SCREEN YORKSHIRE SIGNALS GROWTH AMBITIONS WITH FIRST MAJOR HIRE OF 2018
Screen Yorkshire has hired former Creative England executive Caroline Cooper Charles as Strategic Development Executive, as it gears up for the next phase of its plans to establish Yorkshire as a world-class centre for the screen industries.
Reporting to Screen Yorkshire’s Chief Executive, Sally Joynson, Cooper Charles work will have a dual focus. The first will be the development and delivery of Screen Yorkshire’s new Film Office, which will launch later this year. Cooper Charles will also explore additional strategic opportunities for Screen Yorkshire to help it deliver against an ambitious five-year growth plan for the sector.
Screen Yorkshire’s growth plan, which was developed with support from the British Film Institute (BFI) and fourteen local partners, is centred around four strategic pillars: commercial content investment; developing talent to create a skilled, more diverse workforce; building best-in-class studios; and cementing Yorkshire’s reputation as an outstanding and supportive location for creative businesses. These ambitions are all underpinned by plans for a new Film Office, which will offer on-the-ground expert advice and support to the best indigenous and incoming UK and international productions.
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive, Screen Yorkshire said: “Caroline is a well-known industry figure with a wide understanding of screen business and an impressive track record for delivering. She understands Screen Yorkshire, shares our passion and vision and will be a cornerstone of our plans to establish Yorkshire as a screen industries hub of international significance. Her appointment marks the beginning of Screen Yorkshire’s new journey and is one of a number of appointments I’ll be looking to make as we move forward with our ambitious proposals.”
Caroline Cooper Charles added: “I have long been a fan of Screen Yorkshire. Since it was first established in 2002, it has been a pioneer in its field, constantly evolving to adapt to the changes in the industry, delivering great results and garnering a huge amount of respect in return. I’m really excited to be joining Sally and the Screen Yorkshire team at this important next phase of its development and look forward to helping the business grow further and deliver against its plans.”
A senior film executive and producer, Cooper Charles was most recently Head of Film at Creative England where she graduated from heading up the Film Enterprise fund to have overall responsibility for the company’s film production and development activities, including support for the growth and sustainability of film businesses. Prior to this she was Head of Creative Development at Warp X where she shepherded a diverse slate of features including Hush, All Tomorrow’s Parties and Bunny and the Bull. Alongside her executive roles, Cooper Charles has run her own independent production companies: Universal Spirits, which focussed on producing ground-breaking cinema and television with the best of Britain’s emerging writing and directing talent; and Lifesize Pictures, which managed the UK Film Council’s nationwide short film programme including Digital Shorts, Cinema Extreme and Digital Nation. Her credits also include a year as director of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival. She is currently working on scripted development projects on behalf of Scottish Film Talent Network and it is expected that she will continue this work in addition to her Screen Yorkshire role.
Screen Yorkshire has been integral to the success of the screen industries in the Yorkshire & Humber region, since it was first established in 2002 as part of the original network of Regional Screen Agencies. Since then it has adapted and grown and currently seeks to attract local, national and international productions to the Yorkshire & Humber region, bringing tv and film projects to life, while in turn growing and nurturing the region’s screen infrastructure and talent base. Last year, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), revealed that between 2009-2015 Yorkshire & Humber region screen industries grew faster than anywhere else in the UK, including London and the South East.