Sharp shorts shot

Plan to boost UK comedy films

A handful of short comedy movies are to be made under a new scheme to find the next generation of filmmakers.

Established comedy writers, directors, advert-makers and stand-ups are being invited to take part in the programme, backed by the film council.

Up to five shorts will be made, with budgets of up to £30,000 each.

They will be produced by Shine, the company set up by Elisabeth Murdoch and whose credits include The Royle Family and The Mrs Merton Show. Film Four is also backing the project.

Kenton Allen, the firm's creative director of comedy and entertainment, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to find and develop the next generation of comedy filmmakers. There's almost no training in this area in the UK and both FilmFour and the Film Council should be applauded for taking this initiative."

Robin Gutch, head of FilmFour Lab agreed: "This scheme is a great chance for proven comedy talent from other disciplines to spread their wings into cinema, and in the process hopefully take the comedy genre in Britain onto new terrain."

Paul Trijbits, head of the Film Council,s new cinema fund added: "The UK is
world-renowned for its comedy writing, directing and acting talent. The Comedy Shorts Scheme will help to encourage this important transition of talent from small to big screen ambition."

The Comedy Shorts are part of a £250,000 series of programmes backed by the Film Council to encourage new talent.

More information about applying is available at

Published: 26 Jan 2002

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