Film projects in development include Peter Straughan’s feature directorial debut The Inventor.
Newcastle- and London-based Bonafide Films has gotten a $484,000 (£300,000) investment, with $242,000 (£150,000) from Northern Film+Media and Northstar Ventures’ Finance for Business – North East Creative Content Fund paired with backing from Rockford Asset Management.
Bonafide partners producer Margery Bone and writer/actor/comedian Sacha Alexander, who joined forces over a year ago, will use the funding to develop film and TV projects. The company currently splits its slate for about half film and half TV.
On the film side, Bonafide has now finished short Gee Gee, the directorial debut of screenwriter Peter Straughan (Men Who Stare At Goats), which also had support from Northern Film + Media. Bone and Straughan are also developing a feature, The Inventor, with Film 4 (which backed the short). In Brighton-set Gee Gee, an adaptation of a John Cheever short story, David Morrissey stars as a one of a group of conservative couples in an apartment block. A new couple comes to a dinner party that throw everyone into chaos.
In other film work, Bonafide has optioned Sarah Moss’ thriller novel Cold Earth to be written by Lyndsay Shapero and Olivier Nilsson. Colin Teague (Being Human) will direct.
For TV, Bonafide’s development slate includes sitcom series Undercover, being developed with Baby Cow, which Alexander is writing with Andrew Milligan and Simon Dean. That is a comedy about a neurotic traffic policeman.
One of the company’s Northeast-set projects is contemporary sci-fi series Korridor by Jay Basu.
The company also has a number of other TV projects in development, including a number of Alexander’s comedy ideas, plus a new BBC drama series that Bonafide would co-produce.
Tom Harvey, CEO of Northern Film + Media, said of the funding: “Bonafide is a talented, ambitious indie with a lot of commercial potential. This investment will enable the company to realise a fantastic slate of projects and we look forward to working closely with the Margery and Sacha as their business matures.
“With a string of exciting investments under our belt, the Finance for Business – North East Creative Content Fund is demonstrating what can be achieved by a public-private investment partnership tailored for the creative industries.”
Bone told Screen: “I’ve come from the Northeast so I feel excited to put it on the map.”
Of his working relationship with Bone, Alexander said: “We execute stuff well together, it’s not just talking about ideas… It’s like the right brain and the left brain, you’ve got the creative producer then the writer/performer. But she’s also more rational than I am.”
Bone, who met Alexander working on BBC4 pilot Freddi, added: “I think Sacha is one of the most exciting comedy talents in the UK at the moment. Sacha’s got a million ideas. One of my jobs is saying, ‘Let’s focus.’”
She continued: “It’s a real achievement for us to complete our first short film with Peter Straughan and get going on a sitcom series, all within our first year.”