Simon Ellis’s short film wins at two festivals


MUMBAI: Soft, Simon Ellis’s critically acclaimed short film, commissioned by Film4 and the UK Film Council with The Bureau for Cinema Extreme, has won Best Live Action Short at the Toronto Short Film Festival, as well as the Audience Award and a ‘Special Mention’ at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival.


The Cinema Extreme programme, which enables new filmmakers to prepare for feature films by making a professional short film, has bred a number of multi award-winning British directors including Andrea Arnold, who won an Oscar for Wasp, and Duane Hopkins, whose film Love Me or Leave Me Alone won several awards including Best Short at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.


Cinema Extreme is now on the hunt for the next big name in British filmmaking.  Up to four projects will be selected and funded at the end of the call for applications, which runs until 7 September 2007.


Cinema Extreme is managed by London-based production company The Bureau for the UK Film Council and Film4. Lifesize manages all of the UK Film Council’s short film schemes. So far 19 films have been commissioned through Cinema Extreme, and have gone on to be screened at festivals around the world and win awards.


Hopkins has just completed his first feature length film, which will be screening at major festivals later this year. Get the Picture director Rupert Wyatt and producer Adrian Sturges are in post-production on the Lottery funded feature The Escapist.


In addition, A Changed Man director Jens Jonsson went on to direct God Morgon Alla Barn. The Bypass producer Trevor Ingman is producing feature documentary The Meerkats. Dog’s Mercury director Martin Raddich and producer Jane Hooks are in production on Crack Willow. Ellis and producer Jane Hooks are in post-production on Dogging: A Love Story.


UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund head Lenny Crooks says, “The Cinema Extreme scheme forms an integral part of our overall aim, to find distinctive new filmmaking talents and support them, building their work into the UK film industry. Cinema Extreme has a fantastic track record, with major new talents producing stunning work and gaining deserved success. We look forward to welcoming applicants in 2007.”


Lifesize Pictures executive producer Rebecca Mark Lawson says, “Cinema Extreme is now internationally recognised as being the place to make your mark as a filmmaker. We are looking for filmmakers ready to make the leap from shorts to features and add to the diverse range of storytelling coming out of shorts across the UK at the moment. 2006 Cinema Extreme films have played all over the world to critical acclaim and two of last year’s filmmakers have already shot their first features. This year Film4 and the UK Film Council have put their money where their mouth is, guaranteeing at least one feature film development deal for one of the commissioned filmmakers.”