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Image of Filmmakers at Microschool, London 2015

Microwave shortlist steps into the next stage

Date posted: 25.03.2015

Following a jam-packed week of training at Microschool and a further six weeks of development with mentors, the Microwave Further Development Interview Panel have chosen six projects from the original twelve shortlisted to the next stage. From these six, two films will be commissioned for production through Film London Microwave in May 2015.

The feature film projects being taken through are:

The interview panel was made up of the scheme's partners, as well as external industry advisors representing different parts of the industry:

  • Deborah Sathe (Head of Talent Development & Production, Film London)
  • Jamie Wolpert (BFI Development Executive)
  • Steve Jenkins (Head of Films, Programme Acquisition at BBC Television)
  • Clare Binns (Director of Programming & Acquisitions, Picturehouse Cinemas)
  • Andy Brunskill (Producer and Owner, SUMS Film and Media)
  • Olivier Kaempfer (Senior Microwave Executive, Film London, and independent producer)



While only six projects will be taken through to the next stage, all 12 teams were able to benefit from an intense week of training and project hot-housing at Film London Microschool, and a further six weeks of development thereafter.

"Microschool gave us five days of industry insight, workshops and the opportunity to test and reinvent our project in a genuinely supportive environment" explains Jo Allan, Night Dances.

Hugo Godwin from The Visitor adds, "the process allowed us to develop our voice and focus on the fundamentals of story and structure at the same time as encouraging our ambitions in a creative way.  We can't wait to get started on the next phase of development."

The value of one-on-one mentorship

As well as taking part in panel discussions and presentations by experts in the industry, the 12 teams were assigned a specialist producer, director, and writer mentor to explore the potential of each project in depth.

Three weeks after Microschool, the teams met with their mentors again, where they received invaluable feedback and guidance before they submitted their final redrafts to the Further Development panel.

David Braithwaite from Butterfly Kisses explains, "their advice really made us focus our efforts on the script and think about how to realise it on the budget available...having the opportunity of developing Butterfly Kisses with such highly experienced mentors was a dream come true."

Jo Allan from Night Dances concludes that "with the help of our razor sharp mentors, our project has evolved from its initial conception into something more ambitious and complex.  The entire process has been intense, invigorating and invaluable."

Merlin Merton from Butterfly Kisses notes that, "the biggest lesson learnt from Microwave was a simple but powerful one. It is crucial to explore every angle of a story".

Identifying audiences

A unique part of Microwave is that it not only develops the project in terms of script and story, but also looks at the project beyond production to find an audience and a place in the market.

Yaw Basoah and Faye Gilbert from Kill Her Witch explain, "Microschool reinforced the need for us to identify our audience and then effectively communicate our film to them".

What's next

In the coming weeks, the six filmmaking teams will focus on developing their projects further with their mentors where they will receive a further £2k of funding. The projects will then be submitted to a final panel, and in May two of the six projects will be commissioned as Microwave productions.

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