Film scheme announces the panellists to choose winning projects

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Film-making scheme MannIN Shorts has announced the names of the panellists that will choose the three winning projects of the 2014 screenplay competition.

Mike Reaney from Isle of Man Film and Emma Callin the from Department of Culture Community and Leisure will be joined by Emmy-nominated designer and props mistress Sally Black (Body of lies, Kingdom of Heaven), Ewan Dunbar (sales executive for Stealth, who distributed films such as Crash and hit documentary Margin Call among others) and award-winning screenwriter and producer Alistair Audsley.

MannIN shorts co-founder David Armstrong said: ‘We’re very happy with the line up. We have top professionals representing a range of areas within the industry - from the very creative, production and practical side of filming, to the business and distribution side.

‘Obviously the creative is crucial, but distribution is very important in the equation - there’s little point making films unless they have an audience and someone like Ewan knows just what to look out for in terms of audience potential.’

On Sunday, the six finalist writers, who have been working on a presentation with their newly-attached producers, will pitch their projects to the panel in the hope of securing funding from Isle of Man Film.

The three successful projects will go into production over the spring and summer, with training and guidance from the short film-making scheme and the films will be previewed at this year’s Isle of Man Film Festival.

They will then be distributed on the international circuit, with the aim of boosting the island’s reputation as a successful indigenous filmmaking community.

The six producers were attached after a series of workshops and blogs teaching the craft of producing, which is one of the key roles in filmmaking and yet, as MannIN Shorts co-founder Christy DeHaven said, was a role that seemed to retain an element of mystery.

She said: ‘A lot of people ask us what a producer does! I think it’s simply because, although it is their job to actually get the film made, they are not often seen ‘doing’ their job once production starts.’

Emily Cook, recently recruited to the MannIN shorts administrative team, worked as a producer on 2013 short film Barry Brown.

She first learned the craft producing the scheme’s scene stealer films in 2012.

She said: ‘It was such a fantastic opportunity, which allowed me to utilise transferable skills from my corporate film making into fiction and story telling production.

‘The winning producers from the pitches on Sunday will find the films ahead a challenging yet rewarding experience.’

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