Film and TV fund supports 15 Mersey productions

Liverpool Film Office’s Film and TV Development Fund was set up in response to the coronavirus shutdown and is supporting 15 new projects – with cash still available. Tony McDonough reports

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The Liverpool Film Office’s Film and TV Development Fund is supporting 15 projects


A fund set up to support film and TV productions in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis have provided more than £158,000 for 15 live projects.

Liverpool Film Office’s Film and TV Development Fund was set up in response to the shutdown caused by the pandemic which hit Merseyside’s creative industries particularly hard. The fund was backed by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

It remains open until September 30 and, with the lockdown now eased, a number of projects supported by the fund can get under way. They include an animated adaptation of a critically acclaimed novel.

The Girl Who Stole An Elephant, by Nizrana Farook, will be brought to life by local BAFTA and Emmy-winning writer, Helen Blakeman (Dustbin BabyHetty Feather) and her production company Heroic, working in partnership with Blue Bear Film and Television on the project.

Funding has also been allocated to a mix of local established producers such as Lime Pictures, Hurricane Films and Leopard Pictures, but also includes work from newer female and BAME-led companies such as Pencil Trick Productions and Redbag Pictures. Projects include:

  • Hurricane Films will use the funding to support its first foray into TV drama, working with writer Nick Saltrese (A Prayer Before Dawn, Hollyoaks) on the mystery horror series 12 Canning Square. The company is also developing The Last Date, a follow-up to its upcoming feature film release The Last Bus starring Timothy Spall.
  • Pencil Trick Productions is co-developing the women’s football-themed TV drama Lily with Tiger Lily Productions and Liverpool Everyman alumni, Lizzie Nunnery. It is also in early development on Gavin Scott Whitfield’s debut feature film Spent Light.
  • Sefton-based Redbag Pictures’ producer Barrington Paul Robinson is working with upcoming theatre writer/director Nathan Powell on the comedy-drama feature film Belly Full, set in and around a Caribbean takeaway.

Chris Moll, advisor for fund, said: “The awards demonstrate the breadth and depth of talent in the Liverpool city region’s screen sector. It also shows a determination to face down the challenges posed by COVID-19 and to bring forward a pipeline of new content that can create jobs and investment for local crew and businesses.

“The fund remains open until 30 September, and we continue to welcome approaches, particularly from regionally based writers looking to forge new collaborations, and from producers committed to developing creative talent from the BAME, LGBTQ+ and disabled communities.”

For more details about the fund which will be open until 30 September, click here.

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