On Sunday 5 December, Raising Films attended the 24th British Independent Film Awards live at Old Billingsgate, where we were honoured to receive the Special Jury Prize. Awarded by the BIFA Main Jury, which this year included Jennifer Ehle, Alice Lowe, Emma Corrin and Bennet McGhee, the prize recognised us as a groundbreaking organisation which supports and campaigns for parents and carers working in the UK screen sector.
In their introduction, award presenter Emma Corrin said:
Raising Films’ vision is of an industry where caring, whether for a child, a parent or a partner, isn’t considered a minus point, to be hidden from the CV. Instead they see caring for what it is: a normal part of life; and a commendable quality, to be encouraged and developed. Let’s be absolutely clear: people who know how to care for others make better films.
© BIFA/Republic of Photography
Three of Raising Films co-founders, Nicky Bentham, Jessica Levick and So Mayer, along with our Ambassador Manjinder Virk, gave a short acceptance speech which you can watch via Insta!
Thank you BIFA jury for this very special award: it means the world to us and our other co-founders Hope Dickson Leach and Line Langebek, because it’s really an award for our brilliant part-time staff who’ve done so much on a shoestring, for our wonderful board and ambassadors who’ve amplified our voices, and our incredible, creative community of parents, carers, friends and allies who keep sharing their stories, struggles and successes with us.
Parents and carers, we see you. We see you finding ways to create, contributing to our screen industries and cultures in a way that makes them richer, deeper and more urgent. We see you fighting to tell your stories whilst fighting to care for others. And now we know that BIFA sees you, too.
We started Raising Films in 2015 with a key aim – which wasn’t to win an award! – that within 10 years, we would no longer need to exist, because the screen industries would be a safe and welcoming place for parents and carers – indeed, for everyone. With this award, we hope that goal of inclusion is in sight. We’re proud to have started the conversation: now it’s time for your action. We have lots of practical solutions to share – but we do need stable, sustainable core funding so that we can keep striving. Fund us so we can deliver on our goals: an inclusive, healthy industry… that renders us extinct!
While tonight we celebrate independent film, we also recognise that we, as people, are all interdependent. As the last two years have shown, we cannot survive without caring for one another. We want to celebrate an industry which puts that care into practice through fair and transparent pay, hiring, and support, with good working conditions for all: bring on the British Inter-dependent Film Awards!