Meet the core team and freelancers that provide the wealth of knowledge and skills here at Signal Film & Media
On returning to the area after university, former school mates Kerry and Loren returned to their hometown in nearby Ulverston to pursue their dreams of working in film and to provide access and opportunities for likeminded people. Back in 2001, they set up the first version of what later became Signal Film and Media in Barrow, to offer activities for people who would otherwise be excluded from the creative and digital sector.
After a few different homes, Loren and Kerry raised over £2 million to transform the derelict Victorian ‘Cooke’s’ building on Abbey Road into the creative media centre, which opened in December 2011.
Since those early beginnings, Kerry has an MA in Screenwriting course from the National Film and Television School, is part of the BBC Writers’ Room & is writing for the Peaky Blinders’ VR experience while Loren and her partner, Director Matt Palmer have recently finished their BAFTA-winning feature film & Netflix Original CALIBRE (15) & will soon be starting production with Bong Joon Ho & Participant Media on an exciting new drama.
They are both still incredibly active and passionate filmmakers within the industry whilst balancing their executive roles here at Signal.
Kerry is currently on Maternity Leave.
Rachel Capovila: Project MANAGER
A freelance artist & filmmaker from and based in Barrow, She has experienced community arts Project Manager.Rachel has produced many of the award-winning film projects here at Signal. Rach’s artistic work is a cross-disciplinary practice exploring the relationship between memory, place and historic narrative. Often utilising the local natural world within her work Rachel’s practice encompasses film, textile and installation. Her work has been to the Venice Biennale twice and has been published with Pyramid and Thames and Hudson.
Adam Pickford: Project Assistant / Editor
The youngest member of the Signal team, but by no means the least accomplished. An award-winning cinematographer with 15 years editing experience under his belt, Adam’s 2017 short was nominated for Student Widescreen Film of the Year and Best Drama at the Southern Royal Television Awards. He was also awarded runner up prize for the 2018 Bill Vinten Guild of Television Cameras University Award for his cinematography skills on The Fence, which has also since gone viral on Youtube, clocking up nearly 2 million views. He works across all strands here at Signal.
Joanna Roy: Digital Art Project Manager
Leading an ambitious digital arts programme strand here at Signal, Jo has brought a wealth of national and international talent from artists around the world here to Barrow as part of the project. Having worked previously at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and Abandon Normal Devices Festival, she also lectures at Manchester School of Art in Graphic Design. Jo also works as a freelance Graphic Designer and is responsible for Signal’s new branding and website overhaul.
Phil Northcott: Curator / Project Assistant
A curator and arts coordinator who has over 15 years experience working with national and international artists on multidisciplinary exhibitions and projects. He coordinated the first UK re-staging of Daniel Buren’s Voile Toile / Toile Voile in the Lake District and a significant exhibition for Cumbria of US Abstract Expressionism, Guston in Grasmere, for The Wordsworth Trust. He has a masters degree in Curation in Fine Art after studying at The University of West of England. Phil works on the development and delivery of our digital arts programme.
Kezz Turner: Project Coordinator / Manager
Charlotte Davies: Project Coordinator / Manager
Charlotte is one of the newest members of our recently-expanded team & joins us as Project Manager for our Youth Collective programme and as Coordinator & Assistant on our Sankey heritage project. With a background in conceptual art and photography, Charlotte’s warmth and enthusiasm brings much joy to our team.
Helen Watson: Co-Director (Maternity Cover)
Helen has over twenty five years’ experience working nationally in museums, galleries and heritage. She has worked for national institutions, the private & commercial sector and charities. Recent roles include Director at The Tetley, Leeds, a pioneering centre for contemporary art and Director of Programming, Lakeland Arts, one of the North’s leading arts and heritage organisations. Helen’s expertise lies in artistic and learning programming, curation, organisational development and change management. She has an MA in Museum Studies, is an Associate of the Museums Association, a Coach and Clore Leadership Fellow.
Sophie Broadgate: Project Assistant / Editor
A Manchester-based filmmaker whose work spans across Narrative, Documentary and Art Film. She has seen her work screen at BFI Flare, Queer Lisboa and Palace International film festival. As a writer/director, Sophie is currently developing a slate of short films with the aim of moving into features. The Rainy Day Video and her own production company, Pikaia Films. She is a passionate advocate of Queer rights & is also fluent in French.
Karen Bird: Youth Project Delivery / Trustee
A rare female director who created pop promos for ‘Godfathers of music video’ Godley and Creme in the late 80s, working with artists including John Lydon, Trent Reznor and Van Morrison. Karen returned north to hone her storytelling skills and pursue her passion for helping others develop their creativity after working for many years for the UK Film Council as a mentor on crew trainee schemes on productions such as Channel 4’s SHAMELESS and the BBC’s WATERLOO ROAD. Primarily a writer/director, Karen has overseen production of over 30 short films at Signal which have screened at festivals around the world and won numerous prizes. She is currently in post-production on her own latest short film.
Julia Parks: Heritage Project Manager
Jon Borgia: Technician / Project Coordinator
The person to fix all things here at Signal, able to support sound, lighting, digital media and more technical skills than you can shake a stick at. From exhibition curation and coding to website design and multimedia engineering regularly called upon, Jon’s background is in software design for the arts, media and computing and in events management, having coordinated artists gates at festivals & events for many years.
May Davies: Project Executive / Fundraiser
Originally a Project Manager here, May is now often found as a project executive and funding bid writer for many of the programmes here at Signal, working from her base in London. Primarily May is an art director and production designer for a variety of acclaimed award-winning films (Swallows and Amazons, Mea Culpa, Calibre) and tv series (People Just Do Nothin’, The Importance of Being Oscar). She is a BAFTA crew mentor who regularly supports students at the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts.
Charlie Booth: Project Coordinator / Manager
Charlie is our Adult Programme Director here at Signal, overseeing our West Coast Photo Festival. Additionally Charlie is Community Engagement Manager at Manchester Histories (& helped deliver the award-winning project Peterloo 2019) & has her own independent curatorial and producing practice. Working previously at the Hepworth Wakefield and South Square Gallery in Bradford as a Curatorial Fellow, she has worked on a variety of exhibition delivery roles such as Assistant Curator for the Tall Tales National Touring exhibition and Exhibitions Coordinator for Let’s Go Global.