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UK film finance scheme Microwave relaunches, sets team

EXCLUSIVE: £2.2m earmarked for new projects, Olivier Kaempfer joins team.

The BFI has joined Microwave founding partners Film London and BBC Films for the next iteration of the low-budget production initiative behind Sundance hit Lilting and Eran Creevy’s debut Shifty.

The trio has earmarked £2.2m for the next round of its Microwave scheme, which will now offer development funding to all shortlisted filmmakers and further development grants of up to £10k for advancing films.

The scheme is due to produce up to six features over three years with production budgets of £150k. £100k will come from Microwave, £50k from the film’s producers. Completed films will have access to an additional £25k of P&A funding.

The extended development programme, supported by Creative Skillset, will develop and train up to 36 filmmaking teams. It will also see the return of Microschool, the intensive five day training ‘bootcamp’.

Olivier Kaempfer, who produced previous Microwave title Borrowed Time and executive produced Sundance 2014 title Appropriate Behavior, joins the team as senior Microwave executive, while Tessa Inkelaar steps into a development producer role. 

Deborah Sathe is head of talent development and production.

A distribution consultant and a business and legal affairs executive are due to join the team in the coming months. 

The scheme, which is readying a “comprehensive outreach program” with an ambition to long list at least 50% BAME filmmakers, is aiming to shoot its next films in spring 2015.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “This new structure means we can offer more people the training and development Microwave is famous for, which is hugely exciting and furthers the impact of the scheme and the talent we can reach.”

Deborah Sathe, head of talent development and production, said: “Microwave will enable bespoke routes to market for each project, allowing the boldest voices to be nurtured and delivered to the widest audiences possible.”

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