UK regional screen agency Screen WM and new digital studio Slingshot Studios have struck a slate co-financing deal that will cover seven features during the next two years.

Screen WM's production funds will finance 25% of film budgets, with the rest covered by Slingshot and its financing partners.

Screen WM will serve as executive producer on the films and the partners will greenlight films based on commercial potential, but will give an emphasis to projects shooting in the West Midlands or with talent from the region.

Projects already in the works for the slate include drama The Death Of Christine James from Geoff Thompson and Michael Baig-Clifford. Anne-Marie Duff will star in the story of a marriage's violent breakdown. Natasha Carlish of Dreamfinder Productions will co-produce.

Also, Slingshot and Screen WM are planning a psychological thriller Katherine DeSouza, which Nick Stafford is adapting from his own play.

'We're delighted to formalise a relationship with one of the most commercially minded of the regional screen agencies; projects such as Road To Guantanamo and Confetti are a testament to Lee Thomas' innovative and strategically sensible thinking. Such is the richness of talent in the region that we already have two very strong projects on our slate headed by creative teams from the region,' said Arvind Ethan David, founder and CEO of Slingshot, who will serve as producer for the slate.

Lee Thomas, head of development & production for Screen WM, added: 'It's a coup for us to have found a partner that brings tremendously fresh thinking to the full spectrum of film & talent development, production, and digital film exploitation.'

The deal was negotiated for Slingshot by James Kay and Nick Owers of the Olswang film team and by Natalie Bass of Lee & Thompson on behalf of Screen WM.

Slingshot was launched in 2006 and is premiering its first production, Sugarhouse, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Sunday, followed by a theatrical release starting Aug 24.The company also has Aschlin Ditta's French Film in post-production and Vito Rocco's Faintheart in development. Slingshot Productions plans a slate of 10 low-budget features during the next three years, and its UK distribution arm plans to release 10-12 films per year.