Short film commission call out

For some months, the Liverpool Irish Festival has been working on the revitalisation of the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail. You can find out more about that work, here. Having managed to achieve National Lottery Heritage Funding to support our work, developments have led us to the point where we would now like to commission a short film. Below are all the details ofthat commission. Please feel free to share this far and wide.

You can download the following brief and specification as a PDF, here.

Short film Commission: Liverpool Irish Famine Trail

Area: Creative
Fee: These fees have been resourced from a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant award. The fee is broken down as follows:

  • 5 days filming @ £200 pd
  • 1 film advertisement. Run as commission, £1,000
  • = £2,000 TOTAL
    The Liverpool Irish Festival can pay the recipient half the fee in advance, and half on submission of the final cut, if required. This will be negotiated with the applicant as part of the commission – please specify on application how you want payment making, e.g., in full on delivery or 50% upfront, 50% on delivery. It is expected that any material costs will covered within the fee.

Contract Type: Freelance fixed term contract
Responsible to: Artistic Director and CEO + History Group Lead
Deadline for applications: 9am, Mon 31 Jan (extended from 17 Jan) 2022.


Liverpool Irish Festival seek a film maker/independent production team to create a short film trailer (not more than 3-mins) that celebrates and communicates the work we have done to revitalise the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail. As well as communicating this story, the film should encourage interest in ongoing developments and plans in such a way it could be used for fundraising bids.

Over the next 5 years, Liverpool Irish Festival, alongside our city and community partners, will continue to revitalise the historic Liverpool Irish Famine Trail. The Trail will be restored with the involvement of local communities, providing an invigorated cultural asset for the city, creating new roles and creative commissions in the process.

The first stage has begun, with a History Research Group Lead and a team of volunteers researching and compiling information around the existing trail. The group are digitising the work of the Great Hunger Commemoration Committee using Liverpool Record Office records and compiling stories for each of the site locations on the Trail.

The successful candidate/s will work closely with the Festival team to develop a short trailer to help communicate findings, developments and processes to the Festival’s audience. The intention is for the film to be used as a standalone film, but also one that could be adapted to benefit public fundraising calls, heritage applications and to share with potential partners.

Demonstrable experience in filmmaking is essential and a relevant BA Degree is desirable, but not a prerequisite. We require someone/a team keen to learn, support our charitable aims and transfer skills to develop creative content that communicates our project, grows our audience and builds our artistic reputation.

Applicants are asked to review our Artistic Policy for details on our ethos, methodology and aims.

Creative brief

The purpose of the film is to give people a taster of the work the Festival is doing to revitalise the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail and why this is important to us, to the city and to the Irish diaspora. It is to encourage investment, support and interest. The audience is broad, so we need a crystalline message to help us reach a number of different stakeholders, whilst also crediting existing supporters. The simpler we can keep these messages, the more successfully we are likely to be able to communicate them.

The film should be no more than 3 minutes in length. As the pitcher, you have creative control, so it can be documentary in style, a dramatisation, animation or live action, as long as it comes in on budget and on time. We are open to what style/form the film takes. The filmmaker(s) will have access to any asset files the Festival has, including the History Research Group’s research folders, Festival photo archives, graphics assets and logo suites, commissioned music, etc.

Originality of subject matter, a strong perspective and adherence to the brief are essential. Be ambitious and imaginative, but remember you have limited time and budget!

We want you to pitch to us your creative vision to celebrate the revitalisation of the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail. Applicants need to be mindful of the history of the Trail, what it represents today and the tone of any output created. It is essential that the piece reflects the gravity of the topic, whilst being accessible, interesting and reflective of what the Festival is aiming to achieve, without commercialising pain, sparking political discord or trivialising events.

Applying for commissions

We welcome submissions from first time ‘commissionees’, such as students and amateur filmmakers. We also encourage those who are disabled or neurodiverse; from Irish, Northern Irish and global majority communities and/or LGBTQI+ communities along with those who not go into higher education or experienced childhood poverty to apply. The important part to remember is you must be able to show us you are able to deliver your proposal.

This project uses public funding so we have a duty of care to ensure the project results in what has been proposed. Due diligence in selecting a person or team who can deliver is paramount.

Applications should include

  • a story outline – this could be a story board or a prose list, whichever suits you best
  • an idea of the style you wish to employ/deploy – this could be a film example or digital mood board
  • examples of your work that demonstrate you can deliver what you pitch
  • a delivery timeline (ending no later than March 2022), including some working methodology as well as time plotted for rush sharing/proofing, credits and branding additions.

All applicants must present, as a minimum the items above, supported by an introductory message of no more than 500 words as to why you are applying/want the commission and what you bring that makes you/your team right for the role.

Process and timing (please note extension changes)

You will send your application, headed “Liverpool Irish Famine Trail film commission” to [email protected] no later than 9am Mon 31 Jan 2022 (this is an extension to our original deadline of Mon 17 Jan 2022. We have extended based on our workflow and the anticipated affects of the spread of Omicron).

If you are shortlisted, we will email in the week commencing 31 Jan/ending 4 Feb 2022. You will be invited to speak more about your idea on Zoom sometime during the week following. This will be to understand your method, get a sense of how you would work with us and iron out any questions arising from the initial application. We hope these interviews will be completed during the week commencing 7 Feb 2022, with the commission allocated and accepted no later than mid-Feb 2022, leaving 6 weeks-two months for the project to take place. Including revisions, we would like the finished film submitted no later than Sun 3 Apr 2022, having already been reviewed internally. We *may* be able to offer some flexibility on this, if pre-agreed and in reasonable time frames.

We request that filmmakers grant the Liverpool Irish Festival a Creative Commons licence (such as CC-BY-ND 4.0) for non-commercial use of the films in the future, that may include fundraising drives for our charity (registration number: 1100126).

Technical specifications

Unless otherwise negotiated with us, we expect that films will be rendered with H.264 video codec with an .mp4 wrapper/file extension

  • The file name of the final film should contain the full name of the film, with underscores between words, not spaces, e.g. The_Wizard_of_Oz.mp4.
  • Films should not exceed 32mbps
  • The aspect ratio should be 16:9 (1920:1080)
  • Any audio must be accompanied by subtitles
  • Volume levels should be equalised to between 6 and 12 dB.

Filmmaker: Responsibilities

Reporting directly to Liverpool Irish Festival’s Artistic Director and CEO and the History Research Lead, you will work against an agreed project plan and timeline for completion of filming, based initially on the materials presented for your submission and interview.

Through discussion with the team, you will have a working understanding of the research relating to the Liverpool Irish Famine Trail and the impact of the Irish Famine (also known as An Gorta Mór) on the city of Liverpool.

The goal is to develop a cohesive and visually impactful story, using research resources to develop an accessible narrative for Liverpool’s Famine Trail. We will expect you to play an active part in ensuring environmental sustainability and use and promote carbon reduction initiatives wherever possible. Additionally, we want you to develop digital content and opportunities, that aligns with our brand voice, imagery and messages. You are expected to work with the Festival to generate interest in the project.

You/your team will work with the Festival team to

  • establish a realistic target for reach using our platforms
  • coordinate your work with the Festival
  • identify possibly resources within the Festival for your film
  • create a dynamic/engaging public film campaign that raises awareness for the work and considers how it can be used online and via social media
  • create an appealing film that considers the Festival’s multiple audiences and carries the tone of our work
  • considers our brand voice, imagery and messages
  • set, manage and attain content goals and reporting mechanisms
  • operate in ways that ensure environmental sustainability and use and promote carbon reduction initiatives
    wherever possible.

Work alone to

  • create the film, in terms of shooting, editing and preparing the film
  • proactively initiate creative outputs, web content and social media posts
  • coordinate aspects of reporting alongside campaigns
  • manage project workflow and oversee day to day milestones
  • have an awareness of, and comply with, rules and legislation pertaining to Health and Safety at work and to
    adhere to the procedures as set out in the Festival’s Policy Pack
  • adhere to other guidelines, procedures and policies provided by the Festival.

The role is based in Liverpool and is designed primarily for home/location working, though in person meetings *may* be required. It is possible the role may require you to travel outside Liverpool (with travel costs determined by you within the budget provided).

Filmmaker(s) person specification


  • Ability to
    • work well in one-to-one and team environments to promote charity initiatives
    • prioritise and manage multiple milestones efficiently
    • embody and advocate the Festival’s mission, vision and values when operating in the Festival’s name
    • interpret a brief, incorporating brand assets, tone and needs
    • be open to proofing edits
    • demonstrate filmmaking experience and willingness to commit to the terms of the project
    • work from home (e.g., had access to internet and Office conversant packages) and to work
  • Knowledge of
    • making content appropriate for the platform on which is it sited
    • appropriate film editing software to produce ethe work proposed
  • A creative thinker with a will to test and pursue ideas, with high-quality control settings
  • A person who can sustain their energy for creating content, taking in to account political sensitivities and
    charity position
  • occasional (planned) evenings and weekends. *
    * The Liverpool Irish Festival maintains an office in Baltic Creative CIC, which may be accessible if needed. However, computers are limited and -whilst this is a freelance position- IT is not available.


  • Strong interpersonal skills, with a good sense of accountability, strong dependability, and impeccable
    This person will need to be able to show outward good humour when the chips are down
  • Someone/a team with independent thinking; self-motivated to ask questions to minimise procrastination and
    challenge inaction
  • Emotional intelligence and self-awareness, with the ability to ask for/receive and offer assistance or recommendation, when and where needed
  • Commitment to social justice, equality of opportunity and intersectional positivity
  • Ability to generate interest in the project
  • Ability to communicate complex and emotive topics to different audiences through film
  • Competency with information architecture and user experience best practices
  • Experience working with a diverse team and promoting a positive brand image
  • proof-reading ability.

This brief and specification are not an exhaustive description of the role. Rather, they are indicative of the types
of responsibility need for this contract. Liverpool Irish Festival reserves the right to make reasonable changes, as
necessary, commensurate with the post held and to review as required.


This project and commission are funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Image (c) Catherine Leen.