New funds aimed at helping regional filmmakers and production companies across England have been launched this week by Creative England.
The funds, intended to support regional film companies and help develop new talent, are being managed by industry experts from both film and television.
The Creative England Production Fund, managed by Richard Holmes, is an all-England fund, focused on regional filmmakers and/or stories.
Holmes, producer of Eden Lake, Jadoo and the upcoming Keeping Rosy, said: “We’ll be looking for ambitious films that can be made by committed filmmakers for under £1.5m.”
The fund will support between 10% and 50% of total budget with individual awards typically in the range of £50-£150k.
The West Midlands Production Fund (WMPF), also managed by Richard Holmes, and supported through the European Regional Development Fund, can invest in both film and TV drama production.
Productions must be based in the West Midlands, and must demonstrate a positive impact on the region. The WMPF can invest from £100-£500k to be matched with private equity on the same terms.
In addition, Creative England will be launching its third iteration of iFeatures next January.
The Film Enterprise Fund, Creative England’s programme of bespoke support for the growth and sustainability of film companies in England, which opens later this month, is being run by Caroline Cooper Charles, with the aim of finding and developing the next big company.
Charles’ executive producer credits include Andrea Arnold’s Oscar-winning Wasp and Xiaolu Guo’s She, A Chinese, winner of the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival 2009.
In addition to her work with emerging writing and directing talent at her production company, Universal Spirits, she was responsible for a diverse slate of low-budget feature films at Warp X, including Hush, All Tomorrow’s Parties and Bunny and the Bull.
The fund that Charles will run at Creative England will invest £2m (over four years) to improve the growth and sustainability of film businesses outside London.
Creative England will work with companies on an individual basis to design made-to-measure programmes of business support and investment – helping entrepreneurs unlock new opportunities, develop creative strategies, re-energise their business models and attract increased levels of corporate finance.
The Talent Centres (part of the BFI’s NET.WORK launched at the Encounters festival in September 2013) are run by Paul Ashton and Céline Haddad, whose work will focus on developing new and emerging writers, director and producers and helping them on the path to making their first feature.
Ashton was previously a development producer at the BBC while Haddad spent the last three years as head of development, animation, at Passion Pictures and was previously at Pathé.
With £1.2m per annum on offer for England’s best new and emerging filmmaking talent, they will support the development of live action, fictional feature film projects of all genres, which may include a contribution towards research, writer’s fees, script editing, budget/schedule, casting, recce and pilot.
They will also support the production of entry level shorts via iShorts as well as mid to higher budgeted shorts from writer/directors and directors who have written or have a formal attachment to a feature at first draft or beyond.
The current round of iShorts is now open for applications with a closing date of Nov 1, 2013 (the next round will open in Spring 2014).
Chris Moll, Creative England’s head of film, said: “It is fantastic to have such a dynamic and experienced team helping to find and develop the next generation of filmmakers in England.
“They all understand acutely the challenges writers, producers and directors face in trying to build both their careers and their businesses, and it means that in addition to funding, filmmakers will benefit from sharp, insightful advice and support from industry veterans.”