Ex Managing Director of Northern Film + Media, John Tulip, has passed away. He was 62.

John, who had been ill for some time, passed away peacefully on Sunday 23rd January 2022.

John joined Northern Film + Media (NFM) in 2003 as Director of Finance and Administration before taking over as Manging Director in 2012, steering the organisation through some of its most difficult and challenging times. He helped establish the NFM Crew Academy and was also instrumental in securing £2.4million in European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) that launched the successful Tees Valley Screen programme.

John’s vision for NFM and the North East [England] screen industry was to provide a support mechanism for the sector whereby North East professionals could grow and work within the region rather than leaving to seek work elsewhere in the UK.

Chair of NFM, Tom Gutteridge, said, “John was the great unsung hero of the North East film and television industry. Without him there would be no NFM, and all the incredible things that have been achieved over the past few years would simply not have happened. When One North East was shut down and NFM lost most of its funding, the organisation had only months to live. Most of the UK’s screen agencies simply gave up and shut down. But John, promoted from Finance Director to Managing Director, was always a glass half empty man, and that was just what we needed during that depressing period. He had already anticipated and made provision for bad times and had squirrelled away sufficient funds to enable NFM to restructure for the long term. He turned two years’ funding into ten, and ultimately brought in the talented Alison Gwynn to head up the regeneration of the agency.

“Sure, John would moan about lack of funds, just as he and I complained to each other almost daily about the fortunes of our other shared passion, Newcastle United! But at the end of the day, there was a dry wit and strong resolution beneath that pessimistic exterior. He kept his head down (usually surrounded by the piles of paperwork and bureaucracy needed for the ERDF funding that was NFM’s lifeline), he was utterly loyal to the staff, and completely believed in the mission of NFM. Ultimately, thanks to this fortitude, NFM has survived and thrived. And that’s why we are all so very sad that he has left us. This is a very great loss to the North East and the whole regional media industry will mourn his passing.”

Chief Executive, Alison Gwynn, whom John appointed as Director of Partnerships and Programmes back in 2017, said, “I am deeply saddened to learn of John’s passing. John was not only a fantastic mentor and colleague, but he was someone I considered a close friend. It is my intention to make sure we do all that we can to realise John’s vision for NFM, cementing his legacy on the North East screen industry for years to come. For all who knew him, I hope you join me in raising a glass of his favourite double maxim beer and remember him fondly. Our thoughts are with Denise and the family and all those who loved him and who he cherished. Boss you’ll be greatly missed.”

Jon Creamer

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