THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: CELINE HADDAD
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Celine Haddad is a Senior Film Executive for Talent Development at Creative England. She is responsible for discovering and nurturing the next generation of talent. Celine helps emerging filmmakers develop their scripts, make their shorts, and progress to their first feature film.
Celine has over 20 years of experience working in the film industry in England, France and the US. She has worked for a diverse range of companies including ICM, Pathe Pictures and Passion Pictures.
This interview was hosted by producer, Pete Smyth.
What’s involved in the day-to-day of your role?
The BFI NET.WORK was set up in September 2013. It’s a number of national agencies working together to discover and support new and emerging talent. New doesn’t mean young. New means unproduced and unreleased in the UK. This ranges from kids in their garage shooting short films to those with 20 years’ experience in theatre, TV or documentary and haven’t yet made a narrative first feature.
As an Exec, there’s a dynamic between being reactive and proactive. Reactive is assessing applications, reading scripts and managing active projects which have already been awarded funding. This takes up the majority of the time but we also try to be proactive. This is going out and finding new talent, watching shorts, going to plays and trying to find people who aren’t thinking about film yet. This is to bring in more talented people into the film family.
There’s such a huge range of talent across the various arts. How do you go about searching for new talent?
I think there are many ways. I’m a nerd. I make lists… of everything. I’m genuinely interested in all arts; whether it’s watching shorts, TV, film, plays and performance arts. I’m quite methodical. For example, I make a list of all the plays that sound interesting that I want to track. My time is limited as I’m a mother and I have a husband, but I do go to the theatre quite a lot. We have a team of people based in Sheffield who are also tracking. We’ve worked together for two and a half years so we know each other’s tastes. So if I see something that isn’t for me but I know it’s for someone else, I tell them about it. It’s a mixture of tracking and intuition.
Also, through BFI NET.WORK, we meet regularly with the BFI and the partners. One of the reasons why the BFI NET.WORK was set up was to share information between the agencies. It allows us to have a wider view on what does new talent look like in the UK.
If you enjoyed this article, why not check out our Insider Interview with Paul Webster?