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

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.

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.

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

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

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…

Nina Jones – Treasurer

Nina Jones has been a freelance filmmaker ever since leaving Wolverhampton University six years ago with a degree in Video Production. Nina’s experience ranges from large-scale media projects to one-to-one video training. She is capable of delivering insightful and exciting film workshops to a range of different abilities and ages. Nina is also an experienced camera operator and editor and has worked extensively in the corporate and entertainment sectors. When Nina has a spare moment she is busy developing her own work. She is a bright and vibrant part of the Reel Access team and her knowledge and experience is a great asset.

Louise Edwards

Louise was born in Birmingham to a working class family. Her mom worked several jobs to afford piano lessons and this has influenced her whole life in terms of opportunities.  She went on to do a B.Ed at Wolverhampton Poly in music and special needs.  Her first job was teaching and providing music therapy at a residential special school.  She then moved into mainstream education as a teacher with responsibilities for music and special educational needs.  She eventually became the headteacher of two schools and then started to work for an Education Action Zone, eventually becoming the director. The EAZ’s were set up to support areas of deprivation in overcoming barriers to learning and this was something dear to her heart as she knew the impact opportunities to access the arts had had on her own life.   Eventually Lousie launched a social enterprise with the same aims as EAZs but with a wider brief of bringing arts into the poorest of areas.  This included film projects for children, access to poets and authors, dance and an annual Arts Fest at Birmingham’s renowned theatres.  These were attended by thousands of children over the year, with it often being their first trip to a theatre, let alone their chance to perform on a world class stage!
 
Louise took early retirement in 2017 and now has time to still act as a trustee for some youth projects as well as Reel Access. She has one son who is a film editor making movie trailers in London and she often goes to the cinema and watching his work on the big screen which is somewhat surreal!  Louise loves playing piano and guitar, enjoys gardening, film and theatre. Louise a vegetarian of 35 years and supports many animal welfare charities. Louise also loves reading, especially history related and who-dunnits. Louise have been writing a book for 7 years – it might get finished one day!  
 
Favourite Film
This is so difficult but one I can watch over and over again is Hithcock’s ‘Rebecca’.  I also enjoy many silent movies with my favourite being the sinister ‘M’.  One of my guilty pleasures is the detective ‘Miss Marple’ and I love the Joan Hickson portrayal of her.  At Christmas every year, my (adult) son and I watch ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ – for some reason, it just means Christmas to us.  I am loving watching the Peaky Blinders saga.

Favourite Book
Again it is so difficult to choose one book.  I like local history books in particular and anything by Carl Chinn in particular.  I love murder mystery and particularly Stephen King books.  The book that has had greatest impact on me was one I read in 1981 called ‘Animals are Equal’ by Rebecca Hall.

My Hero/Heroine
It might sound corny but it is my mom who worked so hard to give me a chance of a better life.  It will impact for generations as my son’s life has also benefited of what she helped me to achieve.  Her values of treating people fairly and helping where you can if you can were instilled into me.


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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