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Hastings company Brolly Assosciates Ltd.’s independent publishing label, I LOVE MEL has just launched it’s first children’s story book.
Pearl Power is a book derived from Mel Elliott’s disappointment at the continued gender stereotyping aimed at very young children and it attempts to address this with a fun and delightful introduction to gender equality issues.pearl-power

Whilst Pearl Power is Mel Elliott’s first children’s book, previously, the I LOVE MEL label has published 18 titles, mostly consisting of contemporary colouring books aimed primarily at adults and teens. She has also produced four art and design titles for Pavilion, London and two titles for Penguin, New York.

Pearl Power will eventually be part of a series of five books and a short animation has already been created, with the intention of building the feisty young female character into a brand of books, animations, T-shirts and stationery.

Pearl Power is named after Elliott’s own five year old daughter who one morning announced that she knew that boys can become doctors and girls can become nurses… and being a writer and illustrator, Mel Elliott believed she had to do something to change the awful gender stereotypes placed upon young children by advertising, toys, cartoons and many films and books.

In her first adventure, Pearl Power starts a new school and eventually teaches one little boy a lesson in female achievement… and kindness.
Pearl Power is published by I LOVE MEL which is run by Mel Elliott and her husband Andrew Tyrrell, who both live in Hastings. It is printed in the UK on a paper that is made from 100% post-consumer waste. It is written and illustrated by Mel Elliott.

Signed copies are available from shop.ilovemel.me and it is priced at £7.99

British Film Institute Programming Development Fund – 2014 Round now open to applications


The BFI Programme Development Fund is now open to applicants

The Programming Development Fund will support programming initiatives of cultural significance, high profile and wide reach, encouraging curatorial ambition, achieving economies of scale and bringing films to audiences across the UK in a fresh and original way.

The objectives of the Programming Development Fund are to:

  • Support and promote high-quality, distinctive, diverse film exhibition projects of scale and ambition.
  • Increase opportunities for more diverse audiences across the UK to engage with a wider range of specialised and independent British film, including those in areas with limited provision.
  • Enable film programmers to be more adventurous and experimental in their programming choices and to promote innovation and risk-taking in terms of content and/or delivery model.
  • Encourage greater sharing of programme content and initiatives across the UK.
  • Develop new ways to build stronger relationships between film venues and audiences.
  • Create links to other BFI strategic initiatives relating to education and learning, investment in skills and unlocking film heritage.

Up to £1.4 million per year will be available through the Programming Development Fund over the four years to 2017.

There are three strands of funding available in this fund:

  • Strand 1 is designed to support the development costs of a project which requires feasibility, testing or piloting in advance of a full project proposal. Awards will be within the range £5,000 to £20,000.
  • Strand 2 is designed to support projects which have been fully developed and are ready for implementation. Awards will be within the range of £15,000 to £150,000.
  • Strand 3 is designed to support very large-scale projects only. The BFI expects to make a very limited number of awards under this strand each year. Awards will be in the range £150,000 to £500,000.

Properly constituted organisations are eligible to apply. These include: limited liability companies; community interest companies; charities or trusts; local authorities or statutory bodies.

The Fund is looking to support activity which is delivered mainly as large screen communal audience experience(s) rather than as small screen (digital device) private content consumption. However, projects which contain some activity on other platforms such as online or mobile apps are welcome, especially if they make a demonstrable contribution to audience development and show innovative approaches to achieving the Fund objectives.

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to: research and curatorial fees; staff; office costs; marketing; transportation; hospitality; and audit, monitoring and evaluation.

There is a rolling deadline for Strand 1 and 2, therefore applications can be made at any time. There are two formal deadlines for Strand 3 applications: 2 June 2014 (1pm) and 1 December 2014 (1pm).

Go to the official site here which has all the application forms and further details about the fund.

A new website aimed at promoting and raising awareness of the UK creative industry has been launched earlier this month to provide a portal for the creative industries across the UK and to provide a platform to promote and showcase the UK’ industry that is growing rapidly.


The UK Creative Industry Website

The new website (www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk), developed by industry and Government are seeking to co-ordinate a unified approach towards finance, education and skills, exports and inward investment, intellectual property and digital infrastructure.

The site has been designed to provide a centralised digital hub linking the industry, UKTI and the FCO as they focus on promoting the sector and driving growth and investment in 200 countries worldwide.

If you are in the creative industries its well worth taking a minute or two to have a look around as there is also details and statistics regarding the UK industry as a whole and its also a good place to go for details on any funding initiatives that are happening in the UK creative industry.


Employment in the the UK creative industries grew by 8.6% between 2011 and 2012, compared to the UK average of 0.7%, according to official statistics.


Creative Industry in the UK is growing massively.

The Creative Industries, which range from advertising, design and crafts to TV, film, music and games, accounted for 1.68 million jobs in 2012, 5.6 per cent of the total number of jobs in the UK.

Employment in the Creative Industries increased by 8.6 per cent between 2011 and 2012 a much higher rate than for the UK Economy as a whole (0.7%).

The figures, which present a significant increase on previous data, were released by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller commented:

“These incredible statistics are confirmation that the Creative Industries consistently punch well above their weight, outperforming all the other main industry sectors, and are a powerhouse within the UK economy.

“We are committed to ensuring that the energy, innovation, skills and talent existing in this dynamic sector continues to translate into economic success, and  provide a remarkable platform from which, we can showcase Britain to the world.”

Download the DCMS stats here.

This story originally appeared here.