Spin-out company aims to push potential of Staffordshire's film-makers

"Spin-out companies are a really important part of what we do in enabling advantage to be taken of the ideas and developments that are generated within the University for the benefit of the local economy and society."

Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn

Pictured at the launch of Grand Independent: James Fair, Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn and Peter Rudge.

An enterprising film production company which aims to harness the talents of Staffordshire’s finest film-makers has launched at Staffordshire University.

Founded by Film Production Technology lecturers James Fair and Peter Rudge, Grand Independent will develop, produce and distribute films and documentaries.

The launch took place ahead of the screening of James’ new documentary, 'A Saharan Diary' as part of the Stoke Your Fires film festival at the Mitchell Arts Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

James said: “As an industry, we've relied on government for funding. We've set this up with the aim of making industry for independent film-makers sustainable. There is an incredible amount of content being created in Staffordshire that is hitting a dead end at the moment and that is something we want to address.

“Through our links with film festivals such as Melbourne, Raindance and Galway and Stoke Your Fires and our well established presence in the Berlin and American film markets we can help projects get out into the world.”

Both James and Peter will draw on their own experiences from two previous successful projects, the 'The Ballad of Des & Mo' and ‘Soulboy’, to continue to develop new innovative methods in funding projects and film production.

As a commercial enterprise, Grand Independent, is available to filmmakers outside of the University. However, based at the University, the project is expected to revolutionise Staffordshire University’s film courses.

Peter added: “There are a lot of universities that help students get to local festivals and with showreels but there isn’t a commercial company taking that work on and getting their work screened internationally.

“Our students produce some incredible work each year and Grand Independent now offers them a route to market for these films. This is a unique proposition for our students and really puts Staffordshire University at the forefront of film production education.”

Grand Independent also aims to act as an innovative think tank within the film industry - the first of its kind - combining academic research with practical film production skills and knowledge.

Speaking at the launch, Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn said: "Spin-out companies are a really important part of what we do in enabling advantage to be taken of the ideas and developments that are generated within the University for the benefit of the local economy and society.

“They provide our innovative academics with the opportunity to generate business for us and others. This enterprise is especially innovative as it about harnessing and growing local talent and getting films before a paying audience."

  • If you have a film to distribute or are planning a project you can visit Grand Independent for more details.

Contact

Maria Scrivens
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 2DE
t: +44 (0)1782 294375
m: 07766 520339
e: m.c.scrivens@staffs.ac.uk