The UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund and b3 mediaare launching a new digital short film project to support black and ethnicminority filmmakers.

The Blank Slate scheme, funded by the NationalLottery, is expected to commission eight shorts to be produced by spring 2006.

Filmmakers from across the UKcan apply to make films up to £9,000 in budget and 10 minutes in length. Live action,animation or documentary projects (or combinations) of any genre will be considered.

b3media, a multi-ethnic non-profit arts organization, has run a short filmmakingprogramme for the past two years.

"Atthis stage it is crucial that we build on the success of the Blank Slateinitiative so that we can reach out to filmmakers across the UK. This scheme allows us toextend the search for new creative talent UK-wide," said Marc Boothe of b3.

Applicationsare available at