The Sheffield base will be led by former BBC Writers’ Room development producer, Paul Ashton. He’s been tasked with “discovering, nurturing and progressing” the next generation of creative talent.
Although based in Yorkshire, talent scouts will be reaching out across the country and will engage with media and culture centres, such as theatres and writers’ groups.
The scheme is the first phase of the BFI NET.WORK, which has been established to support writers, directors and producers from the nations and regions. With an annual budget of £3m, the five year plan is being backed by the BFI Film Fund, Creative England and other partners.
New talent can apply for iShorts, which finances around 20 films a year, with budgets of £5000 each for directors and writer/directors, based outside the capital. Successful applicants will also get training.
Emerging talent, which means those with some professional experience, will be eligible to apply for Feature Film Development, which can include a contribution towards option costs, research, writer’s fees, script editing and other costs. Plus there’s also Short Film Production, where the scheme will support the production of shorts, pilots and teasers running at 10-30 minutes and be achievable within a budget range of £10k-50k.