Documentary Makers To Pitch BFI For Funding
The BFI Film Fund will dish out funding to documentaries via twice-yearly public pitch sessions, in London and at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Documentarians will pitch ideas to a panel of senior execs “from within the BFI Film Fund and wider documentary funding community”, with selected candidates benefitting from a day of expert-led development to help them focus pitches and strengthen ideas. Documentary filmmaking in Britain is on a high after a string of high-profile successes like Man On Wire and Senna, as well as this year’s Oscar- and BAFTA-winning Brit-produced Searching For Sugarman and the BAFTA-winning The Imposter. “Documentary is the punk of the film industry,” said the BFI’s Lizzie Francke. “We’re absolutely committed to supporting the UK’s visionary documentary filmmakers and we’re pleased to be working with Sheffield Doc/Fest on this new way to deliver support directly to the sector.” – Joe Utichi 

Film London Launches Artists’ Moving Image Arm
Film London will create a dedicated Artists’ Moving Image department, after the success of its FLAMIN network, which offered London-based artists access to funding and guidance for their work in film and moving image. FLAMIN Productions had provided cash to Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price for her piece West Hinder, and to Ben Rivers for his critically acclaimed Two Years At Sea work. Film London has appointed Maggie Ellis to run the department, after witnessing the increasing success of artist filmmakers, whose work in the moving image is being increasingly released theatrically. “This work is gaining in profile and momentum,” she said. “A fact demonstrated last year when three of the four artists nominated for the Turner Prize were moving image artists.” – Joe Utichi

RealD Brings 3D To UK Hospitals
RealD has partnered with British charity MediCinema to equip cinemas in seven UK hospitals with RealD 3D. MediCinema operates onsite cinemas in hospitals to bring films to patients in care and the new deal is aimed at enhancing the experience. Stephen Moore, CEO of MediCinema said today, “It is our priority to ensure that patients across the UK are able to enjoy moments of respite from their everyday concerns in a comfortable and accessible setting.” To date, RealD and MediCinema have equipped the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow; the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court in Epsom. The next installations will be in Newport at the Serennu Children’s Centre, St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, Guy’s Hospital and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London.

Endemol To Produce 3 Versions Of ‘Big Brother’ In India
Endemol has made new regional deals for the Indian format of Big Brother. Known as Big Boss in India, two regional versions will join the original Hindi version and be produced for Southern India for Viacom 18 channel ETV Kannada with a late March air date and in an as-yet unannounced region for summer broadcast. The seventh season of the Hindi version will launch in the fall on Viacom 18 network Colors. All three versions will have a 14-week run of 98 episodes. Endemol is also adapting Big Boss into a feature film in India.