Fresh talent focuses on commercial success

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The Independent Online
THERE is a small core of young film-makers who share the vision of a commercial British film industry and have dedicated themselves to achieving it.

The producer Alison OwenAllen, 31, may be the best known. She made the highly acclaimed film Hear My Song about the Irish tenor Josef Locke.

'There is a new school of thought,' she said. 'Partly it's a result of the recession and of the change at Channel 4, but there is a spirit. People now think about balance sheets; the need for commercial films.'

Vadim Jean, 28, is director of Leon the Pig Farmer, a film in which the cast, including Janet Suzman, agreed to work for deferred fees. The film won the international critics' prize at this year's Venice Film Festival.

He worked on Leon with the writer/producer Gary Sinyor, 30, who was involved in commercials before going to National Film and Television School. His graduation film won a Bafta award and was screened on BBC 2.

Judy Hunt, 34, worked in advertising and then became a TV producer. Co-producer of London Kills Me, a commercial and critical flop, she was stung by the criticism but now argues 'for telling up-to-date stories, to become relevant, we have to be more commercial in our outlook'.

South African born Elaine Proctor, 31, is writer of Friends, a film currently being worked on. She studied in the UK at National Film School and her graduation film won a major British Film Institute award.

Producer Pete Salmi, 32, studied film at the Royal College of Art and then went to film school in Los Angeles. He is now working on a film about surfing in Cornwall with director Carl Prechezer, 27. 'It's a coming of age action movie, a commercial film with a British slant to it,' he said.

Ngozi Onwurah, 28, was born in Nigeria and brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne. She became a film director after studying at St Martin's School of Art and the National Film School, runs her own black film company and is now filming Welcome to the Terrordome, an angry film about urban youth.

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