UK Film Council to invest £740,000 in film festivals

Mumbai: The UK Film Council is helping British film festivals to raise their profile with a huge Lottery cash injection of £740,000 over the next three years.

The funding from the UK Film Council’s Film Festivals Fund (national strand) will give thousands more people the opportunity to enjoy more films, learn about film and meet filmmakers.  The cash boost will also help to raise the profile of British film at home and abroad and contribute to the development of a more competitive UK film industry.

The festivals to benefit from this funding over the next three years cover a range of geographical areas and genres including children’s films, animation, documentaries, silent movies, avant-garde, disability and films for and about women. They are:

· Cinemagic World Screen Film and Television Festival for Young People – £150,000 – based in Belfast, the festival will expand into Scotland, Wales, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Bristol. Their vision is to be recognized as the leading children’s film festival in the world.

· Birds Eye View Film Festival – £175,000 – the vision is to be internationally recognized as the leading platform for celebrating and showcasing the best of women’s filmmaking. As well as London, the festival will focus on Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle before expanding nationally.

· Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Sheffield Doc/Fest) – £175,000 -­showcases documentary films from Britain and the world and is the world’s biggest annual gathering of UK documentary makers. The festival also houses an innovative and effective marketplace. Doc/Fest aims to be the leading festival in Europe.

· British Silent Film Festival – £70,000 – this festival’s ambition is to become the UK’s international showcase for the best in pre-1930s world cinema.  Events will include screenings at National Trust sites.

· Flatpack Festival – £70,000 – a Birmingham-based festival using alternative venues such as churches, warehouses and shopping centers, as well as cinemas and gallery spaces.  Eclectic program of short animation and live film events aimed at a young audience.

· Deaffest – £50,000 – films made by the deaf and hearing impaired and based in various venues including Wolverhampton. Their aim is to be the pre-eminent annual festival in the UK celebrating worldwide Deaf media production and showcasing it to both deaf and normal audiences.

· The London International Animation Festival – £50,000 – animation showcase run in partnership with the Film and Video Workshop, it will expand city by city. The festival’s ambition is to be the UK’s premier showcase for independent animation.

UK Film Council chief executive officer John Woodward said, "People love film and festivals give people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to immerse themselves in a huge array of exciting and powerful films.  This funding will provide a huge step up for these festivals which have major plans to reach out to thousands more people and raise their profile significantly."

In addition, £10,000 will be spent on running supporting activity to facilitate learning, sharing, and initiative building between festivals. The allocation of the remaining £1.88 million from the film festivals pot will be announced in due course.

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