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iFeatures Greenlights 3 Films for Production

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Creative England launches three new filmmaking teams at Cannes 2015

Just under 400 teams applied for the chance to take their original story to the big screen, following a UK-wide search run in partnership with the BFI, BBC Films and Creative Skillset.

The three greenlit films from the UK’s most promising film talent go into production in autumn 2015.

iFeatures offers £350,000 of production funding through Creative England, the BFI and BBC Films, as well as invaluable support and mentoring from top industry experts.

The teams are following in the footsteps of a successful year for the last round of iFeatures, which landed THE GOOB directed by Guy Myhill and NORFOLK directed by Martin Radich with international festival premieres in Venice Days and at Rotterdam respectively.

The new film projects and their teams are:

LADY MACBETH, the first period drama to be made through iFeatures, written by acclaimed playwright Alice Birch, to be directed by William Oldroyd and produced by Fodhla Cronin O' Reilly. Lady Macbeth is a thrilling 19th Century tragedy. Trapped in a loveless marriage of convenience, a young woman fights to protect a fierce and irrepressible new passion.

APOSTASY, the first English-speaking fictional feature film set in the Jehovah’s Witness community, co-written by Dan Kokotajlo and Charlotte Wise, to be directed by Kokotajlo and produced by Marcie MacLellan. A devoted Jehovah's Witness, 18-year old Andrea is forced to shun her own sister because of a religious transgression. As the separation draws out, she starts to question the meaning of God's love.

THE LEVELLING, which is set against the aftermath of the 2014 Somerset floods, written and directed by Hope Dickson Leach and produced by Rachel Robey. When Clover Catto receives a phone call that her beloved younger brother Charlie is dead, she returns to the family dairy farm to find out what has happened. She is shocked to discover her home changed forever by the devastating floods, and the man she has been running from for so many years, her father Aubrey, a tormented shadow of his former self.

Christopher Granier-Deferre, Executive Producer at Creative England said:
“This round of iFeatures was incredibly strong, so choosing just three to greenlight was a challenge, but I’m incredibly proud of our selection. Accompanying these compelling projects through development and now into production has been an immense privilege, and the final three projects only hint at the filmmakers’ immense talent, courage and commitment. They all demonstrate the power of original story-telling, and I can’t wait to watch the scripts come to life.”

All of the iFeatures selected films feature strong female protagonists with storylines based around a central female character.

Creative England, the BFI and BBC Films will fully-finance all three films; the BBC will pre-buy UK TV rights. The accompanying professional development programme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund.

Lizzie Francke, Senior Production Executive for the BFI said: “The iFeatures process resulted in some very compelling stories from the various filmmaking teams this year. There were tough decisions to make but the three projects going forward are exceptional and unique in their visions of the UK past and present. We look forward to following them into production and then seeing them out into the world next year.”

Steve Jenkins, BBC Films said: “It's become a cliché to say how hard it was to choose the final 3, but this time, with so many deeply-felt and personal projects, it really was difficult. The selected stories explore murderous passion, the boundaries of faith, and family trauma, in locations ranging from 19th-century Northumbria to flood-ravaged Somerset, and I'm confident the teams will deliver 3 very powerful and distinctive films"

Rebecca Davies, Film Partnership Manager at Creative Skillset said:
We look forward to seeing the final selected projects on the big screen, and many congratulations to the talent teams involved. This has been a highly competitive process and there were many deserving projects in the mix, which we are sure will find a home in the marketplace.




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