Today, Creative England announces a call for new partners as it transitions to the next exciting iteration of iFeatures, the premier UK filmmaking programme committed to driving the development of low-budget, high-quality debut features and realising the talent of the next generation of UK filmmakers.
iFeatures has built a reputation for unearthing the most outstanding, daring and distinctive new British storytellers, seeking out talent and giving them the tools and the support to experiment, develop their voice, and create contemporary films that speak to a world audience.
In addition to providing development funding, iFeatures filmmakers take part in an intensive, exploratory Lab programme which includes dedicated support, access to industry and networks, as well as mentoring and high-level training with established industry professionals.
iFeatures, led by Creative England, is currently supported by the BFI, with National Lottery funding and part of BFI NETWORK, BBC Films and ScreenSkills’ Film Skills Fund with contributions from UK film productions. Creative England will continue to support the current cohort of iFeatures filmmakers during the development phase and work with new and existing partners to shape the future of the programme.
Developing quality British films and supporting outstanding new British talent remains iFeatures’ driving vision. iFeatures alumni films have achieved numerous BAFTA, BIFA and EFA wins and nominations, alongside premieres including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, Venice, SXSW and Tribeca. Previously LADY MACBETH, APOSTASY and THE LEVELLING have enjoyed critical and commercial success, while launching exceptional new British talent into the public eye including Academy Award and BATFA nominee, Florence Pugh, and BIFA award-winning actor Josh O’Connor, who went on to portray Prince Charles in Netflix drama The Crown.
Creative England is currently in discussion with partners to ensure the future of the programme, amid a surge of filmmaking talent in the UK – fresh, bold, distinct, often unheard voices, with stories to tell and a hunger to get them out to the world. The British independent film industry has long been proactive in supporting talent, and the success of iFeatures alumni films reveals an audience and international appetite for the voices and stories coming from UK filmmakers.
Paul Ashton, Head of Film at Creative England, said:
“iFeatures has been a unique and crucial addition to the UK’s independent film industry, and successes of the films nationally and internationally speak to the universal appeal of the unheard voices that the programme pioneers. Creative England has constantly evolved the business models behind its programmes, as evidenced by the £24m debt fund we launched last year for creative businesses. We are evolving iFeatures and looking forward to working with our partners – both old and new – as we take it to the next level.”
Jessica Loveland, Head of BFI NETWORK, said:
“We have been proud to partner with Creative England on the considerable successes of iFeatures. As the teams and projects from the latest cohort continue to work through the programme, we’re confident their potential will be realised. At the BFI we are constantly assessing how best to support UK filmmakers, and with our partners we are currently reviewing how best to support talent development across the UK.”
Eva Yates, Commissioning Executive at BBC Films, said:
“At a moment of huge change in the film landscape, it feels right to explore the most dynamic ways we can build both bespoke and structured support for the many talented writers, directors and producers emerging in the UK. We’re enormously proud of iFeatures and the films and filmmakers who have come through it, and excited for the current cohort and bringing more ifeatures films to production throughout the year.”
To watch a selection of short films created by the latest iFeatures cohort, go to https://www.creativeengland.co.uk/watch/
For more information about the iFeatures development lab, go to https://www.creativeengland.co.uk/ifeatures/