NEW Open Horizons – opening doors to creative careers

Posted on 26th July 2018

Northern Film + Media and the Film & Television Charity are delighted to launch Open Horizons, a new 6-month initiative for early career professionals which provides bespoke support to develop work experience. The initiative is financed by the Film & Television Charity and managed by NFM and is open to applicants from throughout the UK.

Open Horizons is the senior tier of the Creative Skillset backed NFM Academy, which has supported over 500 new entrants to the industry since its launch in 2015.

NFM Academy has been designed to support new entrants into the film and television industry, equipping members with skills development, networks and industry specific training.  Lack of awareness of career opportunities among new entrants is a critical issue – often made worse by lack of financial capital, social capital and physical distance from the epicentres of the industry.

Opportunities in the film and TV industry are much scarcer if you live in a production cold spot like the North East of England.  If the level of production in a region is low then opportunities for work experiences can be incredibly limited – especially in the early years of your career, if you’ve had a career break or if you want to up to a new role.  The need to undertake work experience outside of your home region in areas where the cost of living is high is a significant obstacle for those without the financial means to do so.  It is a real barrier to socio-economic inclusion. John Tulip Managing Director NFM.

The NFM Academy counteracts these combined problems in part by being both free to access and offering paid placements. Additionally, it is distinctive in helping guide suitable new entrants towards skills shortage areas, which are currently abundant and pressing. It is thereby intended to maximise participants’ chances of establishing a viable career while helping to strengthen the UK’s screen industries as a whole.

Rachel Hillman, Director of Grants and Programme Development at the Film & Television Charity, commented: “Ours is a wonderful, world beating creative industry but we hear so often from the people we help how hard it is to get a break so we’re excited to be backing the Open Horizons initiative. We hope it will help open up opportunities not only to help talent flourish but strengthen our screen industries as a whole.”

Gayle Woodruffe, NFM Academy added:Film and TV productions can often find it time consuming or difficult to find the most appropriate person for them. At NFM Academy we endeavour, not only to help them find the best of the emerging talent we also make sure they are prepared for the industry and have a high standard of professional, interpersonal and ethical practice.

Up to now NFM Academy services have been restricted to those right at the start of their careers. The ‘Open Horizons’ tier will open provision up to those with more experience, supporting super-charged placements and industry expert mentoring, specially curated set tours on high end productions and bursary support to help to with costs stemming from the distance between where they live and national work placements.  The aim is to help participants progress to higher grades, secure more work, secure work of better quality, and secure work in more prestigious genres currently inaccessible to them

Open Horizons is a career changing initiative, it will give opportunities not available before and we are excited to see how participants grow their skills, experience and networks and move forward in their careers fulfilling their potential. John Tulip M.D at NFM.

There are 10 places available on this 6-month initiative and applicants will be shortlisted and interviewed to assess support and professional development needs.  Applications for the 2018 initiative will open on 25th July 2018 and close midday 24th August 2018.

Application forms and guidance notes can be found at or to contact a member of the team email

Who Can Apply?

Open Horizons is open to applicants with at least two years of professional experience including work placements and paid experience in any behind-the-camera role across the film and television industry.  Your two years’ experience may have been achieved cumulatively or consecutively.

You must not earn more than £20,000 per annum or have readily accessible savings or equity of more than £10,000.

You must be resident within the UK.

Open Horizons does not award individuals any funds directly.  All activity will be agreed with the participants in advance and costs covering that activity will be administered by NFM.

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