Mumbai: Three new British films backed by the Lottery through the UK Film Council have been selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival (15-25 January 2009), the leading showcase in the US for independent films.
The three films co-funded by the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund, selected by Sundance from a record number of films submitted from around the world are: Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop – screening in the Premiere section; Alexis Dos Santos’ Unmade Beds – screening in World Cinema Dramatic Competition; and Dominic Murphy’s White Lightnin’ – screening in Park City at Midnight.
The New Cinema Fund supports emerging talent and established filmmakers working outside the mainstream.
In the Loop is a razor sharp political comedy co-written with Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Ian Martin. A fast-paced satirical story about Britain and America’s special relationship in the lead-up to a war no one seems to be able to stop with a cast that includes Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison and Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee and Steve Coogan.
In the Loop is produced by Kevin Loader and Adam Tandy and is a BBC Films and UK Film Council production in association with Aramid Entertainment. Protagonist Pictures will handle worldwide sales and Optimum Releasing has UK theatrical rights. The film was also supported by the UK Film Council’s Development Fund.
Unmade Beds is the second feature from Santos. Santos brings his Latin American New Wave sensibility to a cosmopolitan East London setting to tell the poignant but funny stories of two men from Spain who finds each other in London’s East End underground arts scene. The cast includes Déborah François, L’Enfant, and Fernando Tielve, Michiel Huisman, Iddo Goldberg and Richard Lintern, and music by UK-based independent bands. Unmade Beds is produced by Soledad Gatti-Pascual and Peter Ettedgui and co-financed with Film4 and EM Media.
White Lightnin’ is the feature film debut from British commercials director Murphy and tells the story of mountain dancer Jesco White played by Ed Hogg and his uphill battle against poverty, drug abuse, petty crime and mental instability in his struggle to live up to his father’s legacy as the finest mountain dancer on his home turf and beyond. The film is written by Shane Smith and Eddy Moretti and produced by Sam Taylor and Mike Downey and will be distributed in the UK by Momentum Pictures. Lumina Films is handling international sales.
New Cinema Fund head Lenny Crooks said, "For the second year running Sundance has recognized the enormous creativity at the heart of the new wave of British filmmaking. We’re especially pleased to have supported the creative teams behind the three New Cinema Fund backed films. Sundance is the key entry point into the US for independent films and can boost international sales potential. A strong slate of British films sends out a very powerful message."
Sundance Festival director Geoff Gilmore said, "This year’s films are not narrowly defined. Instead we have a blurring of genres, a crossing of boundaries: geographic, generational, socio-economic and the like. The result is both an exhilarating and emotive festival in which traditional mythologies are suspended, discoveries are made and creative storytelling is embraced. This is a festival about which people in the future will say, ‘Wow that was a year a lot of new talent came out of it’."