EXCLUSIVE: Creative producer, business exec plan future collaborations.
Microwave creative producer Mia Bays and Business and finance producer Mike Kelly are leaving the Film London and BBC production scheme to pursue other opportunities.
The duo worked on eight films backed by the initiative, including Eran Creevy’s Shifty, Ben Drew’s iLL Manors and most recently Hong Khaou’s Sundance drama Lilting.
The Microwave initiative, which backs projects budgeted up to £120,000 ($200,000) is currently on hiatus with no projects in development but ScreenDaily understands that an announcement about the future of the scheme is in the pipeline.
Bays most recently independently produced upcoming music doc Backstreet Boys – The Movie for Pulse Films and co-wrote and produced upcoming short The Muse, directed by Tim Walker, starring Ben Whishaw.
Kelly will continue to structure and manage SEIS and SIS finance and consulting through Northern Alliance.
The two also plan to work together on features, including a script by Fast Girls writer Jay Basu called Within, which is expected to attach a director soon.
Bays told Screen: “Mike and I are already working together on several projects and very much want to build on the successful collaboration we’ve had to date and bring that to a slate of films starting with Within.”
Kelly noted: “I think we’ve proved that we’re effective at getting value on screen and we want to continue doing that together with partners in the UK and internationally, on a range of budgets.”
Bays added: “It has been incredibly rewarding working with the makers of the Microwave Films. We’ve made films that have played at major festivals, opened on 200 screens and won awards. Every year talent we have backed have made the Screen International Stars of Tomorrow list.”
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, told Screen: “The success of the films produced through Microwave is something we are all incredibly proud of and as the this groundbreaking first slate comes to a close, Mia and Mike are moving on.
“It is obviously a real team effort, but Mike and Mia played an important role in helping to bring the ideas of our talented film-makers to the screen,” he continued. “I thank them for all their hard work and dedication and wish them all the very best in their future careers. They are extremely talented and already working across a range of projects, so I have no doubt we will be seeing some great things from them in the near future. As for Microwave, we hope to be announcing something about its exciting future in the coming months.”