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British Film Institute

Climate Comedy Lab

Five microshort commissions available for Doncaster writers responding to the climate crisis in exciting, unexpected ways.

Want to find out more about Climate Comedy Lab? It's our new commissioning opportunity for Doncaster-based writers/ writer-performers who want to create short films that respond to the climate crisis in exciting, unexpected ways. If you're wondering what the programme is about or if you're eligible to apply, come along to our informal information sessions on  Wednesday, 9 December. You'll get to meet our team, learn about the Climate Comedy Lab and ask any questions you may have. Book your spot now.A roundtable is next Wednesday 9th at 12pm. Booking link is here:

Climate Comedy Lab is a new commissioning programme supporting Doncaster-based writers to create climate conscious microshorts that are personal, local – and funny. Filmmakers will be given the chance to create risk-taking work that is playful, experimental and absurd. The weirder the better! We’re looking for films that deliver maximum impact with minimal runtimes: 90 second sketches with an original comic voice and an accessible, environmental message that are perfectly suited to sharing on online platforms.

Five writers/writer-directors will be selected to take part in a ten-week development programme where they’ll receive mentoring from top industry professionals, meet local collaborators and develop their initial ideas into completed scripts. After being partnered with a director and producer, they’ll receive a £1,000 commission from our partners at Doncaster Creates to produce a locally crewed and shot microshort.*

The Climate Comedy Lab development programme runs from January – February 2021. Applications to take part are open now and close on Tuesday, 5 January 2021. Read on for more information on how to apply. 

How to apply

Applications can be submitted by completing the online form linked below. You’ll be asked to share some information about yourself, a synopsis your comedy microshort idea and an example of your previous work.

Apply now

Working in partnership with the BFI, the UK’s lead organisation for film, TV and moving image, Doncaster Creates has really welcomed their support in establishing Film Club - a monthly invitation for Doncaster & South Yorkshire local filmmakers to share work. The  project also offers the opportunity to discuss sectoral development and local possibilities. Out of this, DC & BFI is collaborating to fund the commissioning of micro shorts which will become part of the Doncaster Remix programme - viewing the town with fresh eyes and giving voice to those unheard. We will be commissioning 4-6 short films with a focus on supporting the development of local writers and directors. Watch this space for details and deadline.

Doncaster hosts The Booker Prize 

Doncaster has been named as The Booker Prize for Fiction’s partner for its regional events in 2020.

The partnership with Doncaster Creates, the dynamic arts programme set up to nurture the creativity in the town, will see a series of literary events taking place over the next few months including a search for local writing talent.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, welcomed the news for the borough: “I am so proud that Doncaster has been chosen to partner with such a legendary literary giant as The Booker Prize – this is a major achievement for us and I am delighted at the news.

“So many people in Doncaster will be excited about this partnership and I am certain, this partnership will bring such positive and lasting legacy for book lovers and writers alike. I am looking forward to seeing the range of events take place and would encourage the borough to get behind this.”

Following yesterday’s announcement of the 2020 Booker Prize’s much awaited shortlist, Doncaster Creates can reveal three major projects this Autumn that accompany the lead-in to this year’s coveted Booker Prize:

  • In Conversation, -  a digital co-production with The Booker Prize, Doncaster Creates hosts the regional discussion with the six shortlisted authors, in the lead up to the winner announcement.

  • Open Mic, - in the days following The Booker Prize announcement on November 17, 2017 Man Booker shortlisted author Fiona Mozley and  2020 Booker judge Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and broadcaster, host a live streamed Open Mic event, reaching both a local and international audience, reading passages from their work side-by-side with Doncaster writers.

  • Doncaster New Writer Prize - as both the finale and legacy of the partnership Fiona Mozley will lead the search for a Doncaster New Writer to mentor - 

Juliet Farrar, executive director at Doncaster Creates said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be announcing Doncaster as partner town for regional events for this year’s Booker Prize. “We’re really looking forward to hosting these  amazing events this autumn to celebrate literature and to be working with Booker authors. Doncaster has a strong tradition in inspirational creative writing and reading initiatives with people from all walks of life. These events will build on the fantastic work of our partners Doncaster Libraries and the National Literacy Trust’s Doncaster Stories campaign, which brings the transformative power of reading and high-quality writing to communities”

“Our partnership with The Booker Prize presents a real opportunity for Doncaster talent to reveal some of the unsung narratives – once described to me as ‘the grit and the grandeur’.”

Added Juliet: “Because of the global Covid-19 pandemic our events, that were due to be in person, will now be digital. This presents a unique opportunity to reach more people, for positivity: for people to share and chat with others they wouldn’t have otherwise met – when being able to ‘connect’ is so valuable.

“We’ll be talking to shortlisted authors and sharing their stories with audiences across the globe from our Doncaster base, we’ll be bringing stories to life in The Books That Made Us when local people share their literary gems and we’ll be searching for new writing talent in our town with the chosen winner gaining insight and knowledge from a Booker author as their prize.”

The Rt Hon Ed Miliband stated, "It’s incredibly exciting that The Booker Prize, which is so internationally famous, has chosen Doncaster as its partner this year. The team of people involved put together a compelling case and it shows once again that Doncaster can be at the centre of the most exciting, important arts projects. I know that, despite the restrictions of coronavirus, Booker, Doncaster Creates and Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust have worked hard to develop some brilliant projects. I’m particularly looking forward to hearing more from Doncaster’s new writers because I know there is such talent in the town."

Doncaster Creates will also be running a literary campaign called Doncaster: The Books That Made Us - beginning October 2020, residents and authors are invited to reveal the books that challenged them or changed their lives in an extended online conversation by uploading a video or written anecdotes (participants automatically get the chance to win a copy of one of the shortlisted books).

The Booker Prize

The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 and was called The Man Booker Prize for Fiction when sponsored by Man Group from 2002 - 2018. The winner receives £50,000. The 2019 winners were The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. The 2020 Booker Prize panel is chaired by Margaret Busby, editor, literary critic and former publisher; and consists of: author Lee Child; author and critic Sameer Rahim; writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; and classicist and translator Emily Wilson. The 2020 winner will be announced in November.

Royal Opera House - Royal Ballet

The Royal Opera House is bringing it’s national learning programme to town, through Doncaster Creates & in partnership with Cast, marking a new chapter for the town which aspires to be a place of nationally significant cultural and creative experiences. This is a bold and ambitious 3-year partnership.

We’re re-aligning plans whilst we respond to COVID guidance but our partnership remains extensive, inspirational and innovative….

The Royal Opera House will work with schools and the communities of Doncaster over three years. Positive outcomes for local young people are a priority for the town and this partnership puts creativity, talent development, well-being and joy at the heart of our programming.

Teachers will attend the ROH's certified training days followed by programmes that will be delivered in schools across Doncaster. School children will have access to high quality Dance, Singing and Theatrecraft lessons through the support of the ROH.

The 3 year partnership includes:
  • Free teacher training
  • Create & Dance, Create & Sing and Design and Make programmes
  • A digital participation project summer 2020
  • ROH’s popular Chance to Dance talent development programme
  • Tickets to see performances at the ROH

    For further information about how you can get involved contact

The V&A  

Throughout Doncaster’s history, the marriage of ‘Art & Industry’, ‘Design and Innovation’ are internationally impactful stories of resilience and endeavour.

We are pleased to announce that Doncaster Creates & Heritage Doncaster will be a partner with the V&A’s

DesignLab Nation - a programme of in-depth projects that explore new ways of engaging secondary school students with design.

Postponed from Autumn 2020 due to Covid 19.

DesignLab Nation brings schools together with museum educators, practicing artists, designers and the Museum's collections to work on design challenge projects. It also provides teachers with training and CPD opportunities to develop new and innovative ways of teaching design. DesignLab Nation aims to inspire a new generation of creative practitioners as well as broaden young people's understanding of the designed world around them, how it is made and its impact on society and the environment.

DesignLab Nation allows students to:
  • Engage with historical and contemporary design
  • Work directly with professional artists and designers in an in-depth way
  • Connect with learning across the curriculum, including STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design and Maths)
  • Develop creativity, skills and knowledge relevant to working in the creative industries
  • Get advice about different pathways into creative careers

As well as Doncaster Creates’ partnership development work for 2020 onwards, many of our local colleague organisations also have important collaborations, bringing  nationally significant projects to town - shining a spotlight on Doncaster hosting world-class culture.

The British Museum

The launch programme for  Doncaster’s new Museum & Gallery ‘Danum’ will welcome the British Museum touring exhibition Living with art: Picasso to Celmins (dates TBC).  Spanning almost one hundred years of modern art, this exhibition will showcase highlights from the wide-ranging collection of Alexander Walker (1930–2003). Artists on display include rare works from Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Vija Celmins. Many of the prints will be going on public display for the first time in thirteen years.

Arts Council England Collection

The Danum Gallery, Library & Museum will also host ‘Double Take’ - the title of an exhibition that pairs works from the Arts Council collection, with artworks from the collection of Heritage Doncaster. Examples of some of the pairings on display include a drawing by Henry Moore from Doncaster’s own collection seen alongside a sculpture in bronze by the same artist from the Arts Council Collection.  Other examples include a group of small screen prints by Patrick Caulfield from the collection of Heritage Doncaster displayed next to a large oil painting by the same artist drawn from the Arts Council Collection. The loans are supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. Created by Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable smaller and Local Authority museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections.

Avigdor Arikha (1929– 2010), Self-portrait, Shouting One Morning, 1969, brush and sumi ink on prepared canvas paper © The Trustees of the British Museum Reproduced by permission of the artist