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Creative England Installs Fund Gatekeepers

Chris Moll - P 2013
Courtesy of Creative England

The organization goes live with its two regional production funds Oct. 14 that will be presided over by head of film Chris Moll.

LONDON – U.K. regional funding giant Creative England is to go live Monday Oct. 14 with its two production funds to boost filmmakers and has hired veteran U.K. producer Richard Holmes to head up its both production cashpools.

Holmes, whose resume as a producer boasts Jadoo, Eden Lake, Shooting Fish and Waking Ned will be sitting on the other side of the negotiating table holding the purse strings.

Holmes is charged with looking after both the Creative England Production Fund, the all-England cashpool focused on regional filmmakers and/or stories and the West Midlands production fund (WMPF) for both film and TV drama production in the region.

STORY: British Regional Agency Folds Into Creative England Organization 

The all-England fund will look to invest in movies that can be made by filmmakers for under $2.4 million (£1.5 million) and look to pump between 10 percent and 50 percent of the total budget. Individual awards typically will be in the range of $80,000 (£50,000) to $240,000 (£150,000).

To access West Midlands Production Fund support productions must be based in the West Midlands part of England and be able to demonstrate "a positive impact" on the region.

The WMPF can invest up to $800,000 (£500,000) in a project to be matched with private equity on the same terms.

Creative England also supports its Film Enterprise fund, a bespoke cashpool run by Caroline Cooper Charles to invest $3 million (£2 million) over four years bolster growth and sustainability of film businesses outside the British capital.

As executive producer, Cooper Charles’ credits include Andrea Arnold’s Oscar-winning Wasp and Xiaolu Guo’s She, A Chinese, winner of the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival 2009.

In addition to her work with emerging writing and directing talent at her production banner Universal Spirits she was responsible for a diverse slate of low-budget feature films at British production banner Warp X, including Hush, All Tomorrow’s Parties and Bunny and the Bull.

To run Creative England's Talent Centers, a project with the British Film Institute's NET.WORK, the organization has brought in former BBC development producer Paul Ashton and French-owned Pathe high flier and most recently head of development, animation, at Passion Pictures Celine Haddad.

Ashton and Haddad will focus on developing new and emerging writers, director and producers and steer them towards their debut feature armed with $2 million (£1.2 million) per annum for the plans.

All the industry hires will work under the watchful eye of Creative England head of film Chris Moll.

Moll spent 15 years as an independent producer, initially with Aardman Animations, for whom he produced the Oscar-winning The Wrong Trousers and latterly with his own companies Hellzapoppin Pictures and Harvest Films.

Moll described the high profile recruits to the Creative England cause as all being armed with an acute understanding  of "the challenges writers, producers and directors face in trying to build both their careers and their businesses."

Said Moll: "It means that in addition to funding, film makers will benefit from sharp, insightful advice and support from industry veterans."