£10K Freeform Forum Fund Transforms ‘Dollar Signs’ Project by Rising Manchester Talent, Ade

The Freeform Forum mentorship creative fund backed by Relentless and in collaboration with UK Arts Organisation ‘Small Green Shoots’ has awarded Ade the top prize of £10,000.

Manchester-based filmmaker, Oluwafemi Ade, was announced as the recipient of Freeform Forum’s £10,000 creative fund for ‘Dollar Signs’; a two-part music video project exploring the importance of resilience and staying true to one’s dreams in the face of adversity.

The project culminates the grassroots mentorship programme funded by Relentless, in collaboration with UK arts organisation Small Green Shoots. Launched in October 2023, this programme aimed to address the barriers felt by young creators; as research revealed that 20% of young Brits would like to work in music, but industry barriers are holding them back.

Ade was awarded the fund to to create a music video featuring Benjiii TG.

The ‘Dollar Signs’ video, crafted with the support of his mentor Tajana Tokyo will use a boundary-pushing stop-motion photography concept using 35mm film. Alongside the video Ade will also create a unique viewing experience through a physical book, giving everyone the opportunity to physically engage with the project in the real world.

Ade will also leverage the £10,000 funding provided by Relentless for a forthcoming launch event. The event will feature the book which will be available to buy and performances by the artist, and DJ sets throughout.

As part of the Freefrom Forum Mentorship programme, Ade was paired with Tajana Tokyo, co-creator of the Super Bowl ads, to help find his footing in filmmaking and the music industry.

The six-week mentorship programme was also spearheaded by South London rapper ENNY, J Hus’ Producer TSB, and Burna Boy’s speed dial photographer Elliot Hensford who guided the other 11 mentees on their live creative projects across production, photography or filmmaking.

Ade said on his experience shadowing a film set with mentor, Tajana Tokyo,

“I’m so over the moon, not only to have been selected for the creative fund butalso to have been a part of the Freeform Forum mentorship from the outset. I’m used to doing things myself with very small budgets or no budget sometimes – my creative ideas were just not getting off the ground. This experience gave me the opportunity not only to learn from creatives at the top of their game but to network, gain skills and access funds to push my creative limits even further.”

The inaugural Relentless mentorship programme is part of the brand’s new Freeform platform, which will see Relentless fuel the next generation of disruptive creators via a programme of grassroots support, opportunities for emerging talents and boundary-pushing music experiences. Young creatives should also keep their eyes peeled over the coming months as entries open up for this year’s edition of the Freeform Forum mentorship. The perfect initiative for those who are searching for a different path to success, outside the mould.

The program featured:

ENNY is a South-London born rapper, singer and songwriter best known for her single “Peng Black Girls” which was remixed by Jorja Smith, amassing 5m views, before being signed by the global star’s label ‘FAMM’ in 2020.

Elliot Hensford
Shooting global stars such as Stormzy, Burna Boy and Davido has catapulted Elliot Hensford into becoming one of the most culturally relevant and sought after photographers of our generation. Recently nominated for GUAP’s ‘Photographer of the Year’ award.

Having started his career over ten years ago, TSB is one of the UK’s leading music producers, establishing himself as the go-to person for artists with a story to tell, collaborating with global artists such as Headie One, J Hus, Dave, Bree Runway and AJ Tracey, to name a few.

Tajana Tokyo
Tajana Tokyo is a Director born and raised in London with a unique style that’s resulted in her directing some of the world’s most globally-recognised projects, most famously, co-directing Rihanna’s Super Bowl advert. With her previous professional dance career supporting the likes of Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe, Tajana has an invaluable reference point having been front and centre of some of the world’s most recognised creative experiences.

The programme aims to help break down the barriers to success faced by boundary pushing talent – by equipping them with tools, tips & tricks all from one central hub, helping them overcome creative restrictions, so that they are free to create without limits.

Under 25s pursuing careers in the creative industries and who have a live-working project will be able to connect with and learn from their Mentor, via a range of free one-to-one mentorship sessions across a range of creative disciplines.

For more information about the Freeform Forum, please visit www.relentlessfreeform.com