Creative England, together with its partners the BFI Film Fund, BBC Films and Creative Skillset, have announced the selection of twelve film-making teams and projects that will make up the fourth iFeatures development slate. Of the selected projects, three films will be ‘greenlit’ for production in 2017, each with a budget of £350,000.
iFeatures is Creative England’s flagship initiative designed to discover, support and develop the next generation of UK feature film-makers. Now in its fourth year, iFeatures has produced an array of exciting regional film productions including Guy Myhill's award-winning The Goob and the upcoming Lady Macbeth directed by William Oldroyd, Spaceship by Alex Taylor and The Levelling by Hope Dickson Leach. This year’s initiative starts in Sheffield this week with the first in a series of professional training and development workshops.
The selected teams include Screen International Stars of Tomorrow Rob Savage, Emily Morgan and Joy Wilkinson; Sundance Fellowship winner Naz Sadoughi; and Ted Evans, one of the UK’s leading deaf filmmakers who directed and co-wrote the Paralympic Opening Ceremony film Look Up. Between them the chosen teams have made films which have screened at Toronto International Film Festival, the BFI London Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, and FrightFest.
To unearth the nation’s best filmmaking talent, this year’s programme was promoted with a series of regional roadshows. The successful final projects celebrate diversity in genre and location, with films set across the English regions including Devon, Essex, Burnley, Birmingham and the Lake District, continuing Creative England’s work of promoting production and filming outside of London. Half of all the directors attached to the projects are women, continuing Creative England’s commitment to supporting and promoting female film directors.
Zorana Piggott, iFeatures Executive Producer, said: “We have selected
twelve bold and distinctive ideas by exciting new film-makers drawn from just under 300 submissions. The standard of applications was incredibly high and I am very proud of the great genre diversity and the strong regional voices we have on the slate.”
Solomon Nwabueze, Director of Content at Creative England said: “It’s incredibly exciting to see the range of talent that have applied for this year’s iFeatures programme. it truly is a testament to the high level of creative talent across the country. iFeatures as a programme offers an incredible opportunity for young filmmakers to gain invaluable experience on the real processes that go towards creating and producing a feature film – I can’t wait to see the ideas that have been pitched come to life.”
The BFI’s Mary Burke, Senior Production Executive, said: “Getting behind the next generation of filmmakers wherever they work in the UK and who have exciting stories to tell is vital for the future of our film culture and industry. We had such a fantastic response for the fourth iFeatures slate which has helped emerging filmmakers in past iterations successfully bring their films to market. We’re really looking forward to working with the 12 filmmaking teams in the coming months as they develop their projects.”
BBC Films’ Steve Jenkins said: "The diversity and range across the twelve teams and projects is matched by, and inseparable from, the distinctiveness, enthusiasm, seriousness and drive of the film-makers. As always with iFeatures, they made the choices extremely tough but the future very exciting".
Creative Skillset’s Dan Simmons, Head of Partnerships, said: “Congratulations to the selected filmmakers. iFeatures provides an immersive opportunity for emerging talent to develop their ideas and strengthen their skills. It is always a challenge for filmmakers to get a first or second feature made; initiatives like iFeatures play an important role in nurturing and showcasing the best in home-grown talent.”
For more information about iFeatures and to keep up to date with the teams’ progress visit www.ifeatures.co.uk