UK Film Council aids award winning films

MUMBAI: Universal Pictures International has been granted £300,000 for Yimou Zhang’s award-winning and Oscar-nominated The Curse of the Golden Flower, from the UK Film Council’s P&A Fund.


The film, a period drama-tragedy set in the royal court of 10th century China, was shot in Mandarin with subtitles and released on 13 April 2007, with the award covering the cost of premieres, increasing a combination of 35mm and digital prints to 223, and enhancing the national media advertising on television and in print.
 
Optimum Releasing received two awards, of £150,000 for Patrice Leconte’s My Best Friend, and £90,000 for Shane Meadows’s critically acclaimed This Is England.


My Best Friend, a French film with subtitles, stars Daniel Auteuil as a Parisian art dealer in a comic genre piece offering a meditation on the nature of friendship. The award enabled the proposed release of the film on 11 April to spread from 15 to 50 screens, and the film was formatted for digital distribution through the Digital Screen Network. The media campaign was also increased through television and online advertising.


Meanwhile Shane Meadows’s This is England is a portrait of Britain in the 1980s, focusing on a depressed suburban Midlands and the emergence of the National Front. Nominated for seven British Independent Film Awards, the film has already made an impact at festivals and will be released on 27 April 2007.  The award will expand the film’s release from 20 to 70 screens; an additional 20 prints will be purchased and the formatting of the film for digital distribution will allow for up to 150 deliveries to DSN sites, the release adds. The media campaign will also be increased and will include print, television and online advertising.


Park Circus has also received two awards, of £5,000 for Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s classic musical Guys and Dolls, and £5,000 for Stephen Frears’s controversial classic Prick up Your Ears.


Guys and Dolls, the award-winning, Oscar-nominated Technicolor musical is set in the gambling world of 1950s New York, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra among others. The film is being re-released on 13 July 2007, and the award will be used for digital encoding encryption and distribution which will allow the wider exploitation of the film through the DSN.


Prick up Your Ears is Stephen Frears’s powerful, award-winning portrait of playwright Joe Orton, played by Gary Oldman, from his early years in Leicester to his murder in 1967 by his partner Kenneth Halliwell. It was re-released on 6 April 2007 and the award enabled the film to be released digitally as well as on 35mm.


Axiom Films International received £5,000 for Ryan Fleck’s award-winning and Oscar-nominated Half Nelson, about an inner-city teacher struggling with addiction who forms an unlikely bond with a student who catches him in a compromising position. An independent American film, Half Nelson will be released on 20 April 2007, with the award used to create a digital master to enable a further 20 bookings.


Yume Pictures has received £5,000 for Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo’s award-winning debut The Night of the Sunflowers, to be released May 11. A Spanish film with subtitles, it is told in six parts from the point of view of six different characters in rural Spain, in the middle of the mountains and dying rural villages of Castilla-León. The award will be applied to creating 15 bookings through digitisation and 35mm prints.


Verve Pictures has received £4,937 for Stephen Kijak’s Scott Walker – 30 Century Man. A documentary about the enigmatic and influential singer, which is released on 27 April, the award will be applied to broaden the release using digital distribution and 35mm prints.


Punk Cinema has received £4,920 for Richard Bracewell’s The Gigolos, which tells the story of a gigolo and his valet, and their search for love and friendship in the twilight world of the London male escort. The film was released on March 23, and the award was used to enable greater digital and 35mm exploitation of the film, meaning the distributor could offer the film on short bookings to DSN cinemas across the country.


Artificial Eye has received £1,280 for Abderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako, which was released on 23 February. A foreign language film with subtitles depicting a drama set in Mali, the funding enabled the distributor to supply a number of additional short run bookings on the film through digital.

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