DEVELOPING ROOM FILMS
We seek to create films for the youth of today - both in appeal and subject matter, using art to tackle, explore, and address social issues relevant to contemporary British young adults.
Our debut motion picture was the coming-of-age student film Sticky Toffee Pudding, a teen drama about a boarding school student who falls in with the wrong crowd after losing his best friend. The film was made exclusively by a team of first-time student filmmakers and featured in a total of sixteen different festivals around the world, winning BritCon Film Festival's Best Feature Film Award (2020) & Changing Face International Film Festival's Best Fiction Feature Award (June, 2020). The film built a cult following online, and received worldwide distribution through Bayview Entertainment and Shoreline Entertainment. It is now available to buy or rent from Amazon Prime UK, Vimeo Worldwide, and select stores across America including Walmart.
Our sophomore production and debut short film was the proof-of-concept sports spoof comedy Swingers. The film qualified for the BAFTAs, screening at festivals such as Carmarthen Bay Film Festival (2022) and Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival (2021). It also won the award for Best Acting at the London International Monthly Film Festival (September, 2021).
Our latest short film project, the mental health comedy drama fairytale The Girl and the Tide won the Special Mention prize for Best Costume Design at the BIFA-qualifying Unrestricted View Film Festival (2023), and the runner up prizes for Best Short Film and Best Cinematography at the LIMFF (October, 2022). It is now available to watch for free on YouTube.
Upcoming projects include When The Party's Over, a short film about addiction & party culture starring Hannan Ahmed (Brassic, The Day of the Jackal); Breakwater, a psychological student feature film starring Daniel McNamee and Shaun Paul McGrath (Carthago); Mother Maker Lover Taker, a supernatural LGBT+ feature film examining love & loss; mental health short film A Little Bit of Light, written and directed by BFI x BAFTA Mentorship & BFI x Lux Artists alumni Mojola Akinyemi; and Show Me The Sounds, a short film about hearing-loss, and the winner of our inaugural 2023 New Talent Film Fund.
"It really became the foundations of my film career. I had zero prior experience, but the team created a perfect environment for learning on the job."
- Sound Recordist on Sticky Toffee Pudding
We are also committed to cultivating a supportive network & community for young creatives to develop and mature into artists. We know how hard it is to break into the industry and are determined to give eager, hardworking young people the chance to get real, hands-on production experience. With every single project, we strive to ensure that at least 25% of our casts and crews are made up of industry newcomers. In fact, across 2021 and 2022, 45% of the casts & crews employed on the company's various short film projects were first-time filmmakers.
"I learnt a lot and appreciate the interest I could feel in supporting people who are relatively newer to the industry, like me, especially as I was encouraged to ask questions."
- Production Assistant on When The Party's Over
Filmmaking is about community. It literally takes a village. So we strive to use our platform to lift up other filmmakers, help them find one another, and build their tribe, in addition to trying to demystify the industry and help emerging talent kickstart their careers. We do this through our bi-annual New Talent Film Fund (where we award one visionary filmmaker a considerable production fund), our bi-weekly Opportunity Alert newsletter (sharing the 10 best film-related opportunities in London), events (such as our sell-out speed networking nights), mentorship & masterclass programmes (where emerging creatives can get exclusive access to panels, talks & classes, subsidised career consultations, and exclusive workshops with industry professionals), match-making service (where we pair up compatible creatives), and much more!
The Developing Room is more than just a production company. We're a hub for like-minded filmmakers who want to learn, grow, and better themselves as creatives.
MEET THE TEAM
Harvey John is the Founder & CEO of The Developing Room. Aged 19, he founded The Developing Room as a means of producing films for British youth by British youth, and to create a community where emerging filmmakers could help uplift one another. Years later, that ethos remains as true as ever, with the company having successfully grown into both an award-winning production company that directly funds and supports young filmmakers, and a thriving film community that seeks to support emerging filmmakers break into the industry.
A screenwriter, director & producer in his own right, Harvey seeks to tell allegorical stories that tackle important social themes and challenge an audience's view of the world. He is a current member of the Raindance Industry Committee, was a judge for the British Short Film Awards, and his latest short film screenplay To Catch A Siren recently made Coverfly's coveted Red List.
Having been a frequent collaborator of the company, Emma-Kate Barry officially joined The Developing Room in 2023, where she assists Harvey as both an in-house producer and administrator. Primarily an actress, Emma-Kate made her feature debut as Lilibet Ashworth-Browne in our very own Sticky Toffee Pudding (2020), for which she was nominated Best Actress at the BIFA-Qualifying Unrestricted View Film Festival, she is the star of the upcoming Mannequin Mouth film Mother Maker Lover Taker (2024) and her work in shorts include Infected Love (2018), Swingers (2021), The Girl and the Tide (2022), and When The Party’s Over (2024). Her stage credits include Lord of the Flies (Exeter Northcott Theatre, 2019) and Pickles, Peaches, and the End of the World (The Hope Theatre, 2023).