The UK has launched a new training and production initiative to encourage women film-makers working in the horror genre. Darklight: Women Direct Horror has been established by Warp X with Threshold Studios, and support from Skillset.

There were 76 applications for the scheme, and 10 women have been selected: Smita Bhide, Miranda Bowen, Nichola Bruce, Corinna Faith, Finola Geraghty, Faye Gilbert, Toni Harman, Olivia Lory Kay, Juliet McKoen and Amy Neil.

The ten attended Darklight horror masterclasses in Northamptonshire Feb 23-25. Tutors for the weekend included Richard Stanley, Ros Borland, Lizzie Francke, Celia Haining and Optimum's Danny Perkins along with Warp X's Robin Gutch, Caroline Cooper Charles, Barry Ryan and Mary Burke.

Participants will go through one-on-one story development phase before attending a second masterclass weekend. With Darklight, four of the 10 will develop ideas into full treatments, and Warp X hopes to greenlight two of these features for production in 2008.

Caroline Cooper Charles, head of creative development at Warp X, said: 'We're hugely excited to be working with these ten directors to bring genuinely new approaches to such a popular genre. The residential weekend has been an opportunity for us all to explore the dark, terrifying and thrilling world of horror and will I hope be the catalyst for some great films for the Warp X slate.'

Warp X is the new low-budget digital studio set up by the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund, Film4, EM Media, Screen Yorkshire and Optimum Releasing.