The Mother Tongues Award development initiative, set up by Ardimages UK and Shudder Films with the support of Curzon and Charades, is looking for feature films at treatment or script stage that are set mainly in the UK, written by UK-based filmmakers. The film dialogue must mainly be in a language other than English, but the submission materials may be written in English at this stage. They are open to any non-English language, whether native to the UK (e.g. Welsh, Scots, Irish, BSL, etc) or from another country (e.g: Spanish, Mandarin, Punjabi, Yoruba, etc). Typically, applicants will either speak the relevant language(s) themselves, or have strong connections to it through their heritage or personal circumstances.
The UK is one of the most diverse and multicultural countries in the world, with more than 300 different languages spoken by UK residents, and one in seven (9.3 million people) born in other countries. The UK also has 14 indigenous languages: 5 Celtic, 3 Germanic, 3 Romance, and 3 sign languages. This award wants to dig deeper to develop feature films that are written, produced and directed by UK residents, telling stories that take place in cultural communities existing within the UK that speak another language than English.
Following the open call and at least one round of interviews, they will make available a minimum of one development award of £10,000. It is possible that they will be interested in more than one project, or that they award one project more than the minimum commitment, which will be at the organisers’ discretion. They are also offering producer development support to the chosen project(s) with the aim of moving them into production. Their sales partner Charades will have a first look to acquire international sales rights and their distribution partner Curzon will have first look to acquire UK rights on the developed film(s).
The Mother Tongues Award is open to writers, writer-directors, and writer and director teams. Each member of your team must be ordinarily resident in the UK and be able to qualify as British for the Film Cultural Test.
Submission window: 1st November to 1st December 2020
Source: BBC Writersroom