B3 Media has launched a new lab to give filmmakers from non-traditional backgrounds the chance to hone their skills and break into the film industry.

With other backing from BBC Films and the Skillset Film Skills Fund, TalentLab will launch as a development programme aimed at Black, Asian and minority ethnic filmmakers.

From nationwide workshops, 24 candidates with ideas for short, feature, multimedia fiction or documentaries, will be chosen to participate in a series of development labs in May this year.

A further 12 projects will be selected from this TalentLab for further development, and up to six feature pilots or short films will be commissioned and produced between September and October 2011.

The programme will conclude with six projects being given the chance to pitch for further development with the B3 Media and BBC Films slate.

B3’s founder and creative director Marc Boothe [pictured] said: “We hope to provide the support networks to help build sustainable careers as well as creating an incubator environment for the next wave of storytellers.”

Applicants can visit www.b3media.net/talentlab for more information.

Separately, B3 Media is working with BBC Writersroom to launch a new digital short film programme, Cineast. The programme, which will produce up to four digital shorts, is to support emerging “writing, directing and acting talent from the UK’s East and Southeast Asian diaspora.” An industry showcase related to the scheme will be held in October.