The Producers' Forum
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Diverse, Sustainable, Competitive: Re-shaping Our Creative Industry

On 22nd November the West Midlands Screen Bureau organised a collaborative event with industry professionals, public sector stakeholders and key national organisations to help shape the future of the screen sector in the region.

It began in the morning with open sessions that focussed on the opportunities for building a strong Creative Screen Sector.

 The British Film Institute lead a session on the current state of the region’s creative screen sector, which looked at essential areas of research, policymaking and funding. Creative England were part of the debate alongside other stakeholders from the public sector with a focus on building partnerships. The session was led by BFI Director of External Affairs, Harriet Finney, Julia Lamaison, Head of Research and Statistics, BFI and covered core issues in the growth of regional creative clusters and the business and international implications of Brexit. Caroline Norbury, CEO Creative England also outlined the role of Creative England in developing the screen sector.

The second session focussed on the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy for the creative sector. David Furmage, Creative & Cultural lead at Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP highlighted the core themes of the wide-ranging strategy and Kully Khaila, BBC, discussed proposals around a Regional Creative Talent Platform.

The final open session was a case study and presentation from StoryFutures – a Royal Holloway-led coalition on building a programme to drive growth in new areas of storytelling. The aim being to think about a potential programme to partner the scheme, which was one of the winning bids in the recent Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Creative Clusters Programme. It is a collaboration between academia and leading industry players, including BBC Worldwide, Sky VR, Immerse UK, Sony Interactive Entertainment, BFI, Endemol Shine UK, Heathrow and Pinewood-Shepperton Studios.

The second part of the day saw a group of invited professionals from across different sector industries and across the region to consider ways to turn the morning’s potential opportunities into actions.

It is part of a series of Design Labs, which aim to create momentum behind sector growth through a united, active network with a clear narrative.