Reel Access is a Birmingham based participatory arts organisation with a focus on creative media including filmmaking, photography, print and digital. Established in 2006, the company is passionate about working alongside young people and community groups to develop their skills in filmmaking and all forms of creative media in a collaborative way to inspire change through sound and vision.

The Team

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Laura Breakwell – Director

Laura is passionate about how art and culture can change lives and make life worth living. She leads Reel Access being responsible for the strategic direction of the company as well as its operations, nurturing and establishing relationships and partnerships.

Laura is one of the founders of Reel Access, which is 10 years old in 2016 and loves how much joy the organisation has brought to people. She also sings with Notorious Choir, is a fellow of the RSA, a member of Selly Oak Arts Foum and Allens Croft Children’s Centre Committee in Kings Heath and a proud mum of 3.

Laura is currently on maternity leave.

Favourite Film
If I’m in a rom-com mood then definitely When Harry Met Sally but if I was recommending a hard-hitting, invaluable drama then Hotel Rwanda or Tsotsi. I also have a soft spot for Casablanca.

Favourite Book
I love Victoria Hislop novels but really enjoyed Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom as it is one of the books that I read and thought should be turned into a film.

My Hero/Heroine
This may be a toss up between Judi Dench and Julie Walters both such wonderful, varied actresses who just seem so lovely. Plus, my friends, as such a great group of strong women help make me who I am.

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Keith Bloomfield – Creative Producer

Keith Bloomfield is a highly skilled community focused filmmaker and creative artist with over 10 years’ experience of delivering high quality community engagement projects to diverse audiences locally and nationally. Keith is particularly adept and experienced in working to education, community cohesion, health and regeneration agendas. He thrives on new exciting, imaginative and creative challenges that put the client and community at the heart of his work.
With his passion for comics, film and pop culture Keith relishes opportunities that enable him to share this inspiration with participants young and old.

Favourite Film
I have been visiting the cinema since a very early age and have watched many, many films of all genres so picking just one film is next to impossible but I have a groups of films I watch again and again – the original Star Wars Trilogy, the Back To The Future Trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Favourite Book
A tie between George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man or anything by Sir Terry Pratchett.

My Hero/Heroine
Jim Henson. He had such a creative mind. I’ve been fascinated by his work since I was a child. I remember seeing the original Muppets show and being completely in awe.

The Reel Access Board

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Bryan Foster – Chair

Born in The Black Country in the sixties, Bryan grew up in a post-war, post-industrial, post-punk landscape. He studied Graphic Design in Wolverhampton and completed his Master of Arts Degree in Photographic Studies at Westminster University. Bryan moved to Birmingham ten years ago and became active within the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. Bryan is the Community Engagement and Fundraising Manager for Changes UK – an innovative Community Interest Company at the heart of the recovery community and at the forefront of recovery culture in Birmingham. Bryan is a maverick, a romantic and an idealist, who paints, practices Satyananda Yoga and Tai-Chi and is a keen gardener, with an allotment in south Birmingham.

Favourite Film
West Side Story, since I first saw it when I was eight years old, on Christmas Eve, on a black and white portable telly. Other films that I have watched a ridiculous number of times are; Enter the Dragon, Robocop, The Pope of Greenwich Village, The Big Lebowski, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Zatoichi.

Favourite Book
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again.

My Hero/Heroine
David Bowie

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Tim Stock – Secretary

A lapsed artist-curator, Tim studied Fine Art at the Birmingham School of Art (part of Birmingham City University), but works full-time as a Digital Designer, designing and coding website interfaces for Connect Internet Solutions, a digital technology agency based in Liverpool. An original founder of The Lombard Method – a project space and studios in Birmingham, his artistic practice centres around a fascination with place, urban (re)development and spacial experience – often referred to as psycho-geography. He is a advocate of sustainable development schemes, environmental issues and the Green Party. He’s also an active Christian, a card-carrying member of CAMRA and a hobbyist potter.

Favourite Film
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Despite often being heard vocalising a dislike ‘rom-coms’, Michel Gondry’s delivery of Charlie Kaufman’s screenplay about the mystery of human connection and romantic infallibility is somewhat beautifully captivating and provocative.

Favourite Book
The one I haven’t read yet…

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Lee Harris – Treasurer

Recently retired after over 20 years working in the homelessness sector, hostels and latterly SIFA Fireside. SIFA and Reel Access have worked on several projects. In earlier years I worked for a law firm and the publicity department of an engineering company. Attempted to write scripts and once received a writer’s bursary from North West Arts.

Interests include travel and seeing as many different cultures as possible, which has included trips to Cuba, India, Australia and most of south east Asia – even LA, but for more hedonistic reasons!

Also a passing interest in politics, having been a Labour Party member for around 30 odd (sometimes very) years.

I’ve always had an interest in the arts, mainly film and literature, although I like galleries and have just booked to go to the new one in LA, The Broad, on 28 October 2015 when I’m next in the City of Angels.

Favourite Book
Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Favourite Film
Most things by Tarantino, possibly Pulp Fiction. Other great ones include Soldier Blue, The Graduate and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. I also like watching obscure foreign movies and TV series.

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Suzanne Beard

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George Fleming 

George Fleming Filmmaker, Artist and Bon Vivant has been walking the streets of culture for over twenty years. In that time his travels have taken him to the doors and alleyways of all forms moving image and arts creation and a stint in corporate TV notwithstanding his career has been full, joyful and creative. George loves ideas as it gives him the opportunity to sit and think. Wait for inspiration. Think again and maybe have a coffee or two, mainly just sit. When inspiration does hit him though it fills him with immense satisfaction which is celebrated with another coffee. Or maybe a mint tea.

George has worked in television, community and education and really enjoys helping and guiding people in their artistic journeys.

George is currently Teaching Fellow in Media Practice at Leicester University.

Favourite Film
My Life as a Dog – Lasse Hallstrom

Favouite Book
The Wind up Bird Chronicles – Haruki Murakami

My Hero/Heroine
Alan Turing

 

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