Creative Producers Lab 2021

BFI NETWORK South West have teamed up again with Bristol Screen Producers for our Creative Producers Lab, a three month-long remotely taught training scheme for new and aspiring film producers. 

Running through from September to November this series of online workshops, talks and 1:1 meetings with tutors will cover all stages of development, production, post-production, marketing and distribution/exhibition, including festival strategy. The aim is to provide you with a detailed understanding of what the role of a film producer involves and give them the confidence to seek film production funding.

Alongside the training provided, you will be supported to develop a pitch deck for a short narrative film project idea (animation or live action) that could potentially be used in an application for the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund (read the guidelines here) in collaboration with a writer and/or director. Ideally you would apply to this scheme with a short film project you are looking to develop, but this is not essential. There will be opportunities as part of the scheme to connect with writers and/or directors and hopefully find a relevant project. 

The lab will be led by Kate Cook, Alison Sterling and Mike Riley; South West based producers who have years of experience in the field and have worked with critically acclaimed filmmakers. 

As a Producer, you’re often jack of all trades and are the one who will see your films through from the early concept stage to screen and beyond.

The Creative Producers Lab aims to give you an oversight on how that journey might look, with some key tools, resources and contacts to support you in the early stages of your career.

Kate Cook, Bristol Screen Producers, course tutor

Who can apply?

We welcome all applicants that fit the criteria below, including those with little or no experience, but are ambitious about producing for screen.

We strongly encourage applications from those who are producers in other creative disciplines such as theatre, television, gaming, or radio that are looking to make the move to on screen work. 

Applications are open to aspiring or new producers who are:

  • Permanently based in one of these South West counties: Bath & NE Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Wight, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Southampton, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay or Wiltshire (see BFI Regional Map).
  •  Aged 18 or over.
  • Not in full-time education.
  • We welcome applications from individuals as well as co-producing teams.
  • You do not need to be working with a writer and/or director in order to apply, although it is welcomed. 
  • Must be available for the majority of the key dates provided.

Due to the ongoing pandemic this lab is being hosted entirely online via Zoom. The sessions will happen online, so to take part you only need a reliable internet connection and access to a device that supports video conferencing.

black and white image of a man teaching a workshop. a group of people sit in a curved semi circele, as one draws on a whiteboard

BFI NETWORK South West are more than happy to provide additional access support to participants wishing to attend our Creative Producers Lab. If you have any specific needs, for example, if you require a BSL interpreter, please notify us in the relevant part of the application form and we will arrange this for you.

How to apply

Applications are open now until Friday 30 July (11.59pm)

To apply please complete the dedicated google form below.

Selected applications will be notified on or by Tuesday 10 August. Due to the expected number of applications, we unfortunately won’t have the capacity to offer feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Please find a text-only document version of the call out and the application form at the bottom of this page. If you would like the application form in any other format, then please contact us via email on

Dates for the diary

Thursday 1 July Applications Open
Friday 30 July (11.59pm)Application Close
Tuesday 10 August Participants Notified
Thursday 12 August Connect & Collab (Script Development Lab crossover)
September (date TBC)Script Table Read (Script Development Lab crossover)
Tuesday 21 September Session 1: Funding & Find Your Voice
Tuesday 19 October Session 2: Development, Pre-Production & Production
Tuesday 23 NovemberSession 3: Post-Production & Distribution 
Late November/early December 1:1 Meetings with the Lead Tutors
**Sessions will typically run from 10.30am – 3pm, but timings are subject to change**

Bristol Screen Producers

Bristol Screen Producers offers a gateway to filmmakers wishing to develop their ideas with individuals who have a wealth of producing experience in Film, Television and commercials across a variety of genres. This variety allows the collective to share their experience and resources whilst offering filmmakers with a proven track record and a proposed project, the mechanism to pursue their idea.

Teaching the course will be Kate Cook, Alison Sterling, and Mike Riley.

Kate has produced drama series for BBC and Channel 4 as well as independent features, and runs Bristol-based Indefinite Films. She has produced cutting edge stories from the multi-award winning BBC musical drama “Glasgow Girls”.

Alison has produced numerous short films, television series, and features funded by BBC, Film4, Creative England and BFI, of which have received BAFTA nominations. She is an ACE producer, and sits on the Board of Encounters Short Film Festival.

Mike is a voting member of BAFTA, and has produced 26 feature films, many of which have won prizes at international film festivals. He was one of the youngest ever producers of a major BBC drama serial.

Text only versions

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