CREATIVE ENGLAND ishorts+ FUNNY GIRLS GUIDELINES

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1 CREATIVE ENGLAND ishorts+ FUNNY GIRLS GUIDELINES These guidelines relate to ishorts+ Funny Girls, our comedy short film initiative to support female directors and writer/directors based in England. Please go to to download our ishorts+ Funny Girls FAQ s to check any further questions. Please read both the Guidelines and the FAQ s carefully before submitting your application here About NET.WORK and the Talent Centres NET.WORK is central to the British Film Institute s Film Forever strategy to discover and support the next generation of feature filmmaking talent, no matter where they live in the UK. Creative England has partnered with the BFI to set up two Talent Centres in Brighton and Sheffield, led by senior executives Celine Haddad and Paul Ashton. The Centres operate England-wide and actively seek writers, directors and artists with feature filmmaking potential. We provide funding for feature film development, short films and pilots as well as a wide range of bespoke support, depending on the needs of the project and talent attached. Recent talent centre activity includes the launch of modular training programmes focused on the filmmakers journey from development to distribution; with industry talks, panels, Q&A s, networking opportunities, and one-on-one surgeries tailored towards empowering the filmmakers leap to first feature. For more information on the NET.WORK please click here; For more information on our support for new and emerging filmmakers, please visit What is ishorts+ Funny Girls? ishorts+ shines a light on new and emerging talent from across England s diverse filmmaking community, championing writers and directors whose talent and track record warrants a more greater level of funding, editorial support and promotion - often across genres the Talent Centres believe would benefit from additional awareness. Funny Girls will offer 5 filmmaking teams a 10,000 award toward the production of a comedy short film. Awardees will also benefit from intensive development support, a bespoke comedy workshop and access to expert industry mentoring via our partners Big Talk and Baby Cow, two giants of the UK Film and TV comedy scene. 1

2 We want to nurture the zeitgeist of aspiring female feature filmmakers and encourage them to challenge the current comedic status-quo through a boisterous, lively and witty application of both ideas and ideals - to make us laugh but also make us think. We re looking for cinematic and bold stories to be directed by exciting female directors from all comedic backgrounds (short films, TV, theatre, stand up, radio, web series, etc) who not only have something fabulous, fresh and most of all funny, to share with today's modern, multi-faceted audiences, but also have the ambition to build a successful career in film comedy. Who can apply? ishorts+ Funny Girls was primarily conceived to support female directors and writer/directors who are aspiring feature film makers, and wish to use short film to further develop and enhance their comedic voice. Project submissions are invited from teams of writers, directors and producers. In each instance, the director (or writer/director) must be female, with the roles of writer and producer non-gender specific. All submissions must have a producer attached and we would normally expect this individual to act as the lead applicant. The director (or writer/director) must not yet have directed a feature film that has been theatrically released in the UK. ishorts+ Funny Girls is open to both new and emerging directors and writer/directors. Whatever your stage of career, you should be able to demonstrate a distinctive creative voice through your previous work (eg: in shorts, television/online drama, theatre, commercials, music promos, documentary, Artist Film & Video and/or other related media) and the clear potential to deliver a comedy short that could break out and act as a significant calling card for your feature film aspirations. All members of the filmmaking team must be resident in England (including Greater London). A writer, director or writer/director can be attached to a maximum of 1 submission whereas a producer can be attached to a maximum of 2 submissions. Undergraduate students in full-time education are not eligible to apply. Deadline Applications will be accepted up to 5pm on Friday 29 th August Regretfully, applications made after this date are ineligible and cannot be accepted. 2

3 How to apply? We operate an online application process only and cannot accept applications by disc, fax, or post. You ll need to submit an official application online at As part of this application, you should supply the following key information: A completed short film comedy screenplay (20 pages maximum please; standard industry format only, saved as a PDF or Word doc) *Pitches, treatments and outlines are not eligible for this scheme; completed screenplay only. *No alternative film genres will be eligible besides COMEDY (to see a list of comedy sub genres accepted as part of this scheme, please download our FAQ s). * To increase the chances of eligibility for future UK and international festival entries, the run time of your delivered comedy short film should be between 5-15 minutes. A short biography *Please be sure to upload this for each attached member of the key creative team. Relevant examples of previous work by the director or writer/director. *To be provided via a link to Vimeo, YouTube or similar platform, password protected as appropriate. Full-length examples only please; no montage reels and no DVD s accepted. A personal statement (800 words maximum) from the director or writer/director. This should include the following: *The creative vision for your preferred project including what makes it particularly cinematic and comedic, and how you will go about achieving this on film. *Your track record and previous work to date, and how these are in tune with the creative vision and scale of your comedy project. *Your longer-term career goals and how making your preferred project will support these. You might also allude here to specific Feature Film or TV comedy series in early and active development. *Your favorite female director or writer/ director and how she has inspired you (this needn t be comedy specific) or your favorite female orientated comedy film or TV series and why you love it. Once you have submitted, you will be sent an confirming that we have received your application, together with a tracking number to be used in all correspondence. 3

4 If you have not received such confirmation within ten working days of your submission, please contact us by ing All applications are checked for eligibility against the guidelines. If your application is ineligible, we ll send you an informing you as to why. We are unable to progress ineligible applications but may at this stage allow you to correct an error if it is the sole reason why it is ineligible. Assessment and Selection Stage 1: Eligible applications will be read and assessed by the Talent Centres team. We may also use professional external assessors depending upon the overall number of applications that we receive. To ensure fairness and transparency, your application will be considered against the following criteria: The creative merits of the proposed comedy project. The abilities and potential of the filmmakers as demonstrated by the quality of their previous work (particularly in this genre). The viability of the proposed comedy project in terms of budget and other production considerations. The benefit of the proposed comedy short film project to the development of filmmakers career in features. Stage 2: Following assessment, a long-list of applicants will be prepared. Those not selected for the long-list will be notified by . Due to the expected high volume of applications, we regret that we are unable to offer feedback on projects that are not long-listed. Long-listed applicants will be invited to interview in early October 2014, with the interviews themselves taking place at our Brighton and Sheffield Talent Centres later that month. The interview panel will consist of Talent Centre executives, with representatives from Baby Cow and Big Talk. The panel may request additional materials where available in advance of the interview and you should supply these within one week of a formal request. Stage 3: Following the first round of interviews, a short list of up to 10 teams will be invited to a two day comedy development workshop to be held at the Brighton Talent Centre in late November Stage 4: After the two day comedy development workshop, and further internal consultation with Baby Cow and Big Talk, the final selection of up to 5 projects will be made by Creative England. (Please be advised we may request further development on selected projects before final confirmation of a production award). 1 Creative England Talent Centres will make a contribution to your travel and accommodation expenses, the specific details of which will be confirmed upon confirmation of any successful production award. 4

5 All projects to be supported through the ishorts+ Funny Girls initiative will be notified by Friday 12 th December We will endeavour to feedback and offer constructive advice to all long-listed and short-listed applicants who don t receive a production award. To arrange a call with one of our Talent Centre executives at that time please our Talent Coordinator in the first instance Awards and Conditions Please refer to Appendix 1 of these guidelines for details of our standard terms and conditions for awards under this strand. All selected films will need to be completed and delivered before end of August All successful awards are published on the Creative England website and it is a condition of any award that successful applicants co-operate with Creative England in any PR and press activity relating to their funded activity and the Talent Centres. Key Dates Deadline for applications: Fri 29 th Aug 2014 Long list applicants invited to interview: Fri 10 th Oct 2014 Long list interviews: Mon 21 s /Tues 22 nd / Weds 23 rd Oct 2014 Short list invited to workshop: Fri 7 th Nov 2014 Comedy Workshop: Weds 26 th & Thurs 27 th Nov 2014 (tbc) Confirmation of final selection: Friday 12 th Dec 2014 Development & Production: Jan July 2015 Delivery/completion: Aug 2015 Return of Materials We will retain the application form for declined projects for a period of two years, after which time it will be destroyed. Other supporting materials will only be returned to you if a stamped self-addressed envelope is enclosed with them. Otherwise the materials will be destroyed after the project has been declined. Solicitation In exceptional circumstances, we may solicit applications to ishorts+ Funny Girls directly. We will only solicit in accordance with the relevant terms of the National Lottery Act A solicitation does not guarantee funding and all solicited applications will be treated the same as any other application to ishorts+ Funny Girls" in respect of assessment and decision making process. 5

6 Appeals and Complaints Creative England s decision in all matters concerning the assessment and selection of projects is final. Inevitably, applicants may be turned down and may be disappointed as a result. Applicants who wish to make an appeal against a funding decision can only do so if they have good cause to believe that the correct procedures, as published in these guidelines, have not been adhered to or applied in such a way as to prejudice the outcome of an application. A copy of the Lottery complaints procedure can be obtained from Creative England on request. Freedom of Information The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives members of the public the right to request information held by Creative England. This includes information held in relation to applications to any of Creative England s Lottery funding programmes including the Talent Centres. If you choose to apply to the Talent Centres, you should be aware that the information you supply, either in whole or in part, may be disclosed under the Act. Contacting Us Please contact us if you have any further queries about ishorts+ Funny Girls. In the first instance, our Talent Centres team at with Funny Girls Query as your subject header. ***** 6

7 Whilst the information and advice in these guidelines is believed to be accurate at the time of going to press, Creative England reserves the right to make changes at any time at its discretion. Neither Creative England nor any of its partners shall be responsible for any loss attributable to errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the information contained in these guidelines. Appendix 1 If you are successful in your application to ishorts+ Funny Girls, you will be required to enter into an agreement with Creative England that sets out the terms and conditions of our funding. These will include the following: Short Film Production 1. We will require approval of all key elements (including writer, director, individual producer, principal cast & principal crew), of all clearance agreements, the production budget, cash flow schedule and production schedule and insurance policies. We will have consultation rights over all cuts of the short film and approval over the final cut/picture lock. 2. You will be required to acquire and/or clear rights to all works required for the making and exploitation of the short film worldwide in all media in perpetuity. 3. You will be required to ensure that your short film is produced in accordance with the requirements of all unions and guilds having appropriate jurisdiction and all legislative requirements, both National and EU, including those concerning National Minimum Wage. 4. You will be required to provide Creative England and BFI NET.WORK with a presentation credit and a closing credit in form advised by us. Where a Talent Centre executive has engaged with your project in a substantive manner, you may choose to provide an Executive Producer credit to them at the discretion of Creative England s Head of Film. You will also be expected to co-operate with Creative England and the BFI in any PR and press activity relating to your project and to the Talent Centres in general. 5. You will be required to provide us with certain delivery materials including a master copy of the final short film, 5 DVD s, publicity stills and materials, and copies of all clearance agreements. The cost of these delivery materials will need to be included in your budget. 6. You will retain control of the distribution and exploitation rights in your short film save that we will require the non-exclusive right to copy, reproduce and exhibit the film in perpetuity: theatrically in the UK; and non-theatrically throughout the world including through online means including the right to authorise others including the BFI to do so. We will not exercise these rights until after an appropriate festival window. We will also require a right of first refusal to release the short film commercially on DVD in the UK. 7. We will not seek to recoup our funding or to participate in net profits. However, the producer will be expected to ensure that any revenues realised from the film are properly accounted for and shared equitably with the director, writer, principal cast and crew. We ll have a right of approval over any such arrangements. 7

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