UK regional screen agency South West Screen has announced the three films to be greenlit through its iFeatures digital filmmaking scheme.
The Dark Half, Eight Minutes Idle and Flying Blind will each be made on a budget of $477,000 (£300,000) in the UK city of Bristol. The projects were chosen from 550 submissions, which were whittled down to 12, then six and finally three, through a nine-month development process. The scheme is backed by BBC Films and Bristol City Council.
Alastair Siddons’ The Dark Half will be the first project to start shooting, with principal photography due to get under way in Bristol on Oct 25. The screenplay, which follows the haunting of a teenage girl, has been written by former Bristol Old Vic writer in residence Lucy Catherine. Margaret Matheson is producing for Bard Entertainments, with financing from Film Agency for Wales and Matador Pictures.
Shooting is due to commence on Eight Minutes Idle and Flying Blind early 2011. All three films will premiere in Bristol next year.
Romantic comedy Eight Minutes Idle has been adapted from Matt Thorne’s award winning novel of the same name by Thorne and Nicholas Blincoe. Mark Simon Hewis is directing the film, which will be produced by Sarah Cox and is co financed by the UK Film Council and Matador Pictures.
Flying Blind will be directed by Kasia Klimkiewicz, whose short film, Hanoi Warsaw, has been nominated for this year’s European Film Awards. The screenplay has been written by Caroline Harrington and deals with issues including race politics, loyalty and love. Alison Sterling is producing for Ignition Films.
The BBC has acquired the UK TV rights to the three films, with ContentFilm taking on worldwide sales for the slate.
iFeatures executive producer Chris Moll, said that the iFeatures slate “continues to raise the bar in low-budget feature production and, like its home city, is peopled with radical voices, ideas and approaches.”
“The fact that we’ve been able to elicit significant financial investment from both the public and private sectors at such a time of great uncertainty demonstrates the exceptional quality of the work that has come through the scheme as well as a shared commitment from South West Screen and all the partners involved to nurture the UK’s next wave of cinematic talent,” added Moll.
Head of film, BBC programme acquisitions Steve Jenkins added: “The BBC has been deeply involved with iFeatures from its inception, with particularly valuable input from BBC Films into the script development process. So it’s very gratifying and exciting that we are now moving ahead with three such strong and diverse films.”