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Whicker’s World Foundation launches new grant for New York-based Chicken & Egg Pictures

Whicker’s World Foundation launches new grant for New York-based Chicken & Egg Pictures

  • Whicker’s World Foundation is expanding its reach to help ensure that more women enter the profession.
  • Chicken & Egg Pictures supports women non-fiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyses social change.
  • Submissions for existing Whicker’s World Foundation Awards 2017 are being accepted.

Whicker’s World Foundation launches a new bursary for New York-based Chicken & Egg Pictures, to help fulfil their mission to increase the number of women documentary makers introduced into the industry pipeline.
Whicker’s World Foundation—set up to fund a new generation of documentary makers—is expanding its reach to help ensure that more women enter the profession. The Foundation, which awards one of the biggest cash prizes in documentary production (£80,000 to an individual) has created an additional annual £10,000 grant for Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Accelerator Lab program.


Accelerator Lab, open to applicants from around the world, provides first- and second-time women filmmakers with a $35,000 grant, a year-long creative support program with participation in three one-week labs (all expenses covered), mentorship catered to each individual and her project, and opportunities for networking with industry professionals and the filmmaker community. As Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures, said about the program, “We don’t simply support films, we foster careers. This holistic approach is the key to successfully supporting women filmmakers.”


The New York-based organisation’s strategy uniquely aligns with Whicker’s World’s continued efforts to broaden the world of documentary. Announcing the new annual award, Alan Whicker’s lifelong partner and founder of the Foundation Valerie Kleeman said: “Alan wanted his legacy to help documentary makers the world over.  He was ahead of time in his enthusiasm and support for the female perspective in his own filmmaking.  At the Whicker’s World Foundation, we want to be sure that there is equal opportunity for men and women in documentary and I have been impressed by the fact that Chicken & Egg Pictures give to women when they most need it. I feel sure that funding at an early stage will make a huge difference to women in this industry.”

The Foundation is kicking off its support with a grant towards Assia Boundaoui’s participation in the Accelerator Lab program for The Feeling of Being Watched, an exploration of the FBI’s pre-9/11 counterterrorism activities in the filmmaker’s Arab-American neighbourhood outside of Chicago.

“We are so excited about this highly topical project and hope our support will help ‘accelerate’ Assia’s film towards receiving more funding and making the most powerful film she can. Last year, only one in five of our finalists for our main funding award was a woman. We hope the Whicker’s World grant to the Accelerator Lab will widen the base of would-be applicants,” said Jane Ray, Artistic Director of Whicker’s World Foundation.

Not the first time the two organisations crossed paths in the world of documentary, the Foundation previously made an ad-hoc payment of £5,000 to another Chicken & Egg Pictures grantee, Hana Mire, who is developing Rajada Dalka (Nation’s Hope), the working title of a film about Somalia’s women’s national basketball team.

Notes to Editors:

For press enquiries about Whicker’s World Foundation please contact:


Siobhan Connor
+44 (0)7966 177025
twitter: connorpr
About Whicker’s World Foundation


Whicker’s World Foundation was set up in 2015 and gives one of documentary’s biggest cash prizes (£80,000) to an authored documentary-maker every year and £15,000 to the runner up. Entries for the main WWF Funding award close on February 14th 2017.


Applications for the Radio & Audio Funding Award close 28th February 2017

Applications for the 2017 Audio Recognition Award close 14th February 2017

Applications for the 2017 Sage Awards close 14th February 2017


For further information visit



Join the conversation:   @whickersworld



Chicken & Egg Pictures
Chicken & Egg Pictures supports women non-fiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change.


For more information, visit or contact Cindy Choung, External Relations Manager, Chicken & Egg Pictures, at


film, documentary, TV, Whicker’s World Foundation, Connor PR, specialist in film PR, Specialist in TV publicity


Halls Commercial Department Celebrates its First Anniversary

Halls Commercial Department Celebrates its First Anniversary

by hosting a Property Seminar on Thursday 30 April at Halls


Holdings House, Shrewsbury



To mark their first anniversary, Halls Commercial will be hosting a special celebratory property seminar at their headquarters in Shrewsbury alongside Dyke Yaxley. The evening will be supported by sponsors including Watson Watson, Handelsbanken, Henshalls Insurance Brokers, ASK Mobile Phones and Prince Rupert Hotel and is in aid of Hope House Children’s Hospice.



The evening will be opened by Daniel Kawczynski MP and will feature interesting speaker topics focusing on the property investment market, with contributions from Watson Watson and joint hosts Dyke Yaxley. There will also be drinks and canapés, an art exhibition, music from the very talented Alice Lloyd Brown and an auction of promises to round off the evening.

James Evans from Halls Commercial said: “To mark a successful first year for Halls’ commercial department, in which we have seen a strengthening in occupier and investor confidence, coupled with an increasing number of our trademark blue boards across the county, we are very pleased to be joining forces with Dyke Yaxley to host a Property Seminar in aid of Hope House Children’s Hospice.”



2015 will present a real opportunity for people looking to invest in the commercial property market and the first half hour of the evening will feature a short presentation on how investors can leverage this.

Taxation experts from accountants Dyke Yaxley, commercial property specialists from solicitors Watson and Watson will be on hand to highlight key legal and accounting issues as well as the full range of Halls experts from Commercial Property, Agriculture to Fine Art.

Stewart Watson from Watson and Watson added: “We have seen the volume of commercial property transactions significantly increase over the past twelve months. This has not only been evident in the number of transactions, but also the values involved. Multi-million pound deals are becoming commonplace again. Green shoots? Certainly.”

Laurie Riley, Managing Director of Dyke Yaxley said: “Dyke Yaxley are delighted to be supporting this event which brings together the Shropshire business community, mixing business with pleasure, while raising valuable funds for Hope House Children’s Hospice.”

Hope House Children’s Hospices provide vital care and support to terminally ill babies, children and young people and their families across Shropshire, Mid- and North Wales.

They are currently supporting over 650 families and respite care is being provided to over 300 terminally ill local children both at the hospices – Hope House in Shropshire and Ty Gobaith in North Wales – and in the families’ own homes. Other families access their bereavement support and counselling services.

Area Fundraising Manager, Vanessa Thomas, commented: “We are delighted that Halls Commercial, Dyke Yaxley and the other sponsors are staging this exciting event in aid of Hope House. We receive just 17% of our funding from the government and NHS, so are wholly dependent on fundraising events like this to help us raise more than £4 million each year to keep our vital services running for the local terminally ill children and their families who rely on us.

Halls Commercial

Halls Commercial provides a range of specialist commercial property services to clients of all sizes across the UK. We have a comprehensive knowledge of our markets developed over many years of operating in this sector. Our service is forward-thinking, personal and professional, designed to achieve the best results for our clients whatever their requirements. Although we operate nationwide, we retain a particular emphasis on the Midlands. We have been providing commercial property services to the region for many years from our offices in the West Midlands, Worcester and Shrewsbury.


Dyke Yaxley

Dyke Yaxley is one of Shropshire’s leading independent firms of Chartered Accountants working with individuals and many of the county’s most successful businesses, both established and growing. We are very proud of our Shropshire roots and the great relationships we have with our clients. We have a great team of people based at our offices in Shrewsbury and Telford – all experts in their field.


Watson Watson

Watson Watson Solicitors are a niche law firm. Our core practice areas are Corporate and Commercial, Commercial Property, Mergers and Acquisitions, Financing and Private Equity. We also have significant experience and offer advice in specialist areas including Tax, Intellectual Property, Information Technology, Competition, Real Estate and Employment. Our clients include companies of all sizes, funds, private equity houses, banks, entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, charities and football clubs.


Hope House

Hope House Children’s Hospices provide vital care and support to terminally ill babies, children and young people and their families across Shropshire, Mid- and North Wales.

They are currently supporting over 650 families and respite care is being provided to over 300 terminally ill local children both at the hospices – Hope House in Shropshire and Ty Gobaith in North Wales – and in the families’ own homes. Other families access their bereavement support and counselling services.


It costs more than £5 million every year to fund our services and we currently receive just 17% of our funding from the Government and NHS – 83% comes from donations from people who believe in what we do and want to help. No charge is ever made to families who need our help – and we can only help them thanks to our generous supporters.


Connor PR working with Halls Commercial, Connor PR expert in auction PR, Connor PR expert in event PR, Connor PR and regional PR, Connor PR working with Hope House Hospice

CMYUK puts Shrewsbury on the wide-format map with strategic move to tailor-made premises

CMYUK puts Shrewsbury on the wide-format map with

strategic move to tailor-made premises




Strategic and diligent planning, plus the logistics behind the most suitable location from which to service its growing customer base, has led to the creation by CMYUK of its state-of-the-art showroom, training and demonstration facility in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. The Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Mrs Beverley Baker, was in attendance at the official opening ceremony held on 25 February 2015, where she joined by EFI’s Ken Hanulec, VP Inkjet Solutions, and Paul Cripps, Managing Director of EMEA, who flew in from overseas. They joined local companies and display production specialists who all played a major role in the development and creation of the new premises for the UK’s leading wide-format distributor.


The new showroom and demonstration facility has been tailor-made to accommodate a broad range of EFI, VUTEk and Mimaki wide-format printers, and Zünd cutting systems in a lay-out that enables visitors to ascertain exactly which technology is right for their application and business needs. Each machine is positioned to simplify access to, and viewing of, every part of a job’s work-flow so that customers can establish exactly how the equipment will function in their own premises.


CMYUK’s decision to base its showroom and demonstration centre, complemented by full training facilities, in Shrewsbury was the culmination of the need to match a variety of criteria all of which were crucial to the company’s ability to serve its growing customer base from the best location. Communication links to and from the north, south and west of the country have become increasingly important as businesses outside the east, south east and London regions, already served by CMYUK’s southern office, need a reliable and knowledgeable sales, service and technical channel.

Easy access to key parts of the UK make Shropshire’s second largest town an excellent choice logistically, with its good rail and road links boosted by the fact that CMYUK’s new premises is only an hour away from Birmingham and Manchester. With direct and remote communications increasingly playing a vital role in today’s businesses, particularly when investing in new technology, the wide-format specialist supplier believes strongly that its new Shrewbury base offers an efficient, well-connected hub that serves the entire country, to the benefit of all new and existing customers.

Robin East, Director of CMYUK, states: “Shrewsbury is growing exponentially as a centre for technologically based enterprises and to be part of this thriving business community now means that we can expand and increase our sales and support network throughout the UK.”

As the UK’s principal distributor of EFI wide-format and VUTEk printers plus Fiery end-to-end productivity software, CMYUK has been instrumental in driving the growth in digital printing technology throughout the display production, sign-making and commercial print markets. The company is also a prolific supplier of products from the Mimaki portfolio as well as Zünd cutting tables, and now covers all budgetary and production needs. For more than a decade the company has been involved in sales and support for a vast range of businesses, ranging from small enterprises through to major production houses that want to benefit from the adoption of ink-jet’s versatility for interior and exterior applications.


For further information please contact Robin East at CMYUK on, telephone +44 1743 810000 or +44 7739 518477.

CMYUK Demo & Training Centre: Unit 3B, Vanguard Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 3TG


Let’s spread the Qbees love with your Valentine’s Day Qbees



Simply say ‘I Love You’ This Valentine’s Day with



We’re gearing up for the most romantic date of the year here at Qbees with unique limited edition Valentine’s Qubes.


Valentine’s Day comes only once a year, and it’s a much celebrated event for both children and adults. Who doesn’t remember delivering Valentines to their friends when they were in school? So whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a last-minute cupid, Qbees will help you win their heart.


Qbees are fashion accessories that snap around headphone cables, giving tweens and teens the opportunity to decorate and accesorise their look. Qbees are made up of mini plastic snap-frames and interchangeable images (called Qubes) that sit inside, and they cost a mere £3 for the pair, regardless of whether you choose to upload your own Valentine’s design or photo, use the word editor or choose from the Qbees fabulous range. They allow the user to transform their plain headphone cables into works of art, message boards or personal statements. The product is so versatile it provides an ever-changing platform for young creative minds.


The concept was born during a ride on the London Underground when Jason noticed the people sitting opposite all had the same white cables hanging down around them. ‘How boring’ shifted to ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if they were more individual and colourful and interesting to look at’ and with that, the brand was born.


Not content with simply providing a variety of fun shapes, colours and images, the team behind Qbees have opened the doors to a new kind of product – offering people the chance to become Qube designers by submitting their ideas online. Winning designs will bag the artist £50 and they will get to watch as their Qube moves up the trending wall!


Jason Palmer, Qbees Creator said: “Young people have so much passion and creative drive so why not let them be a part of designing the accessories they choose to wear. We want to champion young artists and commend creativity and this product does exactly that. And for those who prefer to choose ready-made designs, they can choose from a fantastic selection created either by our designers or their own peers.”


Let’s spread the Qbees love with your Valentine’s Day Qbees.




Notes to editors:

Media information: For all media enquires please contact Connor PR Tel: 07966 177025 Tel: 07970 727801


Join the conversation

Twitter handle: @LoveQbees





Entrepreneur Jason Palmer lives in Barkingside, Ilford, with his wife Sue and children Max and Ellie. With a history in the travel industry, Jason has invented and developed Qbees with a creative and passionate team of people who are intent on developing an environmentally friendly, cost-effective product. They believe in hard work and producing products that make people smile! If you want to know more about the T&Cs, please click here.


Qbees will be showcased in front of more than 70,000 retailers at the acclaimed Spring Fair in Birmingham ( February 1st – 5th 2015). The event features the world’s biggest collection of British-designed products and the latest products from new and popular brands.


Platform Inspiration

Platform Inspiration Limited was set up in 2014 by Jason Palmer as the parent company for the Qbees range of products, Platform Inspiration Limited is registered In England No.8589869.  Trading will initially be via Platform Inspirations e-commerce website


Connor PR specialist in product launch PR, Connor PR working with PR specialist in parenting PR, Connor PR specialist in consumer PR

Middle Farm Press holds exclusive launch party at Waterstones

Middle Farm Press Holds Exclusive Launch Party at Waterstones, Shrewsbury

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With a turnout to be proud of, new venture Middle Farm Press held its launch party last night in Shrewsbury’s Waterstones.

sam gray kate taylor bing taylorjamie ryan sam gray siobhan connor


With canapés provided by Momo•No•Ki,, guests included: Jenny and Marcus Bean (Brompton Cookery School); Colin Young (BBC Radio Shropshire); John Barton (Coach and Horses); Chris Burt (Momo•No•Ki.), Sam and Claire Barker (Greak Berwick Organics) and Suree Coates (The King and Thai), who all turned up to support Sam Gray and Kate Taylor as they celebrated their new company and its first book, Doing it in Wellies, which was launched at last week’s Ludlow Food Festival.


momo no ki sushimarcus bean

The evening is perhaps best summed up in the speech given by previous President of the Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland, and Middle Farm Press’ Chairman, Bing Taylor:

“Like many other industries, and perhaps the music industry is the closest analogy, the publishing world has changed dramatically since I started my career as a university publisher at Longman in the early 1970s. With a little more experience under my belt I realized, by 1975, that people not only needed access to books (and large swathes of Britain didn’t have a bookstore within 100 miles in those days) but they needed selection, advice and guidance – the sort of help you would get from a good local bookshop. A friend of mine and I started The Good Book Guide which made English books available all over the world, at English published prices. We even published a separate edition for children. At about this time a man called Tim Waterstone and I were invited to speak at a conference called Children’s Books and the Chocolate Factory. Tim said he was thinking of starting a thinking person’s bookstore chain but that he would never stock children’s books as they were low ticket items and could never be profitable. He quickly changed his mind. Both Harry Potter and Waterstones were no doubt grateful.

A great deal of what I learned about people and books I learned from working at The Good Book Guide. For us, a quality selection and customer care were all important to retaining customer loyalty. Being a mail order operation we couldn’t provide on the spot guidance that you would expect from a friendly local bookseller so we got people with specialist knowledge to recommend books for the general reader such as Yehudi Menuhin on Music; Antonia Fraser on Biography and somewhat unexpectedly the Duke of Edinburgh on Wildlife Conservation. We learned a lot from our customers – the girls in the order processing department even got marriage proposals from people whose orders they had sorted out satisfactorily. And from our mistakes – one lady, who turned out to be one of our loyalist customers, lived in Papua New Guinea and ordered a copy of Quick Headache Relief without Drugs. We sent her The Joy of Sex. She wrote to say that miraculously her headaches had never returned.

When I was MD of Jonathan Cape in the mid 1980s we had, as our offices, a five story house in London’s elegant Bedford Square. Now Cape is housed in two rooms on a floor of Penguin, lately merged with Random House. When I started in the 70s there were more than fifty publishers, now there are about five major publishers with the number ever dwindling. What is missing from these vast, foreign owned, conglomerates is the personal care, nurturing and involvement of the editor / publisher. Some publishers have been able to retain this to a degree – Bloomsbury and their John Lewis style partnership with their authors is a rare example – but many books by major authors these days are far too long as editors dare not edit them for fear that the increasingly promiscuous authors will go elsewhere. Loyalty and trust between author and publisher, as between bookseller and customer, is an increasingly rare but highly valued commodity.

Fortunately here in Shropshire you are lucky enough still to have, against all the odds since the disappearance of the net book agreement and the advent of Amazon, surviving independent bookstores and to have branches of a chain that act as independent book shops with their emphasis on the customer of which this branch of Waterstones is a prime example and something which will I believe become increasingly the case under the leadership of Waterstones CEO James Daunt.

You are also the host town to an excitingly original new publishing enterprise Middle Farm Press, the brainchild of two indefatigable, multi-talented young ladies Sam Gray and Kate Taylor. Sam’s background as a pig farmer might not strike everyone as the logical training for a publisher (and if you think that you don’t know much about the publishing industry) but she is a natural entrepreneur as is Kate Taylor who has a more conventional background as a writer and publisher and despite that, has retained an endless supply of energy, enthusiasm and expertise. She’s come a long way since, as a little girl, she remarked to a dinner guest named Salman Rushdie that she didn’t read books as she thought all books were boring.

Now they have channeled their enthusiasm to form a remarkable partnership approaching publishing from a fresh perspective, cutting out all unnecessary middle-man costs, electing to sell books through the traditional book trade rather than through Amazon and putting a high premium on providing the sort of customer advice, support and guidance that used to be a hallmark of British publishing but has now all but disappeared from the scene. As a former President of the Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland who fought long and hard to protect the independent bookseller it is a particular pleasure for me to be associated with their company as Chairman and to be here at the launch of, I’m sure the first of many beautifully produced books Sam Gray’s entertaining, informative and above all inspirational account of her year as a pig farmer on her 35 acre small holding in Church Stretton ‘Doing it in Wellies’.

Middle Farm Press is putting the book, and its proceeds, firmly back in the hands of the author. The publishers won’t be taking their traditional 85% to 90% of the profits from the authors but instead MFP will be relying on their personal relationships and experience to get the best deals from their designers, printers and suppliers. Thus allowing the author to not only benefit from the publisher’s business acumen but to keep the proceeds from all their book sales.

Amazon excitedly announced a few weeks ago that they will be the sole suppliers of Paris Hilton’s jewelry designs – no doubt a mouthwatering prospect for some but the writing is on the wall – the times are changing. A self-published book was on the Man Booker Longlist for the first time; HMV onetime owners of Waterstones, went bust a few years ago. It now has a new Chief Executive and has reopened its flagship Oxford Street store emphasizing the need to return to offering advice, guidance and support and to putting the customer first. And here in Shropshire Middle Farm Press is opening its doors to authors everywhere and enabling them, for the first time, to reap the true benefits from their creativity and plain hard work.”

Middle Farm Press makes high-quality books, specialising in produce, food and cooking but by no means exclusive to this genre. The company makes stunning books that allow authors to make a real profit. They support bookshops and champion authors – with a particular focus on producers, small farms and passionate chefs.

Middle Farm Press is the brainchild of writer and editor Kate Taylor and her author colleague Sam Gray, who runs her own smallholding. They set up the company to help authors who are considering self-publishing. Bringing with them the very best designers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, photographers, food economists, printers and cartographers, their aim is to help authors produce the same high-quality books produced by leading UK publishers without having to give away most of the profits. Since the founding of Middle Farm Press, it has been evolving to include all manner of things.

Connor PR working wtih Studio 9 Films for the UK Premiere of Seeds of Hope to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict


UK PREMIERE of Seeds of Hope

to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Studio 9 Films

Studio 9 Films

  • Award-winning filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies takes us to ‘the most dangerous place in the world for women’ – the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo – in her film Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014.
  • Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo.  
  • The Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague and Angelina Jolie, UNHCR Special Envoy, will co-chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10–13 June 2014 at ExCel London.
  • The summit calls for an end to sexual violence in conflict – an act that destroys lives and damages communities.
  • It will be the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject.


Starting 9.00am on 10 June 2014, there will be three days of global action aimed at creating awareness of sexual violence in conflict. One voice that will be added to the call for an end to sexual violence in conflict is Masika Katsuva’s.


The 84 hours of action is the largest meeting ever held on ending sexual violence in conflict. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC), co-chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie , Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will bring together government delegations, NGOs, experts and sexual and gender-based violence survivors from over 145 countries.


Studio 9 Films will show Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014. Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo. Masika, herself a multiple rape survivor, has helped thousands of women and children in eastern Congo who have suffered physical and sexual violence.


Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo (DR). Eastern Congo was described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ by Margot Wolstrom, the United Nations Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2011. A new generation of children, born from rape in the DRC are growing up in a country where violence is a regular occurrence. It’s become a place where there is widespread acceptance of rape and brutality towards women. “Whenever there is fighting, militia use rape as a weapon of war”, Masika says.


Filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies also interviews perpetrators of rape, among them soldiers from the Congolese army. Groundbreaking interviews are captured with the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are brutally violating. These men give extraordinarily open testimony as to why they rape and their attitudes towards their horrific acts. As one soldier candidly reveals, “Raping gives us a lot of pleasure. When we rape we feel free.” This calls into question the crucial issue of justice and as one of the women, Nzgira, poignantly says, “If justice is done maybe this will stop the soldiers. It’s just they aren’t afraid of anything.”


The aim of the summit is to facilitate dialogue between governments, NGOs, experts and survivors that outline solutions to sexual violence in conflict and develop international co-ordination. For Masika, to stop sexual violence means the conflict must be brought to an end. “If the fighting were to end in the hills, it would mean an end to rape which we want to stop forever.”


Filmed over three years and capturing the ebb and flow of the seasons, we see how the process of farming this small patch of land empowers and transforms these women.The field is their hope, their therapy and their source of food and income. The rape victims and hundreds of children born from rape sow lines of seed every quarter (three months). Together they nurture them, pray for good weather and eventually harvest them to eat, sell and plant again to generate more crops.


The field becomes a central feature, almost a character, both in its symbolic value and as a signifier of time passing.  The process of renewal and rebirth that nature provides offers up hope anda restored focus to the women. As one of the women, Mongera, remarks, “When we meet as a group, for a moment, it helps us forget what we’ve been through.”The women build new friendships, helping them come to terms with their pasts and look to make plans for the future.


The extraordinary natural beauty of Congo is juxtaposed against the horrific experiences that these women have endured and the threat of sexual violence that remains, lurking in such landscapes.


Since the filming of Seeds of Hope, 39 soldiers have stood trial for the crimes that took place in Minova in November 2012. Only two were convicted of rape as a war crime. Fiona Lloyd-Davies has produced a documentary on both the aftermath of the rapes in 2012 and the trial that will be broadcast on BBC Newsnight on Monday 9 June 2014.


While the seeds show that there is a way forward and a glimmer of hope, its clear that there’s little justice for these women at present. Masika believes that until there is peace in DRC there will be rape: “Whenever there is fighting there is rape.” Despite the recent Minova trial, prosecutions are rare and impunity still prevails. The battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over.

Senator Mobina Jaffer said: “Seeds of Hope conveys unimaginable pain, but also the hope and strength of the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It further portrays a British filmmaker, Fiona, reaching out to portray the pain of her Congolese sister, Masika.”

This film takes us deep into the lives of women and children who are rarely given a voice and rarely seen on screen. Seeds of Hope shows how one woman’s enterprise helps thousands of Congo’s rape survivors find healing and independence through farming. As one of the women explains, “we are always very happy when we have our seeds, because seeds are our hope”.



Notes to Editors:

To attend the screening of Seeds of Hope and reception please contact Siobhan at Connor PR. There will be a Q&A after the screening, moderated by Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, Senior Researcher Africa Division.


Fiona Lloyd-Davies is available for interview.


Please contact Siobhan at Connor PR Tel: 07966 177025


What: Screening of Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe followed by a Q&A.

When: 10 June 2014 at 6.30pm.

Where: ExCel Centre, Docklands, London.


Facebook page:

Twitter handle:@Studio9films #seedsofhope


Images are available on request.



To watch the film please click on the following link

password: seedsofhopescreener

A short preview can be viewed on:

Film synopsis

Seeds of Hope documents the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, who, with just a small patch of land, commitment and passion, has helped thousands of women and children who have suffered physical and sexual violence come to terms with the nightmares they have lived through.


Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo. Eastern Congo has been called the ‘rape capital of the world’ by the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict. This is the most dangerous place in the world for women.


The women and children farm the land together, providing them with an income, a sense of stability and a form of therapy. Through donations, Masika and her team have expanded the centre, but the battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over. Since launching the project, Masika has been raped three more times.


The film also reveals the motivations of some of the perpetrators. They are not just foreign militia groups, but are members of the Congolese National Army. These are the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are now brutally violating.


Filmed over three years, Seeds of Hope takes us deep into the lives of women and children rarely seen, offering up a vision of transformation through one woman’s mission to bring healing to women traumatised by rape and in turn, stability to their children born as a result.


Links relating to Seeds of Hope


Film Festivals

St Louis International Film Festival  November 2014

Africa World Documentary Film Festival

Selected for International Festival “A Film for Peace”

Studio 9 Films

Studio 9 Films Ltd is a company led by award-winning producer/director/self shooter and photojournalist Fiona Lloyd-Davies. They have produced films for BBC, Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch and REDRESS. Studio 9 Films’ production, “Justice in Action”, chronicling six young woman’s journey to Bosnia 20 years after the war won the  Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival in 2013. The film “Seeds of Hope”, which tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor who has helped thousands of women and children in war-torn eastern Congo premiered at the Pulitzer Center Film Festival “Global Crises, Human Stories” and was officially selected for the St Louis International Film Festival 2013.

Biography of Fiona Lloyd-Davies



Award winning filmmaker and photojournalist, Fiona Lloyd-Davies is one of the UK’s most experienced foreign documentary and current affairs journalists. She’s been making films and taking pictures about human rights issues in areas of conflict since 1992, working in Bosnia, Iraq, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and many other locations. Her film about Honour Killing in Pakistan, License to Kill for BBC2, brought a change in the law in Pakistan and was awarded a Royal Television Society award for Best International Journalism. She has also won a Royal Television Society award for Innovation for her work with Salam Pax on the Baghdad Blogger.


Justice in Action, Fiona’s film chronicling the journey of six young women exploring the path to peace and reconciliation in Bosnia won the Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival. Her work combines journalism with a strong visual style that she learnt as a graduate of the Royal College of Art. She is also a widely published and exhibited photojournalist in UK broadsheets and magazines such as the Guardian, The Observer magazine and the Herald. She films and edits much of her work herself, using the latest technology.


Fiona’s most recent work centres on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has gained unprecedented access to the soldiers implicated in the rapes in Minova on November 20, 2012. Ordered to Rape investigates the mass rapes and subsequent trial and will be shown on BBC Newsnight on June 9, 2014. Her film Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor, who has helped over thousands of women and children will be shown at the Summit Fringe of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 10, 2014.

Fiona’s other Congo work


“Congo and the General” TX February 2014 Al Jazeera English

The first ever aggressive, intervention brigade of 3,000 men has been deployed to one of the world’s most complicated and volatile regions, Eastern Congo. It’s being led by a new force Commander, the Brazilian General, Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz. He has one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the world. To prove that the UN can finally fulfill it’s mandate to protect civilians and win against rebel forces and militia men who, until now, have out manoeuvred the largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation in the world.


“Congo’s Tin Idea” TX May 2013 Al Jazeera English

Control of Eastern Congo’s minerals has been a key driver in the savage fighting that’s killed over five million people. A new project may have the answer – to produce conflict free tin from a mine.


Connor PR working with Studio 9 Films, Connor PR working with Film Maker Fiona Lloyd-Davies, Connor PR and the premiere of Seeds of Hope, Connor PR working on the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict with Angelina Jolie and William Hague









RockABaby048“Stand out from the crowd? Yes please!

Why is the crowd all dressed the same anyway?”

  • We’ve learnt to walk – let us stand on our own two feet!
  • We’ve learnt to talk – let us have a voice!



Gone are the days when children were seen but not heard – an electric group of future trend-setters were seen protesting on Oxford Street, London, over the weekend. Why? Because they are fed up with being told to wear boring stereotypical clothes! Lucky for them, a new label has come to town.

Anti-stereotype brand, Rockabye-Baby, has a fresh approach to dressing kids and a motto to match – don’t give into mainstream cute. Owner and founder, Emma Parkes-McQueen, believes kids should be able to dress as individually as they think and is spearheading the campaign ‘down with cute; up with cool’. This bright and funky range of luxury cotton clothes for children up to the age of eight looks fantastic and is not designed with ‘three-year-old-Daisy-who-only-wears-pink’ or ‘six-year-old-Max-who-loves-dragons’ in mind. With a musical theme to boot, they are cool clothes that crush clichés.

Just as toy shops have started to listen to the public about the need to scrap the signage of gender-specific toys, Emma believes the same should be said for clothes. Why do we feel the need to even define the sex of our children? Is it because we’re offended if someone thinks our boy is a girl? Is it because we’re worried they will stand out from the crowd?

The history of clothing is an endless read – from a 1918 trade publication stating that pink (the stronger colour) was right for boys and blue (the delicate and dainty option) was the one to dress girls in; to shops publishing charts about which colours were appropriate for which sex; jumping to 1940 when the colours were switched; and then the 1960s seeing a unisex comeback…

This great new brand simply focuses on cool – that’s unisex cool; across the board cool; appealing to all cool. It’s more than a brand. It’s a statement and one that is fun to get behind (and into). With an ethos that makes refreshing sense and a quality that is unrivalled, what’s not to love about this fresh new label!?

Following a competition organised by The Great Retail Revival Foundation, Rockabye-Baby was chosen as one the UK’s hottest new retailers to showcase its clothes at House of Fraser’s POP at HOF – a pop-up at the flagship Oxford Street store. The winner secures a year’s concession online. Champagne Taittinger is partnering the event and customers who buy any POP at HOF brands get a free glass to celebrate.



Notes to editors:

Owner and founder of Rockabye-Baby, Emma Parkes-McQueen is available for interview.

For all media enquiries please contact: / Tel: 07966 177025

Following a competition organised by The Great Retail Revival Foundation, Rockabye-Baby was chosen as one the UK’s hottest new retailers to showcase its collection at House of Fraser’s POP at HOF – a pop-up at the flagship Oxford Street store. The winner secures a year’s concession online. Champagne Taittinger is partnering the event; customers who buy any POP at HOF product get a free glass of champagne.


About House of Fraser:

House of Fraser is a department store group with 59 enviable locations across the UK and Ireland plus one concept store. As one of the best known names on the high street, House of Fraser has presented customers with an unrivalled nationwide department store for 165 years. The company announced the sale to Nanjing Cenbest on 12 April 2014 marking the exciting beginning for the company under Chinese ownership. The Group has annual sales of £1.2bn and employs 6,800 House of Fraser staff and 13,000 concession staff through 4.5 million sqft of selling space. Customers can shop at House of Fraser from During 2013, the Group opened its first international franchise store in Abu Dhabi.



Twitter: @RockabyeBabyLDN

@gr8retail #popathof @houseoffraser



Connor PR working with RockabyeBaby,  Connor PR specialist in fashionPR



Emma Bridgewater has created two limited edition aprons for Sport Relief 2014 available from HomeSense and TK Maxx stores

very low res image for email

 Ten of Britain’s favourite sport stars have joined teams and swapped their boxing gloves for oven gloves in a fun-packed photo shoot for Sport Relief 2014.


For those wanting to ‘sport’ a new look in the kitchen, British pottery maker, Emma Bridgewater, has created two limited edition aprons for Sport Relief. One of the designs will be presented each night to the winner of ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’ and both designs are available to buy exclusively from Sport Relief official partners – brands-for-less homeware retailer, HomeSense, and TK Maxx stores, and for £12.99 with at least £6.50 going to Sport Relief.


Those championing the campaign are (pictured left to right): Olympic gymnast, Louis Smith MBE; World Champion boxer, Amir Khan; Team GB Olympic Judo athlete, Ashley McKenzie; Paralympic table tennis player, Will Bayley; Sky Sports News presenter, Kirsty Gallacher; Dan Whiston from TV’s Dancing on Ice; Olympic short track speed skater, Elise Christie; Boxer, Natasha Jonas; Wasps and England rugby player, James Haskell and Channel 4 racing presenter, Emma Spencer.


Since 2002, Sport Relief has raised over £195million. As one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. The money raised from apron sales will be used to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. So join in the fun and games and be sure to grab a limited edition Emma Bridgewater apron before they’re all scone!


Sky Sports News Presenter, Kirsty Gallacher said: “By purchasing these great Sport Relief aprons you’ll be doing your bit to help raise millions of pounds to help people who need it most  – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. I urge everyone to join in the fun and games this Sport Relief. Let’s raise as much money as we possibly can for this great cause.”


Amir Khan added: “Please shop till you drop and purchase these fabulous Sport Relief Aprons from HomeSense & TK Maxx stores. I hope the Emma Bridgewater aprons will carry the Sport Relief message into thousands of homes and help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people. Together let’s make this the best Sport Relief year ever.”


Louis Smith said: “I’m urging everyone to get down to HomeSense and TK Maxx stores to purchase one of Emma Bridgewater’s Sport Relief aprons. The campaign has received overwhelming support from well-known sports personalities across the country and is perfectly placed to get the nation joining in the fun and games. I am extremely proud to be involved and hope with your help Sport Relief 2014 receives the support it deserves”.


Don’t miss out on your very own limited edition Emma Bridgewater apron and help raise money for Sport Relief 2014, from HomeSense, TK Maxx stores, and


Details and Prices:

£12.99 with at least £6.50 going to Sport Relief

Apron featured on ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’

Entertainment specialist Connor PR working with Sport Relief, Connor PR working with Emma Bridgewater, Connor PR working with HomeSense, Connor PR working with TK Maxx


Connor PR working with child protection expert Mark William-Thomas on Exposure: ‘Predators Abroad’


Wednesday 2nd October, ITV, 22.35pm

One year after exposing the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal, child protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas has gone undercover in a new documentary, Exposure: Predators Abroad, in a bid to unveil British child sex offenders who are travelling abroad to prey on vulnerable youngsters.


Mark Williams-Thomas is available for comment and interview.

Around the world an estimated 2 million children are exploited in the sex industry.

Among the offenders are British paedophiles – but no one knows how many. In 2008 authorities in the UK vowed to get tough with these travelling child sex offenders.


But five years later Exposure reveals Britain is struggling to crackdown on child sex tourism. Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas travels to Cambodia for his first major investigation following last year’s multi award-winning Exposure programme, ‘The Other Side of Jimmy Savile’.


Williams-Thomas goes undercover in Phnom Penh to expose the sickening trade in children for sex. Posing as a British child sex tourist, he meets men who want to supply two girls for $800 – just over £500. The girls are just 9 and 10.
Williams-Thomas also investigates the so-called ‘new sex tourism’, which involves paedophiles accessing children by way of teaching, setting up orphanages and volunteer work.


The programme features contributions from experts in the field, including Bharti Patel from the charity End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking or ECPAT.
She tells the programme: “Prosecution of child sex offenders abroad is dismally low in this country and that is probably the most worrying thing and it also sends out the signal that British sex offenders can get away with committing this and not be prosecuted. So more needs to be done.”
The programme was made with the help of Action Pour Les Enfants, an organisation that carries out surveillance operations on suspected paedophiles in Cambodia and helps police secure prosecutions. Shocking footage, never broadcast before, shows British paedophiles with their young victims.
Cambodian police are currently involved in an ongoing operation as a result of information supplied by this programme.

Connor PR specialist in TV Publicity, Connor PR specialist in expert PR, Connor PR working with Mark Williams-Thomas, child protection


To arrange an interview with Mark please contact: Siobhan at Connor PR Tel: 07966 177025