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24/07/2009

Film London Launches Its Biggest Ever Borough Film Fund Challenge

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Film London have launched the largest ever London Borough Film Fund Challenge (LBFFC) plus a brand new element of the scheme: Film London in 90 Seconds.
This year more boroughs than ever before will be involved in the LBFFC with 23 boroughs, up from 15 in 2008. The LBFFC has grown following the Mayor's pledge in October 2008 to increase its reach; with the aim it will ultimately be available in all 33 London boroughs giving every London resident an opportunity to access a local film fund.
Online application forms for the 2009 round of the LBFFC and more information about the Film London in 90 Seconds competition are now available at: www.filmlondon.org.uk/boroughfilmfunds. The LBFFC will be run in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster. Barnet, Havering, Hounslow, Islington, Merton, Richmond-upon-Thames and Sutton will run the LBFFC Film London in 90 Seconds competition.
Boris Johnson said: "Film is incredibly important to London's economy, as well as its cultural life. It's vital that we nurture talent and find ways to open up opportunities for Londoners wanting to get into the industry. We hope this brilliant scheme will help discover the next Hitchcocks and Spielbergs and ensure London retains its position as one of the key centres for film."
Film London's LBFFC is a successful short film-making scheme open to all residents of the participating boroughs. New this year is Film London in 90 Seconds, an additional competition offering £300 for the best 90 second film from each participating borough. The film has to be about the filmmakers home borough and can be shot on anything from the latest high-end technology to a mobile phone. The competition will open later this year.
Working in partnership with the capital's local authorities, the LBFFC aims to discover grassroots talent, stimulate local filmmaking and develop new skills. Since its launch in 2006, the fund has produced over 100 short films. Many up-and-coming filmmakers have used the fund to launch a career in the production industries and several have been shortlisted for prestigious international awards, such as Ralitza Petrova from Tower Hamlets picking up the best short film award at the Berlin Film Festival.
The LBFFC offers £500-£4,000 towards the production of a short film. Film London provides financial support plus dedicated advice and resources while each fund is run and financed by the participating boroughs, which are best placed to reach their aspiring filmakers. All completed films have the opportunity to be shortlisted for Film London's Best of Borough Film Awards (BoBs), an annual prize to find the best shorts produced through the fund offering two cash prizes for the winners of a Jury Award and an Audience Award.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, said: "Training and nurturing London's next generation of filmmakers is at the heart of all Film London's production schemes. The fact the London Borough Film Fund Challenge can now reach more people across the capital is fantastic news and more boroughs are set to join the Film Fund next year. With the ongoing support from the Mayor and the London Development Agency Film London are able to deliver one of the UK's biggest and best short film schemes, offering a unique opportunity for Londoners to take their first steps within the industry."
Filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, Patron of the LBFFC, said: "I started my career through a short film competition with the BFI. The BoBs and the London Borough Film Fund Challenge are invaluable in helping other London kids, like me back then, find their cinematic voice. Best of all the reach of the film fund is growing and will soon be open to anyone who has something to say."
(KMcA/BMcc)
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