UK specialist distributor Artificial Eye Film Company is kickstarting its long-planned move into production with Working Up To Winter, a contemporary road movie written and to be directed by Sarah Turner.

The project, set to go into production this summer, was developed with support from FilmFour Lab, the experimental wing of UK film operation FilmFour. It will be produced by Artificial Eye Productions chief Ben Gibson and documentary film producer Lisa Marie Russo

The fledgling outfit is also developing a project based on a series of four books from novelist John Milne, entitled Alive And Kicking. The books feature a Chandleresque, London-based private eye. The film is budgeted at around £4m ($6.5m).

"We are not reckoning on making films simply to feed into the distribution arm. We want them to be stand-alone films carrying the flavour of Artificial Eye's taste in films," said Gibson. The outfit is also developing a first feature from Pierro Di Pietro entitled Barnaby Burke. Gibson, a former British Film Institute production chief, said he aims to encourage new film-making talent and to develop relationships in Europe to add to a growing slate.