Out of nearly 800 applicants, six daring and ambitious filmmaking teams from a range of disciplines were selected. These teams comprise talent who haven’t yet made a feature but whose work has garnered industry or public attention. As well as the selected teams coming from a range of backgrounds, with attention given to groups traditionally underrepresented in funding awards, the chosen projects themselves make up a distinctive slate of commercial projects in genres not often supported through UK development programmes, including comedy-horror and rom-com.
BREAKOUT gives emerging genre filmmakers the opportunity and funding to advance their debut feature into development with the partnership and support of Netflix. It offers new UK-based filmmakers the opportunity to take popular genres audiences love and reinterpret them through a distinctively British lens.
The six teams each received £30,000 of development funding to take part in the programme, delivered by Creative UK. The opportunity incorporated a comprehensive series of labs and workshops exploring the essential production and business elements in bringing their projects to screen, with guest speakers including Debbie Isitt (Writer-Director, Nativity, Christmas at Mistletoe Farm), Eddie Sternberg (Director, I Used To Be Famous), Emily Leo (Producer, Under The Shadow, iBoy), Phil Canning (Music Supervisor, Encounter, Calm With Horses, Beats), Greg Duffield (Cinematographer, Motherland, Mum), Jamie Pearson (Editor, Black Mirror, Danny Boy) and more.
Spokesperson on behalf of Netflix says:
“BREAKOUT was created out of the belief that daring and ambitious filmmaking can drive commercial as well as critical success and can emerge from all backgrounds. There are so many talented emerging filmmakers who are under-served by existing UK funding options and through BREAKOUT we hope to help find and nurture the next generation of diverse UK filming talent.”
Caroline Norbury OBE, Chief Executive, Creative UK, said:
“Creative UK’s partnership with Netflix is a significant evolution of our support for emerging filmmakers over the last decade. Breakout has given a hugely talented cohort access to the expertise of both Netflix and Creative UK to help unlock their potential and push up to the next level. We are thrilled for our first cohort, who we’re sure have been emboldened by Breakout to realise brilliant films that will impress, engage and thoroughly entertain in equal measure.”
Encompassing a wide range of new filmmaking voices, including all-female storytelling teams to online comedy sensations, the six groups are made up of talent from unique and diverse backgrounds, and include:
Team: The female powerhouse bringing rom-coms into the modern day includes Natalie Malla, writer & director, producers Emily Precious and Lizzie Brown, and Cheri Darbon, associate producer.
Logline: When Nick shows up in Mel’s local pub on Christmas Eve, almost ten years after they very nearly shared a magical kiss under the mistletoe, reluctant romantic Mel attempts to convince her feminist super-mum Debbie, that Nick is her one that got away and fate may have reunited them for a reason.
Team: Peter King, Writer & Director and Chloe Fernandes, Producer are making the move from advertising to producing feature films, adding their own unique take on the classic zombie apocalypse genre.
Logline: During a zombie apocalypse, an unlikely group of misfits discover the only way to survive is to keep drinking alcohol…
Team: From the team behind online comedy network The Wall of Comedy including Shakii Mongulu, Co-Director & Writer, Percelle Ascott, Producer and Joivan Wade, Co-Director & Writer with YouTube creators Chunkz and Yung Filly attached to star.
Logline: At the height of Chunkz and Filly’s success, Chunkz finds love and proposes. Filly is devastated at the prospect of losing his best friend. He convinces chunkz to travel with him to Africa. But what chunkz doesn’t know is that Filly has another plan in motion. The trip is just five days before the wedding. What could possibly go wrong?
Team: Ella Jones, Director; Elaine Gracie, Writer; and Alexandra Blue, Producer, continue their longstanding collaboration on this story of self-discovery and 21st century love in Britain. From production company Eleven, in association with Bluebird Productions, with Carissa Hope-Lynch as Executive Producer for Eleven.
Logline: Polly desperately wants to write romance novels and, being in a borderline-perfect decade-long relationship with “the one” (Luca), she’s sure she has all the right credentials. Right? WRONG!! After a devastating drive-by break up, and with her first potential book deal about to go down the pan, Polly is thrust into the terrifying world of modern dating like a lubed-up clown in a minefield. But will Polly have to ditch everything she thinks she knows about romance in order to learn about love? And could there be more than one way to love – and even, more than one love of her life?
Team: Mustapha Kseibati, Director, Henry White, Writer, Dhanny Joshi, Producer and Humza Arshad MBE, Actor & Writer bring their combined experience celebrating and creating opportunities for British Asian talent storytelling from across scripted series, comedy, shorts and YouTube.
Logline: Holding a scam wedding, solely for the traditional cash gifts, is the stroke of genius that brought Hassan and Aisha together. Now, there’s only one thing that could ruin it… falling in love.
Team: Kim Tserkezie (co-writer & lead actor), one of the Top 10 most influential disabled people in the UK, has teamed up with Helen Simmons (writer), Ben Mallaby (director) and Manon Ardisson (producer) to bring us a new rom-com for our time, in a co-production between Ardimages UK and Scattered Pictures.
Logline: When Newcastle radio DJ Anna Doyle gets the opportunity to co-host a national radio show with the entitled, famous and difficult Joe Arbour, she knows her new gig will be far from easy. He doesn’t like her, that much is clear, and for what it’s worth she doesn’t like him either. When a technical fault in the studio suddenly gives them the ability to hear each other’s thoughts, the former rivals can’t tune each other out… Could getting inside one another’s heads show them they’re much more similar than they once thought? And maybe, just maybe, lead to a real connection…?