UK production company B3 Media is launching the B3 FeatureLab with backing from Film4, Binger Film Lab and Skillset.
The initiative will nurture four feature film scripts from black and minority film-makers who have a track record in film, TV, radio, visual arts or new media.
The programme, which runs throughout 2008, will kick off with a training week in London (including master-classes). Initially, 16 participants will be selected to develop a feature film project 'capable of attracting production finance.' Treatment and story outlines will be developed with mentors from B3 Media and Film4.
Eight projects will be selected for a development week at Amsterdam 's Binger Film Lab in April. At the end of the FeatureLab programme, four projects will undergo an intensive week and then be formally pitched to B3 and Film4 for further development towards production.
The project will have the support of industry experts like Steve McQueen and Nelson George.
'We're looking for creativity, edginess and ways to redefine the notion of 'British Cinema',' says B3 Media's Marc Boothe 'We want to produce the next wave of UK films that reflect the contemporary multi-ethnic experience and speak to international audiences.'
'There is a rich seam of talent currently at work in the UK, which we want to channel into cinemas,' added Film4's Peter Carlton. 'Film4 prides itself on championing new, innovative voices and there is no more intriguing a mine than the stories of those from diverse cultural backgrounds in Britain.'
Applications will be accepted until Feb 4.