Warp X launches horror projects

Scheme encourages women to make scary movies

LONDON — Low-budget digital film outfit Warp X is launching a training and production initiative to encourage more women to direct horror pics.

Ten female directors from 76 applicants have been selected for the scheme, which goes by the name of Darklight: Women Direct Horror.

U.K. Film Council-backed Warp X aims to greenlight two projects as feature films for production through their digital slate in 2008.

The 10 femmes have already attended a horror master class at the creepy sounding Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire, where they received expert advice from writer/director Richard Stanley (“Hardware”), producer Ros Borland (“The Last King of Scotland” co-producer), Lizzie Francke from regional screen agency EM Media, editor Celia Haining (“Dead Man’s Shoes”), Danny Perkins, head of distribution, Optimum Releasing, and Warp X production execs Robin Gutch, Caroline Cooper Charles, Barry Ryan and Mary Burke.

“The residential weekend has been an opportunity for us all to explore the dark, terrifying and thrilling world of horror,” said Cooper Charles, adding, “and will I hope be the catalyst for some great films for the Warp X slate.”

Next up for the 10 hopefuls is a second master class weekend, which will include work with actors. After this, four will be headhunted to develop their ideas into a treatment.

Warp X was set up by the U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund and Film4 with partners EM Media, Screen Yorkshire and Optimum Releasing to offer filmmakers development support, production finance and theatrical distribution in the U.K.

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