Netflix has partnered with Creative U.K. to launch a program for U.K. filmmakers working on their debut feature,
Titled Breakout, the program will fund the films’ development, with the primary criteria being that they are high quality, genre-based and British.
“Breakout will give new U.K. based filmmakers the opportunity to take popular genres audiences love, from sci-fi, to thriller and horror, to comedy and romance, and reinterpret them through a distinctively British lens,” is how the program is being described. It is driven, according to Netflix and Creative U.K., “by the principle that daring, ambitious filmmaking can drive commercial as well as critical success and can emerge from all backgrounds.”
Participants will be made up of six teams, each of which will receive £30,000 ($40,000) worth of development funding in addition to a Creative U.K. training program comprised of mentoring and residential lab events. Netflix executives will also provide support and input.
At least one filmmaker will emerge from the program with a greenlight from Netflix and a £1.5 million ($2 million) budget to make a genre film (whether a mystery and crime thriller, bold and original horror, comedy and rom-com or young adult and family adventure) which will later receive a global launch on the streaming platform.
“We know there are so many brilliant emerging genre voices in the U.K. with bold, ambitious stories to tell who lack the funding to reach their audience,” said Hannah Perks, content acquisitions for Netflix U.K. “We’re committed through our U.K. features initiative to creating a talent pipeline for Netflix and the wider industry to elevate and develop the widest range of voices. We can’t wait to introduce exciting new U.K. talent to our members all around the globe.”
Paul Ashton, head of film and TV at Creative U.K. added: “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 U.K. Having backed films at Creative U.K. which have realised their best life with Netflix, such as ‘Calibre’ and ‘The Ritual,’ we know how important Breakout will be. By giving filmmakers the opportunity to advance projects across a range of genres, we’re enabling them not just to make great films for an audience – but also to lay strong foundations in their relationship with Netflix in the U.K.”
The program is open to creative teams who haven’t yet made a feature but who are garnering industry and/or public recognition for their work.
In particular, participants should be “bold, distinctive genre storytellers” who have some experience in an industry such as theatre, TV, video gaming, online content, commercials, graphic novels, music promos or short films.
Applicants from underrepresented groups are encouraged.
Applications open on Feb. 23. For more information go to WeAreCreative.uk