Two of the North East’s brightest creative talents have been selected for NFM’s Feature Focus – an initiative launched with the aim of identifying and supporting regional filmmakers with authentic voices who can challenge audiences.
Ian Cottage and Martin Herron will receive professional development over a five month period from leading industry mentors Ivana MacKinnon (Slumdog Millionaire; The Descent) and Paul Fraser (Dead Man’s Shoes; A Room for Romeo Brass) with the goal of developing a comprehensive feature film package and developed script. At the end of the process the writers will be funded to attend the BFI London Film Festival to meet key industry financiers and will also be supported to find a producer if required.
Martin Herron (School for Seduction; Irina Palm) will be working with Ivana MacKinnon on Dead Road, “a tale of murder, stolen land and bloody revenge: a western for the twenty-first century, but set in Africa." Martin added "I think that working with someone like Ivana can only make me a better writer; and being able to pitch my project to industry professionals at the London Film Festival is not just an exciting challenge but also a brilliant career opportunity.”
Ian Cottage, whose short film ‘Spin’ was recently broadcast on Channel 4 as part of NFM and BATIC’s Random Acts strand, will be working with Paul Fraser on The Sisters - a psychological thriller about three sisters trying to cover up a murder committed by their father. Ian said “I'm really pleased to be chosen for Feature Focus and I'm looking forward to being mentored by Paul. I'm a fan of Dead Man's Shoes and The Sisters shares a similar heightened tension and humour. With the help of the scheme, I hope to attract finance to shoot the feature by 2015.”
Thanks to the support of our funders we will also be able to support filmmakers Ben Ayrton and Laura Degnan during the second phase of Feature Focus.