new initiative funded by Arts Council in partnership with Channel 4.

Tyneside Cinema’s Centre has been awarded £600,000 in order to carry out the project and will produce 72 short films which can be from 90 seconds to 3 minutes long - over 3 years, all of which will have exposure across Channel 4’s various digital platforms, with the very best having the possibility of making it onto national television.

This exciting new project is yet another example of the creative potential of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. It is led by Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle) in a partnership with HOME (Manchester) and True North (Leeds) one of the North’s leading independent production companies - along with an extended network of collaborators including large and small arts, cultural, youth, community and educational organisations right across the Northern region  (North East, Yorkshire, North West and Cumbria).

A total of 24 young participants per year will be chosen to take part in an inspirational 3-day residential talent camp with a range of professionals from across the creative industries, before being mentored in the creation of their own short films with the support of a professional production company.

The call first round of applications closes on 14th July and a second call is due in November.  Sign up up at randomacts@tynesidecinema.co.uk to find out more and receive information about opportunities.

Mark Dobson, CEO of Tyneside Cinema said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for creative young people in the North, working in any artistic discipline, that might have an idea for a short film - from poets and musicians, to dancers and visual artists. Tyneside Cinema already has a national reputation for the quality of its work with young people and we are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this significant investment from Arts Council, and to have the opportunity to work with so many other exciting and diverse cultural organisations to unearth the creative industry talent of tomorrow”.

Marisa Draper, Head of Engagement at HOME says:

“HOME is delighted to be involved as a strategic partner on the Arts Council England funded Random Acts Centre for the North at Tyneside Cinema. Having just opened Manchester's new arts and entertainment venue, HOME looks forward to opening up opportunities for locally based talented young people to develop skills and showcase their work. The prospect of working more closely with Northern based production companies and cultural institutions, including Tyneside Cinema to strengthen the support of and output from the next generation of UK based creatives is fantastic.”

Andrew Sheldon, Creative Director and Founder of True North says:

“Random Acts is a terrific opportunity for talented young people to engage with the television industry, and at True North we’re delighted to be involved. We’re looking forward to working with a new generation of film makers”.

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England said:

“I am very pleased that Tyneside Cinema is taking on the role of Random Acts Network Centre in the North. The focus on young diverse new talent and the opportunity to reach a national audience through the partnership with Channel 4 is exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing the films as the work progresses.”


Tyneside Cinema is one of the UK’s leading independent specialised film and media venues. Alongside its programmes of new world cinema and digital media arts the cinema is also famous as a screen heritage attraction, housed in its spectacular Grade II listed building in the heart of Newcastle. Tyneside Cinema is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and also receives revenue funding from Newcastle City Council, BFI and Creative England. www.tynesidecinema.co.uk

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

HOME, Manchester’s new centre for international contemporary art, theatre, film and books officially opened its doors this April. Designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo and featuring a 500-seat theatre; a 150-seat flexible theatre; a 500m2, 4m high gallery space; five cinema screens; digital production and broadcast facilities; a café bar and restaurant, HOME was formed from the merger of two of Manchester’s best-loved cultural organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company. Inheriting and building upon their artistic legacies, HOME is predicted to receive 500,000 visits per year, adding significantly to the revenue contributed by Manchester’s cultural venues to the local and regional economy. It forms the cultural heart of the £500m First Street regeneration project off Whitworth Street West in Manchester City Centre, with the 20 acres development being brought forward by Ask Property Developments, Manchester City Council’s development partner for the project.

Manchester City Council has committed £19 million to fund the creation of HOME. The overall budget for the project is £25 million, with £5 million being met by Arts Council England Lottery funding and the remainder by fundraising. £250,000 has already been contributed by the Garfield Weston Foundation and £150,000 by The Granada Foundation. The patrons of HOME are Danny Boyle, National Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner, actress Suranne Jones, playwright and poet Jackie Kay MBE, artists Rosa Barba and Phil Collins, filmmaker Asif Kapadia and actress and author Meera Syal MBE. www.homemcr.org | @HOME_mcr

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