Shoot for the stars: Fiona Adams & Natalie Purchase

26th March 2021

Screen and Film School Brighton were thrilled to launch Shoot for the Stars this year- an exclusive opportunity for graduates to talk directly to the Stars of Tomorrow and make connections for the future.

Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow is an annual showcase of the most prominent new writers, directors, producers and heads of department emerging across the UK and Ireland. Screen and Film School Brighton graduates were given the opportunity to spend 30-minutes chatting with their chosen star, including Ruben Woodin Dechamps, Ella Glendining, Colum Eastwood, Akinola Davies Jr, Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, and gain valuable insight into their careers and journeys through film. 

For the past few weeks we’ve been sharing some words of wisdom from these sessions. This week in our final instalment, we caught up with organisers Fiona Adams and Natalie Purchase to hear all about how this 2-week-long initiative came about, and why it was so valuable for our graduates here at Screen and Film School.

Fiona Adams, Screen and Film School Brighton Industry Engagement Manager

At Screen & Film School Brighton we were so excited to see the wide diversity of talent recognised by Screen International this year with their annual Stars of Tomorrow awards.  A host of incredibly talented people are showcased here including writers, directors, producers and heads of department who often become the biggest names in film and tv.

My idea was to find a way of connecting our graduates with these Stars of Tomorrow in order to create connections and long-term relationships for our emerging talent at Screen & Film School Brighton. So we launched Shoot for the Stars – and sent out an invitation to the Stars of Tomorrow to take part in a short one to one chat with one of our graduates.  All our graduates were invited to apply to take part and we then matched them up based on their common interests and skills for one-to-one zoom chats.

For 2 weeks we ran 13 of these zoom talks – our graduates researched their Star of Tomorrow and then conducted a series of insightful and engaging discussions.  I feel that this initiative is particularly valuable because of the empowerment it has given our students to progress their own careers within the industry – this has given them the opportunity to connect with a rising star and get first hand advice for their own development – and many of them have established a connection with their star of tomorrow that they can now continue to develop independently.  Our graduates at Screen & Film School Brighton have had this exclusive opportunity to shoot for the stars and are now on their way to becoming the stars of tomorrow themselves – we at the film school are incredibly proud of them and wish them every success. 

Natalie Purchase, Screen and Film School Brighton Industry Placement & Alumni Officer

I can only thank everyone again for taking part in what was such a fascinating series of interviews – to the graduates who researched so diligently and interviewed so thoughtfully, to the Stars for sharing their time and wisdom with us, and to Fiona for thinking up such a great idea to begin with. 

This was our inaugural Shoot for the Stars, and our graduates exceeded any (already very high) expectations we had for how the interviews would go. It was an honour to be able to watch such funny, heartfelt and riveting conversations between emerging filmmakers, and I can’t wait to see the connections that will blossom from this opportunity 

A huge thank you to all of our wonderful graduates, the brilliant Stars of Tomorrow who took part in this series, and of course to Fiona and Natalie for organising such an amazing opportunity.


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