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Meet the Member: Rebecca Del Tufo, Programmer and Co-Director of ScreenCraft Works

Updated: Mar 28



Rebecca is a producer and programmer and freelancer in the film industry. Formerly a lawyer, she escaped and followed her passion into the world of film. She led the team which set up and ran the successful independent cinema, Saffron Screen, in Essex, and she programmed the cinema until 2021.


She now works across a range of film roles. In 2022, alongside Elizabeth McIntyre, she set up ScreenCraft Works, an international community of cross-border mentoring, talks and networking, supporting under-represented production and post-production talent in film & TV. She is also a newly appointed Trustee of Reclaim the Frame, an organisation which champions marginalised perspectives in cinema, and connects audiences through community building and conversation.


 

I call myself an ‘escaped lawyer’ – I studied law at university, trained as a solicitor and worked in corporate litigation. I’d followed a ‘career path’, but began to realise that arts administration was where my passion lay and my mind wanted to go. It was hard to make that jump (salary differentials, for a start!), but taking a career break to have children gave me that opportunity to make more big changes.


I had been thinking about an MA in Arts Administration, but when I heard the council was planning to set up a cinema in my town (Saffron Walden in Essex), I volunteered. A few months later, my low-key role on the committee turned into chairing and heading the team who set up, opened and then ran Saffron Screen, a 200-seat part-time independent cinema. I proceeded to learn about the film industry through running and programming the cinema across 15 years, working with amazing colleagues within Saffron Screen and across the UK independent cinema sector. As a cinema we aimed to punch above our weight, with healthy audience figures, weekly arthouse screenings and regular Q&As with industry professionals.



Above: Rebecca at Saffron Screen


A few years ago, after a move to London and the pandemic, I struck out into freelance work and have projects in programming and curation, production, distribution, and behind-the-scenes roles which straddle different parts of the sector. My roles have included supporting the British Council with their short film platform, production and location roles on various short films, working with Film London, producing trans-led screenings with Inclusive Cinema, consultancy and advice for independent cinemas, working on the theatrical distribution of Love Without Walls, and producing corporate podcasts for their internal marketing. I have now set up my own production company with two short films on the slate.


At the beginning of 2022, with Elizabeth McIntyre, we set up ScreenCraft Works, a not-for-profit international community which supports and celebrates under-represented production and post-production talent in film & TV with cross-border mentoring, talks and networking. In the past 18 months we have made 85 matches of mentees and mentors, including editors, sound crew, animators, composers, producers and writers, and have members across more than 60 nations. We offer a nine-month online mentoring scheme, as well as regular talks by members of our community (always featuring at least one first-time speaker), one-off zoom coffee matches and cross-border networking.







One of our current mentees says: “Having conversations with people, especially women, actively honing their craft across the world makes this work feel more doable. I can visualize myself where they currently are and that's extremely encouraging.” Another says: “Being international is a crucial part of the nature of the film and TV industry and it's important to learn more about how to navigate this.”  

 

We find that people are inspired to connect across diaspora communities, and between countries with developing film industries and those with developed industries, and we are pleased to support those who have been displaced from their home countries. Our community and events are available to all without cost.


My career in the film industry is driven by the belief that cinema is a tool of empathy, enabling us to walk in the shoes of another, and that films with diverse crews and content can bring change. I am proud to be a small cog in the work of supporting everyone to bring their talent to our industry. Everyone benefits from and is enriched by a diverse industry.


 

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