Coming to a cinema near you Belle - a jobcentre production starring Britain’s unemployed

A short produced by trainees from the jobcentre queue in collaboration with industry professionals will have its premiere at the ICA in London

“I’d like to thank my agent, God and the jobcentre.”  Ministers are hoping that a unique partnership between Jobcentre Plus and the British film industry will help launch the unemployed on a path to Hollywood.

On Monday, Belle, a short film produced by trainees plucked from the jobcentre queue in collaboration with industry professionals, will have its premiere at the ICA in London.

The film – a drama about a mother’s conflicted feelings towards her daughter – will be introduced by Esther McVey, the Employment minister and former GMTV presenter.

Signature Pictures, the first production company to partner directly with Jobcentre Plus, hopes that leading producers and directors will sign up and use the supply of talented aspirants desperate to swap the dole queue for experience on a movie set.

Belle was produced with the help of 13 trainees, chosen after an extensive interview process through London jobcentres, who were given tasks across direction, editing, sound, make-up, costume, cinematography and marketing. Now Signature hopes to enter the short at the Cannes film festival.

One of the participants, Guy Larsen, a trainee director, has since signed off the dole: “I am no longer on jobseeker’s allowance; I have been offered a contract at Google, making films for one of their largest YouTube channels and wish to make more films in the future,” he said.

Signature Pictures is the idea of Jon Max Spatz, a screenwriter and independent producer. “Working in a film environment gives young people transferable skills but the work ethic is also one of the toughest, on a film set,” he said. “I thought working with the jobcentres would be very bureaucratic but they were very helpful.”

The opportunity is currently classified as work experience, so the trainees do not receive a top-up to their £56.80 weekly JSA.

Ms McVey said: “I got started in TV by doing work experience... Creative industries can offer lots of opportunities, but it can sometimes be difficult for young people to get their foot on the career ladder, which is why it’s so great that Jobcentre Plus is working with companies such as Signature Pictures.”

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
    Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

    With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

    Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
    Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

    Aaron Ramsey interview

    Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
    Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

    Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

    As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
    The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

    Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

    Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms