Six rising film-makers have been selected for the new Directors' Lab at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The six directors, moving from shorts to features, are: Hope Dickson Leach, Charles-Henri Belleville, Scott Graham, Jane Linfoot, Rene Mohandas and Amy Neil.

Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films has come on board as a patron of the scheme, which is backed by teh UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund, Film4, and Skillset. The Lab is run by Lifesize Pictures.

The five day programme runs June 20-24 and other experts working with the newcomers are Kevin Macdonald, Antonia Bird, Isabel Coixet, Seamus McGarvey, Mogens Rukov, Paul Andrew Williams, Ken Marshall, David Nicholls, Elizabeth Karlsen, Kahleen Crawford, Finola Dwyer and Berenice Fugard.

'I've been going to the Edinburgh International Film Festival since 1981 and have always found it to be one of the most exciting and innovative festivals in Europe, and this new initiative is an excellent way of squaring the circle between the filmmaking process and the exhibition process,' Woolley said. 'The chosen filmmakers will have an opportunity to meet and discuss with some of European cinema's luminaries and will also get an opportunity to further their knowledge in the real world of cinema production. The filmmakers we have selected are both extremely talented and are exciting prospects for the future and if this lab helps to concentrate their vision and talent, I believe it will be a huge success.'

Lenny Crooks , head of the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund said, 'The UK excels in producing exceptional emerging filmmakers but the jump from shorts to features is massive requiring a great idea, good writing, good producer, luck and timing. The lab is a bespoke, excellent, hands-on professional development to help filmmakers work out how to pull all of these things together.'

Ginnie Atkinson , managing director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival added, 'We are very pleased that this initiative is taking place in Edinburgh as the aims of the Director's Lab match those of the EIFF in terms of developing talent and it is an ideal place to see the kind of films that will inspire.'