FEMALE DIRECTORS LEAD THE CHARGE AS iFEATURES REVEAL FINAL 12
CREATIVE ENGLAND’S LEADING UK FILM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, iFEATURES, SHOWCASES A DIVERSE RANGE OF CREATIVE VOICES AND ASPIRING UK TALENT WITH 12 NEW PROJECTS
The final 12 filmmaker teams with feature projects selected for the new iFeatures development lab programme have been announced today by Creative England, and supported by the BFI with National Lottery funding, BBC Films and Creative Skillset.
Championing outstanding emerging UK film talent in making their first feature, and embracing the ambition to foster diverse and highest quality debuts, 58% are projects led by female directors, 40% are all-female teams, and 25% feature BAME talent.
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 Belfast, Glasgow, Ilkely (Yorkshire), East London, Port Talbot (Wales), Canvey Island (Essex), Newcastle, Devon and the Lake District. The projects span a wide range of stories, worlds and genres, from supernatural, folk horror, comedy and thriller, to robust and heart-warming dramas.
This year’s dynamic projects include:
The new iFeatures Lab programme strands will cover storytelling, directing and producing. The Lab workshops will be dedicated to craft, exploration and experimentation, alongside intensive project development, production preparation, market readiness, mentoring and personal development.
For the first time, an iFeatures Podcast will be widely available to help further inspire and educate aspiring filmmakers, as it goes behind the scenes of each lab and documents the journey of the final 12 film projects. Following the end of the programme, the BFI and BBC Films have committed to supporting at least three films to production.
Continuing to develop quality British filmmaking remains iFeatures driving vision. Previous iFeatures productions showcase this with LADY MACBETH, APOSTASY and THE LEVELLING having enjoyed critical and commercial success, while launching exceptional new British talent into the public eye.
Paul Ashton, Head of Film, Creative England said:
"The task of choosing 12 projects from almost 800 applications (double the number from last year) was monumental. These talented filmmakers represent such distinct voices, and the resounding strength of female talent and teams in the running was particularly exciting to see. With such bold styles, powerful ideas and original stories spanning a range of genres, we can’t wait to crack on with the lab programme and help so many talented people realise so many great films."
Eva Yates, Commissioning Executive, BBC Films said:
“iFeatures has exceeded all our expectations this year. The volume of applications, yes! But even more so, the passion and cinematic instincts of the filmmakers, the timely ideas and the new perspectives. The labs ahead afford the opportunity to be curious, collaborative and rigorous with these ideas and instincts, and we are excited to see these films take shape and ready themselves for the world.”
Mary Burke, Senior Development and Production Executive for the BFI said:
“We are proud to be supporting this new UK-wide iteration of iFeatures that boasts a bolder focus on development for a striking spectrum of some of the most inspiring new filmmaking voices. This year’s class promises to reinvigorate debut filmmaking with an intoxicating mix of genre and drama as they set off into the development lab to carve their scripts from virgin marble.”
Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film, Creative Skillset said:
“We are incredibly proud to be giving aspiring filmmakers the chance to make their first feature and playing our part in making sure new voices can develop the skills to tell their stories. It’s really encouraging to know there is more BAME talent, more women and people rooted in many different parts of the country coming through the iFeatures programme. I genuinely can’t wait to see what they deliver.”