British films to be screened at Toronto International Film Festival

MUMBAI: British films, a third of which have been supported by the UK Film Council, will be a major feature at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) from 10 – 19 September.

Toronto has selected 26 British films, a major indicator of the UK film industry’s ability to deliver films with commercial and cultural appeal for the international marketplace. Nine of the 26 films, which range from documentary to period drama, fantasy, comedy and urban drama, have been co-funded with Lottery money awarded by the UK Film Council.

The UK Film Council’s US Office is running a ‘meet and greet’ event on 15 September for international filmmakers, distributors and media to meet UK filmmakers and talent and explore opportunities to build creative and business partnerships.

In addition, an Export Development Office for UK sales companies to support UK films and talent at Toronto is being set up and hosted for the first time by the UK Film Council, which has also facilitated UKTI grants for 10 British sales companies attending the festival.

UK Film Council US Office executive director Clare Chapman said, "The UK Film Council recognises the importance of nurturing and supporting British films and UK talent in North America.  It is an excellent reflection of the strength of the British film industry that so many UK films are being showcased at Toronto, an internationally significant platform for introducing UK films to the US industry and audiences. During the festival we will be meeting with international filmmakers to talk about the benefits offered by the UK production sector to incoming international film projects including the UK’s tax benefits. We’re also hosting events that will give British filmmakers a great opportunity to promote their films and make contact with their international counterparts."

Seven UK sales companies will also be supported by the UK Film Council in attending Toronto to help them expand their international creative and business relationships. The companies involved will be based at the UK Sales Office and include: Bankside Films; Carnaby International; Celsius Entertainment; Ealing Studios; Exclusive Entertainment Media Group; SC Films; and High Point Media Group.

UK Film Council senior executive Export Development Sarah McKenzie added, "Being selected to screen at an important international festival such as Toronto is a great achievement, but the expense of getting the film there can be prohibitive. We’re glad to be able to help these British films get to Toronto, and we’re also pleased to be able to support UK sales companies at the festival for another year of strengthening international relations with North America."