Film4 and NFM on the hunt for new talent following funding boost

Posted: 13th March 2012

North East England’s most talented new writers and writer/directors will have the chance to create their debut feature film package after Northern Film & Media teamed with Film4 and Skillset to launch an intensive development programme.

Film4ward will select the most distinctive, bold and audience-challenging filmmakers to undertake a 12 week creative and commercial mentoring programme led by producer Ivana MacKinnon (Slumdog Millionaire), script editor Kate Leys (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Trainspotting, The Full Monty) and Film4 development executive Jo McClellan.

 Filmmakers will receive mentoring on developing a treatment, outline and visual materials for a feature package, before having the opportunity to present their feature projects to Film4.

The launch of the new talent programmes follows last year’s pilot Film4ward initiative, which saw Film4 invest in developing four films from North East writers and writer/directors. Film4 is currently working with the filmmakers identified in the pilot programme to develop a diverse slate of film projects.

“Film4ward has connected the North East’s most exciting new talent with Film4 and provided them with an invaluable structured development programme. The new funding from Skillset and continued support of Film4 will enable us to build on the success of the pilot and deliver a unique development opportunity for North East filmmakers,” said Roxy Bramley, Northern Film & Media’s creative manager.

“Film4ward has given Film 4 a focussed and productive introduction to some of the most exciting new talent outside of London. The development process on Film4ward has been flexible and in tune with the needs of each filmmaker.

“Working with Northern Film & Media, we have been able to build strong relationships with emerging filmmakers ensuring we are exposed to a range of new voices,” added Jo McClellan, Film4’s development executive.

Dan Simmons, Skillset’s acting head of film said that initiative matched the skills body’s commitment to talent development: “Developing creative talent across the UK is a big priority for the Skillset film skills strategy A Bigger Future 2.

“Through participating in the Film4ward scheme, emerging writer/directors will receive specialist mentoring and support from two well-respected industry figures that they otherwise might not have easy access to. Schemes like Film4ward are really helping to strengthen the UK film industry’s diverse bedrock of creative talent.”

Northern Film & Media has delivered a series of production investment and development initiatives across film, TV and digital media working with industry partners such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Revolver, Kaleidoscope Entertainment, Salt, Soda Pictures, BAFTA and UK Film Council. The agency recently launched The Artist’s Cut – a partnership with Channel 4 and Arts Council England designed to enable artists to break into film.

The deadline for Film4ward applications is Wednesday 28 March. Click here for more information and to apply.


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