ON THE BLOG: Wildgaze Films on benefiting from development funding

Tell us about your company/organisation (location, size of office, or anything we might be surprised to learn!)

Wildgaze Films is an independent production company specialising in commercial international film and television, based in London. Wildgaze is run by producing partners, Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, who made Oscar history by being the first female producing partnership to receive two Best Picture Oscar nominations, in 2010 for An Education (their first production) and in 2016 for Brooklyn, for which we also won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film.

What are your company’s ambitions and how has Creative Europe funding supported these?

We will continue to build our reputation for high quality, commercially successful feature films and television, building on our strong talent relationships. The Creative Europe grant allows greater flexibility in development and we have often used the money for exploring the options of how we might best mount the film to serve the creative (e.g. Brooklyn). Without the grant, this wouldn’t have been possible.

What have you most recently received funding for?

We received Single Project development funding for Dark Matter, an emotional and terrifying ghost story set in the Arctic, to be directed by Francis Lee (God’s Own Country).

What will the grant enable you to do?

The grant from Creative Europe will enable us to explore in depth how best to mount the film creatively and financially.

What stage is the project at now?

We’re currently budgeting and researching location options, while awaiting the director’s draft of the script, which Francis Lee will be completing May/June 2019, following shooting his current film.

Has anything surprised you in terms of what it has allowed you to do?

The support and flexibility of the MEDIA funding has been very beneficial. For example, we received the Slate Funding in 2012, and were appreciative that we were able to swap out one of the projects we’d applied for (which was no longer going ahead) with a European feature documentary project instead, which had been very challenging to finance. This became My Nazi Legacy, which premiered at Tribeca, followed by a number of film festival screenings including the London Film Festival, the Jewish Film Festival and Jerusalem Film Festival, and was distributed by Altitude Films in the UK and played across Europe to great acclaim.

Who should apply for funding and what advice would you give to potential applicants?

Producers at a similar stage – when the script is developing well but there is work to be done, location scouting, casting, financiers to be brought on – this is when the project is strong enough for applying but early enough for funding to be most helpful.

We’d advise other producers to use the opportunity the application gives you to clarify your approach to the film – pitching to distributors, focusing on your audience, marketing the project etc., the influence and reach your project can have; good questions to be asked at this stage and can be a constructive process to go through – and to think carefully about how the project you’re applying with can sit within the European film landscape. We’d also strongly recommend that they really utilise the support of the MEDIA team at Creative Europe Desk UK, as they have always been incredibly helpful and supportive.

The next deadline for Development: Slate funding is 20 February 2019. Discover our tips and resources for applicants here

The next deadline for Development: Single Project funding is 24 April 2019. Hear from other beneficiaries of this scheme here

Image: Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey winning the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film for Brooklyn.