1-2-1 Advisors Scheme

Our Advice & Experience Advisory Scheme gives our Members access to high level industry experience on a broad range of topics.
1-2-1 Advisors Scheme

Film Hub NWC is collaborating with two other Hubs – North and Central East to provide Hub Members with access to free 1-2-1 specialist advice on a wide range of areas.

Our Advice & Experience (A&E) Advisory Scheme which will enable Members access to high level industry experience on topics such as effective marketing and introductory programming.

We’ve recruited a group of sector specialists who are available to book for half day 1-2-1 sessions. Sessions can take place on the phone, skype or face to face and will be followed up by a report covering key next steps for your projects.

If you need support with marketing plans to attract new audiences, completing funding applications, selecting films for a specialised season or improving your project evaluation the A&E scheme can help.

Email: alison.kennedy@homemcr.org for more info or to arrange an advisor session.

More info on each of our advisors are below.


For 2016/17 – Film Hub’s Scotland, London, South East and South West & West Midlands have joined the scheme, along with a number of new advisers with new areas of expertise. All advisers will be available to members from other areas if appropriate – please Contact Us to discuss.

Info on all the advisers (including both the new and existing) can be found here:

Password: FAN1617

Our Advisors

Jay Arnold

Jay Arnold


Key Expertise: Bid-writing/Fundraising, Monitoring and Evaluation, Audience Development, Audience Engagement and Education, Working with Staff and Volunteers, Business Development, Marketing, Press, Public Speaking.

Jay worked at Sheffield’s independent cinema The Showroom from its opening in 1995 until 2003. He then joined the newly formed Regional Screen Agency Screen Yorkshire working with the region’s cinemas, film educationalists, film archives and film festivals. As national structures were re-organised in 2011 he became Head of Film Culture with Creative England from where he moved to the BFI in 2013 to work on the BFI Film Audience Network.

He left the BFI in October 2014 but retains links to FAN through freelance roles. Following a year at National Media Museum as Film Business Manager Jay is now Projects Director with Live Cinema UK.

Catherine Waddington

Catherine Waddington

Freelance Project Manager and Communications Specialist

Key Expertise: Audience Development, Marketing, Brand Management.

An experienced professional specialising in arts marketing and management, with more than 15 years in the cultural and events sectors. She trained in Business Management and has spent most of her career working in strategic communications and project management roles for a variety of organisations. This range of projects has been diverse in scale, with budgets ranging from £0 to £3million so she has developed the ability to be truly audience focussed while being able to understand and work within the wider business and operational context.

She is driven by developing creative partnerships to deliver communication strategies and has worked in Senior Management roles for more than 10 years with relationships being key to her success. Her core experience and interest is in brand management and the development creative and effective communications campaigns alongside strategic audience development. Now self-employed, She is currently working with Abandon Normal Devices delivering their Marketing & Communications. Previous roles include: Programme Manager for WE PLAY, the North West cultural legacy programme for London 2012; Marketing Manager for Imperial War Museum North, Roadshow Manager for London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, Brand Marketing Manager for Liverpool 2008, Events Executive for the London 2012 Olympic Bid team, Finance & Administration Manager for Greenwich & Docklands Festivals.

Melanie Iredale

Melanie Iredale

Deputy Director: Sheffield Doc/Fest

Key Expertise: Bid-writing/Fundraising, Income Generation, Programming, Audience Development, Audience Engagement and Education, Working with Staff and Volunteers, Business Development, Budgets and Financial Management, Marketing.

Melanie Iredale is a film curator and festival producer with experience of working in film exhibition and events across the North of England for the past ten years. Starting her career at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, Melanie went on to manage Northern Lights Film Festival in Newcastle-Gateshead, and then work as film programme director at the Scandinavian mixed arts event, NICE-Festival in Liverpool, while freelance work included project coordination for AV Festival and Northern Film & Media.

In 2009, Melanie was appointed as director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival on the English-Scottish Border, leading the festival artistically and strategically, and responsible for a dramatic growth in audience numbers, national profile and commissions over the past five years. Work commissioned by Melanie at Berwick has gone on to be exhibited at festivals and galleries across the UK, to New York, Hong Kong and beyond. Ben Russell’s Greetings to the Ancestors, co-commissioned by Melanie as part of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in 2014 was recently awarded the Tiger Shorts Award at Rotterdam International Film Festival. From 2010, Melanie was brought in to work with Sheffield Doc/Fest on a freelance basis as a development consultant, raising funds for arts and public-facing projects.

In November 2014, Melanie started a new job as Deputy Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest – one of the top three documentary festivals and marketplaces in the world. Melanie’s role involves overseeing the film programme, industry conference and marketplace teams.

Jen Skinner

Jen Skinner

Audience Development Manager, Reel Solutions

Key Expertise: Programming, Audience Development, Audience Engagement and Education.

Jen Skinner loves film and is passionate about the magic of cinema. Having spent 14 years working in the creative sector, most of which has been based in cinemas, she has developed partnerships with a wide range of organisations and venues including the BFI and ICO. She has worked with diverse audiences through programming film festivals, screenings and live events and has worked as an educator in formal and non-formal settings. From lecturing at degree level through to being a creative practitioner in gallery settings. Jen has delivered and devised workshops for students as part of their syllabus and engaged families with gallery and museum collections.

As manager of Hebden Bridge Picture House and as the only full-time member of staff, she experienced just about every element there is to running a cinema. This included programming all films and live events, managing a team of 20 staff, dealing with marketing through to finances, health and safety and building management.

Jen started at the National Media Museum in 2009 as their Film Education Officer where she programmed and produced courses and events for adults, schools and colleges. She worked as part of the festival team on Bradford International Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival which included programming and producing education events and screening submissions.

Jen recently joined the Reel Solutions team as their audience development manager and is looking forward to new projects and ways of working within the independent cinema sector. She helps to screen great films and foster a further interest in film through a wide range of learning opportunities. Her passion for the shared experience drives her to develop audiences for cinema, now and for the future.

Michael Wood

Michael Wood

Director: Minicine

Key Expertise: Programming, Audience Development, Marketing, Working with Staff and Volunteers.

Woody is a community film exhibitor, running the award-winning Minicine in Leeds and screening to audiences across West Yorkshire. In 2015, Minicine was named Cinema For All Film Society of the Year while also being awarded Best Marketing and Publicity as well as Best Film Programming for the second time.

With a passion for community cinema and film exhibition in general, Woody offers expertise in creative film programming, marketing on a shoe-string budget, building collaborative networks and audience development."

Woody has previously worked for Leeds International Film Festival, Scalarama and, most recently, Cinema For All.

Sam Meech

Sam Meech

Director: Re-Dock & A Small Cinema

Key Expertise: Bid-writing/fundraising, Programming, Audience development, Audience engagement and education, Working with staff and volunteers, Budgets and financial management, Marketing, Public speaking, Other (AV equipment and space design).

Sam Meech is a co-director of Re-Dock and founder of the Small Cinema project. Since 2008, Re-Dock have developed film events and spaces in Widnes, Kirkby, St Helens, Manchester and most recently in Liverpool, working with volunteers to create a permanent 56 seater cinema in a former Magistrate's Court.

Through these projects Sam has gained a range of skills and experience in space design, AV installation, design and branding, administrative tools for volunteer groups, and even the dark arts of programming.

More info on Re-Dock here:


Bill Lawrence

Bill Lawrence

Executive Director: Reel Solutions

Key Expertise: Programming, Audience Development, Working with Staff and Volunteers, Business Development, Budgets and Financial Management, Public Speaking.

Bill set up Reel Solutions in 2006 to pursue his passion for supporting all forms of cinema. He was Creative Director  at  Showroom Cinema, Sheffield, one of the UK’s leading independent cinemas, and Head of Film at the National  Museum of Photography, Film & Television (later the  National Media Museum), Bradford. He set up three of the city’s  film festivals – Bradford International Film Festival, Bite the Mango Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival.

In  2006 Bill was one of the key people to set up the partnership board of  Bradford: City of Film and was involved closely in achieving the UNESCO designation in 2009. Bill is chair of  All Animated  Limited  and is a director on the  Board of  Creative England  and previously  Screen Yorkshire.

Sylvia Bednarz

Sylvia Bednarz

Business and Marketing Director: Sheffield Doc/Fest

Key Expertise: Bid writing/fundraising, Income generation, Monitoring and evaluation, Working with staff and volunteers, Business development, Marketing, Press and Public speaking.

Sylvia is the Business and Marketing Director at Sheffield Doc/Fest – the UK’s largest and most exciting documentary and digital media festival. Prior to this, Sylvia worked in documentary film and TV production, beginning her media career as Production Coordinator on the feature documentary The Age of Stupid. She then joined Current TV as an Associate Producer, working alongside the commissioning editor to manage both single and series documentaries from development through to broadcast. Before joining Doc/Fest, Sylvia was the Business Development Director and Film Festival Producer at digital short film platform The Smalls.