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.”
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Doctor Who series 8: Time Heist pictures revealed ahead of episode 5
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Pharrell Williams says 'Blurred Lines' criticism is out of context
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'