The Great Northern Creative Expo Announces 2019 Dates

The Sixth Edition of TGNCE 18th – 23rd November 2019!

The Great Northern Creative Expo in association with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) today confirms the dates for the Expo’s sixth edition which will take place at venues across the university’s Preston campus, including the state-of-the-art Media Factory facility, from 18th-23rd November 2019.

Alan Keegan, Director of Business Development – UK Partnerships for the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries at UCLan, and the founder of The Great Northern Creative Expo will return as Festival Director for this sixth edition.

“I’m very excited that once again we are offering both the general public and the student base the opportunity to engage and be part of a unique event that has got bigger and better each year.” says Alan Keegan, “Over the years we have keynote guests such as author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, James Bond director John Glen, internationally acclaimed artist and photographer Ian Beesley, actor George Costigan, along with the General Manager of BBC North Adrian Mills and Stanley Kubrick’s producer Jan Harlan. The Expo will continue on in the spirit of its original founding principal of delivering the best events across the creative industries.”

Last November, The Great Northern Creative Expo presented over ten short and feature film premieres from both established and emerging talents. A new programme of almost 15 workshops and industry masterclasses proved popular across both UCLan’s student base and from attendees from farther afield. Highlights included a working masterclass from Stanley Kubrick’s producer, Jan Harlan; a feature screening of the independent motion picture Bliss! with director Rita Osei; and a guest lecture from the General Manager of BBC North, Adrian Mills.

Risa Jaroslow at The Great Northern Creative Expo 2018 (#TGNCE18)

In addition, the 2018 edition of the Expo also welcomed the local, national and international talents of Afrodeutsche, Jamie Badminton, Andrew David Barker, Steve Barker, Matthew Bennett, Paul Birchall, Abbie Bradshaw, David Bunting, Andy Chapman, Salma Chaudhry, Kezia Davis, Stuart Felton, Kieran Fletcher, FMA+12 Gage, Jing Fu, Flora Gillet, the Global Sound Movement, Candy Guard, Dominic Hodge, David Hothersall, Tristan Hunt, Risa Jaroslow, Johnny Jay, Chris Leslie, Gerry Linford, Karen Livesey, Lorna McCoid, Iakovos Pangopoulos, Patrick Pulsinger, Dr Theresa Saxon, Greg Saxton, Fiona Shields, Hannah Spikings and Mark Strange.

Fiona Shields, Head of Photography at The Guardian, at the Fieldwork Conference at #TGNCE18

Attendances at the Preston Campus for the Expo in 2018 reached above 1500 for the first time in the Expo’s six year history. 

For the first time in 2018, The Great Northern Creative Expo launched Expo Extra, creating satellite events running outside of the Expo’s traditional one-week format. The first Expo Extra events included a filmmaking masterclass from Lancaster-based production company, Intense Productions, who released horror-thriller RedCon-1 into British cinemas in September; and an Audience with broadcaster Chris Packham. Both events, held on the university’s Preston campus, were sold out and were warmly received by audiences.

(Left to right) Host Bill McCoid, with Iakovos Panagopoulos, Andy Chapman, Lorna McCoid and Matthew Bennett at the Three Northern Premieres event. 


Springwatch’s Chris Packham attracts crowds at UCLan

One of the country’s leading wildlife broadcasters has shared his life story with students, staff and visitors at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Chris Packham, who has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, discussed his lengthy television career during a question and answer session with students and staff while he told an audience of invited business people how people with autism are huge assets to companies.

During the two sessions, held on UCLan’s Preston Campus, the presenter of The Really Wild Show and Springwatch, talked about his favourite animals, his vocation to inform the public about the world’s wildlife and how to tell interesting and different stories.

“When I started out I was very lucky that I had help and the support of a good group of people and that was invaluable.”

Chris, who is also a writer, photographer, conservationist, campaigner and filmmaker, showed clips from his documentary, Asperger’s and Me, and spoke with brutal honesty about how he struggles in social situations and has difficulty with human relationships. He talked about his wish for people to better understand his condition and that of others with neuro differences and most importantly how those differences can be an asset in life.

Speaking after the student session, he said: “When I started out I was very lucky that I had help and the support of a good group of people and that was invaluable. I now feel very strongly that I should give something back and come and speak to the next generation of TV producers, writers and filmmakers because they are the future of the industry – they are the ones with endless ideas, plenty of energy and they don’t follow the rules.”

Jack Dinsley, second year BA (Hons) Journalism student from Kirkham, was among the listening crowd. The 19-year-old said: “I really enjoyed hearing about what he’s achieved during his long career and the hurdles he’s faced to deal with his Asperger’s.”

The 2018 Programme

The Great Northern Creative Expo returns for it’s 2018 edition with a progressive and inclusive celebration of Northern creativity. We are once again proud to present a wide variety of talents from The University of Central Lancashire and beyond from every corner of the Creative Industries including Film, Photography, Performance, Music, Media and Journalism. The Expo’s wide array of events, conferences and screenings will take place over the six days at venues across Preston, including UCLan’s state of the art Media Factory.

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The Great Northern Creative Expo continues to attract some of the country’s leading creative talents and continues in it’s founding commitment to offer student, staff and guests this unique opportunity to share in their common passion to present their work to an audience and gain invaluable insight into their chosen careers from industry professionals at the pinnacle of their careers. 

This fifth edition of the Expo promises to be it’s most diverse in its breadth of programmed events and is again able to offer this fantastic opportunity through the generosity of The University of Central Lancashire and our other Expo Partners.

New Year, New Name!

The great northern creative experience is back again for 2018 under a brand new name, The Great Northern Creative Expo!

The Great Northern Creative Expo will run from Monday 12th-Saturday 17th November. The Expo’s wide array of events, conferences and screenings will take place over the six days at venues across Preston, including UCLan’s state of the art Media Factory.

The Great Northern Creative Expo has evolved from a commitment to promote and showcase the creative talent that has been developed at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and to also introduce to the world, the fantastic students and professionals that we have working at the University, whilst opening our doors to the city, to the North and the world beyond.

Once again, the expo will introduce a variety of talent which will include film, photography, media and journalism with performances, workshops, masterclasses, music, monologues, networking, animation and inspiration to one and all.

The expo has attracted some of the leading creative talent (nationally and internationally) and we are pleased to offer students, academics and the general public the opportunity to share a stimulating experience of creative talent which can be viewed, evaluated and enjoyed by everyone!

The programme of events is yet to be announced but the Expo will conclude with the Arriva Rail Festival Awards.

The Poetic Impulse: Where do poets get their inspiration?

The Poetic Impulse event took place on November 15th and aimed to take an exploration into the drivers of poetical creativity by four different poets from the North of England: Martin Domleo, Vince Smith, Nick Williams and Gordon Aindow.

The first to speak was Martin Domleo.

He began by explaining how he believed the barrier between science and the arts was blurred and that lots of poets get inspired by science. His confidence was knocked when a school teacher accused him of copying his own poem from someone else after writing a Christmas card.

A lot of Martin’s inspiration was drawn from the Peak District, as he only lived a bicycle ride away from it and spent a lot of time there.He said that he was a painter as well as a novelist and he understood that imagery has a large part to play within poetry. He proceeded to tell us about a place in Morecambe bay called the Sunderland Point and that it was a inspirational setting for poetry.

Next up was Vincent Smith, whose writing includes a novel and an unpublished travellers’ guide to English architectural heritage.Vincent became interested in poetry at the tender age of 9, when he began reading some out of curiosity. He said he got an immediate interest in ‘abstract poetry’ because, even though he didn’t understand it, he felt emotionally involved in the texts.

When he presented his work to publishers later on in life, they told him to ‘drag himself out of the nineteenth century’ adding that poets didn’t write like ‘that’ anymore. However, he said that those comments never made him lose his love for writing.

He believes his best writing came at 21, after he experienced his first love. Yet, it was only when he got heartbroken that he felt an urge to write about it: “I had a desire to prolong it. It’s not quite over when you write about it. You preserve it.”

Vincent ended his talk by mentioning how his mother’s death became the first time he felt an urge to write about someone else’s death. He left the audience with a reading of his sonnet inspired by it, called “Speaking to Mother”.

When Nick Williams gave a talk, he stated that he was a new age traveller.The former art and design student explained it was then he started to realise that in terms of creativity writing could be a happy medium.

His first poem was about Easter Island because he found the whole mystery around it as a focus point.He stated that “it takes time” to write poetry.

“Those ideas of being a voice are intensely in me”, Nick said of his love for expressing himself .Lastly came Preston based poet Gordon Aindow, who has been writing poems and short stories for five years.

Gordon spoke of how his physical longing to a past memory deriving from nostalgia is the main source of inspiration for his writing, but admitted that sometimes translating that feeling into words proves a challenge. He goes through a process of “interrogating the facts and gathering evidence” in the hopes this logical approach will translate his feelings into their truest meaning possible.

He finishes off his talk by going over his last step of his writing process: “I ask myself: does it read, sound and feel true to you? Anyone else feeling what I feel is a bonus.”

Words by Emily Vass and Amy Vieira

2017 Programme Launch

The full programme of events for The Great Northern Creative Festival has been unveiled.

The programme for The Great Northern Creative Festival, in partnership with its principal sponsor Arriva Rail North, has launched presenting this year’s diverse selection of special guests, films and events.

The Festival will screen an array of fiction and documentary features, including the British premiere of Christopher Sykes’ award-winning documentary Golan: A Farewell to Mr Cinema and a special preview screening of SOLO!. There will also be screenings of short films, including documentary, live action and animated works.

The 2017 festival features a stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew to take part in career interviews, Screen Talks, Q&As and Industry Talks, including George Costigan (Shirley Valentine; Rita, Sue and Bob Too), Henry Normal (PhilomenaRed Dwarf) John Thomson (Cold FeetThe Curse of the Were-Rabbit) & Ovidio Assonitis (Piranha Part Two: The Spawning; Beyond the Door).

Taking place over 6 days, the Festival’s screenings are at venues across Preston, including UCLan’s state of the art Media Factory.

We round off The Great Northern Creative Festival with the Arriva Rail Festival Awards. Various prizes will be handed out on the evening including TGNCF Outstanding Award 2017 and TGNCF Lifetime Achievement Award.

Famous author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce opened Great Northern Creative Festival

A leading author and screenwriter has told a group of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) students that they are the future of the industry.

Frank Cottrell Boyce was the guest of honour at the Great Northern Creative Festival where he spoke to budding writers in a question and answer session. He officially opened the festival before a screening of his classic 2002 film 24 Hour Party People.

He is one of the most respected screenwriters working in the English film industry. His career has seen him work alongside the likes of Danny Boyle on the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. He has been the screenwriter on films and has written for some of the most classic shows on our screens today, in the likes of Doctor Who and Coronation Street.

“The students here are ‘tomorrow’; this is the hatchery and the nursery where talent is born, hatched and nurtured. Coming here and meeting them is like looking into the future.”

Speaking to the audience Frank said: “The reason I am excited to be here at UCLan is that the students here are ‘tomorrow’; this is the hatchery and the nursery where talent is born, hatched and nurtured. Coming here and meeting them is like looking into the future, it’s a fantastic privilege to be here. If they can gain anything from me, from this old scarred body, then that’s fine with me.”

His visit kick-started the free four day media extravaganza. The event brought together some of the biggest creative talents in the north and from across the UK, while showcasing the outstanding creative talents of UCLan students in media, film, photography and journalism.

Over the four days students and members of the public attended a mixture of workshops, pitching sessions, industry talks and specialist lectures.

GREAT NORTHERN CREATIVE EXTRAVAGANZA

A free four-day media extravaganza is taking place at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to showcase creative talent.

The Great Northern Creative Festival, which runs from 22 to 25 April, will bring together some of the biggest creative talents in the north and from across the UK, as well as showcasing the outstanding creative talents of UCLan students in media, film, photography and journalism.

Over the four days students can attend a mixture of workshops, pitching sessions, industry talks and specialist lectures. Most of the events are also open to members of the general public.

Opening the festival is renowned author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, who will do a Q&A with the audience in Darwin Lecture Theatre, before a screening of his classic 2002 film 24 Hour Party People. He is one of the most respected screenwriters working in the English film industry. His career has seen him work alongside the likes of Danny Boyle on the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. He has been the screenwriter on films and has written for some of the most classic shows on our screens today, in the likes of Doctor Who and Coronation Street.

He said: “I’m delighted to support this year’s UCLan Student Creative Festival to offer support and advice to its creative students. Events like this are absolutely vital to help young creative people have a voice and motivate them to get out there and have a future in the creative industry.”

Also passing on her invaluable experience is Red Production’s Emily Feller. Emily has script edited and worked in development on dramas such as Bodies, Emmerdale, Scott and Bailey, and The Driver. She has recently been promoted to in-house Producer at Red Production Company having overseen Russell T Davies’ new E4 drama, Banana. Emily will talk about her career from script development to producing and will offer career advice. Tying into Emily’s event is ‘Mediating the North’ with Dr Peter Atkinson and Professor Ewa Mazierska. The academic symposium will analyse the huge BBC hits Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax.

A student only event, CJAM 2015, will see industry professionals from across the board visit, with undergraduates getting the chance to pitch their ideas and network.

Andrew Ireland, Executive Dean of Journalism and Media at UCLan, said: “This is a really exciting time to be involved in the creative industries at UCLan. Events such as the Great Northern Creative Festival give our students amazing access to top industry professionals and engage in debates and career planning. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our talented students and their work.”