From Pitch to Screen with Paul Holbrook – BFI NETWORK South West & The Pitch Film Fund

  • Wed 28 July

    From Pitch to Screen with Paul Holbrook – BFI NETWORK South West & The Pitch Film Fund


Pitching can feel like a long shot. How do you convince financiers to part with hard cash to make your dream film project? Will they get the story, your vision, you? How do you go all the way and seal the deal with a stand-out pitch?

Bristolian filmmaker Paul Holbrook did exactly that in 2019, pitching his short film idea HOLLOW to The Pitch Film Fund. Paul impressed a panel of industry professionals, who awarded him a production budget of £35,000 to shoot the film. Now in the distribution stage, Paul and the HOLLOW team reflect on their journey from early concept to delivery.

Join The Pitch Film Fund Team as they talk to Paul about how he secured the funding and what we can learn about pitching from his experience.

Also this webinar is perfect chance to find out more about funding opportunities from The Pitch Film Fund and BFI NETWORK.

The webinar will take place from 7pm – 8.15pm on Wednesday 28 July. There will be a live transcript available via

Register for free via Zoom >>

You can also book for the first session, Pitching for Producers, presented by Film Hub North on Thursday 8 July.

Paul Holbrook with his Pitch Film Fund Award for his project Hollow.

  • Paul Holbrook – Writer/Director

Paul is an award-winning writer/director. A proud working-class Bristolian, he was born and bred in Hartcliffe – a rough, impoverished council estate in the South West of England.

Despite a lack of formal education, Paul started out as a screenwriter, writing feature-length scripts for the spec market and made encouraging progress, advancing in various industry-backed screenwriting competitions including Page, Shore, Screencraft and in 2018 made the final 1% of The Academy Nicholl Fellowship (The Oscars). He has also made the final stages of the BBC Writersroom, the later stages of iShorts and has been selected for industry-backed mentoring and career development through Creative England, Bafta and the BFI.

After years of honing his writing craft, Paul eventually moved into film-making too, driven by a passion to develop and direct his own work he has written and directed a plethora of successful short films across varying genres including comedy, drama, sci-fi and horror. His work fuses real-world authenticity, British social realism and genre flair and his films have screened and won numerous awards at Bafta, BIFA and Oscar-qualifiers festivals around the world including Palm Springs, BFI London, Encounters and Aesthetica.

Paul is a returning member of the Bafta x BFI NETWORK Crew programme, has been funded by BFI Network and Enter The Pitch and is in early development with BFI on his first feature, based on the award-winning short Hungry Joe. He is shopping around his autobiographical coming-of-age feature Snog and is in active development on an exciting TV comedy called Ordinary Joe. He also has a plethora of smaller projects aiming to shoot through 2021.

  • Laura Bayston – Lead

Laura Bayston is a working-class actress and writer born and raised in Dagenham East London.

Laura attended the prestigious Anna Scher Theatre School in London and has also completed additional training at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

TV & Film credits include Killing Eve BBC, Ellen C4, Lead in BAFTA qualifying short Hungry Joe, plus a host of BFI backed and independent award-winning shorts.

Recently cast as lead in her first feature film, Laura has several projects due for release and in development for 2021/22

  • Luke Walton – Producer 

Director of The Pitch Film Fund, Luke has produced more than 15 short films with RIF (Reel Issues Films). Since 2008 The Pitch has focused on developing emerging talent, adding additional benefits for participants including residential film study courses. The Pitch has hubs in the UK and South Africa. Luke’s background is in acting and he was the voice of Hugglegrabber in Early Man, directed by Nick Park.

  • Jackie Sheppard – Producer

Following collaboration with Mark Blaney and Footprint Films on projects in development over several years Jackie joined Footprint as Joint Managing Director of the company in June 2004. At Footprint, Jackie has produced the feature films Africa United and Escape from Pretoria.

She has also produced the funded shorts, Home (Reel Issues Films), Curfew (Screen South/UKFC), and Supraman and the School of Necessity (The Doorpost) with Mark Blaney. They also produced, with Kae Bahar, the multi award-winning (60+ to date) short film I Am Sami, filmed in Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) and A Special Guest.

Together they Exec Produced four short films for the UKFC/Screen South’s Digital Shorts programme.

Away from Footprint Jackie produced the short films Unscripted, Derelict, Rahab, The Black Scholes Conspiracy, The Light, Pulsar, the BAFTA Cymru nominated Only Child, The Widow’s Last, Leash, Bingo and White Gold (all for Reel Issues Films), as part of Footprint’s consultancy for The Pitch Film Fund ( She also Executive Produced Alex Marx’s Fingers.

In partnership with BFI NETWORK, Film Hub South West, Film Hub North and The Pitch Film Fund.

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