UK Film Industry brings new films, filmmakers to Cannes


Mumbai: The UK film industry is a significant presence at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with five films selected for screening in the official sections and a further 150 British films selling in the market.

Better Things, the first feature film from British writer/director Duane Hopkins and producer Samm Haillay, has been selected for the Critics’ Week.  The filmmakers first hit the international festival radar a few years ago when they won the MEDIA New Talent Prize for best screenplay with Better Things in Cannes in 2004. Better Things has been co-funded by the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund.

Also screening at Cannes in the official selections are:
* Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City (Special Screening)
* Steve McQueen’s Hunger (Un Certain Regard)
* Thomas Clay’s Soi Cowboy (Un Certain Regard)
* Sam Taylor Wood’s Love You More (Short Films Selection)

The place for anyone in Cannes seeking information on British films,  screening times, talent, distributors, sales companies, etc, during the festival, is the UK Film Centre, open from 14 May – 24 May.

Located in the International Village, the centre run by the UK Film Council offers a host of business facilities including a cybercafé, free wi-fi access and a programme of events and activities for festival delegates and the media.  The festival delegate information desk will be once again run by the British Council.

The UK Film Centre events program this year includes:
* Writer/director Duane Hopkins and producer Sam Haillay in conversation with Dave Calhoun, Film Editor of Time Out, about Better Things  which is screening in the Critics’ Week;

* Sam Taylor Wood, celebrated photographer, artist and filmmaker whose short film Love You More is screening In Competition, in conversation with Kirsty Wark, presenter of BBC’s Newsnight Review;

* Oscar-nominated director, writer and photographer Mike Figgis  whose latest film, Love, Live, Long, screening in Cannes was short in just 9 days in conversation with journalist and presenter Jason Solomons;

* The inside track on how the low budget digital film studio Warp X which was the talk of Sundance with its first two feature films screening there, is bringing new British films and filmmakers into the marketplace;

* The chance to hear how Eon Productions’ new Screenwriter’s Workshop is fast-tracking writers and their projects;

* How the ground-breaking Digital Departures talent initiative brought acclaimed British director Terence Davies and of Time and the City into this year’s Cannes official selection;

* Navigating the legal landscape for film in the digital age online distribution with lawyer and author Andrew Sparrow;

* The inside track for filmmakers on how to maximise revenues and target and build core audiences online with Peter Broderick of Pradigm Consulting and the New Producers Alliance;

* The new co-production landscape for UK producers working with Canadian  producers and producers from emerging countries with Arturi Films and FDMX respectively;

* How Scotland has helped four recent co-productions get made and how to access Scottish Screen’s production finance;

* How EM Media, the regional screen agency which backed the Cannes award-winning Control, is supporting films and filmmakers;

* A look at how Black filmmakers are starting to change the face of British film with the European Babylon initiative;

* Understanding and working with the UK’s new tax system will be explained by UK tax expert John Graydon of Tenon Media;

* How to develop and fund documentary features with Liz Karlsen from Number Nine Films, BAFTA nominated director Chris Atkins; documentary producer Beadie Finzi and Jess Search from the BritDoc Festival;

* Events celebrating women filmmakers with Birds Eye View, co-production with emerging countries;

* Finance and legal advice in one-to-one surgeries with Tenon Media, from Atlantic Film Group and Hill Dickinson; and

* Daily screenings of new short films by British talent.

The UK Film Centre’s partners are the British Council, the British Film Institute, Babylon/Scenario Films, EM-Media, Film London, Hill Dickinson, Midnite Express, North West Vision + Media, Screen East, Screen South, Scottish Screen, Screen Yorkshire, Tenon Media.