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07/08/2001

FILM COUNCIL INVEST £1.5 MILLION IN NEW SCHEME

THE FILM Council's New Cinema Fund is investing £1.5 million over three years, £500,000 annually, in a new scheme to support the production of digital short films.
The films will be produced and financed with 11 partner organisations located throughout the UK and during the expected three-year scheme filmmakers will produce around 300 digital short films.
Each of the partner organisations will provide match funding and with the New Cinema Fund support will make at least eight digital films a year budgeted up to £10,000 each.
Filmmakers will apply directly to the partner organisations for funding.
Paul Trijbits, Head of the New Cinema Fund, said: "This marks the beginning of a major investment by the Film Council into short film production. We will be spending a total of £1 million a year on this and other short film schemes. We are making a contribution of £500,000 a year to this scheme because we believe short films are the best way to develop and nurture an exciting, vibrant and dynamic film industry."
Alex Usborne, the New Cinema Fund's Senior Executive, Regions and Nations, said: "We have designed this short film scheme to be digital because we want new and emerging filmmakers to throw away the text books and come up with new, fresh, innovative and inventive ways of telling stories. We want a new generation of filmmakers to roll up their sleeves and bring real imagination and flair to this shorts scheme."
Filmmakers such as Lynne Ramsay, Shane Meadows, Damien O'Donnell and Justin Edgar are now making feature films but were first noticed by the industry for creating exciting and visionary short films.
The New Cinema Fund will be setting up an extensive training programme for filmmakers whose projects are supported by the fund in order to provide them with the creative and practical support to develop and expand their skills and knowledge.
In addition to this short film funding initiative, the New Cinema Fund will also soon announce further plans to invest in short film production.
The organisations partnering the New Cinema Fund are: Glasgow Media Access Centre Ltd – Scotland; First Take Films - East of England; EMMI/Intermedia (Film & Video) - East Midlands; Lighthouse - South of England; Media Development Agency for the West Midlands - West Midlands; Moving Image Development Agency - North West of England; Northern Ireland Film Commission - Northern Ireland; Northern Production Fund - North of England; South West Media Development Agency - South West of England; TS2K – London and Yorkshire Media Development Agency - Yorkshire and Humberside.
The aim of the New Cinema Fund is to encourage filmmakers with unique ideas, innovative approaches and new voices. It has an especially strong commitment to supporting work from the nations and regions and from black, Asian and other ethnic minorities.
The New Cinema Fund also intends to capitalise on the benefits offered by new technology in the production, distribution and exhibition of films (CD)
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