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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Sci-fi creators win cash boost
The project will help get three films off the ground
The project will help get three films off the ground
A UK film fund is hoping to inspire the next generation of science fiction movies by helping daring writers get their ideas onto the big screen.

The Film Council says it wants writers to go boldly where no-one has gone before to create "a new breed" of sci-fi movies.


We're not looking for a future we have already seen, but a completely new vision

Paul Trijbits
Film Council
The resulting films are likely to be in a similar vein to cult hits Cube, Dark Star and Hardware, which all put a different twist on the genre.

The project, called New Steps Beyond, will give $3m (1.95m) to develop projects by three writers.

It was launched on Thursday with a debate in London at which Il Postino director Michael Radford discussed ways to re-invent sci-fi with an invited audience of authors.

The Film Council said sci-fi has potential for creative and commercial development.

'Stronger industry'

UK writers are too preoccupied with period pieces, gangster movies or kitchen-sink dramas, the organisation said.

"This venture is another step towards building a stronger UK film industry," according to Paul Trijbits, head of the Film Council's New Cinema Fund.


With sci-fi there is a fantastically exciting range of possibilities to be explored

Gub Neal
Box Film
"We're not looking for a future we have already seen, but a completely new vision - one which explores the outer limits of our current imaginations."

The films will be made in conjunction with UK producers Box Film.

Gub Neal, founder of Box Film, said: "We relish the opportunity to encourage new talent to tackle the sci-fi genre, particularly at a time when British film-makers should be provoked into thinking more about genre storytelling.

"With sci-fi there is a fantastically exciting range of possibilities to be explored - we hope that this scheme will help demonstrate just how varied those possibilities are."

Mr Neal has previously produced controversial docu-dramas including Sunday, about Bloody Sunday, and Hillsborough.

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