National Film And Television School Graduates Selected For Primetime Empower Fund

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is proud to announce that Truckload, directed by Aella Jordan-Edge and produced by Arpita Ashok has been awarded the inaugural Primetime Empower Fund.

The initiative was launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023 by Primetime, in partnership with Funding Futures to spotlight women and non-binary filmmakers and was supported by a star-studded Industry Jury comprising of BAFTA-nominated Director Ella Glendining, BAFTA-nominated Producer Ameenah Ayub Allen, Curtis Brown Agent Cynthia Okoye, Funding Futures Executive Producer William Shutt, Actress and Founder of Primetime Victoria Emslie and Doctor Who co-stars Mandip Gill and Jodie Whittaker.


primetime collage


Truckload is a comedy-drama inspired by real events. Writer-musician Evie Jones, who endured a life-altering accident, channels her experience into the story of Lizzie, as she moves back to Manchester following a traffic accident that happened a year ago which left her with life-changing injuries.

Evie said: “Since becoming disabled it became quickly and startlingly clear that I no longer saw my experiences depicted on screen, and that disabled led stories are often contained to what many members of the disabled community deem 'pity porn'. Truckload exemplifies the complexities and truth of becoming a disabled adult. It’s a story about mastering your (new) reality after a life-changing event, and a love letter to parents who support their disabled adult children.”

Director Aella Jordan-Edge, a childhood friend of Jones and a graduate of the National Film and Television School Directing Fiction MA, added: “I knew about the accident and had supported from the sidelines but it wasn’t until I read Truckload that I really felt what Evie had been going through. The film places us, the audience, right in Evie’s head, in a way that only film can. The characters and dialogue jump off the page, bursting with life, truthfulness and something of what it means to be human. I knew audiences had to feel this too. All I could do was pick up the phone and say to Evie: You have to make this. Let’s do it together.”

Arpita Aella and Evie

Arpita Ashok, Aella Jordan-Edge and Evie Jones

Arpita Ashok, who will be producing the film alongside Actress and Founder of Primetime Victoria Emslie, transitioned from law to film via the NFTS Producing MA. Arpita resonated with the project’s underrepresented voices; “In my previous life as a lawyer, I advocated for the rights of marginalised women and girls across the world. As a producer, I want to continue to platform under-represented voices and reach broad audiences, seeing storytelling as one of our most powerful tools to achieve change. Therefore, Truckload is exactly the kind of story I want to bring to the screen and the Empower Fund’s core values really resonate with me.”

Jodie Whittaker said: “Evie Jones’s ‘Truckload’ is an incredibly raw, brutally funny and brilliantly honest script. She, Aella Jordan-Edge and Arpita Ashok blew me away with their vision, and I cannot wait to be a part of this film.”

Funding Futures Executive Producer William Shutt added: “The calibre of projects and talent at every stage has been exceptional and a testament to the core values of the Empower Fund. ‘Truckload’ and the team embody just that. It’s an unapologetic, emotive and powerful story with characters you’re instantly drawn to. The team equally captivated us and we’re thrilled this story will be told.”

The fund consists of a £10k grant from Primetime and Funding Futures, a £15,000 camera package from HAWK London and another £15,000 worth of post production in-kind services from post-production house, Picture Shop.

Filming for Truckload is set to begin summer 2024.

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