UK Film Council back £1 mn contest winner

MUMBAI: The UK Film Council’s Premiere Fund with Screen WM is backing Faintheart, the world’s first user generated feature film and winner of MySpace’s MyMovieMashUp competition.


The MySpace community watched over 800 short film submissions and voted for winning short film Goodbye Cruel World by director Vito Rocco who will now direct Faintheart.


Faintheart is a comedy set in the world of battle reenactments. Richard, a lowly sales assistant by day, spends his weekends as a Mighty Norse Warrior. Along with his Trekkie mate Julian, and a band of assorted geeks, he leads the ‘Bloody Broadswords’: dedicated noble fighters, battling to uphold their honour. Meanwhile, his long-suffering wife Cath and teenage son Martin are growing sick of living in the middle ages – and suddenly, Richard finds himself with an epic quest on his hands: to win back his Fair Maiden, become a responsible father, and prove his Viking honour.


Vito Rocco (Goodbye Cruel World, Suburban Shoot Out) is a BAFTA winning short film and promo director. The film’s script was written by newcomer David Lemon, who has a background in television and docu-shorts. Producers are Allan Niblo, James Richardson and Rupert Preston (WAZ, Outlaw, Its All Gone Pete Tong) for Vertigo along with Arvind Ethan David and Rachel Connors (French Film, Sugarhouse) and Judy Counihan (No Man’s Land, Antonia’s Line) for Slingshot, plus James Fabricant for MySpace.com.


Partners are Screen WM, co-financing with the UK Film Council with shooting taking place in the West Midlands, MySpace.com, Film4, Vertigo and Slingshot. Vertigo is handling the UK release.


The film’s cast includes Eddie Marsan (Miami Vice, The Illusionist), Ewen Bremner (Hallam Foe, Trainspotting), and Jessica Hynes – formerly Stevenson – (Spaced, The Royle Family, Shaun of the Dead, Magicians). Leading on from the film’s user-generated status, many of the cast are non-actors chosen from nationwide auditions.


Sally Caplan, Head of the UK Film Council’s Premiere Fund, says, “We are pleased to be supporting a project that is innovative in both creation and content. Reflecting our commitment to new talent and to film in the digital age, this is an excellent first time feature film script emerging from the digital arena. With proven commercial potential, an experienced producing team, and a talented first time feature film director on board, Faintheart is an exciting new project for the British independent film industry.”


The UK Film Council’s Premiere Fund invests £8 million of National Lottery money into mainstream, commercially-driven films encouraging the involvement of British creative talent in a range of films.

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