Directed by Rosie Westhoff and produced by Fiona Hardingham, the short film follows the story of an autistic teenager and her sister, and their emotional adjustment following the death of their youngest sibling.
Our Sister, a short film from Director Rosie Westhoff and Producer Fiona Hardingham/Adapted Pictures, is set to premiere at the British Film Institute today, Thursday 10th October, as part of the 63rd annual London Film Festival.
The short film follows the story of Tasha, a 16-year-old autistic teenager and her 14-year-old sister Zoe as they deal with the grief of losing their youngest sibling and individually coming to terms with the reality of life without her.
The story centres on the two sisters’ strong yet vulnerable bond which is seen largely through the lens of Tasha who is autistic. Its lead roles are played by autistic actor Achanti Palmer, and Lauren Corah both of which make their film debut. Supporting roles are played by John McCrea who has starred in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Netflix’s Dracula, and Demi Goodman who has featured in Ch4’s The Trials and on stage in Matilda and The Book of Mormon.
Our Sister is written by newcomers Josephine Brown and Bradley Innes Wilson and is based on writer Brown’s personal experience of growing up with an autistic brother. It is directed by Rosie Westhoff, director of films Treacle, Crush and Blue, and produced by Fiona Hardingham, Co-Executive Producer of Adapted Pictures whose previous work includes One in Five and Distemper.
Our Sister has been cast by Casting Director Heather Basten, who has worked across Nosebleed, The End of the F***ing World and Pin Cushion. It has been shot by Cinematographer and Panalux Award-winner Molly Manning-Walker who attended NFTS and won Best Cinematography for her work on short film November 1st, which has also been nominated for a Student Academy Award. Production Designed is by Jonathan Houlding who has won an Art Directors Guild of America Award for his work on The Martian and filmography includes: Exodus: Gods and Kings, Love Actually & Band of Brothers and edited by Sarah Peczek, who has credits across the Oscar-nominated film Shok, The Innocents and Peaky Blinders.
Both Director Westhoff and Producer Hardingham are passionate about capturing female-centred stories, often those at a crucial turning point in their lives and specifically those which have been underrepresented in film. Therefore, it was important for them that a strong female crew was involved in the project, over 60% of production staff that worked across various departments on the film were female. In addition to this, they brought in acting coach Miranda Harcourt to assist the film’s rehearsal process. Miranda has worked on films such as Lion, Ghost in the Shell and The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.
Rosie Westhoff, Director says, “The story highlights beautifully how unique we all are and how when dealing with tragedy, such as the loss of a sibling, we all process and mourn in different ways. This led us to really consider how many stories we’ve watched with a female autistic character at the centre of the narrative and made me question how the needs of people with autism are understood and met by the mainstream. Diversity is vital in storytelling and this includes people with disabilities and certain conditions, but it’s very rarely seen. It’s brilliant that there is a growing appetite for stories about characters from diverse backgrounds. However, when it comes to disability, people are often hesitant to cast disabled actors to play these roles, but it is so important for truth in storytelling. The process of making this film and working with lead actress Achanti Palmer who is autistic has really changed me and made me see things so differently. How she navigates her world and her strength is admirable.”
The independent film has received multiple backings, including by Studio71 UK, BFI NETWORK and independent production company Cat Dragged in Films. It has also received support by Tribeca Film Institute’s Pond5 Program which helped with disability access funding for its young actors and equipment discounts from Genera.
Having launched the production arm of the business in 2018, Studio71 UK, a Red Arrow Studios company, chose to part-fund the film to demonstrate its commitment to quality independent filmmaking and to support real, authentic storytelling, especially those that hold a light to stories that are often left untold. Studio71 UK is dedicated to creating content for diverse, often underserved audiences, and in 2019 has produced numerous shorts of this nature, including the BBC Three scripted series Fully Blown, as well as three factual series for BBC platforms (Fashion Conscious, Sex in Seconds and Period Dramas), a reality wedding series for TLC UK and an 18-part series for A+E’s HISTORY channel (Forged With Steele). In addition, it produced the independent scripted mini-series Last Dates, directed by Ben Mallaby, which was nominated at the LOCO Film Festival for Best Ensemble and was a part of Encounters Film Festival’s Official Selection.
Our Sister will premiere on Oct 10 at BFI, Southbank and will be followed by an additional screening on Oct 12 as part of the ‘London Calling’ programme. Click here for more information.
The Power Hour podcast with Adrienne Herbert Honours Black History Month with a Month-Long Series Featuring Pioneering Black Guests
The podcast will host celebrated cultural innovators, sporting icons and campaigners for change during the month of October
Adrienne Herbert, Power Hour podcast host, leading wellness professional and international speaker announces a special series of Power Hour episodes to celebrate Black History Month. Running twice weekly throughout October, the episodes will feature a variety of revered guests including entrepreneurs, philanthropists, sports athletes, rising icons and musical legends – each of which have made impressive contributions to their fields.
Guests set to appear during October include ground-breaking DJ and radio broadcaster Trevor Nelson MBE, former England Rugby Union player Maggie Alphonsi MBE, and journalist, audio producer and founder of Gal-Dem magazine Liv Little. Further guests include Femi Oluwole, political activist and co-founder of Our Future Our Choice and Jamz Supernova, radio presenter and music label owner. The series launches with an episode featuring guest Marvyn Harrison, activist and founder of Dope Black Dads which campaigns for more constructive and positive narratives surrounding black fathers.
With the Black History Month series, Adrienne Herbert will commemorate a small fraction of the many talented and respected Black visionaries that have helped shape Britain’s rich and diverse culture. In these episodes, she will explore her guests’ incredible achievements and accolades, the pressures of being agents for change and paving the way for future generations.
The Power Hour podcast was launched in 2018 in collaboration with Studio71 UK to inspire listeners to unlock their full potential and achieve their personal goals. Having realised there were few motivational podcasts lead by women, and even fewer hosted by women of colour, Adrienne, who is British-Jamaican, felt it was not only important but essential for an audio format to provide a platform where more diverse voices could be heard.
Adrienne says, “As a woman of colour and a mother to a mixed-race son, I think that it’s important to hear the stories, perspectives and experiences of other people. I hope that through this month of episodes, the Power Hour podcast will share these amazing voices, and empower people, regardless of their age, race, gender or background to know that anything is possible.”
Now closely approaching its first anniversary, the Power Hour podcast has featured numerous high-profile guests including Manchester United and England footballer, Chris Smalling, broadcaster and podcast host Fearne Cotton, food writer and entrepreneur Ella Mills, presenter AJ Odudu, and GB long-jumper and gymnast Jazmin Sawyers. The podcast has won support from the likes of Refinery29, Stylist, RED, London Evening Standard and Bustle and more, and has received more than 600K listens since it launched in November 2018.
The podcast is produced by Jack Claramunt at Studio71 UK and executively produced by Tom Payne and Jody Smith.
The Power Hour can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast, Stitcher and all good podcast platforms.
For more information on the podcast, contact email@example.com.
Studio71 UK Launches Two New Personality-led Podcasts as it Announces Downloads Across its Slate Cross 1 Million Mark
Comedy podcast ‘Daddy Look at Me’ and food podcast ‘Come for Supper’ brings Studio71 UK’s roster to eight original podcasts, with a combined total of 1 million listens
Studio71 UK, a Red Arrow Studios company, today announces the upcoming release of two new podcasts, ‘Daddy Look at Me’ with comedians Rosie Jones and Helen Bauer and ‘Come for Supper’ with food writer and presenter, Alexandra Dudley. Both shows are original, personality-led formats, with ‘Daddy Look at Me’ becoming the second comedy podcast produced by the production company and ‘Come for Supper’ its first venture into food, bringing its slate to a total of eight shows.
The announcement comes as Studio71 UK’s reveals its total podcast streams has surpassed the one million mark across six of its existing shows which include ‘Power Hour’ hosted by presenter and wellness expert, Adrienne Herbert, ‘F**ks Given’ with YouTubers Come Curious and ‘Mystery on the Rocks’ with comedians Chris Stokes, Masud Milas and Sooz Kempner. The podcast division from the global media company’s UK arm was launched in May 2018 with the release of ‘Educating Josh’, and now includes comedy, health and wellness, sex and relationships, current affairs, food and film shows.
Daddy Look at Me
‘Daddy Look at Me’ will launch on Thursday 20th June and is hosted by British stand-up comedians and writers Rosie Jones and Helen Bauer. The podcast draws on Bauer and Jones’ own experiences of fame and is a raucous exploration of why some people are destined to become stars. In each episode, they invite a fellow comedian onto the show to identify the pivotal moments in their lives that set them on the path for comedy – and their voracious need for attention. The weekly 30-45-minute show will launch with three episodes with star guests Nish Kumar, Sophie Duker and Ed Gamble. Guests including Tom Allen, Suzi Ruffell, Sindhu Vee, Harriet Kemsley and more will appear later in the series.
Come for Supper
Released the following week on Wednesday 27th June, is ‘Come for Supper’, Studio71’s first foray into the world of food and hospitality. The show is hosted by food writer, presenter and supper club host Alexandra Dudley, a Town & Country columnist and presenter of the Soho House series ‘How to Host a Dinner Party’. The audio format sees Dudley speak with a different personality she’s been inspired by throughout her career, to discover how they like to entertain. Guests on the show will include chefs and restauranteurs, authors, actors and artists. ‘Come for Supper’ will also launch with three episodes on the day of launch, featuring celebrated figures in food including chef and Masterchef judge Monica Galetti, Polpo founder Russell Norman and Great British Bake-Off contestant Manon Lagrève, continuing with a different guest each week across food, the arts and entertainment.
‘Come for Supper’ will be the fourth podcast format launched in 2019 so far, having released ‘Bleeding on the Page’ with film YouTubers NitPix and ‘Mystery on the Rocks’ earlier this year. Studio71 UK sees the growth in the roster of podcasts as a continuation of its investment in brilliant, diverse talent and formats for a contemporary audience, which has become a core part of its production arm. Since the division was launched, Studio71 UK has evolved the audio format to produce live events and tours, holding both ‘Educating Josh’ and ‘F**ks Given’ live shows at VidCon London this year and ‘Power Hour’ live at TwentyTwo Bishopsgate. Studio71 UK has partnered with brands such as Red Bull, The Economist, Deliveroo and Lelo on sponsored content across its shows, and plans to develop further podcasts in Q3/4 to cover sport, music, family and parenthood verticals.
Tom Payne, Head of Content at Studio71 UK says “We’ve absolutely loved creating these two new podcasts with Alexandra, Rosie and Helen – incredible and very different personalities who will bring something different to the audio world. We’re excited to be expanding into new verticals too with the launch of ‘Come for Supper’ and will continue our commitment to recognising interesting, relevant talent to work on our growing roster of podcasts.”
Jody Smith, Creative Director of Studio71 UK, adds “We’re committed to representing diverse voices and passionate experts across our podcasts, video slate and talent network. It’s exciting to have so many brilliant people coming through our doors and working out the best show and platform for them. Crossing the million listens mark must mean we’re doing something right.”
Studio71 UK continues the global company’s commitment to producing, developing and distributing diverse and different new formats that aimed at the coveted 18-35 age bracket. Both podcasts bring more young, dynamic personalities into the podcast world, broadening Studio71 UK’s slate further ‘Daddy Look at Me’ and ‘Come for Supper are Studio71 productions, produced by Jack Claramunt and executively produced by Tom Payne and Jody Smith.
Countdown To I Do is a reality wedding series that follows the crucial last moments before real-life couple’s tie the knot
Today, Studio71 UK, a Red Arrow Studios company announces the production of Countdown To I Do, an original short-form wedding series. The format, which will run on TLC UK’s YouTube channel follows couples on the biggest day of their lives.
It’s the first series of its kind for both the TLC UK channel and produced by Studio71 UK and will act as a pilot for a potential future TV series.
Countdown To I Do (6×8’) is the most intimate wedding series ever made. Each episode is self-shot by the bride, groom, bridal party and selected guests who all have an important role to play in the couples’ big day. The show captures the excitement, nerves, drama and humour of the wedding build up, as each episode starts only hours before the ceremony and finishes with ‘I do’.
Shot using handheld Sony RX100 cameras, the self-shot format plays out like a collection of Instagram stories.
Studio71 UK draws upon its experience in TV development/production and the talent management of hundreds of online Creators to create the series. Understanding how Creators and Vloggers engage an audience on platforms such as YouTube has contributed to the development of this series, to create wedding stories direct from members of the wedding party, told down the lens of a camera.
Clare Laycock, VP Head of Brands, Quest Red, TLC, ID and Food Network, said: “We’re celebrating an amazing quarter and year for TLC UK YouTube, which has seen incredible triple-digit growth in subscribers. As our first YouTube commission, Countdown To I Do marks an exciting step in TLC’s digital evolution, and promises fans the ultimate front row seat to the most important day in couples’ lives.”
Jody Smith, Studio71 UK Creative Director, said: “We’re using a discreet production unit to capture honest and open stories from a number of perspectives on the nerve-racking build-up to the ceremony. The hand of the producer will be absent from these honest, moving, funny and sometimes calamitous stories. We’re thrilled to make this original format for TLC.”
The series will be Exec Produced by Jody Smith and Studio71 UK Head of Content, Tom Payne.
Countdown To I Do follows the production of three BBC Factual series, ‘Fashion Conscious’, ‘Sex in Seconds’ and ‘Period Dramas’ providing fresh perspectives on fashion and sustainability, body positivity and sexual health by young, unfiltered voices.
This is in addition to ‘Forged With Steele’, an A+E commissioned series for HISTORY UK starring 20-year-old blacksmith and YouTube personality Alec Steele.
BBC Comedy & BBC Three commission Studio71 UK scripted comedy ‘Fully Blown’ as part of Threesomes strand
The 3×3’ minute series follows two best friends, Vanessa and Demi, who rise above their boring, sometimes painful lives by creating superstar rap personas – Starz and Gap C. These Southampton girls know you’ve gotta “fake it ‘til you make it” and then fake it some more. But will their success ever catch up with their ambition?
Studio71 UK, a Red Arrow Studios company, has been commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy, and Fiona Campbell, Controller of BBC Three, to produce ‘Fully Blown’, a new scripted short-form series.
The series stars Verona Rose and Donna Preston, comedy performers and writers who first came to Studio71 UK’s attention when a comedy skit they made went viral. Sarah Morgan (‘Not Going Out’, ‘Intelligence’) wrote ‘Fully Blown’ together with Rose and Preston, and it is directed by Ella Jones (‘Foot in Mouth’, ‘Sarah Chong is Going to Kill Herself’).
‘Fully Blown’ is inspired by Donna and Southampton-born Verona’s real-life experiences, and follows the story of two friends, Vanessa (played by Verona) who is torn between sticking with her comfortable, safe but hum-drum career or joining best pal Demi on chasing the dream they’ve had since childhood – to become music stars.
In the three-part series, we follow the duo on one of Demi’s side hustles as she tried to scrape together enough money to fund a music video shoot. They manage to blag a cameo in a music video of one of the UK’s leading grime stars – but their tactic to make a lasting impression doesn’t go to plan. What’s more, Vanessa has an underlying secret that could put an end to their music aspirations and even their friendship.
‘Fully Blown’ is a deep dive into friendship and aims to speak to viewers navigating young adulthood and the complexities of following your dreams in a world that’s increasingly tough for young people. The series plays with the theme of authenticity in an age of social media, where image is everything.
The series is drawn from Verona’s personal experience of growing up in Southampton where she felt, in her own words, ‘Too black for Southampton, but not black enough for London.’
Jody Smith, Studio71 UK’s Creative Director, says “Verona and Donna have created two characters that are so big and have so much heart that it was a challenge to cram them into a short-form series. It’s been fantastic working with them and the hugely talented writer Sarah Morgan and director Ella Jones – all the more special being Studio71 UK’s debut scripted commission.”
Sarah Asante, Commissioning Editor for the BBC, said “I couldn’t be more excited about the transmission of this project because showcasing new and emerging on and off-screen talent is what makes this job so rewarding. The stars of Fully Blown are a triple threat and I can’t wait to see how audiences respond to this project and all the projects we’re backing with the Threesomes strand on BBC Three…”
‘Fully Blown’ will be released by BBC Three. It sees Studio71 UK continuing to develop and produce original series, specifically for the underserved 16-34 bracket. ‘Fully Blown’ follows previous productions from Studio71 UK including factual series, ‘Forged With Steele’ on A+E Network’s HISTORY starring 20-year-old blacksmith and YouTube personality Alec Steele, and three factual short series for BBC, including ‘Sex in Seconds’ hosted by Come Curious, comedy series ‘Period Dramas’ and the upcoming ‘Fashion Conscious’ hosted by Grace Mandeville.
The series is Executive Produced by Jody Smith, Studio71 UK Creative Director and Tom Payne, Head of Content, and the Commissioning Editor is Sarah Asante for the BBC. It will be available on BBC Three.
Created by and starring: Verona Rose and Donna Preston
Also starring: Kemah Bob, Jo Martin, Daniel Barker, Ghetts
Written by: Donna Preston, Verona Rose, Sarah Morgan
Exec Producers: Jody Smith, Tom Payne
Director: Ella Jones
Producer: Alex Wilson
Associate Producers: Donna Preston, Verona Rose
BBC Commissioning Editor: Sarah Asante
Studio71 UK announces new house-based reality concept, BETA SQUAD, project featuring five of its rising male creators
Today, Studio71 UK, a Red Arrow Studios company, reveals its largest ever creator-led project in BETA SQUAD – an online reality project with five rising creators which sees all members embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. In March, creators Chunkz, Niko Omilana, King Kenny, AJ Shabeel and Sharky – all of which have individual channels and who are signed exclusively to the Studio71 network and managed by its agency, Moxie management – will leave their family homes for the first time to live in a state-of-the-art mansion at a secret location in London, England.
Studio71 UK celebrated the launch of its boutique management company Moxie, with a spectacular event at Oval Space, showcasing its dynamic, digital artists and announcing its biggest projects to date: BETA SQUAD.
On Friday 15th February, the UK arm of Studio71 UK, a Red Arrow Studios company, hosted a huge party at London’s Oval Space to welcome in its new talent management company. Moxie. The event was attended by Moxie’s top-tier talent including all seven members of STORROR, Niko Omilana, Chunkz, King Kenny, Sharky, AJ Shabeel, Joel & Lia, Kate Elisabeth, Come Curious, Mam Sham as well as other creators and influencers in the space including Millie T, Ryan Taylor, Zac Alsop, Jamz Supernova, Jake 100, Jamie Rawsthorne.
Broadcast announces the winners for its annual workplace satisfaction guide, with Studio71 UK its third place winner.
The Broadcast list, sponsored by Universal Production Music, features 30 companies which hail from across the UK with the Endemol Shine Group-owned Dragonfly claiming the top employer and the ITV Studios-owned The Garden coming second place.
Continuing Studio71’s commitment in supporting the UK’s bravest and most exciting creators from the YouTube and digital space, Moxie has been launched to assist emerging creators to reach their full potential, strengthening their existing skills to allow them to break from their original platforms and reach greater audiences. Moxie will also help connect creators to influential players in the industry, from strategists to brands to broadcasters, allowing them to expand their ideas and build their empires while losing none of their authenticity.
Studio71 UK adds to its catalogue of podcasts with talent-led formats, ‘Power Hour’ and ‘F**ks Given’
STUDIO71, a Red Arrow Studios company, has continued its expansion into the podcast business with two original, empowering and female-fronted podcasts launching this week, which will contribute to the health and wellness space.