Leading British Director launches search for rising talent in UK Film industry

Golden Globe-nominated director Bharat Nalluri has launched a nationwide search to find the UK’s most talented professional or aspiring filmmakers, in a campaign to support the home-grown talent of Britain’s film industry. The 14 Islands Film Challenge will give 14 filmmakers a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend two weeks filming on an idyllic island in The Bahamas and use the challenge as a launch pad for their careers.

Supported by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and The Bahamas Tourist Office, the challenge seeks to engage with up and coming or professional filmmakers and give them the chance to compete for a £14,000 cash prize and state-of-the-art camera equipment. This is combined with the opportunity to draw on scenery which has been the backdrop of many iconic films including; Pirates of the Caribbean, Casino Royale and The Silence of the Lambs.

Nalluri, whose rise to fame has included directing BBC-smash hits such as Spooks, Hustle and Life on Mars will Chair the panel of esteemed judges who will select the final 14 lucky filmmakers. Other judges include Finola Dwyer, Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, Nik Powell, Director of the NFTS and Tommy Thompson, Deputy Director General of Bahamas Tourist Office.

With the British film industry seeing an unmistakable emergence of exciting new directors, The 14 Islands Film Challenge will give those selected a chance to learn from the industry’s finest. An experienced producer will help the finalists during the making of the films whilst in The Bahamas and provide guidance through the editing process, with use of the National Film and Television School’s editing suites in Beaconsfield on their return. All 14 films will be aired at a prestigious red carpet event at BAFTA in March 2010 when the winner of the challenge will be revealed.

To participate in the challenge, Britain’s rising directors are required to submit a 500 word treatment on an inspirational person from their local community and their reasons why they should be chosen. Judges will then select around 40 candidates to submit a short film based on their treatment and from those films, 14 finalists will be selected. All entries will be available to view on the challenge website.

The shortlisted filmmakers will take inspiration from the warmth of the Bahamian people to tell inspiring stories through their films. The filmmakers will be encouraged to show the islands in their own way and demonstrate their creativity and individuality through their final cut. Each filmmaker will be based on one of the 14 main islands of The Bahamas and assigned a local team, dedicated to helping them experience and capture true Bahamian life.

Bharat Nalluri, whose directing credits include blockbuster films such as Resident Evil and Alien V Predator, talks about how important it is to give new filmmakers a chance to prove their talent: “The chance to travel to beautiful locations, make personal films, mix with industry experts, have the best camera equipment to hand and showcase your finished work around the world – The 14 Islands Film Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for any aspiring filmmaker. I wish it was around when I first started in the industry.”

Tommy Thompson, Deputy Director General, Bahamas Tourist Office, comments: “The British Film industry has a wealth of raw talent, so by throwing the challenge out to all those upcoming directors waiting for their break, the 14 Islands of The Bahamas provide the perfect canvas for Britain’s next filmmaking star to show their ability by capturing Bahamian life, community and the beautiful surroundings.”

Nik Powell, Director of the National Film and Television School and also on the panel of judges, comments: “We are delighted to support The 14 Islands Film Challenge and look forward to seeing how upcoming filmmakers will respond to what could be the platform to launch their career in the future.”

Finola Dwyer, Producer and Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, adds: “This is a fantastic opportunity for emerging, talented filmmakers to demonstrate their story-telling abilities in one of the most breathtaking locations in the world – The Bahamas.”

More information on the entry criteria and registration can be found at: www.14islandsfilmchallenge.co.uk.