London indie film fest gears up for 2010

LIFF April edition to open with Jan Dunn's "The Calling"

LONDON -- The London Independent Film Festival, one of a slew of capital-set film festivals, is ramping up its ambitions ahead of next year's April event.

Run by film producer Erich Schultz, the LIFF aims to provide a platform for low-budget and no-budget films in the U.K. and will open with Jan Dunn's "The Calling" in 2010.

Written and directed by Dunn, the movie stars Brenda Blethyn, Susannah York and Rita Tushingham and details the story of a woman who gives up her life to become a nun.

Said Dunn: "We make films because we have something to say but often we can't compete with the sheer weight of a commercial feature to get our films onto a British cinema well done LIFF in giving filmmakers like us a starting point!"

Dunn secured the festival's £50,000 ($82,000) prize for "Ruby Blue," which screened during the festival's 1998 edition and used the cash to finance "The Calling," with Elaine Wickham producing.

The LIFF runs April 15 through 27 across a selection of the capital's movie theaters.

LIFF also runs a screenplay competition sponsored by William Morris Endeavor.

Next year's event will also include the Independent Filmmakers' Fair, a one-day event which aims to bring U.K. filmmakers together with companies and organizations that provide products and services to the low-budget, independent film industry.

Organizers claim it is the first fair of its kind in the U.K.