The Associate Producer Programme, initiated by BBC Film, will involve the financial support of emerging producers on a maximum of eight BBC Film productions annually, with a specific focus on bolstering individuals from underrepresented communities. This programme, overseen by Emma Kayee, the Head of Production at BBC Film, adopts an open-access approach, obligating production companies to publicly advertise these positions. BBC Film will also accept direct expressions of interest from those aspiring to assume Associate Producer roles.

Moreover, UK-based film companies are eligible to apply for the BBC’s £1 million Small Indie Fund, which is now open for applications. Launched in 2020, this fund is dedicated to nurturing small independent production companies with turnovers of less than £10 million across various TV genres, including factual, daytime, drama, comedy, entertainment, and children’s programming. It places a strong emphasis on diverse-led companies and those located in the Nations and English regions. Funding is awarded based on the creative potential of the companies, with the primary goal of supporting their growth and ensuring long-term sustainability. Successful companies benefit from tailor-made support packages and mentorship from BBC professionals.

Eva Yates, Director of BBC Film said: “Through discussions with the producing community we identified a need for clearer and more inclusive routes of progression for the next generation of producers, so it’s exciting to now present this Associate Producer opportunity and hopefully welcome a broader range of producing talent into the industry. We’re also really pleased to work alongside BBC commissioning colleagues to open the Small Indie Fund to film companies, offering vital business and creative development support. We recognise that challenges for independent producers are much greater than these measures alone can address, but we hope these initiatives speak to BBC Film’s ongoing recognition of the value and talent in the UK producing community.”

BBC Film conducted a successful pilot of the Associate Producer Programme over the last two years, receiving positive feedback from both participants and production teams. Films that have participated in the programme include Rye Lane, In Camera, The Old Oak, Scrapper, Hoard, and many more.

Notable beneficiaries of the Associate Producer Programme include Radha Bhandari, a creative producer and screenwriter based in Manchester, who served as an Associate Producer on Naqqash Khalid’s In Camera. She has since assumed the role of an in-house Development Executive and Producer at Mary Burke’s Public Dreams Ltd.

Mary Burke, CEO of Public Dreams Ltd and Producer of In Camera comments: “The BBC associate producer programme provides the best hands-on learning and enables established producers to train the next generation on set rather than in a hypothetical situation. This hire would not have been possible without the support of the BBC, and I really lucked out meeting someone as talented as Radha, who is now an essential part of my new business at Public Dreams.”

Radha Bhandari, Development Producer at Public Dreams Ltd and Associate Producer of In Camera said: “The BBC AP programme changed the course of my career. It was an invaluable opportunity to learn 1-1 from acclaimed UK producers, watch a debut filmmaker bring their vision to life and form lasting relationships with local crew in Manchester.

At the time I wanted to break out from factual television and, having made short films, this was a vital step to learn about all aspects of production, development and post from outstanding, experienced producers. This translated to working at Public Dreams, where I was fortunate enough to watch Mary’s vision for the company ignite and where my colleagues graciously took me under their wing. With the support of BBC and Mary, I feel empowered to explore the work that excites me and hopefully continue to make British feature films.”

Kareem Adeshina is producer of Caleb Femi’s Sundance London-selected short Giraffe and was appointed Associate Producer on Charlotte Regan’s Scrapper. He has subsequently gone on to gain an Associate Producer credit on upcoming LFF Closing Night film The Kitchen directed by Kibwe Tavares and Daniel Kaluuya and is a producer of the LFF-selected short A Very Short Film About Longing directed by Eimear McBride.

Kareem Adeshina comments: “At a point in my career where I was in need of a big change, Emma Kayee, Dionne Farrell and the BBC Film team really got behind me to assist that transition. The experience and connections I’ve gained are invaluable. It’s given me a great foundation to go on and produce my first feature. I’d encourage anyone considering the programme to pursue it.”

Associate Producers will join films at the earliest stages of late-stage development and early preparation, actively participating in casting, financing, crew selection, and collaborating closely with lead producers across creative, financial, legal, and practical production aspects. The objective is to better nurture emerging producing talent, including those developing their first feature, individuals with prior producer credits in short films, or those engaged in other creative pursuits. This involvement spans the entire lifecycle of a feature film, from pre-production through to distribution.

Productions will benefit from an additional set of producing hands and comprehensive support throughout the film’s entire journey. Associate Producers will gain exposure to all facets of film producing through a structured programme that delineates responsibilities and offers regular check-ins with members of the BBC Film team throughout the project.

BBC Film Associate Producer Programme

BBC Film will financially support up to eight Associate Producers annually on BBC Film-backed films, led by established producers.

The Programme is currently underway and is open for applications. Production companies interested in participating must publicly advertise the Associate Producer role. Prospective candidates can also submit their CVs to BBC Film (bbcfilmproduction@bbc.co.uk) to be included in an Associate Producer pool, from which eligible producers and films will receive CVs and names.

For more information, visit the BBC Film website.