British Film News

Two Britflicks In Sundance Line-Up

British Film News from - Tue, 08/12/2009 - 13:58
Headline: Two Britflicks In Sundance Line-Up Article: Two films backed with Lottery funding through the UK Film Council will screen at the Sundance Film Festival (21-31 January 2010), the leading showcase in the US for independent films.   Mohamed Al Daradji’s Son of Babylon and Sam Taylor Wood’s Nowhere Boy have been selected by Sundance from a record number of films submitted from around the world. Both films have been supported with development and production funding by the UK Film Council.   Son of Babylon is a UK/Iraqi film directed and written by Mohamed Al Daradji (Ahlaam), which tells the tale of a young Kurdish boy and his grandmother as they travel through Iraq searching for their father/son in the wake of Saddam Hussein's fall from power. Starring Yasser Talib, Shazda Hussein, Bashir Al-Majid, Son of Babylon will have its international premiere at Sundance and will compete in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.   Son of Babylon is a multi-national collaboration between the Sundance Institute (US), the UK Film Council (UK), Screen Yorkshire (UK), CNC (France), Hivos, Doen, Nederland Fond and Rotterdam Media Fonds (Netherlands), Pyramedia and ADACH (UAE).   Nowhere Boy is the debut feature from renowned British artist/director Sam Taylor Wood, written by BAFTA-winner Matthew Greenhalgh (Control). Set in Liverpool in 1955, the film sheds light on the early years of Lennon (Aaron Johnson), who since the age of five has been raised by his controlling Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas). When he learns that his mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff) lives only a mile away, he meets her and is instantly bewitched by her vitality and love of rock’n’roll. Nowhere Boy will receive its US premiere at Sundance Film Festival.   Nowhere Boy is an Ecosse Films production in association with Film4, the UK Film Council, NorthWest Vision and Media, Lip Sync Productions and Aver Media. Icon Film Distribution will release the film in the UK on 26 December 2009. HanWay Films is selling international rights and The Weinstein Company has US rights.   Other UK films selected for Sundance this year and having their world premieres are: Chris Morris’s Four Lions and Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath’s Cambodia/UK production Enemies of the People, both competing in the World Dramatic Cinema Competition; and Lucy Walker’s Waste Land, which will compete in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.   Two new films from British director Michael Winterbottom will also have their world premieres – The Killer Inside Me and Shock Doctrine (co-directed with Mat Whitecross).   John Woodward, the UK Film Council’s Chief Executive Officer said; “It’s great to see that for the third year running, UK Film Council backed films have been selected for such a key festival for independent film in the US. Son of Babylon and Nowhere Boy are two very different films which the UK Film Council is proud to have backed from development through to production and are really representative of the exciting range of independent filmmaking in the UK.   Selection for Sundance can launch new film talent, really boost international sales potential, seriously enhance a film’s profile, as we saw last year with the Lottery-funded Man on Wire for example, which went on to achieve Oscar® success.”       Link: Link

Jacobi Short Gets Oscar Nomination

British Film News from - Mon, 07/12/2009 - 13:37
Headline: Jacobi Short Gets Oscar Nomination Article: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that British film Sidney Turtlebaum has been shortlisted for an Academy Award in the Best Live Action Short Film category. Seventy-one pictures originally qualified in this category with 10 selected for the shortlist. Nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards® will be held on Feb 2. The awards ceremony takes place on March 7.   In addition to being nominated for Best British Short at the British Independent Film Awards which took place on December 6, the film also recently won Best Short Film at the LA Shortsfest, Best Short Film at the Method Film Festival in LA and was the BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival’s official entry to the Iris Prize 2009.    Acclaimed BAFTA, EMMY and TONY award-winning actor, Derek Jacobi (Love Is The Devil, Much Ado About Nothing, I, Claudius) stars as Sidney Turtlebaum, a smooth-talking gay man in the twilight of his life, who steals from grieving strangers at funerals, where he passes himself off as a distant relative.
When Sidney meets handsome young escort Gabriel, played by rising star Rupert Evans (Hellboy), he decides to introduce his strange world to him, with bitter-sweet consequences.
Set in the heart of London’s Jewish community in Golders Green, this award- winning short film is directed by BAFTA nominated director, Tristram Shapeero, (Green Wing, Peep Show ), written by BAFTA nominated writer Raphael Smith and produced by  Daniel Jewel through his production company Third Man Films.   Sidney Turtlebaum is currently being developed into a full-length feature film by Portobello Pictures and Third Man Films.
Link: Official Website

BIFA Lands On Moon

British Film News from - Mon, 07/12/2009 - 10:04
Headline: BIFA Lands On Moon Article:
  • Best British Independent Film - Moon
  • Best Director of a British Independent Film - Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank)
  • The Douglas Hickox Award - Duncan Jones (Moon)
  • Best Screenplay - Jesse Armstrong, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, Simon Blackwell (In The Loop) 
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film - Carey Mulligan (An Education)
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a British Independent Film - Tom Hardy (Bronson)
  • Best Supporting Actress - Anne Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Ben Henshaw (Looking For Eric)
  • Most Promising Newcomer - Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank)
  • Best Achievement In Production - Bunny And The Bull 
  • The Raindance Award - Down Terrace
  • Best Technical Achievement - Greg Fraser (Bright Star)
  • Best British Documentary - Mugabe and The White Afrrican
  • Best British Short Film - Love You More
  • Best Foreign Independent Film - Let The Right One In 
  • The Richard Harris Award - Daniel Day-Lewis
  • The Variety Award - Michael Caine
  • The Special Jury Prize - Baz Bamigboye
Link: BIFA

Noel Clarke Joins The 2010 Orange Rising Star Award Jury

British Film News from - Sun, 06/12/2009 - 19:17
Headline: Noel Clarke Joins The 2010 Orange Rising Star Award Jury Article:
Noel Clarke, winner of the Orange Rising Star Award in 2009, joined fellow jurors to cast their final votes for the 2010 Orange Rising Star Award nominee list. Orange’s accolade for up and coming talent is the only award at the Orange British Academy Film Awards to be voted for by the public. Voting opens when nominees are announced on 12 January 2010 via   Now in its fifth year, the award has set a standard for identifying talent destined for super stardom. Previous winners include James McAvoy in 2006, Eva Green in 2007, Shia LaBeouf in 2008 and Noel Clarke in 2009. Potential Rising Stars were proposed by BAFTA members and film industry insiders to create an initial long list of names. The jury, consisting of actors, casting directors, producers, media representatives and BAFTA Film Committee members, then selects the final five nominees via a secret ballot.   This year’s Orange Rising Star Award jury is made up of: Noel Clarke (actor & director), Pippa Harris (producer), Jason Isaacs (actor), Fiona Weir (casting director), Charles Gant (film journalist), Simon Morris (LoveFilm), Kate Lee (Freud Communications), Melvin Odoom (KISS 100), Nev Pierce (Empire), Hannah Marriott (Grazia), Larushka Ivan Zadeh (Metro) and Jason Solomons (The Observer). The jury was chaired by David Parfitt (producer, Chairman of BAFTA).   The Orange Rising Star Award honours a young actor or actress whose talent has inspired popular acclaim from the British public. BAFTA members and the film industry were invited to recommend up and coming performers who have appeared in several feature films, with at least one of those films released in the current awards year, 1 January to 31 December 2009, with an extension period from 1 January to 19 February 2010.   The Orange Rising Star Award was created in honour of Mary Selway, the highly respected BAFTA-winning casting director whose career spanned three decades and over ninety films before she died in 2004. She worked with notable directors such as Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Clint Eastwood

European Independent Film Festival 2010 Announces Submission Deadline

British Film News from - Sun, 06/12/2009 - 18:58
Headline: European Independent Film Festival 2010 Announces Submission Deadline Article: The European Independent Film Festival (ÉCU), Europe’s premier event for independent filmmakers and their audiences, announces the closing of the early submission deadline on 14 December 2009.   The fifth edition of the festival is currently accepting submissions in thirteen categories including feature films, short films, documentaries, animation and experimental films.   Since its inception five years ago, ÉCU has become the premier arena in Europe for independent filmmakers to screen their films to large international audiences, to network with producers, talent scouts, agents and distributors as well as exchange ideas with other indie filmmakers. As a result, people are beginning to call the ÉCU Film Festival Europe’s answer to Sundance.   The ÉCU 2010 Official Selection will represent the pinnacle of independent filmmaking talent from around the world and filmmakers will compete for twenty-two awards, including the prestigious title of “Europe’s Best Independent Film”.   “I’m continually amazed at the quality of films submitted to the festival. The idea that there are people all over the world united by their overwhelming desire to tell a masterful story, often with limited resources, shows that the creative spirit of independent filmmaking is alive and kicking,” says Scott Hillier, ÉCU 2010’s President and Academy Award honoured independent filmmaker.   “We have roughly two weeks before the early deadline which means things are heating up for our selection committee. I guarantee an official selection slate that exemplifies the heart, soul and passion of independent filmmaking,” promises Hillier.   The early deadline for submissions is December 14, 2009 and the late deadline is January 4, 2010. A Withoutabox extended deadline is available until January 14th, 2010. Independent filmmakers are invited to submit their films at   The European Independent Film Festival will be held at Cinema Le Grand Action in Paris, France from 12th-14th March, 2010.  Link: Website

Kingston Academic Feels The Force

British Film News from - Sun, 06/12/2009 - 18:41
Headline: Kingston Academic Feels The Force Article: So you thought Star Wars was a simple tale of Darth Vader the baddie versus Luke Skywalker the hero? Think again.   In a galaxy not so far, far away, the first academic study of Star Wars has been completed by Kingston University’s Head of Film and Television, Dr Will Brooker – who concludes that far from being a simple tale of good versus evil, director George Lucas’s sympathies are torn between the two.   Dr Brooker’s book, part of the BFI’s (British Film Institute) prestigious Film Classics range, examines Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) from a completely fresh angle. “There is a library’s worth of books written about Star Wars, the extended universe, the fans and the effect on the film industry, but not one serious academic consideration of the film as a text. I felt I should fill that gap,” he said.   The book argues that Lucas identifies with both the Dark Side (Darth Vader and the Empire) and the heroes of the story (Vader’s son Luke Skywalker and the Rebels), referring back to the director’s experimental short films made while he was at college, and the diverse cinema history that shaped Lucas’ approach. Dr Brooker argues that far from being a departure from his previous work, as Lucas has claimed, it is a continuation of his experiments with sound and image.   “Superficially, Lucas seems to be on the side of the Rebels, but my analysis of the film suggests that his own loyalties and personal ideals are clearly caught between the two sides,” Dr Brooker added. He reveals Lucas’s own desire for total control, embodied by the Empire, and his love of raw creativity, displayed by the Rebels. “This tension unsettles the saga as a whole, blurring the boundaries between Empire and Republic, dark side and light side, father and son.”   Dr Brooker believes he was destined to write the book. He credits Star Wars with being the first to really grab him at an early age; as a young boy in 1977 he sat in the cinema taking notes and drawing scenes from the film. “It made me into a film academic before I knew what one was,” Brooker added.   Getting the book published was not easy though. “There is snobbery in film academia and popular films are often considered not worthy enough texts for serious study,” Brooker explained. “I had to overcome opposition to the idea of a serious book all about Star Wars, but my publisher at the BFI was very supportive. It took five years from proposal to publication, but I hope we now have a book that fans and scholars can enjoy.”   Dr Brooker is the author or editor of many books on popular culture, and is also an expert on the Batman films and Blade Runner.

UK Film Council Announces Advertiser-Funded Film Production

British Film News from - Tue, 01/12/2009 - 12:53
Headline: UK Film Council Announces Advertiser-Funded Film Production Article: The UK Film Council today announces an exclusive association with the film partnership specialists Film Tree, to develop advertiser-funded film production in the UK. The appointment, which will see Film Tree facilitating relationships between brand owners and filmmakers, is part of the UK Film Council’s ongoing commitment to stimulate new opportunities for the financing of feature film production and distribution in the digital world.   Set up by a team with a broad range of experience in film marketing, finance, and advertising, Film Tree will serve as a bridge between film producers and distributors keen to explore innovative funding routes, and brands searching for the highest quality entertainment content for their marketing campaigns. The initiative will provide film companies with better access to brand financing, offer new ways of engaging with audiences, and promote closer working relationships between the creative industries.   John Woodward, Chief Executive of the UK Film Council, said:
“At a time when traditional sources of finance and revenues are diminishing, part of the UK Film Council’s job is to help the film sector with practical solutions. Essentially we are establishing a partnership that will enable brands to speak more directly to filmmakers about financing new films, creating a genuine fit between the brand and the film project looking for production finance.”   Ed Sharp, Partner at Film Tree, said:
“Branded entertainment can create even more engaging marketing campaigns and deliver tangible returns on investment – for all involved. This exciting partnership comes as we are working with a number of UK film producers and distributors on commercial projects, each with a clearly defined audience in mind, and each searching for additional financing.”
  Is this a good idea or a step to far – let us know what you think?

'Apocalypse Now' Voted Best Film Of The Last 30 Years

British Film News from - Mon, 30/11/2009 - 22:35
Headline: 'Apocalypse Now' Voted Best Film Of The Last 30 Years Article:
Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now was today hailed the best film of the last 30 years by the London Film Critics' Circle.   The hellish vision of war topped a poll held by the London Critics to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their annual film awards to be held on 18 February 2010 at London’s Landmark Hotel in aid of the NSPCC.   Coppola's film was voted the best previous winner in a poll that took in the winners of all categories, including British and Foreign Language films, since the ceremony began in 1980.   Apocalypse Now came in as the clear favourite among London critics, beating Schindler’s List into second place. Rounding out the top five films were:   1. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1980)   2. Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg, 1994)   3. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2007)   4. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)   5. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)   6. Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1990)   7. L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)   8. Fargo (Joel Coen, 1996)   9. Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1989)   10. The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983)   Chairman of the Film Critics' Circle Jason Solomons said: "I'm delighted that such a powerful and brilliant film as Apocalypse Now has won the enduring admiration of the London critics. Coppola's towering film is a worthy winner and clearly its anti-war message, monumental performances and dazzling film making technique have stood the test of time, making it as relevant to critics today as it was when it won Best Film at our first awards ceremony, 30 years ago.   "This has been an intriguing poll, pitting so many different film styles from around the world up against each other and revealing the spread of critical tastes over the ages.    "The results, taken from all our past winners, show London's critics to be an eclectic and demanding bunch who yet retain a classy, popular touch; lovers of film craftsmanship and fine writing; partial to comedy as much as to tragedy; and very much at the point where American and European tastes meet.   "All the Top Ten films are, of course, essential viewing and their inclusion on a list such as this puts them all on the way to becoming enduring classics of the art of cinema.   "Apocalypse Now is a tough act to follow but we look forward to welcoming deserving new winners to a new era at our 2010 awards in February."   The NSPCC is offering the chance to bid for a table for ten to dine with the stars at the London Film Critics Awards ceremony.  The prize is up for grabs with Dream Auction 2 in aid of the charity’s Child’s Voice Appeal. Visit from 1-12 December to bid for all kinds of out-of-this-world gifts and treats.   The Critics’ Circle is the oldest critics’ organisation in the world and the London Film Critics Awards ceremony, supporting the NSPCC for 15 years, is the only one of its kind that benefits a charity.

The Music World Comes Together To Fight Cancer

British Film News from - Mon, 30/11/2009 - 16:59
Headline: The Music World Comes Together To Fight Cancer Article:

Tonight sees the closing party for the No Surrender charity event that has been taking place over the last 12 days in Camden.


The No Surrender Charitable Trust is a cancer charity, which provides an online cancer, related social network and a Fellowship which researches into cures for pancreatic cancer.


A charity 'Art of Music 09' auction is also taking place on ebay featuring artwork from: Placebo, Maximo Park, Stereophonics, Razorlight, LadyHawke, White Lies, Ne-Yo, N-Dubz,KT Tunstall and more.


Happy Bidding! Link: Website

£1.15 Million Film Investment Unites Culture And Commerce In Wales

British Film News from - Sun, 29/11/2009 - 13:16
Headline: £1.15 Million Film Investment Unites Culture And Commerce In Wales Article: The Film Agency for Wales has released figures detailing a £1.15 million investment in the Welsh film industry.   Launching the 2008/09 Annual Report that details the £1.15 million investment, Peter Edwards, Chairman of the Film Agency for Wales said that financial awards totalling some £940,050 had enabled the development of 20 features and eight feature film productions over the twelve month period. All involved Welsh talent.   A further £162,996 was awarded to seven cinema venues, 17 film societies, ten film festivals and four special film events to enhance specialist film exhibition across Wales with audience figures rising by 35% over the last three years. £52,168 was also granted to 13 film education projects benefiting some 2300 young people across Wales.
  “Now in its third year, the Film Agency for Wales is changing the face of the digital economy as the team continues to focus on uniting culture and commerce, pioneering digital film and, importantly, delivering success,” explains Mr Edwards.   “Working with stakeholders throughout the industry, the team has focused on exploiting the benefits of a digital economy, embracing the future of digital delivery in Wales while engaging our future talent and young people with the Welsh film industry.”   “This year alone, we have seen 15 Film Agency funded films either start or complete production with an estimated Welsh spend of £4 million and total partnership funding in excess of £11.1 million – that’s a huge achievement given our limited production funding input of just £2.1 million since we began life in 2006.”   As the lead body for film in and of Wales, the Film Agency works with partners including BBC Wales, S4C, Film London, Film4, UK Film Council and the Wales IP Fund along with international co-producers, financiers and sales agents. Features receiving production investment included the theatrical documentaries Little Matador (currently in production), Mugabe and the White African, since nominated for an Oscar, selected for London Film Festival, IFDA, Hotdocs and winner of the World Feature at the AFI’s esteemed Silverdocs, A Boy Called Dad, subsequently selected for the Edinburgh Film Festival, and Barafundle Bay one of the industry’s ‘top 20 unproduced screenplays’ according to Variety. All of these projects have had Welsh writer, director and or producer(s) at their heart.   “Of course, one of the substantial financial benefits not evidenced in the throughput of our accounts is the leveraged partnership funding for the various feature films that we support, as the majority of each film’s budget is sourced from one or usually more third parties,” continues Edwards. “There are scales of economy and additional strategic benefits to be had in an environment where repeat business with co-financiers is encouraged and where those financiers can work together to better achieve their aims. We are particularly keen to build upon these initial project relationships, furthering the combined benefits of films’ leveraged finance approach and international distribution focus with the broadcasters’ innate knowledge of their core audience and their direct route to that market. Together we can create high-end content that neither party could produce in isolation, placing Welsh filmmakers firmly on the global stage.”   “The Film Agency is engaged at every point in the value chain from the creation of film content, through to the consumer. It is clear that we have had a productive and successful year and, most importantly, that the film industry in Wales has a significant contribution to make to our economic success. It is therefore vital that our financiers recognize the need for continued investment to ensure the future health of the digital economy of Wales.”   “And, indeed, the figures released today truly demonstrate the pivotal role that the Film Agency has to play by supporting, engaging and enthusing the Welsh filmmakers and exhibitors of today and tomorrow.”   The Film Agency for Wales is funded by the Arts Council of Wales, the UK Film Council and the Welsh Assembly Government, via Creative Business Wales, the latter of which was set up to support, encourage and increase the range and number of films being produced in Wales and to foster the abundance of creative talent in Wales. Funding for the development and production of feature films is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales.

Education, Education, Education – Has Got To Change!

British Film News from - Sun, 29/11/2009 - 12:37
Headline: Education, Education, Education – Has Got To Change! Article:

Daryl Goodrich the film director who’s 2012 London Olympic bid films beat off rivals from New York – Steven Spielberg and Paris – Luc Besson has lent his talent to a new film exposing the failing education system in the UK and around the world. 

We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For  was inspired by Lord Putnam with high profile contributions from Sir Richard Branson, Germaine Greer, Henry Winkler, Bill Bryson and Sir Ken Robinson. 

The 90 minute documentary focuses on the experiences of five British teenagers and how they cope with a modern education system based on the ‘Three Rs’ and its failure to equip them for life in the real world where problem solving, adaptability and digital technology skills are essential. 

Looking at the education system through their eyes and cutting to the weakness it has in preparing young people to be part of a fluid and challenging society is at the heart of the film as Goodrich explains, “I’ve been lucky in seeing how people, cities and athletes prepare for the demands of Olympic events. There is vision and tough preparation on all sides, but the opposite is true in education where we’ve stuck to a rigid formula that was great in establishing the industrial world, but lets many down now. 

“I was honoured to be asked to direct We Are The People We've Been Waiting For by Producer Caroline Rowland of New Moon Television. The result is a film, we think, that makes people sit up and take notice that education has to change now for young people to be ready for the global challenges coming our way.”  

We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For is being released online on request at www.wearethepeoplemovie.comand via a Guardian partnership on November 28.

Nowhere Boy And 44 Inch Chest To Hit More Screens.

British Film News from - Sun, 29/11/2009 - 12:08
Headline: Nowhere Boy And 44 Inch Chest To Hit More Screens. Article: Nowhere Boy, the film that sheds light on the formative years of John Lennon, and 44 Inch Chest, the new British gangster movie from the writers of Sexy Beast, are two of the latest titles that will reach more audiences thanks to Lottery funding from the UK Film Council.   Icon Film Distribution has received £150,000 to boost the distribution of Nowhere Boy, the highly anticipated debut feature from renowned British artist/director Sam Taylor Wood, written by BAFTA-winner Matthew Greenhalgh (Control). Set in Liverpool in 1955, 15-year-old Lennon (Aaron Johnson) is hungry for experience. Since the age of five he has been raised by his controlling Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas), but when he learns that his mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff) lives only a mile away, he meets her and is instantly bewitched by her vitality and love of rock’n’roll. Nowhere Boy received development and production funding from the UK Film Council, and the additional distribution funding will widen the film’s release on Boxing Day from 100 to 175 sites, as well as contributing to publicity and advertising costs.   Momentum Pictures has been awarded £110,000 to boost publicity and more than double the distribution of 44 Inch Chest from 25 to 60-plus sites when it is released on 22 January 2010. 44 Inch Chest is a bold and original British gangster drama from debut director Malcolm Venville. Ray Winstone stars as Colin Diamond, a London gangster who enlists the help of his friends to kidnap his wife's young French lover (Melvil Poupaud) in the hope of restoring his damaged ego. 44 Inch Chest is written by David Scinto and Louis Mellis (Sexy Beast) and stars an ensemble cast including John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joanne Whalley and Tom Wilkinson.   A number of smaller awards of £5,000 were also made to widen the distribution of the following films:   • Park Circus for the beautiful restoration of Powell and Pressburger’s 1948 masterpiece The Red Shoes, widely considered to be one of the most visually spectacular films ever made. Under the near-obsessive guidance of the impresario Boris Lermontov, young ballerina Victoria Page is poised for superstardom, but earns Lermontov's scorn when she falls in love with the composer of the ballet ‘The Red Shoes’.   • Park Circus also received £5,000 for Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno, Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea’s documentary about the unfinished 1964 shoot of French auteur Clouzot’s Inferno, which was set to be an exploration of jealousy and madness, but turned out to mirror Clouzot's own deteriorating state of mind as the production disintegrated around him.   • 104 Films for The Magic Hour, a portmanteau feature film garnered from the first year of the UK Film Council-funded Magic Hour scheme for disabled filmmakers. Featuring segments directed by Katherine Arianello, Andrew Gibbs, Charlie Swinburne and John Williams.   • Dogwoof for Joe Berlinger’s documentary Crude, the story of the legal battle between Ecuadorian residents living in the Amazon jungle and the oil giant Chevron (now Texaco), following Chevron’s hazardous practices while drilling for oil which led to widespread contamination.   • Hazeldine Films for Stuart Hazeldine’s Exam. Eight candidates reach the final stage of selection to join a mysterious and powerful corporation. In a windowless room, an invigilator gives them eighty minutes to answer one question - but first they need to work together to find out what that question is…   • Manga Entertainment Ltd for Mamoru Oshii’s Sky Crawlers, a Japanese animé film about a group of eternally young fighter pilots known as Kildren, who battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds.   • Soda Pictures for Alexis Dos Santos’s Unmade Beds, also backed by the UK Film Council for production. Two young foreigners living in a vibrant squat in London's East End embark on separate quests. Axl is searching for his long-lost father, and Vera seeks to mend a broken heart as she begins a sexy, playful relationship with a charismatic stranger.   • Arrow Film Distributors for Yojiro Takita’s Departures, a Japanese black comedy which won the 2009 Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film. A cellist loses his job with a symphony in Tokyo and returns to his small mountain village with his wife. Answering an ambiguously worded advert, he finds himself employed by a quirky funeral professional who prepares bodies for burial and entry into the next life.   • ICA Films for Steve Jacobs’s Disgrace, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by JM Coetzee. After having an affair with a student, a Cape Town professor moves to the Eastern Cape, where he gets embroiled in post-apartheid politics. The film won the 2008 International Critics’ Award at Toronto.   • High Fliers Films for Lu Chuan’s historical drama City of Life and Death, based on the invasion of Nanking (the then-capital of the Republic of China) by the Japanese army in 1936, which saw the torture, rape and murder of tens of thousands of Chinese civilians and soldiers.   • Yume Pictures for Uberto Pasolini’s Machan, the first feature directed by the producer of The Full Monty, based on the true story of the Sri Lankan National Handball Team who made the headlines in 2004 when they fooled the German Embassy in Colombo into issuing them visas for a month-long tour in Bavaria.   • Cinefile Ltd for Philippe Lioret’s Welcome, about an Iraqi boy who travels through Europe to join his girlfriend in England, but whose journey comes to an abrupt end when he is stopped on the French side of the Channel. Befriended by a swimming instructor, he prepares a perilous swim for England, buoyed by love.   • Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment for Colin, the unconventional horror zombie film which was written, directed and produced by debut filmmaker Marc Price for just £45. A young man deteriorates into a feral, confused and ultimately lonely creature during a plague of the undead. • Mugshots (Soho Casting Studios) received £4,900 for Mr Right, a gay romantic comedy directed by sibling directorial team Jacqui and David Morris, which interweaves the lives of three London couples as they navigate their way through commitment issues.   • Warp Films received £4,745 for All Tomorrow’s Parties , the UK Film Council-funded documentary about the unique cult music festival which features some of the biggest names in the international underground indie scene, including Belle and Sebastian, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth and Portishead. Directed by the ‘All Tomorrow’s People’ collective, with creative guidance from Jonathan Caouette.   • The BFI also received an award of £775 to produce soft subtitling and audio description for two films to be screened at the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival: Tom Ford’s A Single Man and J Blakeson’s The Disappearance of Alice Creed.

Robsessed Gets iTunes Release

British Film News from - Wed, 25/11/2009 - 13:17
Headline: Robsessed Gets iTunes Release Article:
Robert Pattinson documentary Robsessed, that follows the British star and worldwide phenomenon, is now available on iTunes from US distributor Revolver Entertainment.
Robsessed looks at the extraordinary rise of Pattinson and the obsessive fans that idolise him. The British actor has more than 1.3 million fans on Facebook and has already won a handful of awards. The documentary is to be the first title from Revolver to be made available to buy or rent from the iTunes Store in the US, Canada and the UK.
“We are over the moon to be partnering with iTunes to deliver Revolver films across the US, Canada and Europe,” says Revolver CEO Justin Marciano. “Releasing Robsessed on iTunes enables us to deliver the film directly to our core audience and demonstrates our belief that the future is most certainly digital. The early adopters of this form of delivery are the demographic our films talk to, so for us, iTunes is the perfect fit.”
Other Revolver titles available on iTunes in the UK include Danny Dyer starring urban drama, City Rats. Revolver plans to launch further titles from its extensive back catalogue via the online store as well as its new 2010 releases.

Freddy Krueger Book Signing In Piccadilly Wednesday 25th November 2009

British Film News from - Mon, 23/11/2009 - 12:17
Headline: Freddy Krueger Book Signing In Piccadilly Wednesday 25th November 2009 Article: The cult actor, best known for playing Freddy Krueger, will be signing his new autobiography 'Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams' at Waterstone's Piccadilly on Wednesday 25th November at 4.30pm

Measures To Tackle Film Piracy And Channel 4’s Commitment To Film Announced

British Film News from - Sun, 22/11/2009 - 18:45
Headline: Measures To Tackle Film Piracy And Channel 4’s Commitment To Film Announced Article:

The UK Film Council today welcomes the measures announced in the Queen’s Speech to tackle online piracy and to embed Channel 4’s commitment to film.

The measures included in the Digital Economy Bill would involve two stages: a first stage process of legal action and educating consumers about online copyright, followed, if necessary, by a second stage in which reserve powers would be used to introduce technical measures, such as broadband disconnection.

Tim Bevan CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council, said that the proposals should leave persistent pirates in no doubt that what they are doing is wrong and damaging to both the film sector and wider economy, adding:

“Piracy hits film revenues, threatens jobs, and restricts reinvestment back into new movies. The digital film future is a hugely exciting prospect, but one obvious downside to a fully digital world is that piracy will be made even easier, which is why we believe strongly that these measures should be supported and introduced as speedily as possible.”

The Digital Economy Bill also proposes an update to the functions of Channel 4, all of which will be enshrined in law. One of the measures will be a statutory requirement to invest in film. The UK Film Council welcomes this measure as an important way of ensuring both public and private investment in UK film production and talent are protected into the digital future.

John Woodward, Chief Executive of the UK Film Council, said:
“Including film in Channel 4’s remit for the first time is a prize the UK Film Council has been chasing for many years. Channel 4 has backed some great British

UK Film Council Announces Plan To Get British Film Through The Recession.

British Film News from - Tue, 17/11/2009 - 12:35
Headline: UK Film Council Announces Plan To Get British Film Through The Recession. Article:  NO CUT IN FUNDING FOR FILM PRODUCTION
• A 20% REDUCTION IN OVERHEADS, TO PUSH MORE MONEY INTO FILM ACTIVITY   The UK Film Council today launches a three month public consultation into the most significant revision of its activities since it was created in 2000. UK Film: Digital innovation and creative excellence sets out the policy and funding priorities for the next three years (April 2010 to March 2013), and specifically proposes:   • a new £15m Film Production Fund which has four distinct creative gatekeepers, is focused on the pursuit of creative excellence and puts more emphasis on first- and second-time filmmakers;
• a producer equity position in all UK Film Council-funded feature films;
• a minimum 25% target for non-London originated film production;
• a new £5m Innovation Fund, to promote new business models and ensure UK film’s successful transition into a fully digital age;
• sustained investment in the BFI, to support the conservation of UK film heritage and improve access to film culture;
• a renewed emphasis on attracting inward investment to the UK film sector and underlining the continued importance of the Film Tax Relief;
• prioritising skills training for new technologies and post-production;
• additional funding to support the industry in combating film theft;
• continued support for film distribution and audience-focused initiatives;
• an ongoing commitment to achieving a more diverse and inclusive workforce and film culture.   Launching the consultation document, Tim Bevan CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council, said that the new three year business plan was a robust response to the economic downturn and its effect on film financing, rapid technological change and the reduction of the UK Film Council’s income due to the 2012 Olympics.   Bevan added: "The support the UK Film Council has given film culture and the film industry over the past ten years has been enormous, but we’re now operating in a very different environment and we need to adapt to meet the needs of a new generation of audiences and filmmakers. To do that when the UK Film Council is itself having to find savings of £25 million over the next three years is a real challenge. But it’s now more important than ever to ensure we invest as much money as possible in film production, in creative and cultural excellence, and in helping UK film make a successful transition into the digital age – and that’s exactly what we’re proposing to do.”   John Woodward, Chief Executive of the UK Film Council, outlined plans to replace the Premiere, New Cinema and Development Funds with a single unified Film Production Fund which, alongside an ongoing commitment to support world-class filmmakers, will provide a new space and funding stream to support experimental filmmaking. He confirmed that, topped-up with recoupment from successful film investment, the new fund could well have more money to spend on development and production than is currently the case.   Woodward also unveiled proposals for a new Innovation Fund to help UK film companies across the value chain make the successful transition into the digital age. Its remit would include identifying new business opportunities that technology and innovation can help unlock, providing financial support for innovative film organisations looking to develop new sources of revenue, and enabling better working between innovators, audiences and film companies.   Woodward commented: “By creating two substantial new funds – one to support the move into a fully digital world and one to champion the very best of UK film talent – the UK Film Council is underlining its support for British filmmakers at a time of genuine uncertainty. Separate to the consultation process itself, we are also cutting our overheads by 20% to push more money into front-line film activity. The next three months are about consulting with people from across the film sector, listening to their views on our proposals and locking in the right priorities going forward from April 2010 – but until then, it's very much business as usual."   UK Film: Digital innovation and creative excellence is available online at   The questionnaire can be completed online at

December Release For Comedy-Horror 'The Vampires Of Bloody Island'

British Film News from - Mon, 16/11/2009 - 14:05
Headline: December Release For Comedy-Horror 'The Vampires Of Bloody Island' Article: New DVD label 'The Weird World of Wibbell' (the cult movie arm of UK indie distributer Wibbell Productions) today announced that the long awaited DVD release of it's British comedy-horror film 'The Vampires of Bloody Island' is expected before Christmas in the UK, USA, Canada and Ireland. The exact dates for each territory will be declared within the coming weeks.   'The Vampires of Bloody Island' starring Pamela Kempthorne as Vampire Noblewoman Morticia de'Ath, Leon Hamilton as her zombie servant Grunt and Oliver Gray as eccentric English demon hunter Professor Hans Van Rental, is set on a fictional island off a remote part of the English coast called Bloody Island, where the locals fear for their lives as every night they lock their doors and hang-up fresh garlic to protect themselves from "Vampires and werewolves... and virgins!"   Filled to it's rotting rafters with creepy comical characters, weirdly witty dialogue and eerily disturbing Hammer Horror-like locations, 'The Vampires of Bloody Island' is a laugh packed send up of every vampire film you've ever loved and a must-have for your DVD collection.   Scream Magazine has forcast the film to become "A real cult classic". Chronicles magazine calls it "bloody good fun" while Dark Nights Magazine says it's "Genuinely hilarious and tremendous fun". British Film Magazine claims 'The Vampires of Bloody Island' is "set to tantalise fans of horror and comedy alike".   In anticipation of the imminent release, Wibbell are giving away five free copies of the 'The Vampires of Bloody Island' on DVD signed by the lead star and the director. In addition to this the gothic retailer has also promised to add an additional surprise mystery free gift.   To enter the free prize draw just go to where you can watch the trailer and enter the prize draw. A free copy of 'The Vampires of Bloody island' on DVD and surprise bonus gift could be yours!  

Festival Of Film Puts The West Midlands In The Spotlight

British Film News from - Sun, 15/11/2009 - 12:15
Headline: Festival Of Film Puts The West Midlands In The Spotlight Article:

Regional screen agency, Screen WM, is launching a two week festival of films that have been inspired by, produced or filmed in the West Midlands.

The festival runs from 16 – 29th November and will include screenings of 12 different films at 8 venues across the region. The festival will close with a special gala viewing of Coventry-born director, Debbie Isitt’s latest release, family Christmas comedy Nativity starring Martin Freeman and Ashley Jenson.

The Festival of Film features the major titles supported by Screen WM’s Film and Media Production Fund from 2004 to 2009. The programme includes Michael Winterbottom’s Road to Guantanamo, Straightheads starring Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer, which filmed almost entirely in the Wye Forest, Faintheart, winner of the MySpace Movie Mashup competition and filmed in Worcestershire and Shropshire and Sutton Coldfield located Tormented starring April Pearson and Larissa Wilson from Skins.


Screenings will be free of charge and selected films will also include special Q&A sessions with the writers and directors.

Dr Samir Shah OBE, Chair Screen West Midlands Board said:

“Screen WM’s Festival of Film is a great opportunity to celebrate the West Midlands region and our film-making heritage. All of the films in our programme have either been inspired by the West Midlands, shot on location in the region, or written and directed by our home-grown talent.


“Many of the features have been screened at prestigious festivals across the globe. We hope that the Festival of Film will give people another opportunity to enjoy these exceptional films that all have their roots in the West Midlands.”


Nigel Russell, Head of Tourism, Culture & Olympics at Advantage West Midlands said:


“In recent times, the Heart of England, West Midlands region has proved to be a top location for some of the UK’s most successful films, writers and producers. The Festival of Film is a great way to celebrate the diversity of the West Midlands on the big screen, and for the region to showcase its talent to the rest of the world.”


For further information or to book your free tickets visit  























So Roland Emmerich’s much awaited and over-hyped disaster movie 2112 has finally arrived at the Silver screen to very poor reviews. Made on an estimated budget that British Filmmakers could only dream of, 260 Million Dollars.








1901 Version Of Scrooge Now On Youtube

British Film News from - Sun, 15/11/2009 - 11:40
Headline: 1901 Version Of Scrooge Now On Youtube Article: The BFI have put the 1901 version of 'Scrooge' on Youtube.   Directed by Walter R Booth this remarkable piece of British film history originally consisted of 620 Feet of film but now only 323 feet exists, although still enough to tell the story.          Link: Youtube

Encounters Short Film Festival (17 -21 November, Watershed, Arnolfini, Cube, Bristol , UK)

British Film News from - Sun, 15/11/2009 - 10:26
Headline: Encounters Short Film Festival (17 -21 November, Watershed, Arnolfini, Cube, Bristol , UK) Article:

Encounters Short Film Festival (17 -21 November, Watershed, Arnolfini, Cube, Bristol , UK)

Ever thought about coming to Encounters but have never got around to doing so? 2009 is the year to make that leap and support the festival.  


1 week to go until Encounters celebrates its 15th year with a major celebration of short filmmaking; featuring five days of the best new international and British short films and a whole host of other events.For full details of all Encounters events and to purchase tickets online go to

Delegate Passes


Delegate passes are the best way to visit the festival with unlimited access to the delegate lounge and viewing library and benefit from mingling with filmmakers and industry professionals alike.

The passes offer two complimentary competitive screenings per day (subject to availability). Limited tickets to sold out events, access to the exclusive delegate only events and industry screenings which include 'Meet the Director' and the 'How to' series. Also, all competitive screenings can be purchased for the bargain price of £2.50 before 16.00 and an invite to the exclusive Awards and Closing Night Party on 21 November. Click Here for more info.


Interested, then act quickly, there are limited passes available and they're going fast.


For full benefits and to register online go to:

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