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About Us

Calling the Shots

Calling the Shots is all about widening participation and helping people express themselves through creative media.

Our story began in 1998 with Stray, a film about the trials and tribulations of homeless teenagers. The film, made in partnership with Bread Youth Project in St Paul’s, Bristol set the tone.

Since then we’ve worked with hundreds of organisations, from the smallest, like local family charity Together For Short Lives, to some of the biggest, like Channel 4 and Honda UK.

We have the same approach whoever we work with. We offer clear communication, a strong sense of collaboration and scale-able services to fit the brand and project. Our extensive network of partners from across all sectors really benefits organisations trying to reach new audiences.

Our Process

Sometimes it can be really hard to engage meaningfully with particular communities and ‘hard to reach’ demographics. Creative media such as film, photography and music can really help break down barriers and give people not only a voice but also skills they can develop over a lifetime.

We have recently helped the University of Bristol engage successfully with eight different community groups as varied as single parents and Afro-Caribbean musicians as part of a million pound AHRC funded project. We helped Channel 4 connect with over 1000 16-25 year olds through our 4Talent work-related learning days, and we’ve up-skillied 16-25 year olds and commissioned 72 short films for Arts Council England and Channel 4 through their Random Acts TV arts strand.

We are now working on a new and exciting project called ‘New Creatives‘, in partnership with Arts Council England and BBC Arts

We have developed skills and capacity in communities and organisations throughout the South-West and nationally.

Follow the journey of our first 20 years