Slingshot, the new UK-based digitalfilm production and distribution company, has won a$188,804 (£100,000) grant from Skillset for its new development scheme forwriters, directors and producers.

Slingshot's "Training andDevelopment into Greenlight" is a programme devoted to digital film-making andthe Slingshot model of production, with an eye to developing projects as partof the entire value chain through to distribution and audience development.

The programme, with supportof partners Performing Arts Labs and Metropolitan Film School, aims to develop skills of film-makers as well adeveloping actual low-budget feature film projects for production.

Up to eight digital filmprojects will be selected for the programme in the first year (starting inOctober), which includes courses, a residential programme, mentors, workshops,test shoots and peer-to-peer reviews.

"This award from Skillset isindustry recognition of slingshot's innovative approach to developingtalent.Crafting and communicating strong stories also means addressingtheir commercial concerns and finding the audience that the film willultimately resonate with," said Rachel Connors, co-founder and head ofdevelopment for Slingshot. "These outcomes require different types of trainingand support - more than just script editing or leaving a writer alone in aroom."

Slingshot used a similarapproach to develop its first feature currently in post-production, Sugarhouse Lane,starring Ashley Walters, Steven Mackintosh and Andy Serkis.

Applications and guidelinesare available at the Slingshot website.

For more on Slingshot, see the Sept 22 issue ofScreen International.