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'Microwave' project sparks London’s film future

Film London has launched a search for the Danny Boyles and Gurinder Chadhas of tomorrow with 'Microwave', a new project to develop ten micro-budget film projects in the capital.
Microwave challenges film-makers to shoot a full length film for up to £75,000 with the option of raising additional in-kind support taking the budget to a maximum of £100,000.
The scheme will provide an intensive approach to filmmaking, with an emphasis on tightly focused scripts, short production schedules and commercial potential.
Chief Executive of Film London, Adrian Wootton, said: “Never before has a scheme attempted to fund feature productions on such a challenging scale. New technologies have significantly reduced the costs of filmmaking and we hope to build on the recent success of ultra low-budget films such as ‘Tarnation’, ‘The Last Horror Movie’ and ‘Song of Songs’, which demonstrate the potential for commercial movie-making at this level.”
Backed by the BBC, the scheme provides up to £75,000 of direct funding per project together with a unique professional mentoring scheme from leading industry figures including directors Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette, Mrs Henderson Presents), Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice), and John Akomfrah (Seven Songs for Malcolm X); and producers Sandy Lieberson (Performance; Rita, Sue and Bob Too), Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor, Sexy Beast) and James Schamus (Brokeback Mountain, Hulk).
Stephen Frears said: “I wholeheartedly welcome and support the ethos Film London is trying to develop, to make London a good city to make films in, and look forward to seeing bright young talent emerging from this scheme.”
Producer James Schamus said: “The next generation of great filmmakers, and my generation's most vibrant film capital, the great city of London, deserve each other - and deserve this exciting new endeavour that brings them together. Its openness to the world, its entrepreneurial ethos, and its targeted mission make Microwave a model of its kind, and I look forward to meeting its film-makers and seeing their work.”
The first three films in the slate are due for completion by March 2007.
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