BFI doubles investment in UK filmmaking talent
20 September marked the launch of the first phase of the BFI NET.WORK at the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol.
Through the scheme, the BFI has pledged over £3m a year - up from £1.5m previously - to support writers, director and producers from across the UK. The programme is a central cog in the BFI's long term strategy to nurture the next generation of UK filmmaking talent nationwide.
To ensure the scheme reaches all parts of the UK, the BFI has partnered with Creative England, Creative Scotland, Film Agency for Wales and Northern Ireland Screen. It will also work with Film London, Aardman Animations and 104 films to offer schemes aimed at animators, Black, Asian, Minority Ethic and disabled filmmakers.
This is just the start of the initiative. More collaborations will be rolled out over the next few months, including a London-based partnership with Film London. This will consist of two shorts schemes, at two budget levels, to support black and Asian filmmakers produce a maximum of five films per year.
Animation gets a look-in too (hence the launch at Encounters), with Aardman Animations, the brilliant creators of Wallace and Gromit, pairing up to provide an animation development programme.
Director of the BFI Film Fund Ben Roberts said: "Many of us noted the sheer range and quality of UK films coming out of Toronto this year - and that there was no 'house style'. Our hope with the NET.WORK is that this family of organisations will pull together to unearth our standout filmmakers and help to develop them as distinctive, singular voices. This new approach dedicates more time, energy and resources to our next generation of feature filmmakers, and the NET.WORK itself will continue to grow as we announce more partnerships in the coming months, this is just the start."
The overall scheme has many strands, sections and tiers. For further details on the BFI's NET.WORK, click here.
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