Creative England’s low budget film-making scheme has been extended across the UK; 3 projects will be greenlit to shoot on budgets of £350,000 with backing from the BFI Film Fund, BBC and Skillset.
The second round of low budget film-making scheme, iFeatures, which started life as a Bristol based programme, but has now been extended into a UK nationwide scheme by Creative England, is open for applications.
iFeatures2 is being backed by the BFI Film Fund, Skillset and the BBC, which will pick up TV rights to the completed films.
The scheme is open to writer, director and producer teams who can “already demonstrate a strong body of work”. The scheme is not restricted to UK film-makers and is not just open to first and second time film-makers, as is the case with Film London’s Microwave scheme.
An initial 16 projects will be selected by a panel, with the chosen teams going forward to take part in an 8 week summer development programme, which includes £2500 of development funding for each project as well as mentoring and workshops.
From that, 8 projects will go forward to a 12 week Autumn development programme, with each project being given £12, 500 worth of development funding. Of those, 3 projects will go forward to be greenlit in December.
“Even if people don’t get through to the final 3, just taking part in the programmes has an intrinsic value in itself. Our aim is to make these very well respected development programmes. Development money is pretty hard to come by, and the fact that we are financially supporting the projects I hope will enthuse people and show a serious commitment on our part to get behind them,” said producer Tristan Goligher who will be executive producing the scheme.
The 3 greenlit projects will go into production in 2013, on budgets of £350,000 each - an increase from the first iFeatures sceheme, where budgets were £300,000.
Goligher said he was hoping to attract distinctive and ambitious projects in the vein of recent low budget successes such as Monstes, Archipelago, Moon and Weekend, Andrew Haigh’s critically acclaimed 2011 feature which Goligher produced.
He will be also looking for stories that are rooted in the UK and have a strong sense of time and place. ” But we are not looking for any particular genres.There are no preconceptions. We want film-makers to use their imagination and be ambitious in the kind of projects they come up with.”
In order to generate interest, the iFeatures team will be hosting events in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Brighton, Cambridge, Nottingham and Leeds in the run up to the submissions deadline of May 3.
Goligher is adament there will be no bias towards any particular regions. “It is very important that we are not only seen to be open and inclusive, but that we actually are open and inclusive. Creative England genuinely wants to use this as a way of engaging with filmmakers across the whole of the UK.”
The launch of the scheme follows the first round of iFeatures, which came out of regional screen agency South West Screen and has produced three projects - The Dark Half (which premiered at last year’s Raindance Film Festival), 8 Minutes Idle, starring Ophelia Lovibond and Tom Hughes and Flying Blind starring Helen McCrory, which is currently in post and being readied for a Cannes 2012 market launch.
Chris Moll, head of talent at Creative England and the creator of the original iFeatures scheme, described iFeatures2 as a “flagship project for Creative England”.
“It demonstrates our proactive approach to nurturing the very best talent and stories in the English regions,” he added.