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Last few days: Volunteer Fundraiser - Feature Documentary

N17 Films Ltd


Posted 2 weeks ago

Help us raise production funds to tell the real story behind the UK's most infamous estate.


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London / London/ Remote

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Expires 27-5-24 - Applications reviewed after this date

THE NIZZ is an ambitious feature-length documentary that tells the story of a Le Corbusier-inspired Brutalist housing block on a notorious London estate. It interweaves social history, architecture and rap/drill music to explore the impact of the built environment on its residents over the estate’s eventful - and controversial - forty year life span.

The film draws on the creativity of the estate's artists to create a poetic portrait of its residents and their lives, telling a more nuanced story than we've seen in the media headlines. The film’s director is from the estate, knows its every nook and cranny and has personal connections with the key contributors. 

This film has a wide appeal, with several key niche audiences, but its subject matter is challenging and can be divisive. Brutalist architecture and drill music tend to evoke strong reactions, whichever side you are on. Throw in some social injustice and it’s an explosive mix - as the documentary will reveal.  

We plan to create a positive and lasting legacy on the estate, by involving local residents in the making of the film as much as possible; providing workshops; paid internships and crew roles; career guidance; and training and job opportunities in the wider creative industries via our partners, including leading independent film crew agency Sara Putt Associates.

We have an experienced co-producer (Sandslate Films) and executive producer/distributor (Dartmouth Films) onboard to help us with the production and cinema release once the film is complete

But first we need to find the funding to go into production.

What will you be doing?

We have applied for all the film grants and pitch markets in the UK and USA, for which we are eligible, and are in the process of approaching broadcasters and the streaming platforms. 

So far we’ve been rejected: the film, which mixes different genres and our debut feature documentary director, a young Black man from an infamous estate, are deemed to be ‘too risky’ by some funders. Others have failed to see the vision for an artistic, cinematic film set on a concrete estate, preferring instead to envision the more stereotypical current affairs approach - using news archives to show only violence and deprivation. Other funders are more focused on supporting films made outside of London. 

So we need someone who has the drive, imagination and tenacity to help us brainstorm and identify and secure other sources of funding, such as high net worth donors/philanthropists who have a special interest in architecture, urban planning, social justice or music and want to support a project that will uplift residents on a historically neglected and run down housing estate.

The role is flexible, split between remote working and some time spent working out of a small film production company in Somerset House, central London with mentoring provided by an experienced executive producer. 

We anticipate the role will initially require 2 days per week for 4 weeks; with the potential to extend for an additional 4 weeks after review. 

We are ideally looking for someone to start ASAP but are flexible on dates for the right person. 

You will focus on

  • Researching and identifying grant funders and philanthropists who may have an interest in one or more aspects of our documentary. 
  • Researching potential funders’ funding remits and assisting the producers to create tailored pitch decks/proposals for each application that meet their specific area(s) of interest. 
  • Record and track all communications/applications in a database to track progress/outcomes. 

What are we looking for?

You will have:

  • A demonstrable track record, background or interest in one or more of the following:
  • Architecture
  • Social/racial justice
  • Music (bonus points for a knowledge of drill music) 
  • Tenacious research skills 
  • An instinct to think laterally and identify opportunities where others might not spot them 
  • The ability to approach potential donors with confidence, charm, honesty and integrity
  • The ability to be proactive, motivated and organise your own workload

It would be advantageous to have:

  • A wide network of professional contacts 
  • Existing contacts in a niche area related to the themes of the documentary
  • A track record in fundraising 
  • A love of documentaries 
  • An interest in learning about the business side of filmmaking 

What difference will you make?

Success in funding this film will allow us to support the career development of a first-time feature director; offer paid job opportunities on the production for underserved local communities; potentially set up wraparound employment programmes to offer guidance and support into jobs in the city and wider creative industries, via our industry and outreach partners Sara Putt Associates, 2020 Levels and ConnecMe2. 

The film will connect with a wide range of audiences, including traditionally underserved young Black audiences, as well as those working in professions related to issues explored in the film. 

Ultimately it aims to provide a nuanced, but entertaining and creative observation of a historically neglected social housing estate, whilst offering hope for the next generation of creatives who were forged in its streets. 



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