BAFTA award winning independent producer Natasha Carlish is a key figure in the West Midlands film industry, having helped to establish the Producers’ Forum and as a Director of Screen WM.
Since launching her own film and TV company eight years ago, Natasha has produced over 50 short films and is now set for the world premier of her latest feature length production.
Soul Boy has taken five years to create and involved over 40 undergraduate and postgraduate students from around the region, including from Staffordshire University. It will be shown for the first time in Stoke-on- Trent in August.
The projects are ongoing, however, with numerous other films in development and the establishment of a funding scheme – worth up to £250,000 – to aid first time film makers in the region. The “Micromovie” scheme is planned to be launched next year, in partnership with Staffordshire University.
“I try to have at least six or seven projects on the go so that we can get at least one to convert from development into production,” said Natasha, having launched Dreamfinder Film and TV Productions in 2002.
“The Micromovie project with the University is new to this region but there are similar projects in a lot of other regions within the UK, which help younger film-makers break into the mainstream and this is what we want to do. It will see £250,000 go to a winning film maker to produce a feature.”
She added: “I do a lot of mentoring and I really believe that because I had these opportunities I want others to have them too; it’s great to give something back.”
Natasha grew up in Birmingham and, after finishing school, went to the University of London to study Drama and Theatre Studies, graduating in 1986. After four years of travelling around the world, she returned to London in 1990, to work in theatre.
In 1995 Natasha branched into TV and started as a producer two years later, before moving back to Birmingham, where she worked as a freelance documentary producer, and eventually setting up Dreamfinder.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Natasha in recognition of her ambassadorial role and contribution to Staffordshire University, particularly in offering students inspiration and opportunities in the field of film production.