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News / May 18, 2012 / Creative England launches Elevator skills programme

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Creative England today announces the launch of its Elevator skills programme for film producers, directors and writer/directors from across the UK.

Elevator will give up to 15 award-winning makers of live action, documentary or animated shorts support to make the leap to feature films. Supported by Creative Skillset, the scheme will provide selected applicants with bespoke skills training and mentoring, alongside on-going career development, advice and guidance to help accelerate their careers to the next level.

The programme is the latest strand of support offered by Creative England’s talent development team, following the launch of iFeatures2 earlier this year.

It will see producers, directors and writer/directors who have won recognition from one or more top international film festivals* learn how to maximise the attendant industry interest and progress from short to long-form films.

By taking part in the Elevator programme, they will be able to access high level training courses and talent labs, mentoring, professional shadowing, industry networking support as well as assistance to attend industry markets and festivals. Each package of help will run for up to six months, with an additional six to seven months added on to review progress and offer further advice.

The programme has been developed in association with Creative Skillset as part of A Bigger Future 2 to meet, nurture and promote the brightest talent from across the English regions. It illustrates the importance of maintaining the momentum created by recognition at international festivals and award ceremonies, and aims to provide participants with the skills, experience and industry networks that will enable them to maximise these opportunities and move forwards in their career.

Creative England’s Head of Talent, Chris Moll, sais: “The industry offers a considerable amount of support for writers at this stage of their careers, but the same structure just doesn’t exist for producers or directors looking to make the crucial leap from shorts to features. The Elevator programme contains the right blend of training, mentoring and networking support to make a real difference to the emerging generation of filmmaking talent.”

Dan Simmons, Head of Film at Creative Skillset, said: “A Bigger Future 2 aims to support creative talent at critical moments throughout their career in film. Elevator will provide a tailor-made opportunity for filmmakers on the scheme to help maintain the momentum of their early career success and confidently pursue bigger ambitions within the UK film industry and beyond.”

Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said: “Scottish film makers have enjoyed success at major short film festivals, winning international awards and plaudits and now Elevator can help take their careers to the next level. This UK-wide partnership, led by Creative England, will see four directors, producers or writer/directors gain valuable experience in feature filmmaking, a vital step for careers in the industry.”

Download the full guidelines

Apply using the link on the Elevator tab at the top of the Developing Talent page


*Applicants must be able to demonstrate recognition from one or more of the following industry/market events during the 2010/2011 or 2011/2012 seasons. Recognition is defined below:

  • Academy Award®: Won or been nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Short Film or Best Animated Short Film.
  • Annecy International Animated Film Festival: Won the Annecy Cristal or Special Jury Award for short film.
  • BAFTA®: Won or been nominated for a BAFTA for Best Short Film or Best Animated Short Film.
  • Berlin International Film Festival: Had their short film selected for the Berlinale Shorts Competition.
  • Cannes Film Festival: Had their short film in the Official Selection for the Festival de Cannes, Directors Fortnight and Critics Week. (Please note that this does not include the Short Film Corner).
  • Cartoon D’Or: Nominated for the Cartoon D’Or.
  • Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival: Won the Grand Prix, Special Jury Prize, Best Animation or Audience Prize in the International Competition.
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival: Won Best Short Film.
  • Encounters Film Festival: Won Animated or Brief Encounters Grand Prix.
  • European Film Academy: Won or been nominated for an EFI for Best Short Film.
  • Hiroshima International Animation Festival: Won the Grand Prize or Hiroshima Prize.
  • Hot Docs: Won Best Short Documentary.
  • IDFA: Won Mid-Length Documentary competition.
  • Locarno: Won Golden Leopard for Best International Short Film.
  • London Film Festival: Won “Best of” in any applicable short film category.
  • Ottawa International Animation Festival: Won the Grand Prize for Best Independent Short Animation.
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival: Won the Tiger Award for Short Film.
  • Sundance Film Festival: Had their short film selected for the Short Film Competition.
  • SXSW: Won ‘Best of’ category.
  • Tribeca Film Festival: Won Best Narrative or Documentary Short.
  • Venice Film Festival: Won the Premio Orizzonti award for short film.
  • Virgin Media Shorts: Won Grand Prize for Best Short.