|Lighthouse to Manage BFI Short Film Fund|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Sunday, 15 January 2012 18:20|
Last week, David Cameron said some silly things about the British film industry and how it should try to fund "commercially successful pictures" (because we all know that Tyrannosaur was missing real dinosaurs to make it better).
The comments came in advance of the government's film policy review this week, but while it's ridiculous to think that anyone can predict what will be a commercial success (look at Four Lions...) and whether it will be any good for the industry (...and then look at Sex Lives of the Potato Men), other funding news was announced on Thursday about another vital part of the country's movie industry: short films.
With the UK Film Council abolished, the BFI is holding the purse strings for UK filmmakers, and they've opted to bring in Lighthouse to manage the funding of short films.
Now Lighthouse, the Brighton-based arts organisation, is already involved in Guiding Lights, the UK scheme to support emerging film talent. They were also responsible for commissioning two short films that were nominated for major awards last year - Turning was up for a BAFTA and Wish 143 was an Oscar contender. In short, they know their stuff.
From February 2012, they will manage the BFI Film Fund’s one-year short film scheme, which will support up to 20 outstanding new short films made by some of the UK’s most promising filmmakers.
The short film fund will be aimed at emerging filmmakers from the UK, who have a strong track record of producing exceptional work and who are ready to make the transition to feature film. The aim is to commission up to 20 short films in 2012, with budgets ranging from £25,000 to £50,000.
Working in partnership with producer Nicky Bentham of Neon Films, who co-produced Duncan Jones’ wonderful Moon, and independent development producer Becca Ellson, Lighthouse will oversee the selection and executive production of the short films.
Honor Harger, Director of Lighthouse (well worth a follow on Twitter if you're interested in art, technology or science), says this: “As a digital culture agency that commissions vibrant and inspirational work, which shows how important artists and filmmakers are in our changing media landscape, we are thrilled to be managing a programme that will stimulate outstanding new work. We are looking forward to working with some of the UK’s most promising filmmakers, and exploring ways their work can reach new audiences.”
To sum up, an agency with some real hands-on experience in commissioning and supporting award-nominated filmmakers will be handling the funding of short films for the BFI in 2012. We haven't heard the government's complete film policy review yet, but this sounds like a really smart choice by the BFI and a step in the right direction for the industry.
Here's hoping there'll actually be a decent system in place to support these filmmakers if/when they look at developing feature films.
For contact details and more information on the BFI Film Fund Shorts 2012, head this way.