South West Screen shortlists projects for digital film initiative.

Regional agency South West Screen has shortlisted 12 feature film projects for its digital feature film initiative, iFeatures.

The projects, which were chosen from 550 applications, will now go into the first stages of development before being whittled down to three films, which will shoot on a budget of £300,000 in Bristol this summer.

The initiative is being supported by BBC Films and Bristol City Council, together with the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts (NESTA) and Skillset.

Among the film-makers hoping to make the jump from shorts to features are Bristol director Mark Simon Hewis with is black comedy, 8 Minutes Idle, and director Matt Golding, who received the 2005 BBC new film-makers award, for The Bristol Job.

Neil Biswas, who has just directed the first episode of the new series of UK TV show Skins , has also been shortlisted for Sonia And Juhi, a controversial story about two sisters co-written by Manjinder Virk and produced by Willow Grylls.

Meanwhile, three of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow – writer Lucy Moore, director China Moo-Young (pictured) and writer/director Justin Trefgarne – have also made the shortlisted.

Christopher Moll, iFeatures executive producer said: “We’re on course to make some cracking films that really put Bristol on the map. We want to tap into Bristol’s new cultural confidence after the recent Banksy exhibition, and shows like Channel 4’s Skins.”

BBC Films creative director Christine Langan added that the scheme helps to find fresh film-making talent.