|The first major drama series for British television by acclaimed writer/director Stephen Poliakoff, is one of three project investments to now be overseen by Creative England following the closure of regional screen agency Screen West Midlands.
The BBC2 drama Dancing on Edge, shooting now, is one of the three latest projects to have received investment from the Advantage Media Production Fund, previously led by Screen WM.
Debbie Isitt’s festive family feature Nativity 2 – The Second Coming, and Penny Woolcock’s latest documentary What’s Going On?, have also been backed by the Fund, management of which passed to Creative England following Screen WM’s closure on 30 September.
Dancing on the Edge is co-directed by Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince, Glorious 39) and Philippa Lowthorpe (Five Daughters). The five part series, produced by Ruby Film and Television, has been commissioned by BBC Controller of Drama Ben Stephenson and BBC2 Controller Janice Hadlow. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) and Matthew Goode (Watchmen), lead an ensemble cast, that includes Janet Montgomery (Black Swan), Joanna Vanderham (The Runaway), Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction), Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Caroline Quentin (Life of Riley) and Jane Asher (Holby City).
Produced by Nicky Kentish Barnes (Salmon Fishing) and executive produced by Faye Ward (Toast), Paul Trijbits (Lay the Favorite) and Alison Owen (Jane Eyre), the series began a 16 week shoot in London and Birmingham on 14 November. Dancing on the Edge is backed by Endgame Entertaiment, Playground, Creative England (through the Advantage Media Production Fund) and LipSync Productions, and the series will be distributed internationally by ITV Global Entertainment.
Nativity 2: The Second Coming, is the sequel to the 2009 Christmas hit Nativity!, and is again written and directed by Debbie Isitt (Confetti). Picking up where Nativity! left off, the family adventure sees primary school teachers Mr Poppy and Mr Peterson, attempting to lead his hapless children to victory in the national ‘Song for Christmas’ competition but quickly discovering they may have taken on more than they can handle. Cast includes Marc Wootton (Nativity!), David Tennant (Doctor Who), Joanna Page (Gavin and Stacey), Pam Ferris (Matilda) and Jason Watkins (The Golden Compass).
Nativity 2 is produced by Nick Jones of Mirrorball Films, and is currently nearing the end of a six week shoot in the Midlands and North Wales. Backed by Entertainment One, who will release the film in November 2012, Nativity2 is also co-financed by Premiere Picture, Media Pro Six and Creative England (through the Advantage Media Production Fund).
Currently in post production, What's Going On? emerged after Penny Woolcock's feature film 1 Day, a fiction about a day in the life of a gang member. While researching 1 Day she met members of the two main gangs in Birmingham, the Burgers and the Johnsons.
What’s Going On? focuses on two extraordinary characters from these rival gangs, who have decided it is time to end the violence. This is not a film about
youth workers, police or outsiders. Will they manage to put a stop to the killing or will entrenched tribalism defeat them? What's Going On? follows a fraught and sometimes dangerous peace process over a year which was marked by the eruption of riots in August 2011.
What’s Going On? is directed by Penny Woolcock (1 Day, Tina Goes Shopping), and produced by former Minister of Culture and Minister of State and Pensions in the Labour Government, James Purnell. The film is co-financed by Channel 4 and Creative England (through the Advantage Media Production Fund) with additional funding from Barrow Cadbury, the Britdoc Puma Foundation and Fallon.
The Advantage Media Production Fund is supported by Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund, and provides co-finance for major feature film and television drama projects, to attract production to the West Midlands region supporting local employment and local businesses, and to ensure regional stories and talent are seen on screen around the world. Management of the Fund passed to Creative England from 1 October 2011.