In 1997, Lewis set up The Gate Films with his producer, Sarah Jarvis. The duo had the aim of becoming the “best production company in the North”.
“Having ridden two recessions, fraudulent accounts and a ridiculous attempt to become an agency (including hiring a group CEO, head of digital strategy and creative director at a cost of £1m per year… ) we have now settled nicely into our role as the specialist, premium, advertising film company outside the M25.”
The company is now based at an 8,000sq ft film and photography studio complex in MediaCity and has a team of creators, directors, producers and post production staff all collaborating with “the world’s biggest and best agencies and brands”.
Winning the award in 2022 for Production Company of the Year meant “absolutely everything” to them.
“Four years ago we were facing extinction. We had no money, no direction and having believed the hype, had spent ludicrous amounts of money trying to be something we clearly were not. To win this award for the second time in three years is such an incredible boost to our beautifully wonderful and talented team that work flat out day in and day out to uphold the values that we hold dear to us at the Gate.”
Since winning the trophy, The Gate Films has had numerous successes and recently was acquired by global production group, Tag.
“This award, and our rise in the industry, has seen us win countless pieces of film from the world’s best agencies, fantastic relationships with clients and to be bought into the Tag Collective Arts family. Our goal now is to ensure that not only do we continue to produce blockbusting film for our agencies and clients but we also continue to make Manchester (and the North) the place to make great films.”
Jessica Adams took home the award for Young Outstanding Contributor to the North last year, for her work as Head of Marketing & Communications for Syria Relief. This award is decided by a combination of judges’ scores and public votes.
She was in disbelief about winning at first: “I know people always say they don’t expect to win awards, but I genuinely didn’t. I couldn’t even believe I was nominated, if I’m honest. Everyone else in the category had such excellent experience in the private sector and I felt like I didn’t stand a chance having come predominantly from the charity sector.”
“Not only was I delighted for myself, but I was delighted for the entire sector and for it to be another platform to highlight the cause of the vulnerable people across the world who we helped through our work.”
Since winning, she shared how “a lot has changed”.
“I finished my time at Syria Relief, by running a campaign to prevent the closure of 300 of our schools which were under threat due to lack of funding, which would have meant 100,000 children went without school. Thanks to a successful campaign, we managed to keep them open.
“I began a new position for Prince’s Trust International as Head of Marketing in October, which is the international arm of the leading youth charity founded by His Majesty King Charles III, the former Prince of Wales in 1976. Prince’s Trust International now provides life-changing programmes for young people across 20 countries.”
She has also started her own business, which offers marketing and communication services to non-profit companies, called Holistiq Comms, based in the North.
With a wide variety of categories to choose from this year, entries are now open for Prolific North’s Champions Awards 2023 where you could take home one of the coveted awards on the night.