Cash boost for Yorkshire org

$18.4 mil injection for English screen agency

LONDON — Regional screen agency Screen Yorkshire has received £10 million ($18.4 million) in funding from Yorkshire Forward, the government’s regional development agency. The hefty cash injection is the biggest award from a regional development agency to a regional screen agency and will be used to fund an ambitious four-year program.

Screen Yorkshire will use the coin to build on its rep as a production center for low budget filmmaking, attract more film and TV dramas to the region and to nurture indigenous film production in the region.

Screen Yorkshire’s production fund was launched in 2003 with the critically acclaimed “Yasmin.” In 2005 the agency invested in U.K.-Australian co-production “Like Minds.” The pic starring Toni Collette shot in the region. Nine other features films shot in Yorkshire last year, which also hosted TV dramas including “Bodies,” “Ghost Squad” and “No Angels.”

The Leeds-based agency’s blossoming reputation has been enhanced by its close ties with the edgy Sheffield-based Warp Films production company. Screen Yorkshire is working closely with partners East Midlands Media, the U.K. Film Council and FilmFour to support Warp’s latest venture; digital film studio Warp X. Warp beat competition from 17 other production companies across the country to manage the government backed low budget feature film slate. X is pledged to churn out seven low-budget, high-tech features.

“The award from Yorkshire Forward is a fantastic endorsement of our progress to date and I am confident in our ambitious plans to attract higher levels of drama production and to put Yorkshire firmly on the map as the center of innovative filmmaking in the U.K.,” said Sally Joynson, acting chief exec of Screen Yorkshire, in a statement.

Screen Yorkshire is hosting a promotional event alongside EM Media at the Cannes Film Fest on May 21 to tub-thump for their regions.

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