Northern Heart announce the three winners of the Northern Heart Doc Fund

Mar 5, 2024

The winners are, Olivia Hird, Roz Di Caprio and Maria Luc.  

Over the next six months these emerging filmmakers will have the chance to make their first fully supported short documentary with the help of the talented team at Northern Heart and the kindness of their partners.  

New to 2024 Northern Heart have decided to award three honorary awards for runners up who showed real dedication in unearthing working class stories. These are, Qasim Abdullah, Anton Arenko and Roisin Hanely. Each will receive a 1 to 1 mentoring session with Northern Heart and an opportunity to attend masterclasses to help them grow. 

The ‘Northern Heart Doc Fund’ is a scheme this Greater Manchester based production company have built from the ground up to support new filmmakers in the North West. 

Northern Heart is headed up by award-winning Documentary Filmmaker and commercials Director Natasha Hawthornthwaite and award-winning filmmaker and Creative Producer, Scott Bradley. The duo, along with their talented team, craft beautiful, heart-warming commercials, branded content and even develop original documentaries for broadcasters.  

In 2024 the production company was awarded the BBC Small Indie Fund where they’ll receive funding and support from the broadcaster to help support the growth of the company.  

Co-Founder of Northern Heart, Natasha said: “I just don’t believe there’s enough funding and support for documentary filmmakers in general. I love being a northern filmmaker and want to champion the rich stories we have here.

“This scheme is deep rooted in the Northern Heart approach. What makes it even more unique is that it’s been built from our own experiences as working class filmmakers. We’re not tied by any funding body, we run this our own way so we’re flexible and offer a real person-centred alternative to talent schemes.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have been on a few talent schemes and have seen from myself what has and hasn’t worked.

“I feel we’re building something really special and the filmmakers from last year have gone on to achieve great things. I’d encourage anyone whose keen to support this scheme to reach out as we’re currently discussing ways on growing it year on year.”

Part of Northern Heart’s ethos since setting up in 2014 was to champion northern stories and working class voices. In 2021 the duo felt they had enough connections and experience to be able to create a bespoke scheme to help others grow as confident documentary makers. 

The scheme provides funding, mentoring, post-production support, a cinema premiere to showcase their work to industry and entry to a world-leading documentary film festival.  

The pair have so far have managed to bring together partners including Wigan, Council, Sheffield DocFest, Creative Lancashire, Sticks & Glass, Olympic Studio and Leigh Film Factory to help with the scheme, and plan on opening up conversations to make to support more filmmakers every year.

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