iFeatures is the flagship low-budget film initiative from Creative England for emerging talent across the UK. It is made possible through National Lottery funding from the BFI and supported by BBC Films and Creative Skillset.
The 12 feature projects and filmmaker teams for the fifth iteration of the scheme and a new development lab programme are:
- HERE BEFORE (Stacey Gregg, Writer/Director; Sophie Vickers, Producer)
- A VOICE AND ITS ECHO (Simon Cartwright, Writer/Director; Emilie Jouffroy, Producer; Kamilla Hodol, Producer)
- I FEEL BLOOD (Dean Puckett, Writer/Director; Rebecca Wolff, Producer)
- AVI (Jonathan Schey, Writer/Director; Rachelle Constant, Producer)
- NAN (Charlotte Regan, Writer/Director; Eoin O’Faolain, Producer)
- MAN ACCIDENTALLY KILLS (Sean Dunn, Writer/Director; Alex Polunin, Producer)
- A DYING ANIMAL (Hardey Speight, Writer/Director)
- THE WHITE STORK (Meg Campbell, Director; Oliver Henderson, Writer; Marie-Elena Dyche, Producer)
- PEOPLE ARE STRANGE (Nasheed Qamar Faruqi, Writer/Director)
- BLUE JEAN (Georgia Oakley, Writer/Director; Helene Sifre, Producer)
- GIRL (Chika Anadu, Director; Adura Onashile, Writer; Rosie Crerar; Producer; and Ciara Barry, Producer)
- ACROSS THE WATER (Andrea Harkin, Director; Suzanne Cowie, Writer)
A new podcast series will be taking a closer look at this year’s iFeatures programme, following the journeys of the 12 teams of emerging filmmaking talent.
iFeatures backs directors, writers and producers making their first features, with the ambition to foster the highest quality British debuts from the most dynamic and inventive storytellers. The programme seeks distinctive voices, bold visions and a powerful sense of place that showcases stories from across the whole of the UK.
iFeatures has proven itself to be highly successful, with previous productions such as Lady Macbeth, Apostasy and The Levelling enjoying critical acclaim and firmly establishing exceptional new talent. This has translated into awards success, with a total of four wins at the 2017 BIFAs, a European Film Award and three BAFTA nominations for Lady Macbeth, a Scottish BAFTA win for The Levelling, and Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) and Dan Kokotajlo (Apostasy) winning the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Lady Macbeth has also enjoyed outstanding international theatrical success for a low-budget British debut feature, earning over £3.5m.
The new iFeatures Lab programme strands will cover storytelling, directing and producing. The Lab workshops will be dedicated to craft, exploration and experimentation, alongside intensive project development, production preparation, market readiness, mentoring and personal development. For the first time, an iFeatures podcast will be widely available to help further inspire and educate aspiring filmmakers, as it goes behind the scenes of each lab and documents the journey of the final 12 film projects. Following the end of the programme, the BFI and BBC Films have committed to supporting at least three films to production.
iFeatures has a track record of championing powerful voices and original stories with a strong sense of place by supporting and representing UK-wide talent and stories. Previous features films have shone a new light on period Northumberland, rural Norfolk, farming in Somerset and Jehova’s Witnesses in the North West, while films coming soon include the first British film made in British Sign Language and female driven stories set in the unseen margins of Brighton and an off-season Cornish holiday park. Further films developed by iFeatures and produced outside the programme include multi-award winning northern films Adult Life Skills and God’s Own Country – both of which were financed by the Creative England Lottery Production Fund.
For further information about the programme visit www.ifeatures.co.uk
iFeatures began in Bristol in October 2009 when filmmaking teams across the UK were asked to submit their ideas for a feature film set in the city. Just over a year later, the first three films, In the Dark Half, Flying Blind and 8 Minutes Idle were greenlit and went on to theatrical release. iFeatures then developed into a national scheme focusing on stories from across the English regions. The second round received over 350 submission before going on to produce The Goob, Norfolk and Spaceship.
Since then it has established a reputation for identifying the best new British filmmaking talent. The third round of iFeatures developed The Levelling, Lady Macbeth and Apostasy, all of which debuted at international film festivals and have won critical acclaim for telling bold, new stories. The talent behind them has become established as some of the most exciting in British cinema.
Films currently in development from the fourth iteration of iFeatures includes psychological thriller Make Up, Brighton-based drama Perfect 10 and Retreat, a story told completely in British Sign Language.