Northern Film & Media has expanded its footprint after signing a landmark partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, securing new funding and winning two commissions from Arts Council England and Creative England.
Northern Film & Media and BALTIC will develop digital content based on the Gateshead gallery’s activities in a new joint venture that is important to the agency’s new business model.
The partnership is charged with creating value from BALTIC's archive, exhibitions and initiatives and reflects rapid digital convergence between the arts and media. Northern Film & Media has chosen to move from its premises in Newcastle to a new office at BALTIC on Gateshead’s Quayside as part of the relationship.
“The record-breaking attendance figures for last years’ Turner Prize at BALTIC demonstrates the appetite for culture in the North East and we are excited about the prospect of developing a collaborative strategic alliance with the gallery," said Tom Harvey, Northern Film & Media's chief executive.
“Continued support from local authorities, Arts Council England and Creative England is an important part of the new business model as we make the transition to an agile, hybrid public-private venture.
“The collaborations demonstrate the commitment from regional stakeholders to boosting the North East’s creative credentials and we are confident that we will be able to add further public and private revenue streams to the business in due course.”
“BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is delighted to welcome NFM into its building to establish an exciting partnership that promises great benefits for both organisations," added Godfrey Godfrey Worsdale, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art's director.
"As BALTIC reaches its tenth birthday, we look towards a new era. In addition to the development of our second site, BALTIC 39; based in the heart Newcastle, we are also eager to enhance BALTIC’s range of digital outputs and creative media. NFM is an excellent partner to help us to realise this and to further exploit new methods of audience engagement and business development.”
Northern Film & Media will work collaboratively with destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative and the region’s local authorities Initiative to continue to offer film and television production support. Recent shows to have benefited from the service include Vera, Inspector George Gently and The Paradise, a new 8x60 TV drama that will go into production in County Durham this June. The funding will also sustain Northern Film & Media’s event activity which connects the region’s to talent with leading industry decision makers.
New commissions from Arts Council England and Creative England have boosted the agency’s funding and will bring two high-profile initiatives to the North East this summer.
NFM will partner with music agency Generator to deliver one of the UK’s largest projects for The Space – the new Arts Council England and BBC funded digital arts initiative.
Space & Sound will merge the arts, film and digital media through a series of live events at iconic locations across the North East this summer including Sunderland’s Pallion Shipyard, The Sage Gateshead and Newcastle’s Morden Tower. Creative contributors include Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, internationally renowned visual artists Novak, poet Lavinia Greenlaw and electronic musicians SBTRKT and Coldcut. The content will be hosted online on the Space platform and will be available to arts, music and film fans across the globe. Space & Sound will also embrace the ‘second screen’ with the latest Screech technology, which is currently being trialled with Channel 4’s Dispatches programme. Viewers will gain exclusive Space & Sound content through tablet and mobile devices and advertisers will have the chance to take advantage of one-to-one marketing opportunities.
Meanwhile, The Digital Bridge, a new Creative England funded national initiative will see Northern Film & Media connect filmmaking and digital talent through a series of development labs this summer. The programme will create a forum for leading filmmakers and digital practitioners to strike new creative collaborations and exchange expertise.
The agency will also continue to promote its low budget slate of films which includes psycho rom-com Unconditional, black redemption tale Frank and teen horror Rising Tide, which was released on experimental VOD platform Vodo last month.