Also open for applications from later this month will be Internship funding to support students working with XR Stories partner companies and five 12-month Masters by Research studentships for more open and longer-term R&D.
The XR Stories Collaborative R&D Fund was unveiled to creators and companies working in immersive and interactive digital storytelling by Damian Murphy, Professor of Sound and Music Computing, University of York, and Director of XR Stories, at an industry event at York’s Hospitium last week. Leading creative companies based in Yorkshire and Humber demonstrated their innovation in immersive and interactive storytelling including Beta Jester, Digital Creativity Labs, University of York AudioLab, Maze Theory and Igloo Vision. Leading storytelling creators at the event included Mitch Turnbull who has produced and directed 360°/VR experiences Cat Flight and Oogie for BBC Earth and Growing A World Wonder for the UN; writer Bryan Elsley writer and co-creator of E4’s Skins and Kiss Me First; Dan Tucker, Curator of Alternative Realities VR Programme at Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of world’s leading documentary and non-fiction film festivals; Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair of Animation UK and Co-Director of XR Stories; Charles Cecil , CEO of Revolution Software, one of the world’s leading developers of adventure games; and Ben Roberts, Deputy CEO of the BFI which supports film and storytelling culture across the UK and screen cluster development.
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Yorkshire and Humber has an annual production turnover of £343 million and is home to 670 film, TV and video games companies across its major cities – Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull and York. More than 5,700 people directly employed in the sector and the R&D funding. The region’s film and TV sector has been invigorated in recent years, with Screen Yorkshire’s investment activities helping to deliver unprecedented growth in employment and turnover; more than double the rate of any other region in the UK. Channel 4 has recently confirmed that Leeds will be his new national HQ and the Government’s new Young Audiences Content Fund being administered by the BFI will be based in Leeds and Manchester.