Amy Wilkinson in Film & TV


104 films & Creative England back their first autistic film director with feature film Dawn of the Dark Fox

Creative England has announced its support in developing DAWN OF THE DARK FOX – a feature film project directed by Bristol based director Michael Smith and collaborator Tom Stubbs, with 104 films - the world leaders in disability cinema. Michael, who has autism spectrum disorder, has channelled his unique vision into this exciting project.

DAWN OF THE DARK FOX film builds on 104 films' multi-award winning short LIGHT & DARK which took the audience prize at Encounters and is a comedy about autism, friendship and the film making process combining documentary, fiction & fantasy.

104 films producer Alex Usborne said: “We are delighted that Creative England has supported this project. It sends a strong message about their commitment to diversity and disability in the UK film industry.”

Paul Ashton, Senior Film Executive at Creative England, said: “At Creative England we look to support the strongest, boldest, most original voices in cinema, and that couldn’t be truer of Michael Smith and the team helping to realise his utterly unique vision on Dawn of the Dark Fox. This includes the fantastic Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol which has been working with Michael for many years and played a crucial part in helping him find a platform for his work. This really is a one in a million project, like nothing you've ever seen before, and we’re over the moon to be backing it.”

104 films has been trailblazing the development of disabled film talent, with latest film NOTES ON BLINDNESS – chronicling John Hull’s journey into total blindness – premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January alongside its sister VR project NOTES ON BLINDNESS: INTO DARKNESS (produced by Archer’s Mark, in association with 104 Films and Fee Fie Foe Films, and in co-production with Agat Ex Nihilo). It will be released in July through Curzon.

Alex added: “The power of diversity is that different voices bring a new energy and approach to cinema. We have been developing disabled and neuro-diverse film talent for a decade now and with films like NOTES ON BLINDNESS and DAWN OF THE DARK FOX we are finding voices and talent capable of entertaining audiences and changing the way we think about disability.”

DAWN OF THE DARK FOX is directed by Michael Smith & Tom Stubbs and is produced by Alex Usborne at 104 films based in Sheffield. It is funded through Creative England’s and the BFI NET.WORK Emerging Talent fund.

  • Talent Development
  • Film Funding