THE HITCHCOCK PRODUCTION FUND
Apex Arts (formerly Waltham Forest Arts Council) organised a local film festival for independent filmmakers in the Borough as part of the 100 Years of Cinema celebrations in 1996. This was a great success with a full house and a large number of short films submitted from local filmmakers. The success of the first film festival led to the Waltham Forest Film Festival, which continued to run a yearly short film festival showing the work of local filmmakers as well as running one-off nights, for example outdoor showings at the Walthamstow Festival and three one-off nights as part of Waltham Forest’s Hitchcock Centenary Celebrations in 1999.
1st Fund: Given the demonstrable demand from filmmakers in the Borough Apex Arts set up the Hitchcock Production fund to mark the Centenary of the Birth of Sir Alfred Hitchcock (born in Leytonstone on 13 August 1899). Apex Arts contacted Helen Tredoux (LBWF Arts Officer at the time), Film London (Andrea Corbett) and Stratford Partnership (Steve Jacobs) with the idea of running a short film fund for local filmmakers and all agreed. Apex Arts put up £5000 of its own funds. £5000 came from LBWF, £5000 from Film London and £5000 from Stratford Partnership. It was agreed that if this proved successful further funding might come from LBWF and Film London. The Stratford Partnership money was a one-off for the Hitchcock Centenary.
Partners met and it was agreed the fund would be open to anyone living, working or studying in Waltham Forest. 67 scripts were received from local filmmakers and Martin O’Connor (Apex Arts), Helen Tredoux and Andrea Corbett read the scripts, narrowing them down to 10. The final 10 scriptwriters were then asked for budgets, shooting schedules etc and a second meeting was held at which the final 10 scripts were assessed, with four films being awarded grants of £5000 each. Administration of the Fund and payments etc were/are carried out by WFAC/Apex Arts, which receives the funding from the other organisations. The four films funded were:
Alfred Hitchcock (Ian Bourne) £3000
Courier (Ricky Terascas) £3000
The Caller (Liz Hyder) £3000
East by NorthtEast (Flick Films) £3000
Outcomes: All films have been shown at various Festivals. Alfred Hitchcock was shown for a week at the Tate Gallery, The Caller was shown at the London Film Festival and Liz Hyder gained a job at the BBC. Flick Films were able to set up their own production company.
It was agreed that the fund was meeting a demand in the local film sector and was building on the legacy of Hitchcock, which the Borough was celebrating via the then Hitchcock Gallery (Leytonstone) and the Hitchcock Monument (Coronation Gardens Leytonstone).
2nd Fund: £5000 Apex Arts, £5000 Film London, £5000 LBWF. Apex Arts worked with Andrea Corbett and Sue Brown (LBWF). 47 scripts were entered. The fund worked along the same lines with Riverchild Productions acting as an outside contributor on the final decision meeting along with MO’C, AC and SB. Three scripts were funded:
Archivist (Peter Bates) £4000
The Auction House (Jeremy Henderson) £4000
Salaam Sudan (Ishraga Lloyd) £4000
Outcomes: All films have been picked up and shown at Film Festivals in numerous countries. Salaam Sudan has been used by Channel 4.
3rd Fund: Apex Arts again received £5000 each from LBWF and Film London. The funding from both groups this time was tied up with the East London Moving Image Initiative. WFAC contact on this round was Rick Richardson at LBWF and Veronica Maguire and
Josic Cadoret at Film London. 39 scripts were entered. Three films at £4000 each were funded:
Cheese Makes You Dream (Kara Miller) £4000
Snot (Noel Vimal Stephens) £4000
The Follower (Adrian Sellars) £4000
Outcomes: All films have been shown at Festivals in numerous countries, especially Cheese Makes You Dream which has had showings at London and New York Film Festivals and was voted top short film on the BBC website. Kara Miller has gone on to obtain funding for Elephant Palm Tree (shown on BBC) and has produced a number of other short films. She is presently writing for the BBC. Adrian Sellars has now set up his own production company.
4th Fund: The fourth fund coincided with the ending of the East London Moving Image Initiative. Although this had ended, the clear demand of the independent film sector in the Borough, coupled with the success of the Hitchcock Production Fund, convinced Apex Arts trustees of the rising demand of the sector and consequently Apex Arts continued with the Hitchcock Production fund through an allocation of £5000. 34 scripts were received. Two films were funded at £1500 each:
Orange People (Mohsen Khan) £1500
Every Picture Tells A Story (Mark Windows) £1500
Outcomes: Both filmmakers have moved on in their careers and both have had work shown on national television.
5th Fund: The fifth Hitchcock Production Fund ran along the same lines as the fourth with a fund of £5000. 36 scripts were entered with five films funded.
Here to Stay (Frank Scantori) £500
Life of a Fish (Araceli Fernandez) £1500
The Service Industry (John Ryder) £1500
Spirit of the Marsh (Peter Bates) £500
Outcomes: All have been entered in film festivals in numerous countries with large acceptances for Here to Stay, Life of a Fish and The Service Industry. John Ryder and Frank Scantori have taken part in script workshops for students at Waltham Forest College since the production of their films.
6th Fund: Three films produced:
And the Ice Melts (Simon Davis) £1500
Requiem (Audrey Wilson) £1500
Kill Your Television (Tim Worley) £1500
Outcomes: Films have been entered and shown in various film festivals. Kill your Television was Tim Worsley’s first ever film and the film enabled Tim to get funding to make a 2nd short.
Following the 6th fund Apex Arts was successful in running 3 Film funds under contract with London Borough of Waltham forest. Each round had a funding pot of £10,000.
7th Fund: Three films produced:
Come On You O’s (Ahmed Hussain) £2000
Cool Charm Corrected (Andrew David) £3500
Saline (Jessica Townsend) £3000
Outcomes: Films have been shown at various film Festivals. Come on You O’s has been screened on the Big Screen in Walthamstow Town Centre. Cool Charm Corrected was a first film made by Andrew David and was a musical in conjunction with Excalibur Music studios. The film has helped Andrew move on as a filmmaker and helped build up Excalibur Music Studio.
8th Fund: Three produced:
Red Rabbit Run (Zubia Masood) £3000
Saline (Jessica Townsend) £3000
Stiletto (William Mager) £3000
Outcomes: All three films, plus Kill Tour Television from the 6th fund, were shown at the Best of Borough Film screening on 2 June 2008 by the BFI at the National Film Theatre on London’s South Bank and will now be entered into a wide variety of national and international film festivals.
In addition 3 fully subscribed workshops were held at Leytonstone Library in June 2007 on Lighting, The Movie tube and Short Film Budgets.
Jessica Townsend is a filmmaker whose short film Four Conversations About Love won the Best First Time Director Award at the Washington DC Shorts Festival and has been screened at Cannes, Marbella, and LA.
9th Fund This was the final round under the funding contract with London Borough of Waltham forest. Three films were funded all at £2500.
The Ice Cream Van (Shane Vahey) £2500
Mute (Gemma Rigg) £2500
Sons of Atom (Adam Butcher) £2500
Outcomes: All three films have been entered into various film festivals. Mute particularly has been successful in showings and is Emma Riggs fourth film and most successful to date.
Other Outcomes: The Hitchcock Production fund has built up a well-organised and thriving film community in the Borough.
A Waltham Forest Film Site was built where local filmmakers swapped ideas and helped each other’s projects, sent out information on funding opportunities etc. although the site is now not operational.
A fully-fledged film arts strategy was produced by filmmakers in the Borough with short-, medium- and long-term objectives to build up the burgeoning independent film sector in Waltham Forest.
Film London has held a Local Digital event with the aid of Apex Arts at Waltham Forest College in the Borough due to the growth of the independent sector in film since the launch of the Hitchcock Production Fund.
The Triangle Film Fund (Film London’s Borough Production Fund) was set up together with the London Boroughs of Enfield and Haringey, which allowed one extra short film, Dark Circle, (Mark Arrain) to be funded at £1500. Apex Arts administered this fund on behalf of London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Apex Arts, working with LBWF, was instrumental in securing London’s first ‘Live Site’ giant LED screen in Walthamstow Town Square and hopes to be involved in the management and programming of the screen with the local BBC manager from August 2008. It is hoped that the screen, which will operate up to the end of the 2012 London Olympics, will provide a platform for local filmmakers and that it may subsequently remain in the borough as an Olympic Legacy.
Following the Triangle Fund, Apex Arts administered two film fund rounds on behalf of Waltham Forest as part of the Eastern Edge Film fund (Film London’s Borough Production Fund) This enabled two Waltham Forest film Makers to produce a film. Both films were funded at £1500.
The Holiday (Ida Akasen)
Walk Tall (Kate Sullivan)
Both films have had great success in festivals. Walk Tall in particular has built on the legacy of the Olympics.
Breakdown of Funded Filmmakers by Gender and Ethnic/National Origin
Hitchcock Production Fund
South American 1
African Caribbean 2
LINKS TO SOME HITCHCOCK PRODUCTION FUND FILMS
Cheese Makes You Dream
Come On you O’s
Cool Charm Corrected
Death Of A Fish
Kill Your Television
Red Rabbit Run