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Bluebird Pictures around the globe

Our projects reached thousands of people around the world this year, from the World Cinema Film Festival to our short about regeneration, here is the round-up of articles and mentions so far.

Hollywood Reporter 

Our CEO joined American based production and management company Emagine Content.

Love East Mag

The lovely team over at Love East, gave us two full-page spreads about this year’s World Cinema Film Festival.

Your Cinemas

A great mention about our short documentary featuring spoken word artist and rapper John Akinde


Inclusion Matters

Our CEO and founder Joelle Mae David recently took part in the BBC’s Greater Londoner Instagram page.

She spoke about her journey in the film industry, why she is helping emerging filmmakers and what the industry needs to do to become more inclusive.

She also joined Jasmine Dotiwala on BBC Radio London’s The Scene and addressed diversity in the film industry on BBC news.
















































Coming up next… the TV and film traineeship for 18-24-year-olds in Barking and Dagenham, plus our official slate for 2018/2019 which includes short films and feature documentaries.

Bigger, better, and more prizes

In 2019 we added two new categories to the World Cinema Film Festival and an extra day of screenings and talks.

In 2019 we saw a total of 6 winners, 3 international and 3 Barking and Dagenham.

Our list of mentors also grew, as well as our exposure and outreach within the local community as we held the festival for the first time ever at the home of the new Dagenham film studios.

2019 winners 

Short film


Head Space by Timon Williams

Barking and Dagenham

Once An Old Lady Sat On My Chest by Candice Onyeama

Short documentary


Altruistic by Emma Edwards

Barking and Dagenham

Parai: The Beat To Freedom by Nali Sivathasan

Short Animation


Kite by Sagar Funde

Barking and Dagenham

Trouble With Trains by Dannt Baxter


Casting director Suzanne Smith (Good Omen, Outlander, Origin)

Concept Artist Po Sing Chu (Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hunger Games)

Head of Film for Barking and Dagenham Lisa Dee (Locations expert!)

Director of Photography Fabian Wagner (Game Of Thrones and Justice League)

VFX Supervisor Stuart Penn (Avengers: Endgame, Gravity and Paddington 2)

Casting Director Dixie Chassay (The Favourite, Anna Karenina)

Documentary Filmmaker Sophie Robinson (Netflix’ My Beautiful Broken Brain)

Actress Danielle Vitalis (Soon Gone: The Windrush Monologues, Timewasters, Stath Lets Flats)

Director Kate Herron (Netflix Sex Education)

Actor Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Ghost, Enterprice, Stath Lets Flats)

Costume Designer Charlie Knight (Bodyguard, Hot Fuzz, Call The Midwife)


Short film

Jonathan Brackley, Writer and Producer (BAFTA winning channel 4 show HUMANS)
Suzanne Smith, Casting Director (Outlander, Boys Don’t Cry, Deja Vu, Sex and the City)
Rebecca Johnson, Writer and Director (The Rook, Honeytrap, Supergirl and The Magicians)
Kat Buckle, Literary agent (Curtis Brown)
Fabian Wagner, Cinematographer (Game of Thrones, Justice League)

Short documentary

Sophie Robinson, Emmy nominated filmmaker and producer (My Beautiful Brain ‘Netflix’, Mumford and Sons; We Wrote this Yesterday)
Goran Olsson, award winning documentary filmmaker (The Black Power Mixtape 1967 – 1975, Concerning Violence and Am I Black Enough For You?)
Deepa Keshvala, Cinematographer (music videos: Jorja Smith, Ray Blk, commericals: Burberry and Adidas)
Joelle Bertossa, Producer (I Am Not Your Negro, A Skin So Soft, Sam)
Tim Cragg, Cinematographer (Sundance winning film Three Identical Strangers)

Short animation

Jellyfish Pictures (London based winners will receive a tour of the studio followed by a meeting with on of their animators. International winners will receive a Skype call and review of their work)
Suz Loshin, Development and New Media Manager at Pixar (Incredibles 2, Cars 3, Finding Dory and Brave)
Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek, Writers (Disney’s live action movie Mulan)
Art Director Ryan Jefferson Hays (Aquaman, Ghost in the Shell, Guardians of the Galaxy)

Submissions are via Film Freeway


World Cinema Film Festival inaugural year


Bluebird Pictures founded the World Cinema Film Festival in 2018.

The premise was simple, to create a film festival for emerging filmmakers in the UK and around the world. It is a celebration of culture and community through a love of film.

We realised very quickly that there were not enough film festivals helping filmmakers at the start of their careers. With this being the case the WCFF was born.

Filmmakers are asked to submit a short film on the theme culture and what it means to them.

And as the festival was founded in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham we included a Barking and Dagenham winner. The festival therefore had two winners; an international winner (including the UK) and one Barking and Dagenham winner.

The winners will then receive on-going support from Bluebird Pictures, meetings and mentoring with industry professionals, Final Draft screenwriting software, a screening at the festival and a trophy.

2018 winners


Tom and Varun – Transmission

Barking and Dagenham

Jaha Browne – Homelands

Guest speakers

Director Koby Adom

Director Ron Scalpello

Actor Steve Toussaint

Director of Photography Deepa Keshvala

Director and photographer Olivia Rose

Submissions are via Film Freeway

Our three selected films to screen alongside the winners films were:

House Girl by British-Ghanain filmmaker Koby Adom
Close-Ties by Polish filmmaker Zofia Zowalewska
The School Bag by Indian filmmaker Dheeraj Jindal



We experimented with silent film with our two shorts ‘Transformations’ and ‘A Revolution In Manners And Morals’ five years ago.

Written and directed by Joelle Mae David

Produced by Joelle Mae David

In The Name Of Regeneration

We were commissioned to create a short spoken word documentary for BBC3 – this is the longer, cinematic version of the doc.

In The Name Of Regeneration explores how being moved on from estates, to make way for newer more expensive buildings affects young people in London.

Directed by Joelle Mae David

Edited by Joelle Mae David

Written and performed by John Akinde



Writing female characters

Women are often portrayed in a specific light in film and TV and although we are making progress, it’s still not where it should be. We often see women as the damsel in distress, the sexual distraction, or simply there to prop their male counterpart up. But we all know women are far more complex than this. So does this stem from how we are writing our female characters in the first place?

Our screenwriting workshop will focus on female characters, and writing authentic female voices. We hope the workshop will be interactive, with those who attend, willing to share ideas, get feedback and voice their opinion.

This workshop will be taught by the amazing A D Cooper.

Our workshop will take place in Barking on the 18th August and is FREE.  More details can be found here.



and Autumn.

Our directing workshop will focus on the female form, looking at examples, and setting up different shots, focusing on female actors, particularly those of colour.

We will also look at female directors, their work and how they have portrayed their female characters on camera. This class will be as interactive as possible, so please be prepared to asked questions and help set up shots.

We will have a special focus on films where women and activism is the main the main theme.

Make sure you bring your notepad and pens, all workshops are taught by professionals actively working in the industry, and we have found their advice and mentoring has been invaluable in our past workshops.

This class will take place in Barking on the 14th September 2018 and will be ran by Director of Photography Deepa Keshvala.


Documentary Edits

To celebrate 100 years since women got the vote and our women & activism documentary for Barking and Dagenham council, we are hosting a range of women and film workshops and screenings throughout the summer and Autumn.

Editing is one the areas in the film industry that has very few women. This workshop focuses on giving local residents and those interested in the area and opportunity to be involved with our women & activism documentary in a practical way.

Our editor will talk you through editing some sequences for our documentary teaching you the basics of sound, colour grading and transitions. While giving you the opportunity to have some creative input in how you’d like the documentary to look.

This workshop will take place on the 18th October 2018 after we have shot all our interviews and gathered our archive footage. More info can be found here.


*Check homepage for latest events and workshops*