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Here’s how you could qualify for £1.5m in Netflix’s ‘Breakout’ filmmaking scheme

By Monica Athnasious

Feb 23, 2022

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Attention all budding filmmakers, this one’s for you. Netflix has announced an exciting new program to help platform emerging filmmaking talent in the UK. Teaming up with industry organisation Creative UK, the initiative will help fund the creation of upcoming filmmakers debut feature films. The scheme which has been announced Wednesday 23 February will allow for unknown filmmakers to have a unique opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Aptly titled “Breakout,” the new scheme will have six shortlisted teams awarded with £30,000 of funding as well as a professional development process that will include rigorous training from Creative UK while they simultaneously advance in the creation of their project. “Following resident lab events, mentoring, support and input—including from Netflix executives—at least one film will be greenlit with an approximate £1.5 million ($2 million) budget and a global launch on Netflix,” the announcement continued. That’s right, you could have your feature debut on the biggest streaming platform there is.

“Breakout will give new UK 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 it is being promoted. According to the industry giants, the program is motivated “by the principle that daring, ambitious filmmaking can drive commercial as well as critical success and can emerge from all backgrounds.”

One lucky creator among the shortlisted will receive the £1.5m budget, so financial obstacles in creativity would be vastly removed. Netflix’s manager of UK films Hannah Perks had this to say, “They’re not going to have to think about putting that financing together—and their film will be shown on Netflix globally. It’s every filmmaker’s dream to have a global release.”

So who can apply? “We are looking for creative talent who have not yet made a funded feature, but whose work has already generated positive industry and/or public attention in short film, theatre, TV and documentaries, or perhaps from online content, video gaming, commercials/advertising, graphic novels and music promos” the program stated.

“Although it’s about new talent, it’s about people who are film creatives, but who might also have worked in advertising, music videos or photography, and who haven’t had a chance to make a feature film but who have ideas. It’s about giving them a really healthy budget to make something that can be on Netflix and hopefully kickstart their career as filmmakers—especially British filmmakers, making commercial films our audiences love,” Perks continued.

Head of film and TV at Creative UK Paul Ashton 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 UK. Having backed films at Creative UK 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 UK.”

So if you haven’t had the chance to make a feature film and you’re working in the industry, now’s your chance. The deadline for applications closes midday on 23 March. For more information visit Creative UK.