Creative England announce a new cohort of female screen entrepreneurs for the 2021/21 Female Founders programme

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Creative England is excited to announce the new cohort of Female Founders for 2021/22! The 14 entrepreneurs, working across film, TV and video production, are embarking on a six-month programme that will equip them with the skills and confidence needed to grow and future-proof their businesses. 

The six-month Female Founders scale up programme offers an in-depth package of support, advice and professional coaching to female business owners, providing laser-focused sessions on issues such as business planning, funding, strategy, making the right hires and monetising IP. The scheme serves as an acknowledgement that female-run companies tend to be more successful and offer safer investment opportunities than those helmed by men, but that women nevertheless find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to establishing and scaling up their businesses.

Haley Edwards, Creative Enterprise Programme Manager for Creative England, said: “With such a talented and ambitious group on board, Female Founders is really off to a flying start. These 14 women exemplify why our creative industries are such a global success story; they’re committed to breaking new ground, creating world-class content and telling meaningful stories in innovative ways. We couldn’t be happier to be working with them, and we hope to help them grow and scale up their businesses so they can continue going from strength to strength.”

The 2021/22 Female Founders cohort are:

Sara StricklandSuited and Booted Studios

Sara founded Suited and Booted Studios  in 1999 as  a video production and planning agency.

Based in Bath, Sara hopes that “the Female Founders Scale Up scheme will give me the space and knowledge to refocus the business as we move into the next stage of our working lives. I would like it to give me a confidence in my own experience and ability that will help me lead our business as a 50 year old woman entering new broadcast markets and looking at new ways of bringing narrative content to an audience.”

Lindsey DrydenLittle by Little Films

Lindsey is a Emmy®-winning producer and director who founded Little By Little Films in 2011. As an independent production company, Little By Little Films’ produces critically-acclaimed films and campaigns that illuminate brilliant storytelling by and about underrepresented voices, particularly women, LGBTQ+ folks and D/deaf and disabled people.

 

Nadia JaynesLittle Monk Pictures

Based in Manchester, Nadia leads Little Monk Pictures, an Independent Production Company. Nadia has over 20 years experience working across all genres of film and television. From feature films to HETV, children’s television, comedy, documentary and structured reality. About being a part of Female Founders programme Nadia said she is “delighted to be mentored by Erica Wolfe Murray and working alongside such inspirational women.”

Sara founded Suited and Booted Studios  in 1999 as  a video production and planning agency.

Based in Bath, Sara hopes that “the Female Founders Scale Up scheme will give me the space and knowledge to refocus the business as we move into the next stage of our working lives. I would like it to give me a confidence in my own experience and ability that will help me lead our business as a 50 year old woman entering new broadcast markets and looking at new ways of bringing narrative content to an audience.”

Lindsey is a Emmy®-winning producer and director who founded Little By Little Films in 2011. As an independent production company, Little By Little Films’ produces critically-acclaimed films and campaigns that illuminate brilliant storytelling by and about underrepresented voices, particularly women, LGBTQ+ folks and D/deaf and disabled people.

 

Based in Manchester, Nadia leads Little Monk Pictures, an Independent Production Company. Nadia has over 20 years experience working across all genres of film and television. From feature films to HETV, children’s television, comedy, documentary and structured reality. About being a part of Female Founders programme Nadia said she is “delighted to be mentored by Erica Wolfe Murray and working alongside such inspirational women.”

Kate CookIndefinite Films 

Based in Bristol, Kate is a founding partner of  Indefinite Films. Indefinite Films is one of the first independent drama production companies in Bristol, recently selected as one of Channel 4’s Emerging Indies. Kate hopes that “Female Founders will make me better equipped to grow our company in a sustainable way. It’s always great to  be working alongside peers with similar goals to learn from each other’s experiences and mutually support our personal growth as well as our commercial aspirations.”

Zoë UffindellKhaki Films

Based in Kent, Zoe runs Khaki Films –  a creative, award-winning, moving image production company, with a team of established, passionate and experienced filmmakers. In 2020, during lockdown, Khaki Films developed a new remote filming service, Bespoke Remote, to help their clients keep their moving image content consistent and brand-aligned, and to keep their stories alive. Zoe said she is  “excited about defining a new direction for the company, which includes developing our entertainment arm; creating a comprehensive plan to scale the business and build new revenue streams; identifying how to focus my decision-making and energy so that I can spend more time being creative; and I’m also really looking forward to building relationships with the brilliant, inspiring women on the programme!!”

Sophie MorganPortopia Productions

Sophie is an award-winning and BAFTA nominated film and TV producer who has worked in London, Los Angeles and Toronto as Head of Development for many of the UK and North America’s leading production companies including September Films (Bridezillas), World of Wonder (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Cineflix (Wedding S.O.S.). Established near Birmingham during lockdown in the summer of 2020, Portopia Productions develops diverse and innovative content for film, TV and digital platforms designed to appeal to the widest possible audience. Sophie hopes that “the programme will help us become bolder and more confident in the ways we seek to scale up by giving us practical and creative business advice tailored to our company’s unique set of goals and values. Plus I’m looking really forward to working alongside such a great bunch of talented women!”

Based in Bristol, Kate is a founding partner of  Indefinite Films. Indefinite Films is one of the first independent drama production companies in Bristol, recently selected as one of Channel 4’s Emerging Indies. Kate hopes that “Female Founders will make me better equipped to grow our company in a sustainable way. It’s always great to  be working alongside peers with similar goals to learn from each other’s experiences and mutually support our personal growth as well as our commercial aspirations.”

Based in Kent, Zoe runs Khaki Films –  a creative, award-winning, moving image production company, with a team of established, passionate and experienced filmmakers. In 2020, during lockdown, Khaki Films developed a new remote filming service, Bespoke Remote, to help their clients keep their moving image content consistent and brand-aligned, and to keep their stories alive. Zoe said she is  “excited about defining a new direction for the company, which includes developing our entertainment arm; creating a comprehensive plan to scale the business and build new revenue streams; identifying how to focus my decision-making and energy so that I can spend more time being creative; and I’m also really looking forward to building relationships with the brilliant, inspiring women on the programme!!”

Sophie is an award-winning and BAFTA nominated film and TV producer who has worked in London, Los Angeles and Toronto as Head of Development for many of the UK and North America’s leading production companies including September Films (Bridezillas), World of Wonder (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Cineflix (Wedding S.O.S.). Established near Birmingham during lockdown in the summer of 2020, Portopia Productions develops diverse and innovative content for film, TV and digital platforms designed to appeal to the widest possible audience. Sophie hopes that “the programme will help us become bolder and more confident in the ways we seek to scale up by giving us practical and creative business advice tailored to our company’s unique set of goals and values. Plus I’m looking really forward to working alongside such a great bunch of talented women!”

Anita RamdharryChugg Productions

Anita is an award winning TV producer who started her broadcasting career in 1998 working at Fox in Omaha in the U.S. as a reporter. In 2001 while doing her MA in the states she co-produced her first Children’s programme called “Eat The Sky” for an NBC affiliate in the midwest. In 2003 she returned to the UK to join BBC News as a reporter and presenter. After a decade in news and features Anita decided to leave the BBC to focus on Children’s programme making with Chugg Productions. About being part of the Female Founders programme she said: “I am hoping to grow the business and venture into new and exciting areas of our industry. As a creative, I want to learn more about running a successful business and how to make the most of our existing IPs.”

Gaynor O’Flynnbeinghuman

beinghuman creates pioneering work at the intersection of film, performance, art & technology that explores what it means to be human.

Gaynor writes, performs and directs authentic, brave, cool, wise film, theatre and art. beinghuman works with world class partners globally, including BBC, British Council, Channel 4, Featured Artist Coalition, Music Managers Forum, The Guardian and many more. beinghuman also campaigns for Fair Trade For Artists in the digital age with a not-for-profit, the beinghuman collective, a global collective of artists, film makers, musicians, performers, producers & creatives. With Female Founders programme, Gaynor hopes to “grow my company, taking it to a new level of creative, dramatic, technical, production and business success. To build the skills and confidence to grow, ensuring the creative stories I want to tell are commissioned, funded, produced and impact our audience.”

Sara GibbingsTroy TV

Sara has produced over a hundred broadcast hours including feature documentaries, documentary series, factual entertainment series, magazine shows, commercials and corporates for a wide variety of broadcasters and companies, ranging from the BBC to Nike. Her directing credits include the award-winning documentary feature Zero Tolerance, Amazon chart topper Brand Irish, as well as documentaries Catwalk Kids, IT DANSA, Dolphin Resort Ras LaFlouka, and the series Be Fit Bristol Fit and Be Fit Barcelona Fit. Sara said that “being a part of the Female Founders Programme is a brilliant opportunity to help Troy TV grow into our new scripted slate, as well as upping our factual slate. We have been on the programme a few months and have already reorganised and hired 3 new people!”

Anita is an award winning TV producer who started her broadcasting career in 1998 working at Fox in Omaha in the U.S. as a reporter. In 2001 while doing her MA in the states she co-produced her first Children’s programme called “Eat The Sky” for an NBC affiliate in the midwest. In 2003 she returned to the UK to join BBC News as a reporter and presenter. After a decade in news and features Anita decided to leave the BBC to focus on Children’s programme making with Chugg Productions. About being part of the Female Founders programme she said: “I am hoping to grow the business and venture into new and exciting areas of our industry. As a creative, I want to learn more about running a successful business and how to make the most of our existing IPs.”

beinghuman creates pioneering work at the intersection of film, performance, art & technology that explores what it means to be human.

Gaynor writes, performs and directs authentic, brave, cool, wise film, theatre and art. beinghuman works with world class partners globally, including BBC, British Council, Channel 4, Featured Artist Coalition, Music Managers Forum, The Guardian and many more. beinghuman also campaigns for Fair Trade For Artists in the digital age with a not-for-profit, the beinghuman collective, a global collective of artists, film makers, musicians, performers, producers & creatives. With Female Founders programme, Gaynor hopes to “grow my company, taking it to a new level of creative, dramatic, technical, production and business success. To build the skills and confidence to grow, ensuring the creative stories I want to tell are commissioned, funded, produced and impact our audience.”

Sara has produced over a hundred broadcast hours including feature documentaries, documentary series, factual entertainment series, magazine shows, commercials and corporates for a wide variety of broadcasters and companies, ranging from the BBC to Nike. Her directing credits include the award-winning documentary feature Zero Tolerance, Amazon chart topper Brand Irish, as well as documentaries Catwalk Kids, IT DANSA, Dolphin Resort Ras LaFlouka, and the series Be Fit Bristol Fit and Be Fit Barcelona Fit. Sara said that “being a part of the Female Founders Programme is a brilliant opportunity to help Troy TV grow into our new scripted slate, as well as upping our factual slate. We have been on the programme a few months and have already reorganised and hired 3 new people!”

Victoria HoldenChalk Productions

Victoria, an award-winning BBC Producer/Director, founded Chalk Productions in 2020, combining experience with fresh new talent and previously unheard voices to make engaging documentaries and factual entertainment with social purpose for international broadcasters. Chalk Productions is particularly keen on developing ideas in the English Regions, outside of London. We have bases in Brighton and Scotland, covering the South and North of England. Victoria is  “looking to scale my business to enable me to compete in the competitive world of Indies. I hope to get tips of how to do this and best use my IP. I want to be the best leader I can and I’m looking forward to absorbing the fantastic knowledge of all the other Female Founders. I want to feel bold and empowered so that I can approach Investors knowing that I have a successful product. I’m also really looking forward to getting to know my group and hopefully working together on future projects.”

Eline Van der VeldenParticle6

Eline is an Executive Producer who has been working in online video content for the last 10 years in Los Angeles, Amsterdam and London. Eline has written, directed and produced shows for BBC iPlayer, Endemol, MakersChannel, BBC Three and BBC Teach, and won Best Online Comedy twice at the Lovie Awards. Particle6 was launched in 2015 with the aim of connecting diverse audiences with content that’s educational, provocative and exciting. Eline hopes to “be able to take my production company to the next level and meet a great group of peers.”

Alexandra FarquharsonThread Films

Alex has worked with clients of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups and charities to FTSE100s. As Thread’s Head of Production, she manages the bespoke team put together for each project. She is responsible for keeping each and every project and person involved on budget and on time. Thread is an independent film production company based in London, but with clients across the world. About the Female Founder programme Alex said that it is “a  game changing opportunity for Thread Films. It’s come at just the right time for our business as we emerge from the pandemic and look to grow. I’m really excited about meeting all the incredible women involved in the programme and hearing their stories too.”

Victoria, an award-winning BBC Producer/Director, founded Chalk Productions in 2020, combining experience with fresh new talent and previously unheard voices to make engaging documentaries and factual entertainment with social purpose for international broadcasters. Chalk Productions is particularly keen on developing ideas in the English Regions, outside of London. We have bases in Brighton and Scotland, covering the South and North of England. Victoria is  “looking to scale my business to enable me to compete in the competitive world of Indies. I hope to get tips of how to do this and best use my IP. I want to be the best leader I can and I’m looking forward to absorbing the fantastic knowledge of all the other Female Founders. I want to feel bold and empowered so that I can approach Investors knowing that I have a successful product. I’m also really looking forward to getting to know my group and hopefully working together on future projects.”

Eline is an Executive Producer who has been working in online video content for the last 10 years in Los Angeles, Amsterdam and London. Eline has written, directed and produced shows for BBC iPlayer, Endemol, MakersChannel, BBC Three and BBC Teach, and won Best Online Comedy twice at the Lovie Awards. Particle6 was launched in 2015 with the aim of connecting diverse audiences with content that’s educational, provocative and exciting. Eline hopes to “be able to take my production company to the next level and meet a great group of peers.”

Alex has worked with clients of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups and charities to FTSE100s. As Thread’s Head of Production, she manages the bespoke team put together for each project. She is responsible for keeping each and every project and person involved on budget and on time. Thread is an independent film production company based in London, but with clients across the world. About the Female Founder programme Alex said that it is “a  game changing opportunity for Thread Films. It’s come at just the right time for our business as we emerge from the pandemic and look to grow. I’m really excited about meeting all the incredible women involved in the programme and hearing their stories too.”

Rachel PrendergastSubMotion Productions

In 2013 Rachel founded SubMotion Productions with her husband Richard, working as a Director/Producer partnership  they offer clients 15+ years of experience in the film and moving image industry.  Rachel has worked as a producer for some of the worlds leading brands and her latest endeavour is to bring her knowledge and meticulous attention to detail to the world of scripted narrative drama, all whilst raising two young girls!

Maria Caruana GaliziaCandle & Bell

After attending the New York Film Academy and the SAE Institute, Maria cut her teeth at Scottish Television, working in the editing room on TV shows such as Taggart. She then turned her attention to working on feature films and big budget TV dramas. Then, along came Candle & Bell. Formed in 2013 and the company has grown into an award winning production company, based in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead. When talking about being a part of Female Founders programme, Maria said: “As a company we are approaching a decade of creating branded content for commercial clients, while developing and producing original ideas for cinema. We are now looking to grow and explore new opportunities, as well as increasing our offer to existing and future commercial clients. Taking part in Female Founders allows us the opportunity to build on past successes and create a plan for the future that will help us build a sustainable business.”

In 2013 Rachel founded SubMotion Productions with her husband Richard, working as a Director/Producer partnership  they offer clients 15+ years of experience in the film and moving image industry.  Rachel has worked as a producer for some of the worlds leading brands and her latest endeavour is to bring her knowledge and meticulous attention to detail to the world of scripted narrative drama, all whilst raising two young girls!

After attending the New York Film Academy and the SAE Institute, Maria cut her teeth at Scottish Television, working in the editing room on TV shows such as Taggart. She then turned her attention to working on feature films and big budget TV dramas. Then, along came Candle & Bell. Formed in 2013 and the company has grown into an award winning production company, based in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead. When talking about being a part of Female Founders programme, Maria said: “As a company we are approaching a decade of creating branded content for commercial clients, while developing and producing original ideas for cinema. We are now looking to grow and explore new opportunities, as well as increasing our offer to existing and future commercial clients. Taking part in Female Founders allows us the opportunity to build on past successes and create a plan for the future that will help us build a sustainable business.”