“When we talk barriers to entry in the screen sector, the problem is complex and multi-layered. In setting up The New Name Entertainment Fund, we want to simply invite New Names to the table - be that on or off screen - and help them to stay there.”
- Naomi Scott and Jordan Spence, founders of New Name Entertainment
The New Name Entertainment Fund
This Fund has been formed by New Name Entertainment, a production company founded by members who entered the industry via unconventional routes, and now desire to open up further points of access. It’s our mission to seek out stories that want to be told, the ones that open eyes to new worlds. But this means nothing without fresh viewpoints, life experience, talent. We can’t claim to correct the sum of the problems in the screen industry but by playing to our strengths, we can create meaningful shifts for the next generation of emerging talent.
To do this, we’re funding scholarships for promising students from working class backgrounds to attend top drama and film schools (initially LAMDA and the National Film & TV School, based on the strength of their diversity and inclusion programmes), and matching this with proactive mentoring, intentional community building and career development support, including through tailored incubator programmes with highly respected industry partners such as BAFTA. We’re already supporting two scholarship students, and are committed to supporting another two in the 2022/2023 academic year, with many more to follow over subsequent years.
Film and TV is the space where much of our shared culture is imagined and experienced. Yet while trends for diverse casts and storylines are exploding on screen, too few behind the camera are from the communities they represent. The odds are stacked against talent from working class origins, especially those who face added inequalities based on their race, gender or disability. The outcome is an industry that inhibits different perspectives, narratives and storytellers, and obstructs up-and-coming creatives from shaping the society they’re part of.
The problem is complex and multi-layered. Barriers in terms of representation, financial security, cultural access, career support, training and leadership have all played a part in creating an industry that feels out of reach. Bias, informal recruitment practices, closed networks, unpaid work experience, opacity about the opportunities that exist within the sector and precarious employment conditions have helped to keep it this way for too long.
With key creative roles in the screen sector being among the most elite in the UK economy 1️⃣, and the chance of working class candidates getting a job in the creative and cultural industries staying the same for a generation 2️⃣, it’s no surprise that just 12.4% of workers in film, TV and radio come from low socioeconomic origins 3️⃣. This drops to 4.2% who identify as being Black or from a minoritised ethnic group 4️⃣. Yet with demand for TV shows with more diverse talent doubling in the last three years 5️⃣, the case for shifting the lens couldn’t be clearer.
We’re now seeking support to match our investment and double the number of students we’re able to help - at a cost of £11-13,500 per annum per student (depending on the school and course they are attending). Any additional funds raised will be invested in tailored incubator programmes to help mould and empower the storytellers of tomorrow.
• Full scholarship for BA drama student at LAMDA - £11,000 pa over 3 years (£33,000 in total)
• Full scholarship for Diploma student at the National Film & TV School - £13,500 for single academic year
• Full scholarship for Masters student at National Film & TV School - £13,560 pa over 2 years (£27,120 in total)
* Note all costs approximate and subject to change over future academic years
1️⃣ Screened Out: Tackling Class Inequality in the UK Screen Industries, Heather Carey, Dave O Brien, Olivia Gable (2021) https://www.pec.ac.uk/assets/publications/PEC-and-ScreenSkills-report-Screened-Out-FINAL-April-2021.pdf
2️⃣ Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, by Dr Orian Brook, Dr David O’Brien, and Dr Mark Taylor (2018) https://www.arts-emergency.org/files/reports/Panic-Social-Class-Taste-and-Inequalities-in-the-Creative-Industries.pdf
3️⃣ Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, by Dr Orian Brook, Dr David O’Brien, and Dr Mark Taylor (2018)
4️⃣ Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, by Dr Orian Brook, Dr David O’Brien, and Dr Mark Taylor (2018)
5️⃣ The Impact of Diversity on Audience Demand for Television, Creative Artists Agency and Parrot Analytics, 2020
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