Thea Jones, a talented 18-year-old filmmaker from Walney Island who has trained, volunteered and worked with us since she was 13 has now had her own professional short film produced as part of Random Acts Network Centre North’s education, training and production programme funded by Arts Council England and supported by Channel 4.

Thea has been heavily involved in our youth projects since 2011 and was one of 24 young people chosen to take part in the Random Acts NCN training programme. The scheme featured an intensive talent residential training workshop, plus online mentoring to develop ideas, and support from industry professionals to make the films.

Thea’s short film is being showcased on Channel 4’s Random Acts website at and is also eligible for broadcast on Channel 4, so watch this space!

Thea Jones, who is training to be a hair and make-up artist for film and television, says:

‘I found out about Random Acts Network Centre North though my local production company Signal Film and Media, where I attended a with the creative director of Random Acts NCN Ian Fenton who spoke about how as creative people we create ideas. I then applied online and got accepted. I’ve been involved in projects with Signal Film and Media since I was about 13 years old, working on young peoples projects, one was called ‘The Orb’ and the other ‘Tweet’ after those I moved onto their BFI Film Academy programme, through the projects I’ve earned my arts award and a BFI qualification. I’m so excited that my very own film will be up for everyone to see online and even has the potential to be shown on Channel 4 in the upcoming months. I’ve also been working at Signal two days a week shadowing a project Manager where I’ve also learnt how to edit. This experience is fantastic to add to my CV, I’m hoping to hop straight into TV, doing hair and make-up after college. Random Acts is a creative platform that allows artists that may not necessarily normally get the opportunity to showcase there creative talent. It means a lot to me because it has given me the opportunity take my creative idea and make it into a reality.’

Thea’s short film Fishy Tales is a conversation between two female teenage fish. It symbolises the repetition of mistakes teenage girls make during adolescence. The fish are created by visual illusion lip-art design painting the fish onto the bottom of the girls faces so that the fish lips align with the real lips which will tell the young girls story.

Stephanie Bryant, one of our Project Managers says:

‘We’re overjoyed for Thea, she’s utilitised Signal to it’s maximum capacity and is now doing so well that she’s an advocate for other young people to do something outside of normal conventions and we hope it inspires more to follow in her footsteps. We’ve watched her grow up to be such a fantastic, artistic and capable filmmaker who has the grit, determination and positive attitude to make it big in this industry.

On top of all this Thea has delivered short insights to other groups and workshops, offering our next generation of participants the chance to see the pathway that she has taken and how they too can be creative in the media. We’ve also heard the good news that our BFI Film Academy participant Emilio Methven has been accepted onto this years Random Acts NCN education, training and production programme.’

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Random Acts are short films by artists, not films about artists. They are bold, daring and challenging expressions of creativity delivered in short film form. Between 90 seconds and 3 minutes long, they come in many flavours: live action, animation, serious, cheeky, outrageous; made by dancers, visual artists, poets, musicians, writers, comedians, filmmakers.

If you’re aged 16-24 and live or study anywhere in the North of England you could make one as part of the Random Acts education, training and production programme.

Random Acts was established in 2011 as Channel 4’s platform for short arts films with the aim of escaping the conventions of arts broadcasting and showing films made by artists, rather than programmes about them. Since then it has broadcast over 500 short films covering art, dance, animation, music, spoken word and opera, including work by Ai Weiwei, Tinie Tempah, Kate Tempest, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Marina Abramovic. The work created for the programme can be seen at

Channels 4 have re-launched Random Acts in partnership with Arts Council England to increase the impact and prominence of the strand and extend its reach. The re-launch will see 12 half-hour TV shows, each featuring a curated group of the films and a new home on the web that will be better integrated with the rest of Channel 4’s digital estate, making it easier for viewers to find and to use. Distribution of films into will ensure that the fast-growing mobile audience can discover and enjoy Random Acts on their smartphones and tablets, at home or on the move. At least 60-80 Random Act films will continue to be commissioned directly by Channel 4 every year from artists, producers and independent production companies; but around 120 per year will be commissioned from 16-24 year olds by five new Random Acts Network Centres.


Tyneside Cinema is one of the UK’s leading independent specialised film and media venues. Alongside its programmes of new world cinema and digital media arts the cinema is also famous as a screen heritage attraction, housed in its spectacular Grade II listed building in the heart of Newcastle. Tyneside Cinema is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and also receives revenue funding from Newcastle City Council, BFI and Creative England.

Tyneside Cinema were successful in their bid last year to lead the Random Acts Network Centre in the North – one of five Centres across England, in a new initiative funded by Arts Council in partnership with Channel 4 to identify and develop young creative talent aged 16-24.

Tyneside Cinema’s Centre was awarded £600,000 in order to carry out the project to produce 72 short films which can be from 90 seconds to 3 minutes long – over 3 years, all of which will have exposure across Channel 4’s various digital platforms, with the very best having the possibility of making it onto national television.

A total of 24 young participants per year will be chosen to take part in an inspirational 3-day residential talent camp with a range of professionals from across the creative industries, before being mentored in the creation of their own short films with the support of a professional production company.