The 12 week intensive programme will be headed up by Ivana Mackinnon, Kate Leys and Jo McClellan.

Northern Film & Media is teaming with Film4 and Skillset to launch a new development programme for first time feature film-makers.

Film4ward promises to select “the most distinctive, bold and audience-challenging filmmakers” from the North East of England for the 12 week creative and commercial mentoring programme led by producer Ivana MacKinnon, script editor Kate Leys and Film4 development executive Jo McClellan.

The chosen filmmakers will receive mentoring on developing a treatment, outline and visual materials for a feature package, before having the opportunity to present their feature projects to Film4. The deadline for applications is March 28.

The launch of the new talent programmes follows last year’s pilot Film4ward initiative, which saw Film4 invest in developing four films from North East writers and writer/directors.

Northern Film & Media recently launched The Artist’s Cut – a partnership with Channel 4 and Arts Council England designed to enable artists to break into film, as well as investing in a slate of feature films including Song for Marion, The Liability and The Man Inside, through Northstar Ventures.