Scotland's Sigma Films, Denmark's Zentropa and Ireland's Subotica Entertainment are forming a partnership to develop eight new films from emerging UK and Irish film-makers. The partnership referred to as Advance Party II (APII) will build on the success of Andrea Arnold's Red Road, and Morag McKinnon's forthcoming Donkeys, which were produced under the specific conditions of Advance Party I (API).

As with Advance Party I a set of rules will be given to filmmakers and are central to the structure of APII. The rules will be announced at the festival today and will reflect the creative challenges of Advance Party I and Dogme (which spawned Festen and The Idiots) but will also incorporate the filmmakers' tastes and wishes.

API rules primarily focussed on the use of a pool of pre-determined characters, which had to be played by the same actors in all the films.

The writers/directors taking part in the scheme are Paul Wright, Adrian McDowall (Scotland), Esther May Campbell, Daniel Mulloy (England), Enda Hughes (Northern Ireland), Rory Bresnihan, Ciaran Foy (Ireland) and Steph Green (Ireland/ U.S.A).

Tristan Orpen Lynch, producer with Subotica Entertainment said 'there is a highly creative, dynamic and diverse mix of talent on board this ground breaking project and it is the only first time director scheme of its kind in the world.' The filmmakers will take part in a week-long series of workshops during the festival focussing on creating the 'Advance Party community' and the business elements of filmmaking. They will be working with visiting directors, writers and actors as well as lawyers, sales agents, distributors and development gurus. Advance Party II (APII) is backed by Scottish Screen, the Irish Film Board, Zentropa and the UK Film Council's Development Fund.