Blow to film industry as East Midlands Media closes
A SCREEN agency in Nottingham which helped bring local films to life has closed.
East Midlands Media, known as EM Media, helped kick-start an array of film-making and acting careers through the production of 100 short films and several debut features.
The agency supported Warp Films, a production company behind the films of Shane Meadows, and co-financed 42 features including award-winners Control, Bronson, Weekend, and Meadows' This is England.
Andrew Shim, who played Milky in This is England, said: "A lot of the best work I've ever done has been down to the will of East Midlands Media. To hear they're closing is devastating. For Nottingham and the surrounding area it is terrible.
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"They helped fund projects like This is England, it would never have happened without the input and help with funding from EM Media. People like Shane Meadows might never have got the chance without the help."
EM Media was based at the Antenna Media Centre in Beck Street, Hockley. It was created by the now defunct UK Film Council and distributed Lottery film funds throughout the East Midlands until October 2012, when its lottery remit transferred to the newly established Creative England.
Over the course of a decade, it also raised £6m in European funding to invest in the region's film and media sector.
Ian Smith is the director of the Nottingham Television Workshop, which trains young actors for stage and screen.
He said: "With the shutting down of the Lenton Lane TV studios we lost our umbilical cord, and East Midlands Media became our main platform for the talent that Nottingham TV Workshop was producing.
"Some really important short films were made there and they gave us a chance to reinvent ourselves.
"It was a success story. It was one of the giants in terms of the independent film business. In its heyday it was producing some of the best work in the country."
Lisa Opie, chair of the EM Media board, said: "It is sad when good things come to an end. However, we're confident in the knowledge that the British Film Institute and Creative England have already begun to take up the mantle.
"The creative sector in the East Midlands is in much stronger shape than it was ten years ago and individual careers have flourished as a result of support and investment. If EM Media has contributed to the strength of the creative sector in the East Midlands and to quality British film-making, then we, the board, are very proud.
"We would like to thank all the staff, past and present, who have contributed to EM Media's success and also to the creatives, businesses and partners we have worked with."