Written by Nico Franks
UK prodco Rope Ladder Fiction, founded by Sky’s former head of drama Cameron Roach, has invested in two short films in partnership with Wall to Wall and Screen Manchester.
The Manchester-based outfit, which launched in 2021, is in post-production on Osoro, a copro with Norto Productions written and directed by Sheila Nortley.
Produced by Martina Russo and set against a backdrop of black Britain in the early Noughties, the film explores magical realism whilst simultaneously delving into the poignant and resonant themes of grief, classism and mythology.
Surprise, Baby!, meanwhile, is a coproduction with Northern Fortress Films, written and directed by Zane Igbe and produced by Louisa Rose Mackleston.
The film tells the story of a parent-to-be contemplating confiding in their pregnant partner about their own gender identity on the day of their baby shower.
Osoro and Surprise, Baby! will have industry screenings in the coming months as well as being entered for international festivals.
It marks Rope Ladder Fiction’s first investment in film and the company is keen to back at least two short films each year as a way of stimulating its development pipeline.
Roach said: “At this time, we are in need of more spaces for creative talent to find their voice and explore themes and ideas in an experimental, safe and brave space, away from the immediate pressures of the commercial environment.
“We aim to be innovative with our development, creating original projects and a unique environment for writers and directors to truly harness their voice and authorship.”