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Sunday, 23 June 2024

Roundhouse Film Fund Elevates Emerging Filmmakers to New Heights

A collection of award-winning short films by young filmmakers is set to be released at the end of the month, a year on from their conception in collaboration with the Roundhouse.

The Roundhouse Online Film Fund Festival runs from Monday 29th to Wednesday 31st of January, screening two short films per day.

All films featured were developed in the 2022 Roundhouse Film Fund, an initiative that supports six aspiring filmmakers aged 18-25 each year to create short films exploring social and political issues from their unique perspectives. Each filmmaker is mobilised to bring to life subjects close to their hearts – from family values to explorations of sexual identity.

Derek Richards, Roundhouse Head of Broadcast and Digital, underscores the impact of the Film Fund’s encompassing approach, stating:

Young people participating in the Roundhouse Film Fund often tell us how unique the programme is in going further than simply providing funding, to providing support mentoring, key partnerships and physical resources to help young emerging filmmakers realise their productions and develop their creative capacity. 

“Above all, this programme is a talent development programme. Our aim is to advance the careers of underserved young people who are underrepresented in the film and TV industries. To that end, while the films provide these talented young filmmakers with a valuable early career calling card, equipping them to fully exploit their newly acquired assets is vital.” 

One to watch is Sofia Negri’s ‘The Skatebook’, a dynamic stop-motion documentary capturing diverse voices from London’s ever-changing skateboarding scene. The film shares the stories, fears and dreams of its subjects. 

Negri was awarded the Wiggin Emerging Filmmakers Award, granting her professional mentorship and £8,000 in financial support. Since then, ‘The Skatebook’ has made waves at 12 film festivals across Europe, solidifying Negri’s presence on the animation and film circuit. She’s now busily writing and crafting her newest stop-motion project.

Reflecting on her Film Fund experience, Negri notes:

Thanks to this award, I realised I could make my filmmaking practice an actual career and not only a side hustle. The Roundhouse really supports you from A to Z and believes in your capabilities. It’s really rare to see this kind of support in the film industry for emerging creatives, especially for animators!”

The impact of the Film Fund extends beyond the immediate, influencing the trajectory of participants’ careers. This success is owed in part to dedicated supporters, including the hands-on partnership approach of entertainment law firm Wiggin LLP. 

Derek Richards commends the weight of the partnership, he said:

“Since Wiggin LLP came on board as a partner we’ve been able to extend the programme, beyond the completion and industry screenings of their films, to provide coaching and mentoring in marketing and distribution and to support the young filmmakers on the global film festival circuit.

“The Wiggin Emerging Filmmakers Award, supported by the Wiggin Charitable Foundation, provides something very rare in the funding landscape by giving one of our filmmakers each year an unrestricted cash award to use at their own discretion. The recipient can then use that award to take time out to write, develop a new project, pay for training or just fund their next film project. The team at the Roundhouse is on hand to help the young person make decisions and plan their year.

The positive feelings are mutual, as Charles Moore, Senior Partner at Wiggin LLP expresses:

‘‘As a media law firm committed to fostering creativity, we are extremely proud to partner with the Roundhouse Film Fund and to champion the next generation of storytellers. We are delighted to support these young filmmakers and look forward to monitoring their development and seeing their new projects reach fruition in the near future.’’

Renowned as a legendary venue, the Roundhouse delivers hundreds of creative projects and opportunities for 8,000 young people each year. Covering music, media and performing arts, these opportunities offer affordable avenues for young individuals to harness their skills, gain practical experience, and pursue careers in the creative industries. 

To tune into the Online Film Fund Festival and to learn more, visit here: https://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/roundhouse-online-film-fund-festival.

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