The founders of a documentary film production company are supporting working class filmmakers in Lancashire. 

Northern Heart Films was founded in 2016 by Natasha Hawthornthwaite, from Darwen, and Scott Bradley, from Blackburn, to create compassionate stories “that inspire emotional change”.

Each year, they offer a "Doc Fund" grant and mentoring opportunities to up and coming filmmakers who want to make a short documentary and are striving to break into the industry.

The Doc Fund, funded by Creative Lancashire and Wigan Council, has doubled to £1000 each this year.

Lancashire Telegraph: Scott and NatashaScott and Natasha (Image: Northern Heart Films)

Speaking about the inspiration behind the annual grant, Scott, head of productions, said: “Both of us are working class people.

"We know how hard it is to start from zero. Our parents didn’t have any connections and there wasn’t any support in our communities so we’ve forged out our own way.

“It’s that working class attitude that you’ve just got to make it because it is hard and we want to provide that support for others.”

As a filmmaker, Scott is passionate about environmental and animal welfare stories.

He was selected to be part of Film Hub North's Creative Producers programme in 2022 and is also a regular collaborator with Creative Lancashire and wants to see a thriving North West filmmaking community.

Natasha is the “creative visionary behind Northern Heart”, with a compassionate and empathetic approach to filmmaking which has earned her numerous accolades, especially for her short documentaries, "Joy Uncensored" and "Finding 'Appiness".


Eager to help emerging filmmakers from the North elevate their careers, Natasha said: “We really want to support working class storytellers because there aren’t many behind and in front of the cameras.

"We don’t ask filmmakers to tell us exactly where they’re spending that money so if it goes to paying their rent for one month then so be it.

“We’re trying to do things differently because we’re the only film production company that does a scheme like this. We’re a tiny company run by just the two of us, so if we’re able to provide support like this then why can’t other big organisations do it.”

Scott highlighted the scarcity of documentary filmmaking in the UK, which is even more absent in the county, and hopes their work could eventually lead to a physical film hub in Lancashire.

Natasha added: “We’ve been doing this professionally for at least eight years each so we can bring a breadth of knowledge.

"We realised last year that we are quite well connected in the industry and we can use our network to support working class filmmakers in the North.”

The grant funding and mentoring is open to three documentary filmmakers. Applications will be open soon.