Channel 4 has announced a series of events for independent production companies and freelancers in the Nations and Regions.

Channel 4 will hold virtual open days across the UK for production companies and freelancers and, as part of a new two year partnership, will join forces with the National Film and Television School (NFTS) to offer a series of training and development programmes.

Sinead Rocks, Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations and Regions, said: “Although offices remain closed due to Covid, we want to continue building relationships and ensure Channel 4 is as accessible as possible, particularly to smaller and emerging indies across the UK.

“It’s also really important we continue to offer support and development to the industry, especially to producers and freelancers in the Nations and Regions and I’m thrilled that our new partnership with the NFTS will provide those opportunities.”

The first of the virtual open days will be held in Bristol on 17 March and will involve a series of sessions for members of the production communities to meet a range of key people from Channel 4 including: commissioning teams; audience researchers; 4Studio staff and digital commissioners. There will also be a 4Skills workshops on talent and career development for people in those regions to understand how they can take their first steps in the TV industry.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees said: “A key part of Bristol’s offer to Channel 4 was about opening up exciting new opportunities and catalysing real change in the media sector. So I’m delighted that our city’s indies and freelancers are getting the chance to hear valuable insights from some influential members of the Channel 4 team. I’m looking forward to being part of the virtual open day and seeing what’s next for Channel 4 in Bristol.”

Following on from Bristol, virtual open days will also be held in Belfast & Glasgow (30 March), Leeds (21 April) and Cardiff (28 April).

Channel 4’s two year partnership with the NFTS, will focus on providing training for indies and freelancers in the Nations and Regions.  In 2021 this partnership will deliver three separate weeks packed with free masterclasses, presentations and workshops.

The first of these will complement virtual open days, starting on the 12 April and focusing on development and pitching, all delivered virtually. Confirmed sessions include a Masterclass with Angela Ferreira (MD, Douglas Road Productions), The Practicalities of Pitching with Caroline Clayton (Shine TV) and The Ideas Lab with Fran Robertson.

NFTS Director Jon Wardle said: “With the success of NFTS Scotland and NFTS Leeds and with the opening of NFTS Wales just around the corner, the NFTS is wholly committed to supporting growth and training within the creative sectors of the Nations and Regions.

We are delighted to partner with Channel 4 over the next two years to run these dynamic training and development programmes which will ensure participating independent production companies and freelancers stay at the cutting edge of the rapidly evolving world of television.”

Jon Creamer

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