Supporting filmmaking talent in Leeds

July 26, 2023

Sky Arts Partners with LEEDS 2023: Year of Culture to support the region’s emerging talent

Short films to explore the theme of ‘Future Perfect: What’s worth fighting for?’


Sky Arts has awarded some of Leeds’s brightest creative talents commissions to create a new series of short films that will explore what’s worth fighting for.


In recognition of Leeds Year of Culture, Sky Arts has partnered with Arts Council England, LEEDS 2023, The Space and, Studio12, an audio-visual media facility run by Leeds Libraries, to discover and unlock the potential of five Leeds artists with a range of fresh perspectives, providing them with an opportunity to tell distinctive stories and create short films to reach national audiences.


The series, ‘Future Perfect’, will see a wide range of local artists bringing their observations on the world around us to TV for the first time. The artists were selected from an open-call and applicants were invited to submit their ideas for short films responding to the question ‘Future Perfect: What’s worth fighting for?’. The concept is one of the Festival’s cultural themes.


As part of the project, each of the five artists will receive a bespoke programme of mentoring and support from industry professionals, helping them to create new digital broadcast content.


Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts said: “I’m excited to see the work that will be created by these brilliant emerging talents and really proud that Sky Arts will be able to showcase their work and introduce it to new audiences. It’s important that emerging creatives are offered support in developing new work and by working in partnership with organisations across the Leeds region, we will ensure that their voices are nurtured and heard.”


Kully Thiarai, Creative Director of LEEDS 2023 said: “We are delighted that through this partnership some of Leeds’ fantastic rising cultural stars are being given the opportunity to create work that celebrates our city and people who make it what it is.


Studio12 said: ‘We’re thrilled to be supporting this pioneering group of artists as they make their broadcast debut. As an organisation we are dedicated to developing local talent and we look forward to giving it the national platform it so rightly deserves.”


Commissions were chosen by a panel made up of representatives from each of the partner organisations and these new short films will be created using a range of styles including dance, comedy, spoken word, poetry and drama to tell new, insightful stories about the world we live in.


Currently in production, the artists are being supported by Studio12 and digital agency The Space to produce their films, which are due to be transmitted in the Autumn of 2023 on Sky Arts (Freeview Channel 11) as Leeds year of culture culminates.


The selected works are:


Gomolemo Nyakale – The Last Day

Two unlikely close friends have just finished their last day of sixth form and find out their future might be heading in different directions. The Last Day recontextualises the iconic and nostalgic era of the mid-90s through the lens of a first-generation immigrant from India trying to fit into a world he’s never felt he belonged. A coming-of-age drama comedy, set in 1990s Leeds.


Ellis Arey – Working Classical Heroes

Classical music is an exclusive party for the privileged. 23-year-old boxer Ellis grew up on a council estate. Now a student at Leeds Conservatoire, the art form transformed his life mentally, emotionally and intellectually. Ellis is now throwing punches for the right of the working classes to play classical music. Ellis will be performing an original composition ‘What’s Worth Fighting For’ by composer, Ben Crick.


Isla Hurst – Push Through, Push Through!

A 5-minute screendance piece which follows a pair of 21-year-olds as they navigate the rich night life of Leeds, and with it the challenges of coming of age in unprecedented times.


East Leeds Project – Moon Palace – A Stargazer’s Journey

To stargaze is to time travel as far as 10 billion years into the past. A Stargazer’s Journey traces a voyage through East Leeds onboard ‘Moon Palace’, countering expectations about this part of the city while encouraging curious minds to broaden their perspectives and inspiring hopes for the future.


Jo Schofield, Charlotte Gwinner and Rebecca May – Little Goes

How do older women combat isolation in a post digital world?  Little Goes uses bingo, and its place in the community, to explore how women come together, and ask whether technology is a disrupter or connector. This fiction short film will challenge the audiences’ preconceptions about a centuries old pastime and reveal an untold story about what it means to play.