Council Boosts Film, TV And Music Sectors

The creative industry in Belfast is to benefit from the city council's latest targeted business development initiatives.

The 'Creative Entrepreneurs Club' (CEC) - which is funded by the council - will bring together those who work in the film, television, digital media, music and design sectors to network, pitch new ideas, listen to inspiring speakers as well as showcase their work.

The council is also launching a new pilot programme - Digital Media Connections - aimed at the creative industry in Belfast to develop new forms of creative intellectual property (IPs) and help turn these ideas into prototypes and market-ready products.

Eight networking events will take place from this August until December, as part of the CEC covering industry-related issues such as intellectual property, the future for visual effects, what is good design and how to succeed in the music business.

The first event will take place next Thursday (25 August). Called 'Reimagining: Changing Apathy to Empathy', designers' Mike Fleming and Tim Farrell will look at the significance of branding in business and the importance of winning both hearts and minds to succeed in business.

The music industry is the focus of another networking event on Wednesday 7 September.

'On the Road Again' will be hosted by singer/songwriter Ben Glover and broadcaster Ralph McClean and will examine how an independent artist can succeed in the music industry by creating their own music while also managing their own label.

The importance of protecting or developing an Intellectual Property (IP) in the creative and digital media sector is the subject of a further CEC event on Wednesday 21 September which will be led by IP lawyers Scott Kennedy and Gillian Shaw from Cleaver Fulton Rankin.

Animation expert and Belfast Business Awards 2011 guest speaker, Greg Maguire, will also host a CEC event on Wednesday 5 October looking at the opportunities for an animation and visual effects industry in the city.

Greg has worked in the animation industry for over 20 years and has been instrumental in the launch and development of numerous heavy hitters of animation including Walt Disney and Lucasfilm Animation.

While Colin Williams, founder of television production company Sixteen South and maker of CBeebies show Sesame Tree is guest speaker at a CEC event on 26 October looking at how a small creative company from Belfast can compete in the global television market

All of the Creative Entrepreneurs Club events will take place in the Porcelain Suite in Ten Square Hotel (5.30pm-7pm) and are free of charge. However places are limited and registration is essential.

The Digital Media Connections Programme will support 10 small businesses working in the creative industry in Belfast who will benefit from key advice on the development of a Business Plan and mentoring on marketing, financial planning, investment and intellectual property rights.

The closing date for applications for this programme is 2 September.

Alderman Christopher Stalford, Chairman of Belfast City Council's Development Committee, said: "The council recognises that the creative industry in Belfast is a high growth sector and contributor to wealth in the local economy.

"Initiatives like the Creative Entrepreneurs Club and the Digital Media Connections Programme will also provide a unique platform for local companies to develop partnerships, assist with product development as well as provide access to new business opportunities."

The Creative Entrepreneurs Club and Digital Media Connections Programme are funded by Belfast City Council and the European Regional Development Fund through the Northern Ireland Sustainable Competitiveness Programme.

For further information on all both business development initiatives, contact Belfast City Council's Economic Development Unit on 028 9027 0453 or email: mccgoranb@belfastcity.gov.uk


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