Filmmaker needed to create a 5-10 minute documentary film about our Elders project We’ll Be in Touch…

The Royal Exchange Theatre is looking for a filmmaker from Greater Manchester to create a short film (around 5-10minutes) to document our Elders programme project WE’LL BE IN TOUCH as part of DISRUPT, a brand new digital arts festival which takes place on 8/9 July 2021.

The festival will explore how the performing arts has supported communities during a year of uncertainty and change, and has encouraged new and radical ways of working.

WE’LL BE IN TOUCH is a partnership project between the Royal Exchange Theatre and Together Dementia Support. It is a unique project about older people supporting other older people via a creative phone service. Volunteers from the Royal Exchange Theatre Elders Company lead creative phone-calls with participants from Together Dementia Support creating new artistic outcomes: an anthology of poems; and a new spoken-word podcast of poetry.

The project is led by the Elders Leaders - graduates of the Elders Company who volunteer to support the Elders programme. Participants from Together Dementia Support are partnered with an Elders Leader, who telephones them once a week for a month. During each call, the Elders Leader shares a piece of text (a poem, song lyric or verse from Shakespeare), invites a conversation about it, and then poses a series of questions which leads to the creation of a brand new poem.


The film will celebrate the project and share the learning as part of the DISRUPT Festival. The film will include interviews with participants and key stakeholders (conducted by the filmmaker at various locations) as well as snippets of the poetry created as part of the project.

The film will be released on our website and social media channels as part of the DISRUPT Festival on 8/9 July and will be played at the start of a live-streamed panel discussion on Friday 9 July.

The film needs to be fully accessible including for those people living with dementia. We can provide support and guidance on this.


We want to hear from a Greater Manchester artist with experience of documentary style filmmaking and who is used to working with communities and non-professionals.

You will help shape the visual look and style of the documentary, as well as conduct interviews on location in Manchester and then edit the final film.


7 May – Deadline to apply
12 May – Interviews
14 May – filmmaker confirmed
17 May into June – Creation of film, including participant interviews.
25 June  First rough cut delivered
1 July – Film signed off
9 July  Live stream event

The fee is £1000


We want to make the expression of interest process as simple as possible. Therefore, please send:

1) A cover letter (one side of A4) telling us:
- why you want to deliver this project and what you will bring to it AND
- detail one previous project that demonstrates your work with communities and/or non-professionals

2) Your CV (which can include hyperlinks to examples of your work)

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview (probably via Zoom link) on 12 May.

If you have any access requirements and/or face any barriers to applying please do let us know.

Please send your expression of interest letter and CV to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than 10am on Friday 7 May 2021.

If you have any questions or would like an informal conversation about the role, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0161 615 6792

About the Royal Exchange Theatre

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre (RET) is an award-winning producing theatre with a rich history of innovative community engagement including our Elders and Young Companies, and Local Exchange - a creative programme embedded in communities across GM led by locally recruited Ambassadors. The Exchange’s flagship Elders Company, established in 2014, is recognised nationally and internationally for its ability to challenge stereotypes around ageing, promote creativity into later life and reduce social isolation.


About Together Dementia Support

Together Dementia Support (TDS) is a registered charity offering support and therapeutic activities for people living with dementia, their carers and supporters in Manchester. TDS provide high quality activity and support groups to help people with dementia to maintain skills and hobbies, and to enable both them and their carers to make friends and maintain wellbeing.

Sally Ferris, founder and CEO of TDS has worked with older people in Manchester, Trafford and Salford for 30 years. With an MSc in Dementia Care and leadership experience of the Dementia Support Service for Salford Age UK, Sally loves the opportunities TDS has to offer innovative services that respond to local people’s needs. TDS also collaborate with a number of arts organisations to enrich the activities we can offer and give people with dementia opportunities to show off their talent and creativity.



Let’s not beat around the bush, the last year has been a shocker. Despite everything, we have had to adapt. Theatres working as food-banks, dance classes have gone digital and community centres have risen to the challenge. 2020 was tough, but creatives and communities proved themselves tougher.

DISRUPT is a brand new digital arts festival taking place online on from 8-9 July 2021. Created in response to the global pandemic, the event will explore how the performing arts has supported communities during this time and how a year of uncertainty and change has encouraged new and radical ways of working.

With a programme created entirely from open submissions and selected by a panel of 15 community artists, the festival will bring together creatives, artists, communities, cultural and community organisations, researchers, charities and schools, harnessing collective learnings from an arduous year to reimagine the role of the arts in our societies.

Can we use the pandemic as a cultural reset? Can we disrupt, question and challenge assumptions and the ways in which communities and artists work together?