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Andrew Porteous
Managing Director / EP
Antoinette De Lisser
Head of New Business
Ben Lankester
Director & Founder
Pannie Lun
Operations Director
Matt Hopkins
Director & Founder
Andrew Porteous
Managing Director / EP
Pannie Lun
Operations Director
Antoinette De Lisser
Head of New Business
Matt Hopkins
Director & Founder
Ben Lankester
Director & Founder

Director Matt Hopkins has spoken to Directors Notes about the inspiration behind – and making of – his new ‘England Your England’ entry ‘A Bright Warm Day in May’. The film was shot during the final days of lockdown, with Matt adopting a fascinating process as he wandered the streets of East Brighton talking to various families on their doorsteps and balconies. Watch the film above and click here for the full interview.

Director Matt Hopkins’ England Your England returns with a fresh instalment of the award-winning series. ‘A Bright Warm Day in May’ is a collection of spontaneous interviews captured during the final days of lockdown, as told by those who live on the fringes of Brighton. Constructed in the style of a photoessay, the film is an experiment in conversation, organically documenting the reflections and contemplations of 12 characters, each with their own experiences to share.

We joined Boundless for a second year running to celebrate a particularly poignant Public Service Day. As 2020 saw the public sector and key workers on the front line of a global health crisis, this had to be more than just a thank you. Devised and developed by the Progress creative team in the strictures of lockdown, our combination of on-the-ground, socially distanced photography and UGC called for viewers to slow down and truly see our everyday heroes. Featuring ‘I Am the Song’ by Charles Causley, permission granted by David Higham Associates Limited on behalf of the Charles Causley Estate.

‘Moments’ is a campaign devised and delivered by Progress’ creative team during lockdown, presenting viewers with a series of hypnotically beautiful single shots. From a sunrise over the Campo dè Fiori district of Rome as the city wakes to an aerial vista overlooking Barbados’ crystal clear west coast beaches, the series has been designed to calm the anxiety-inducing world we live in and to get people dreaming about the perfect moments in time that travel is able to unlock. Watch the series here.

Progress are hiring

3 months ago

We are looking for a Head of Content to join our team. Please go to the Careers page of our website to find more information on the position and to download the full job spec.

10 Years of Progress

3 months ago

Today, May 1st 2010, marks The Progress Film Company’s 10th birthday. Over the next month we’re going to be celebrating this milestone on our Instagram account with a bunch of Stories chronicling the history of the company and a series of Instagram Live discussions with key Progress collaborators. We’ve also put together this reel of highlights from the last 10 years. A massive thanks to all our clients, colleagues and partners for an incredible decade. Here’s to the next 10…

OFF SET – our growing Brighton filmmakers community and social event – has launched on Instagram with a series of IG Live discussions and Q&As. Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be talking to a host of different filmmakers about their past and current experiences, with a particular focus on the balance between independent and commercial work. Follow along here.

Director Matt Hopkins creates a beautiful new ad for Kuoni, tapping into the feelings of longing and wanderlust the world is currently experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The film was created out of footage shot by Matt and Progress over the past five years.

Director Matt Hopkins‘ ‘A Failure of the Imagination’ – made over a period of four years and part of Matt’s multi-award-winning short doc series England Your England – has won Best Short Documentary at the 2020 London Independent Film Festival.

Matt Hopkins recently spoke with The Atlantic about his short documentary, ‘A Failure of the Imagination’. Click here to read the article or see more episodes from the series.

‘A Failure of the Imagination’, the latest short documentary from director Matt Hopkins for his award-winning series England Your England, has been awarded a Vimeo Staff Pick. Click here to see more episodes from the series.

In the latest instalment of TAG Heuer’s ‘Break Tennis’ campaign, director Matt Hopkins shares the personal stories of the rising stars ready to overthrow the established elite and forge their own historic path. Click here to watch all the athlete films.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be taking part in the upcoming Straight 8 Shootout. Click here to find out more about the competition and hear from Sam Widdows, our Creative Lead.

The Right Choice, our collaboration with Visualise, Don’t Panic and director Avril Furness for the International Red Cross has won bronze in the virtual reality category at The Lovie Awards. Click here to find out more about the world-first virtual reality.

We’re committed to joining with the wider creative industry as part of the Create and Strike movement, using our platform to help fight the global climate crisis. Yesterday, our team joined marchers in Brighton, filming and interviewing protesters we met along the way to showcase the new wave of young activists determined to provoke meaningful change.

In new travel work, director Matt Hopkins joins with BBC Storyworks and The Smalls to create a series of TVCs for Visit Dubai. The project’s empowering director’s cut mirrors the ever-rising cityscape with the personal journeys of self-discovery enjoyed by a set of female protagonists who call the city home.

Director Ben Lankester joins with TAG Heuer to disrupt the tennis landscape, introducing four rising stars who are ready to break the established order and forge their own historic path in the game. As the luxury watch brand’s inaugural tennis activation, our creative team devised a campaign to make a suitably big impact. #BreakTennis isn’t just a hashtag but a challenge. It is a generation defining moment, announcing four defiant up-and-comers who are ready to take the tennis world by storm.

Off Set Returns

12 months ago

We’re pleased to bring news of the second instalment of Off Set – the Brighton Filmmakers Social. The next event will take place on Wednesday 18th September at The Grand Central, Brighton. Click here to find out more about the screening filmmakers and to reserve your place on the guest list.

Director Ben Lankester releases ‘Love’, an adaptation of a poem by Polish writer Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska, originally published in 1926. Visualising the poem for a contemporary audience, the film was shot in the spring across various locations in East London and Seven Sisters in East Sussex.

Earlier this year we journeyed to the Caribbean with Kuoni. Over a two week period, we travelled across St. Lucia, Barbados and Antigua, taking in the unique attributes that make the islands so unique.

We’re proud to have won four awards at Campaign & PRWeek’s Brand Film Festival. Small Talk Saves Lives, directed by Stuart Hackshaw for Samaritans, won three awards, selected in the Best of the Best category while also winning Gold for Craft and Creativity. Meanwhile, The Land of Land Rovers, directed by Matt Hopkins for Land Rover, also won Gold in the Creativity section.

We’re proud to announce that The Land of Land Rovers, our collaboration with Land Rover through Spark44, has won Best Video by a Lifestyle Brand at the Travel Video Awards. Click here to see the full list of winners from the event.

Entries are now open for the 2019 David Thomas Awards. The awards are a collection of prizes, screenings and workshops, hosted alongside the University of Brighton, providing emerging filmmakers with a platform on which to share their work and kick-start their careers in the industry. Click here for full details.

Progress have been shortlisted in five categories at Campaign and PR Week’s Brand Film Festival. Our work with Pegasus for both Network Rail and Samaritans are up for two awards each, while The Land of Land Rovers with Spark44 has been nominated in the Brand Documentary category. Click here for a breakdown of all the shortlisted films.

Joining with Pegasus to create the second instalment of the Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives campaign, director Stuart Hackshaw highlights how the everyday conversations are all the experience needed to make a massive difference to someone in need.

In new commercial work, director Ben Lankester travels across the Peak District and Swiss Alps, creating a stunning film to announce the new brand partnership between TAG Heuer and Aston Martin.

We’re pleased to announce that A Divorce Before Marriage will be screening at Left Bank Leeds on Wednesday 28th November, followed by a Q&A with director Ben Lankester. Click here to find out more and purchase tickets.

We’re proud to have won the Bite Size prize at The Smalls Film Festival for Small Talk Saves Lives, with the Samaritans and Pegasus. A massive thank you to all who voted.

We’re proud to announce that Small Talk Saves Lives, our campaign with Samaritans and Pegasus, has won Campaign of the Year at Campaign, PR Week & Third Sector’s inaugural Campaigns For Good Awards.

Voting is now open for The Smalls Film Festival 2018. Click here to vote for Small Talk Saves Lives in the festival’s Bite Size category.

Following the release of his latest independent work More of the Same Tomorrow, director Ben Lankester writes for Little Black Book on his experiences making the film and the importance of undertaking such passion projects. Click here to see what he had to say.

Director Ben Lankester has released an experimental short-film-music-video hybrid shot in Warsaw. More of the Same Tomorrow is an independent, self-funded, straight from the heart exercise in filmmaking. The film tells the story of a commuter’s desire to escape the routine and monotony of the everyday, and explores man’s relationship with time, progress and destiny. Find out more here.

In new documentary work with Spark44 as part of Land Rover’s 70th anniversary celebrations, director Matt Hopkins travels to Maneybhanjang, a remote village in the foothills of the Himalayas, to showcase the vital role a fleet of 1950s Series One Land Rovers play in everyday village life.

You vs. Train is a rail-industry initiative spearheaded by Network Rail and the British Transport Police aimed at teenagers across the UK. For the campaign’s central film, director Ben Lankester creates a thrilling, moving account of Tom Hubbard, a 16-year-old boy who received life-changing injuries when he trespassed on the railway. Find out more about the campaign at youvstrain.co.uk

Director Ben Lankester has released two new music videos for Muariolanza X Clapton Fox. The projects represent an experiment in formats, with Love Time shot on digital in Iceland and Free Django on 16mm film in East London. Click here to see more of Ben’s work.


2 years ago

We’re looking for a Filmmaker and Production Assistant to join our team. Think you could be perfect for the role? Send your showreel/CV and cover letter to talent@progressfilm.co.uk

Our work for Samaritans’ #SmallTalkSavesLives campaign with Pegasus has been recognised with three silver awards at Campaign & PR Week’s Brand Film Festival. Click here for more on the film.

A Divorce Before Marriage, the feature length film from Matt Hopkins and Ben Lankester, is now available to stream online. A rite-of-passage documentary, the film covers fours years in the lives of Leeds band I Like Trains as they attempt to release music independently amidst the backdrop of a rapidly changing music industry. Watch it here.



Our work with Pegasus for the Samaritans’ #SmallTalkSavesLives initiative has helped the campaign win two awards at the PRCA Digital Awards. Click here for more on the project.

Submissions are now open for this year’s David Thomas Awards. Now in it’s fifth year, the awards celebrate the finest local filmmaking talent with three prizes up for grabs. Click here to find out more.

We’re proud to have our work with Pegasus for the Samaritans’ #SmallTalkSavesLives campaign recgonised with three nominations in Campaign & PR Week’s Brand Film Festival. Click here to find out more about the project.

In his latest work with Mazda, Stuart Hackshaw travel to the company’s Hiroshima production plant, showcasing the unique design process behind every Mazda vehicle. Click here for more.

In our latest work through Gravity Thinking, we joined Hyundai as they undertook a unique experiment, using visual neuroscience to determine the colour that makes people most positive. The results would be used to create the world’s ‘most positive’ special edition IONIQ.

Director Matt Hopkins journeyed to the south of France with Designate to shoot two new TVCs for Brittany Ferries’ ‘For Anyone’ campaign. See both films here.

Our work with Southern Water for their campaign ‘The Unflushables’ has won gold at the CIPR PRide Awards. Click here for more on the initiative.

For every life lost on the railway, six are saved by the actions of those around them. Raising awareness of the help all commuters can provide to those in need, director Matt Hopkins joins with the Samaritans and Network Rail to highlight how small talk has the power to save lives. Find out more about the campaign here.

We’re proud to have two films shortlisted at The Smalls Film Festival 2017. Our work with Spark44 for Land Rover’s Hibernot campaign and animation for International Women’s Day have both been nominated in the new Bite Size category. Click here to vote for your favourite.

In our latest work with Kuoni, director Matt Hopkins embarks on a country-long road trip across Italy, capturing the people, places and traditions that grant the country its distinct aura. Find out more about the project here.

In our latest charity work, we joined 40 GSK trekkers as they embarked on the journey of a lifetime, navigating Mount Kenya to raise money for Save The Children through their Trek For Kids initiative. Click here to see how we fared up Africa’s second highest peak.

To celebrate World Cucumber Day, director Stuart Hackshaw captures a series of perilous experiments in the P.L.A.N.T laboratory with Hendrick’s Gin, in our latest work for Gravity Thinking. See all content from the campaign here.

Thank you to everyone who attended the David Thomas Award Evening yesterday – a special night celebrating Brighton’s finest filmmaking talent. The screening, hosted at our neighbours The Brighton Studio, saw the 2016 award winner, Maria Hanlon, premiere her short documentary, Parky. For more on the award, click here.

The 2017 David Thomas Award Evening is just two days away. Celebrating Brighton’s finest filmmaking talent, check out this year’s trailer for a preview of the films we’ll be screening. For more information on the event and to confirm you’ll be attending, click here.

Featuring the all-new Discovery and led by landscape photographer Julian Calverley, director Matt Hopkins captures the Isle of Skye beautifully in this stunning new film for Land Rover and Spark44.

The David Thomas Award Evening 2017 will take place at 7pm on the 25th May at our Brighton studio. The film screening will showcase a selection of curated work from Brighton’s finest up-and-coming and established filmmaking talent, including a film from Maria Hanlon, the winner of the 2016 David Thomas Award. To find out more about the event and confirm you’ll be attending, click here.

Visiting the Maldives promises a truly exclusive, once in a lifetime holiday experience… until now. We joined with Kuoni to produce our latest 360º film, showcasing the Kuramathi Island Resort from every angle. For more on the project, click here.

Matt and Ben have been speaking all things A Divorce Before Marriage on the latest podcast from Directors Notes. Listen to what they had to say here.

The film is available to buy now. Head to the Progress Store to get your copy.

‘Living Under Spaghetti’, the latest instalment of our original series, Lost But Not Forgotten, is out now. Venturing below Birmingham’s Spaghetti Junction, the film reveals what life is like for the people living below the city’s busiest transport route. Find out more about the series here.

We’re proud to present the second instalment of our original series, Lost But Not Forgotten. Directed by Ben Cox, ‘In The Shadow Of The Mountain’, shot across the awe-inspiring landscapes of Snowdonia, looks at the challenges faced by Welsh farmers in the region, championing the work of the National Trust and Wales YFC. Find out all about the project here.

We’re proud to present the first episode in our new original series, ‘Lost But Not Forgotten’. Directed by Matthew Green, ‘Forgotten Coast’ is a poetic exploration of the Isle of Wight’s South West coastline, where coastal erosion and constant landslips have left abandoned towns and decaying holiday villages. Accompanied by Nothing Will Die, a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, the film serves to highlight the never-ending cycle of death and rebirth along the coast. Find out all about our latest ongoing series here.

A drive-through restaurant manned by one of Britain’s leading chefs is not something you experience every day. In our final film for Land Rover’s 2017 #Hibernot campaign, we joined two Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan in the middle of nowhere to capture Britain’s most remote drive-through experience. Fine dining at five below freezing. Read more about the project here.

We’re very pleased to announce that our series of travel films for Kuoni’s ‘Find Your Amazing’ campaign has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Use Of Film/Video’ award at the Travel Marketing Awards 2017. We travelled to Kenya, Sri Lanka and the Maldives with the travel company last year and now wait until March 14th to find out the result. Find out all about the project here.

Land Rover has a genuine appetite for winter. It is there not to be endured, but anticipated and experienced. Travelling to the Lake District with Michelin-star winning chef Simon Rogan, we created the film content for the latest series of Land Rover’s iconic #Hibernot campaign, challenging viewers to see winter differently and embrace the season. Find out all about the project here.

Fresh from our run at the Warsaw International Film Festival, the time has come for A Divorce Before Marriage to return to the city where it all started. The film will screen as part of the 30th Leeds International Film Festival on November 6th at the Hyde Park Picture House. It promises to be a very special night and we’d love it if you could join us. Tickets are on sale now, get yours here.

Following our screening at Brighton’s Duke of York’s cinema, attention now turns to A Divorce Before Marriage’s European Premiere. The film will be screening in competition at the 32nd Warsaw Film Festival between 7-16th October. Showing multiple times over the nine day festival, full details and tickets can be found here.

Fresh. Fast. Fair. Farmdrop are a food retailer with a difference. We teamed with the brand, along with creative agency Albion, on their mission to fix the food chain. Over five days we visited a host of local producers, shedding light on the processes that are helping Farmdrop deliver food five times quicker than their competitors. Providing a comprehensive look at their innovative “click to harvest” service, our film attempted to convert consumers to an environmentally friendlier way of food shopping. Take a look at the project here.

Following the World Premiere of A Divorce Before Marriage earlier this year, we’re pleased to report that the film is coming to Brighton, and is programmed as part of Doc’n Roll Festival at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse on October 1st. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Matt and Ben, and Ian from I Like Trains. We can’t wait to show the film at the UK’s oldest – and our favourite – cinema. We’d love it if you could join us. Tickets are available here.

We recently travelled to Nepal to create our latest virtual reality film in collaboration with WaterAid, as part of the HSBC Water Programme. In 2015, Nepal was devastated by two violent earthquakes. Our film takes up the story a year later, focusing on one man’s remarkable journey to restore normality to his village. This is Nepal’s untold water story.

Watch the trailer and order your VR headset – for the full 360º experience – by visiting: aftershock.wateraid.org.

We’re very pleased to announce that we have two films premiering at The Smalls Film Festival 2016, between September 2nd-7th at Hackney House in London. “Time In Hand”, a five track short film / music video by Ben Lankester will debut alongside Stuart Hackshaw and Sam Rookes’ “The Nature Of Daylight”. September 2nd can’t come soon enough.

For more on the festival and to book tickets, take a look at: http://www.thesmalls.com/festival 

Four and a half years in the making, our feature A Divorce Before Marriage, a film about Leeds band I Like Trains, finally had its World Premiere on 25th June at Picturehouse Central in London as part of the 2016 Open City Documentary Festival. The film played to a sold-out crowd and the screening was followed by a Q&A with directors Matt and Ben and members of the band. It was a special night for all involved. Follow the film across social media @ILikeTrainsFilm for further updates.

The World Premiere of our feature documentary A Divorce Before Marriage has now sold out. The film, screening as part of Open City Documentary Festival at Picturehouse Central on the evening of June 25th, has seen a high demand for tickets. As a result, Open City have scheduled an additional screening, taking place the following day, June 26th, at 3.30pm. The film will be followed by a Q&A with directors Matt and Ben.

You can book tickets for this event here.

Set up in memory of Brighton filmmaker David Thomas, we are hosting our annual evening in celebration of the David Thomas Award on Wednesday 25th May. Featuring films from Brighton’s finest young filmmaking talent, the evening will begin at 7pm and it would be great to see you there. For more information, click here.

In addition to this, on the same day we’ll be running a Mini Film School at the University of Brighton Media Centre for University of Brighton students, educating attendees on a wide range of filmmaking topics. Click here for more details.

The David Thomas Award Evening – 7-9.30pm – The Fuse Box, New England House, New England Street, Brighton, BN1 4GH

Mini Film School – 2-4pm – University of Brighton Media Centre, Edward Street City Campus, Brighton, BN2 1ST

The time has finally come. We are very excited to announce that the World Premiere of our feature documentary A Divorce Before Marriage will take place on Saturday 25th June as part of the Open City Documentary Festival at Picturehouse Central in London. Tickets will go on sale soon, so make sure you keep an eye out.

For more on the Premiere and the host of other events that we’ll be taking part in on the day, click here.

Think of the world’s surfing hotspots and what comes to mind? California’s sun-kissed seas, the Gold Coast of Queensland or Hawaii’s wave-ridden shores are all contenders. We ventured somewhere a little more left field. Working with Audi UK and creative agency Northstar, we headed to Surf Snowdonia, the UK’s first inland artificial wave machine, to capture content for Audi Magazine. Shot over two days, we competed against grey Welsh skies and dropping temperatures to capture professional surfers in their element, riding the man-made waves that Surf Snowdonia had to offer.

Stirring landscapes, abundant wildlife, snow capped mountains… Kenya creates wanderlust like no other. Kuoni’s Find Your Amazing campaign is all about capturing the heart and soul of a destination in just 90 seconds. We relished the opportunity to jump on a plane with all our gear and make a film for the Kenyan portion of their campaign.

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We are recruiting for four new positions at The Progress Film Company – Filmmaker, Animator, Production Manager and Social Media Planner. For more details on these exciting new opportunities, please see the full job descriptions below. All candidates must email their CV, appropriate showreels and cover letters to hello@progressfilm.co.uk

Production Manager
Social Media Planner

We’re excited to announce that our film Robert has been selected for The Smalls Film Festival 2015. Created as part of our ongoing documentary series England Your England, Robert is a portrait of a modern singer-songwriter’s life on the road, exploring the sacrifices faced by family men with career goals, of touring musicians attempting to make ends meet while simultaneously pursuing their dreams. The film will play alongside five other shorts in the festival’s documentary strand on September 8th.

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We’re proud to unveil a new documentary celebrating the fantasy genre and 20 years of HarperVoyager. Featuring interviews with writers including George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb, Voyagers of the Imagination shares the journey of this publishing giant, and is a great reminder of the beautiful, dangerous and magical qualities of fantasy literature.

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We joined London agency Northstar in the South of France to test the Audi Sport Bike for the latest issue of Audi Magazine. BBC F1 journalist Tom Clarkson and Audi DTM driver Jamie Green were attempting to climb two of the most legendary mountains in the Alpes Maritimes, whilst simultaneously putting the new bike through its paces.

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Last night we celebrated the first David Thomas Award, in memory of Brighton filmmaker and University of Brighton alumni David Thomas. A series of films from Brighton filmmakers were screened, culminating in Beth Sabey’s Sunny. Beth was the first recipient of the award and her moving film can be seen here.

In time for this summer’s General Election, we produced an online commercial for UK charity Shelter, asking the public to demand politicians to build homes we can afford. Working with cinematographer Rina Yang, the ad was shot over two days in Walthamstow, East London.

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