The UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund for low-budget films has partnered with FilmFour's FilmFour Lab to launch four short film schemes.

The two operations are each investing £250,000 a year into the schemes - Cinema Extreme, Comedy Shorts, Internet/Viral Shorts and the Completion Fund. The schemes, which may change in aims from year to year, will work with production company partners, industry organisations and executive


Robin Gutch, head of FilmFour Lab, commented: "Short films are the lifeblood of adventurous film-making, giving new film-makers a chance to unleash their imagination from the shackles of the media machine."

The New Cinema Fund collaboration with FilmFour Lab is the third initiative for short filmmaking to be funded through UK support body the Film Council. Already underway is the £1 million National Lottery funded First Light project for young people, which is managed by Hi8us First Light. Additionally, a scheme for digital shorts is to be run with 11 industry partners located throughout the UK.

"Supporting and nurturing new talent through short films is important in stimulating a visionary and exciting film industry," said Paul Trijbits, head of the New Cinema Fund.