The popularity of streaming giants such as Netflix has raised many questions about the future of cinema in recent years but it cannot be denied that such services have also provided opportunities for many aspiring filmmakers that weren’t there before. It has enabled many first-time directors to get their works out to the world with relative ease.
In order to maintain such crucial amplifications of the works of modern artists, Netflix has launched a new initiative for directors based in the UK. The new program has a £1.5m budget and it will fund the projects of exciting artists in the region who have something new to offer and have a fresh perspective of looking at things.
The application process for this program is open to all and will select six teams who will get £30,000 for initial development as well as specialised training from Netflix senior executives, with the chance to participate in workshops and mentoring sessions. Out of these, at least one promising project will get £1.5m for the production process.
Netflix has partnered with Creative UK whose head of film and TV – Paul Ashton said in an interview: “Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not, and from our very first conversation it was clear that Netflix shared our desire to offer career-changing opportunities to film talent in the UK. Having backed films at Creative UK which have realised their best life with Netflix, such as Calibre and The Ritual, we know how important Breakout will be.”
Alongside Ashton, Netflix’s content acquisition head for the UK division – Hannah Perks – will be working on this program.“We know there are so many brilliant emerging genre voices in the UK with bold, ambitious stories to tell who lack the funding to reach their audience,” Perks said. “We’re committed through our UK features initiative to creating a talent pipeline for Netflix and the wider industry to elevate and develop the widest range of voices.”