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UK Global Screen Fund announces latest awards for international promotion of independent UK feature films

Dec 1, 2023

The BFI has made 10 new awards through its UK Global Screen Fund, supporting international opportunities for the UK’s independent screen sector. Financed through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the awards see a further £208,217 being allocated through the fund’s International Distribution strand. To date, this strand has now made 57 awards totalling nearly £2 million.

Financial support for International Distribution provides sales agents and producers from all over the UK with funding via three tracks:

  • Film Sales, supporting UK sales agents to increase their international promotion and sales of UK feature film projects
  • Prints & Advertising (P&A), supporting UK films to reach international audiences
  • Festival Launch, supporting the festival launch of UK films in order to enhance their promotion, reach and audiences internationally

The funding, awarded in the form of non-repayable grants, is focused on helping recipients enhance the profile and reach of UK feature films in the global marketplace, and on increasing their international sales potential through promotion and new international partnerships.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “We want to maximise the potential of our creative industries, and drive investment as part of our goal to boost their value by an extra £50 billion by 2030. I was at the Global Investment Summit this week to discuss with industry how we can achieve this and help creative companies scale up and grow. The UK Global Screen Fund plays a leading role showcasing talented independent British filmmakers around the world, helping them grow their audiences and encouraging major international players to invest in our thriving screen sectors. It’s fantastic to see these awards supporting our up and coming filmmakers to reach their full potential while sustaining a pipeline of talent into our creative industries.”

Denitsa Yordanova, BFI head of the UK Global Screen Fund, said: “We are so proud to support our unique and talented independent screen sector to compete and grow internationally. This latest round of international distribution awards has helped increase the promotion and sales of a truly exciting range of UK feature films and we look forward to following their success as they reach new audiences around the world.”

UK Global Screen Fund applications are currently open for:

  • International Distribution Festival Launch Support, assessed on a rolling basis
  • International Distribution Film Sales Support, assessed on a rolling basis
  • International Distribution P&A Support, assessed on a rolling basis

UK Global Screen Fund strands opening soon are:

  • International Co-production, re-opening in February
  • International Business Development, re-opening in AprilUK Global Screen Fund International Distribution awards via the Festival Launch Support track have been made to support the following:

1001 Days, directed by Chloe White and Kethiwe Ncgobo. The documentary feature film is a UK/South Africa co-production following a group of extraordinary women fighting to transform the lives of mothers and new babies in their beloved township. Following its world premiere at Sheffield DocFest, the Festival Launch Support grant contributed towards boosting the profile of its international premiere in the Luminous strand at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. The film is produced by Rose Palmer and the award is granted to 1001 Films.

Chuck Chuck Baby, written and directed by Janis Pugh. Set in and around a chicken factory in industrial North Wales, the film focuses on love, loss and music and stars Louise Brealey and Annabel Scholey. Following its world premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Festival Launch Support grant contributed toward enhancing its international premiere at Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Centerpiece Programme. The film is produced by Anne Beresford, Adam Partridge, Andrew Gillman and Peggy Cafferty and the award is granted toArtemisia Films.

Copa ’71, directed by Rachel Ramsay and James Erskine. The feature documentary follows the first unofficial Women’s World Cup tournament in August 1971, which bought together teams from England, Argentina, Mexico, France, Denmark, and Italy to play in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. The Festival Launch Support grant contributed towards enhanced promotion of its world premiere as part of the TIFF Docs programme at Toronto International Film Festival. The film is produced by Victoria Gregory and the award is granted to New Black Films.

Hoard, written and directed by Luna Carmoon. The feature debut, set in the 80s and 90s, follows a mother-daughter relationship and stars Joseph Quinn, Hayley Squires and Saura Lightfoot Leon. The Festival Launch Support grant contributed towards increased promotion and visibility of its world premiere during Venice Critics’ Week. The film is produced by Helen Simmons, Loran Dunn and Andrew Starke and the award is granted to Hoard Film.

Sky Peals, written and directed by Moin Hussain, this debut sci-fi feature follows a nightshift worker as he searches for answers upon hearing that his estranged father has died. The Festival Launch Support grant contributed towards boosting the profile of its world premiere at Venice Critics’ Week to generate sales. The film is produced by Michelle Stein and the award is granted to Bankside Films.

Starve Acre, written and directed by Daniel Kokotajlo. The Yorkshire set-and-shot folkloric horror stars Matt Smith and Morfydd Clark as a couple whose idyllic family life is thrown into turmoil. The Festival Launch Support grant contributed towards strengthening its profile to secure additional sales in key territories when it premiered in competition at this year’s BFI London Film Festival. The film is produced by Tessa Ross, Juliette Howell and Emma Duffy and the award is granted to Cornerstone Films.

The Contestant, written and directed by Clair Titley. The feature documentary follows a Japanese reality TV star left naked in a room for more than a year, tasked with filling out magazine sweepstakes to earn food and clothing. The Festival Launch Support grant contributed to its world premiere activities as part of the TIFF Docs programme at Toronto International Film Festival, including boosting its profile on an international scale. The film is produced by Andee Ryder, Megumi Inman and Ian Bonhote and the awards is granted to Misfits Entertainment.

How To Have Sex

Unicorns, directed by Sally El Hosaini and James Krishna Floyd, and written by James Krishna Floyd. Set against a secretive London subculture, the film follows a queer performer living a double life and a single father working as a mechanic whose lives collide after a chance encounter. The Festival Launch Support grant contributed towards boosting the film’s profile at its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Special Presentations programme. The film is produced by Philip Herd, Trudie Styler, Celine Rattray, Bill Pohlad, Kim Roth and Christa Workman and the award is granted to Chromatic Aberration.

A UK Global Screen Fund International Distribution award, via the Film Sales Support track, has been made to support the following:

The Radleys, directed by Euros Lyn and written by Talitha Stevenson. The darkly comedic vampire thriller is adapted from the critically acclaimed novel by best-selling author Matt Haig and stars Damian Lewis, Kelly Macdonald and Shaun Parkes. The Film Sales Support grant contributed towards its presentation to buyers at the American Film Market. The film is produced by Debbie Gray and the award is granted to Cornerstone Films.

A UK Global Screen Fund International Distribution award, via the P&A Support track, has been made to support the following:

How To Have Sex, written and directed by Molly Manning Walker. This directorial debut, following three teenage girls on a rites-of-passage holiday, premiered in Competition at Cannes 2023, winning the Un Certain Regard Prize. Having sold in almost all territories worldwide, and following the film’s UK and US release, the P&A grant enhances its theatrical release across a grouping of five key territories (France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Australia/New Zealand), taking place between November 2023 and January 2024. The film is produced by Emily Leo and Ivana Mackinnon and the award was granted to Wild Swim Films.

All awards made by the UK Global Screen Fund are published at: www.bfi.org.uk/ukglobalscreenfund

Header Photo: The Contestant

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