2023 Royal Television Society Patrons Dinner

The RTS Patrons Dinner took place on Thursday 2 November.

As a Major Patron I’m so proud that Sargent-Disc’s support helps the RTS to undertake it’s amazing work. In addition to the presentation of the eight new RTS Fellowships, celebrating the achievements of the best talent in our industry, this evening shone the spotlight on the RTS Bursary Scheme. One hundred (1/3) of current Bursary students attended the dinner to network and meet key industry figures. They shared inspiring stories of how the Bursary has transformed their lives and career opportunities. It is fabulous to see the impact the RTS is having on the next generation of change making TV professionals” said Dr. Laurence Sargent

The RTS’s Bursary Programme aims to create more diversity within the industry by providing financial support, industry mentoring and networking opportunities to talented students from lower-income backgrounds studying an undergraduate degree or HND Level 5 or 6’. Participants have access to the network of RTS members, patrons and supporters.

Jack Thorne (Best Interests, National Treasure)
Rosemary Newell (Head of Content at ITV)

The RTS Fellowships recognise outstanding individuals who have made a sustained and exceptional contribution to the UK television industry. Seven new Fellowships were presented in person to the writers Jack Thorne (Best Interests, National Treasure), Abi Morgan (Sex Traffic, The Hour) and Jesse Armstrong (Succession, Peep Show) along with television executives Ben Frow (Controller of Channel 5), Anne Mensah (Vice President of Content at Netflix), John Ryley (former Head of Sky News) and Rosemary Newell (Head of Content at ITV). The eighth Fellowship was awarded to the writer and producer Stephen Knight CBE, who was not able to attend the dinner.

Ben Frow (Controller of Channel 5)
Abi Morgan (Sex Traffic, The Hour)

Alongside the presentations, the RTS also welcomed Kate Phillips to the Board of Trustees. Previously, Kate was Director of Entertainment at BBC and is responsible for commissioning Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear, The Apprentice and many other popular shows.

Jesse Armstrong (Succession, Peep Show)
Anne Mensah (Vice President of Content at Netflix)
John Ryley (former Head of Sky News)

Theresa Wise, CEO of the Royal Television Society said of the evening, “We came together to celebrate the eight esteemed industry leaders that we have presented with Fellowships for 2023, all of which have provided an outstanding contribution to the UK television industry. We are also delighted to welcome Kate Phillips to our Board of Trustees, and Clare Laycock as Chair of our National Events Committee with thanks to Heather Jones for her support and invaluable guidance over the past few years in that role. We also welcome Sarah McCaffrey and Stuart Ray as Chairs of the Northern Ireland and Southern Centres respectively and look forward to working with them closely.

Photo Credits: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian

A decade of support for NFTS scholars: Ewelina Dziedzic

Over the past decade, Sargent-Disc’s annual scholarships aided 20 graduates from the National Film and Television School (NFTS). To celebrate this landmark the alumni of the Production Management Diploma Programme reflect on the scholarship’s impact.


Ewelina Dziedzic’s journey in the film industry exemplifies the power of determination and the opportunities that arise when one seeks support. Through her unwavering dedication and the assistance of the Sargent-Disc scholarship, Ewelina overcame financial obstacles and was able to pursue her dreams at the NFTS. Her story serves as an inspiration for aspiring filmmakers, highlighting the importance of passion, hard work, and seeking out opportunities that can shape a successful career in the dynamic world of film production.

Locaction shot from Call My Agent

Ewelina’s fascination with filmmaking began at a young age when she participated in creating a promotional film for her high school. The experience sparked her interest in production management, a role that blended her passion for logistics, organisation, art, and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives. However, coming from a small town with no connections to the film industry, Ewelina had to rely on her own determination to pave her way.

While working full-time Ewelina pursued part-time studies in production management. She juggled various film and non-film jobs, constantly building her portfolio and network. Seeking opportunities on bigger international projects, she made the bold decision to move to the capital city of Poland, Warsaw. Commuting every weekend to attend classes, she embraced the challenges that came with starting anew in a foreign city. She learnt that she needed to be her biggest supporter and motivator, because if she wouldn’t believe in herself, no one else will.

Location shot from ESKMO music video

As Ewelina approached graduation, her desire to work on larger-scale international projects grew stronger. She obtained a Master’s degree in producing in London and applied to the NFTS Production Management Diploma course. Recognizing the school’s exceptional reputation and the potential for career advancement, Ewelina was determined to overcome any hurdles that came her way.

One significant obstacle Ewelina faced was the inability to apply for a student loan to cover the tuition fees at NFTS. With limited savings and no financial support from her family, she refused to let this setback deter her dreams. Driven by her passion and determination, she explored all available scholarship opportunities. It was during this search that she discovered the Sargent-Disc scholarship. This scholarship covered half of her tuition fees, allowing her to pursue her studies at NFTS, connecting her to the industry and providing opportunities for career progression.

Location scouting at the NFTS

Ewelina describes her time at the NFTS as transformative. The course emphasised hands-on learning, with students working on various projects, ranging from commercials and short films to games and documentaries. As a production manager, Ewelina was responsible for overseeing logistics, budgeting, crew management, and problem-solving. The programme allowed her to learn from experienced professionals, gain valuable industry knowledge, and build a network of like-minded individuals.

Following her graduation from NFTS, Ewelina’s career soared. She worked as assistant production coordinator on notable productions The Serpent Queen 2 starring Samantha Morton, 2nd Unit of Boys in the Boat directed by George Clooney and also Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Ewelina was also the Travel Coordinator for The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, directed by Guy Ritchie (starring Henry Cavill, Alan Ritchson, Cary Elwes, and Eiza Gonzalez), and the Cast and Travel Coordinator on KAOS, written by Charlie Covell (starring Jeff Goldblum, Janet McTeer, and David Thewlis). Her experiences enabled her to refine her skills, expand her network, and continue to grow within the industry. More recently she has been production managing short films such as Left Over starring Chloe Pirrie and Ian Hart for BFI Network. This year Ewelina was accepted into BAFTA Connect; adding to her accolades as Production Guild of Great Britain member since 2022 and taking part in the BFI Academy last year. This involved working with young filmmakers as the Production Management tutor on two films at the NFTS. Finally, we would love to offer our congratulations to Ewelina on her NFTS graduation documentary receiving nominations for the Royal Television Awards and the Grierson Documentary Awards. 

Boys in the Boat night shoot

For more information on the Production Management for Film and Television Diploma course, visit the NFTS website.

Scotland records ‘significant growth’ in 2021

Earlier this year, our Broadcast Network article “Supporting Scottish Success” profiled the different ways that Sargent-Disc, a Cast & Crew company, has backed the growth of Scotland’s film and TV production industry, from providing specialist services to Scottish productions, to sponsoring the annual Edinburgh TV Awards.

As the UK industry readied itself for the 2023 Edinburgh TV Festival and Awards (sponsored by Cast & Crew) in August, new figures were released by Screen Scotland that confirmed the continuation of an upward trend of success for Scotland’s screen sector in 2021.

Commissioned by Screen Scotland and produced by Saffery Champness and Nordicity, ‘The Economic Value of the Screen Sector in Scotland in 2021’ report recorded significant growth in all areas of production, compared to the preceding study in 2019.

Inward investment film and HETV production spend was found to have increased by 110%, from £165.3 million in 2019 to £347.4 million in 2021. An estimated £617.4 million was spent on the production of film, TV and other audiovisual content in Scotland in 2021, a 55% increase on the £398.6 million spent in 2019. Employment in Scotland’s production sector also rose by 39% to 7,150 FTE jobs, a higher rise than the overall employment increase recorded across Scotland (5.6%).

Over 80% of the net increase in production spending between 2019 & 2021 (£218.8m) was due to the tremendous growth in inward film and HETV production. It more than doubled from £165.3m to £347.4m, as Scotland attracted the filming of several big budget films including Batgirl, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and HETV shows like The Rig, Good Omens, and Anansi Boys.

Announcing the good news, Isabel Davis, Screen Scotland’s Executive Director said: “The growth in all forms of production in Scotland between 2019 and 2021 is a phenomenal result. It shows us that public investment via Screen Scotland in infrastructure, development, production and skills development, combined with attractive levels of production incentive are the catalyst for a successful industry.”

“We really welcome the publication of Screen Scotland’s latest study, which confirms what we’ve been hearing from our Scottish clients in recent years,” says Dr Laurence Sargent, Sargent-Disc director and co-head of international at Cast & Crew. “They have witnessed first-hand the marked uptick in titles moving into production across the Nation.

“The official figures are impressive – inward investment has doubled, overall production spend is up by more than a half, employment is up by almost 40%.

“It’s clear that new studios, facility expansions and skills investment are paving the way for a more robust Scottish industry with a thriving independent sector. We look forward to building on our existing relationships in Scotland and working with more Scottish productions in the future.”

Recent Scottish shows Sargent Disc has provided services to include Buccaneer Media’s gritty ITVX thriller Crime starring Dougray Scott adapted by Irvine Welsh, and Sky Cinema thriller Dead Shot starring Colin Morgan and Felicity Jones.

Sargent-Disc also provided payroll services on all seven series of Outlander for producer Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

According to the research, growth is in large part due to sector development since Screen Scotland was formed in 2018, including significant skills development work and the opening of new or

expanded studios. These include Edinburgh’s First Stage Studios where Prime Video’s The Rig (now filming series 2) and Anansi Boys were filmed, and the expansion of The Pyramids in West Lothian, home to Good Omens series 2 (Prime Video), released earlier this year.

If you work in Scottish production and would like to know more about Sargent-Disc’s products and services, contact us now.

A decade of support for NFTS scholars: Emily Morgan

Over the past decade Sargent-Discs annual scholarship support for 3 students attending the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has aided 20 graduates, enabling them to access the education and opportunities offered by the NFTS. As this milestone year unfolds, a special spotlight is cast on the alumni of the Production Management Diploma programme as they reflect on their journeys so far and the impact the scholarship has had on them.

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BBC and Channel 4 Reign Supreme at Edinburgh TV Awards

The Edinburgh TV Awards, sponsored by Cast & Crew, took place yesterday on the final evening of the 2023 Edinburgh TV Festival with the BBC and Channel 4 leading the wins. Hosted by stand-up comedian, actor, writer and musician Jordan Gray, the awards celebrated the incredible range of creativity and excellence of the UK and international TV industry. In a year that saw huge drama launches, big farewells and welcomed genre busting non-scripted formats, it has definitely been a year of TV to remember and the awards last night reflected that.

Dr Laurence Sargent, Co Head International, Cast & Cast and Director Sargent-Disc, presented the Best Drama Award to the BBC for Happy Valley, created, written and directed by the phenomenally talented Sally Wainright.

Dr Laurence Sargent presents the Best Drama Award
Sally Wainwright received the Best Drama Award

BBC COO, Charlotte Moore, was presented with the Channel of the Year award by Jury President, Mobeen Azhar. The BBC had a successful night with additional wins including Best Entertainment Series which went to The Traitors, Breakthrough Presenter to Ellie Simmonds (Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism?), and Best Entertainment TV Presenter for Graham Norton (The Graham Norton Show).

Claudia Winkleman was presented with this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award for her contribution to some of the most popular TV shows. These include non-scripted hits The Piano from Channel 4 and the BBC’s The Traitors alongside the hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing from the BBC.

Claudia Winkleman receives the Outstanding Achievement Award

2023 Edinburgh TV Awards Winners:

Best TV Actor – Comedy
Jamie Demetriou
Best TV Actor – Drama
Kate Winslet
Best TV Presenter – Factual
Ramita Navai
Best TV Presenter – Entertainment
Graham Norton
Breakthrough Actor
Lewis Gribben
Breakthrough Presenter
Ellie Simmonds
Best Comedy Series
Derry Girls
Best Documentary
Children of the Taliban
Best Drama
Happy Valley
Best Entertainment Series
The Traitors
Best International Drama
Best Popular Factual Series
Rosie Jones’ Trip Hazard
Climate Impact Award
Guy Martin’s Great British Power Trip
Production Company of the Year
Dancing Ledge Productions
Production Group of the Year
STV Studios
Small Indie of the Year
Afro-Mic Production
Best On Demand Service
Channel of the Year
Ones to Watch Random Acts Live Pitch
Outstanding Achievement Award
Claudia Winkleman
TV Moment of the Year
Dr Who Regenerates

 For the full list of nominees and more information about the awards, visit the Edinburgh TV Festival website.

A decade of support for NFTS scholars: David Freedman

2023 marks the tenth year of Sargent-Disc providing its annual scholarship for students attending the National Film and Television School (NFTS). The scholarships serve as a key part of the company’s work to recognise the excellence achieved by the NFTS and its students. To mark this special year, we caught up with a selection of the Production Management Diploma alumni starting with David Freedman.

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