12 projects revealed for iFeatures 2019

Creative England’s leading UK film development lab, iFeatures, in partnership with BFI, BBC Films and ScreenSkills showcases a diverse range of creative voices and aspiring UK talent with 12 new projects

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Creative England, supported by the BFI with National Lottery funding, BBC Films and ScreenSkills with industry contributions to the Film Skills Fund announces the final 12 filmmaker teams with feature projects selected for the latest year-long iFeatures development lab.

Original projects, a powerful sense of place and distinctive filmmaker voices are paramount to the final selection. These projects feature rich regional and national identity, with bold voices and story settings from all over the UK, including Edinburgh, Ballymena (Northern Ireland), Leicester, Anglesey, Crystal Palace, Cornwall, Bristol and Yorkshire. The projects span a wide range of stories, worlds and genres – from comedy-horror, alien abduction and sci-fi to period comedy-drama, thriller and drama.

This year’s projects are:

  • AMRIT (Rory Bentley, Writer/Director; Elizabeth Middleton, Producer)
  • BEAUTY QUEENS (Billy Dosanjh, Director; Steve Camden, Writer; Kurban Kassam, Producer)
  • BLACK CHURCH BAY (Rhys Jones, Writer/Director; Alex Polunin, Producer)
  • BOA CONSTRICTOR (Tom Haines, Writer/Director; Anna Griffin, Producer)
  • I DON’T EAT MEAT (Alannah Olivia, Writer/Director)
  • IN CAMERA (Naqqash Khalid, Writer/Director)
  • MARIA (Stella Scott, Director; Helen Simmons, Writer; Sorcha Bacon, Producer)
  • PHIL AND IAIN (Fred Rowson, Writer/Director; Sabina Smitham, Producer)
  • SLEIGHT OF HAND (Pier Wilkie, Writer/Director; Yvonne Ibazebo, Producer)
  • SURVIVING EARTH (Aleksandra Bilic, Producer; Thea Gajic, Writer/Director)
  • THE END (Maria Martinez Bayona, Writer/Director; Emilie Jouffroy, Producer; Kamilla Kristiane Hodøl, Producer)
  • TWO OLD MAIDS (Sarah Clift, Writer/Director; Pietro Greppi, Producer; Serena Armitage, Producer)

Following a Lab programme format delivered in partnership with BFI NETWORK, the filmmakers will attend intensive residentials dedicated to craft, exploration and experimentation, alongside intensive project development, production preparation, market readiness, industry exposure, mentoring and personal development. The Story Lab will facilitate the exploration and development of the film-makers ideas; the LFF Lab will advance their market awareness through exposure to international talent, industry and marketplace during BFI London Film Festival; and finally the Production Lab will equip and prepare teams for the realities of packaging, financing, shooting and successfully delivering their film.

Teams will complete the programme with a developed debut feature film script, alongside the tools, relationships and momentum to take their project to market. BFI and BBC Films are close collaborating partners on the programme, and have committed to ensuring that at least three of the projects progress to production in the future.

This year’s iFeatures has recruited Suzy Gillett as the Lab Producer; Gillett is a seasoned producer of European script development labs, Low Budget Film Forum, Making Waves, and a collaborator of Adapting for Cinema, Film Garage.

Developing quality British films and supporting outstanding new British talent remains iFeatures’ driving vision. MAKE UP and PERFECT 10 recently completed and were featured in the Cannes ‘Great 8’ showcase of the best new films coming from emerging British filmmakers. Previously LADY MACBETH, APOSTASY and THE LEVELLING have enjoyed critical and commercial success, while launching exceptional new British talent into the public eye.

Paul Ashton, Head of Film, Creative England said:

“Choosing 12 projects from such a strong field has been tough but very inspiring. These very talented filmmakers represent such distinct creative voices and visions. It’s exciting to see so much BAME talent alongside not just another strong year for women, but a truly heady mix of genres and ideas, and a compelling sense that people are reaching us from outside the obvious channels. This will be a cohort like no other, and we can’t wait to get going on the journey with them.”

Eva Yates, Commissioning Executive, BBC Films said:

“The selection process this year has shown us yet again what a fantastic breadth of talent is emerging out of the UK, and we couldn’t be happier to see such a brilliant group set off on this intensive, invigorating process towards their debut films. iFeatures is a key part of our commitment to supporting first and second features and we’re very proud to be working with so many filmmakers who have come through this programme in recent years.”

Jessica Loveland, Head of BFI NETWORK, said:

“The range of projects and filmmakers selected this year is hugely exciting, and an indication of the continued vibrancy of our emerging talent across the UK. We look forward to working with the teams and developing their projects through the reinvigorated Labs process which promises to provide a brilliant foundation to these burgeoning careers.”

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film and Animation, ScreenSkills said:

“We are again encouraged so see so many quality projects led by women, talent from BAME backgrounds  and young filmmakers from all over the UK. The opportunity to hear from a variety of voices is vital to the future of creativity in our industry and we are so proud to be supporting iFeatures in getting those voices heard. Congratulations to the final 12: we’re excited to see how you continue to develop.”

iFeatures is run by Creative England and supported by the BFI, with National Lottery funding and part of BFI NETWORK, BBC Films and ScreenSkills with industry contributions to the Film Skills Fund.

For more information:

To watch a selection of short films created by the latest iFeatures cohort, go to creativeengland.co.uk/watch/

For more information about the iFeatures development lab, go to creativeengland.co.uk/ifeatures/