Screen and Film School Birmingham welcome award-winning writer Kit de Waal as Patron

31 March, 2022

We are delighted to officially announce that the award-winning writer Kit de Waal is our newest Screen and Film School Birmingham Patron. Kit joins Adil Ray OBE, Big Narstie, and Antonio Aakeel on our high-profile roster of student mentors.

Whilst still in our first year in Digbeth, the Film School is making great strides in industry engagement and are forging relationships with real experts in the world of the creative arts. Kit is a perfect addition to this illustrious group: she is our first out-and-out writer, and joins actor Antonio, and the multi-talented comedy, music and television personalities Adil and Big Narstie.

Kit de Waal

Kit is an award-winning writer; her debut novel My Name is Leon won the 2016 Irish Novel of the Year and is being adapted for the BBC. This adaptation is currently being produced by Douglas Road Productions, which was founded by Birmingham hero, Lenny Henry. Set against the backdrop of the race riots in Birmingham in the 1980s, this tender and inspiring tale balances gritty realism with charm and gentle humour, exploring the issues of identity and belonging.

Kit’s other works include The Trick to Time (2018), Becoming Dinah (2019), and Supporting Cast (2020). She also has written for BBC, Radio 4, The Old Vic and The Abbey Theatre in Dublin and co-wrote The Third Day for SKY/HBO/Plan B.

Kit’s Production company, Portopia Productions, has also become an Industry Partner to Screen and Film School Birmingham. Kit founded Portopia with her brother Dean O’Loughlin, basing themselves just outside of Birmingham during Lockdown in the summer of 2020. No stranger to the spotlight himself, Dean was also the runner-up on the second series of Channel 4’s groundbreaking reality show, Big Brother. Their mission statement is to actively seek out existing and emerging talent, particularly from under-represented communities, to access, generate and develop ideas they feel will make compelling viewing across film, TV and digital platforms. A notion that chimes with all of us here at the Film School.

Portopia Productions

College Principal Hannah Stevenson had this to say about the brilliant news:

“I am so thrilled to welcome Kit as a Patron to Screen and Film School Birmingham, as well as her production company Portopia as an Industry Partner. It’s exciting for us all to have people who have such strong ties to the region that share our vision. Kit will undoubtedly bring her experiences as a successful writer to the table when mentoring our students. I look forward to developing a long, prosperous relationship between Kit, as well as our new Industry Partner Portopia, and our students.’

This is what our new Patron, Kit, had to say about the announcement:

“I’m delighted to be a Patron of Screen and Film School Birmingham. It’s a privilege to be right at the beginning of the journey for so many talented young people and I look forward to sharing skills, knowledge and know-how with the Film School and the students. And it’s on my home turf too, so it couldn’t be better!”

Everyone at Screen and Film School Birmingham is thrilled about this announcement and we are looking forward to introducing our students to Kit and for the expert mentoring to begin.



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