British Academy Workshop 1 Reflection by Rayna Lountzis

British Academy Workshop 1 Reflections by Rayna Lountzis

Due to popular demand, we hosted our first workshop online in May which was a tremendous success, gathering people from different backgrounds, holding a safe space for anyone who came forward to share their story. Our main guest speaker was Dr Christine Parker, a New Zealand filmmaker and Associate Professor from the University of Derby addressing neurodiversity and screenwriting.

Christine was joined by two colleagues, Director of MIND Derbyshire Gavin Cooper, and her MA Writing student Fay Turner-Paxton who hopes to continue with a PhD. Gavin discussed his lived experience of a diagnosis of BPD and PTSD. He is commissioned to write a film (documentary with drama flashbacks) about BPD and gave excellent insights into this. Fay discussed her creativity and disability. These were incredibly inspiring stories that united with a depth of insight into the creative process, and, without romanticising mental health problems and disability, revealed how deeper creativity can often come from experiencing mental health issues and disabilities. This was all truly positive.

I am grateful that our participants opened-up and contributed by their comments, questions, and sharing first-hand experiences, as that pinpointed which area our focus needs to go as we proceed. And, overall, it was wonderful to have 60 people attend from across the UK, Ireland, and Spain, all so keen to share their insights and experiences. The feedback was that the event was incredibly positive, people feeling the world was a better place because of it, and people looking forward to working more closely with us. We have since put out a call for treatments, as we move towards the practical side of this project, making films. We have now almost 200 individuals and organisations involved, and these blogs have now been viewed in 33 countries with is amazing. Do spread the word and see below what is happening next.

Workshop 2

Our next workshop is industry-orientated with guest speaker Justin Edgar from 104 Films – UK’s leading production company and training provider focussing on disability – this is scheduled for 14th September. Watch this space for more information!

Free Masterclass Bonus!

We are also hosting a bonus free masterclass online “Everyone Counts” on 9th July at 11am GMT, in which Terry Bamber our British Academy Innovation Fellowship Partner with Jones Bamber Productions, will share his story and practical tools how to get into the film industry. If you would like to register, please get in touch with me via email:

Reach out if you would love to be involved in this project and unite forces with us!

Together we can make a difference!

With Appreciation,

Rayna Lountzis

Events Manager and PhD Candidate

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