The British Film Institute (BFI) has kicked off its U.K. Global Screen Fund with cash awards for Cannes titles “Ali & Ava” and “Mothering Sunday.”
“Mothering Sunday,” directed by Eva Husson from a screenplay by Alice Birch and starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, will launch in the festival’s Cannes Premiere section and is represented by Rocket Science Industries Limited who are awarded £32,930 ($45,435) by the fund.
“Ali & Ava,” written and directed by Clio Barnard and starring Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar, will premiere in Directors’ Fortnight and is represented by Altitude Film Sales Limited who are awarded £40,000.
The fund, from the U.K.’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and administered by the BFI, is worth £7 million. It is designed to support U.K. sales agents to increase their international promotion and sales of U.K. feature film projects and is awarded in the form of non-repayable grants.
Neil Peplow, BFI director of industry and international affairs, said: “It is vital that we continue to build on the global impact of our renowned and brilliant screen sector and, during such a period of disruption, we must support independent companies and content in coming back with confidence, boosting distribution opportunities and reaching new international markets. As the funds roll-out, we will continue to keep in close consultation with industry to see how we can adapt and improve as we progress.”
Jonathan Lynch-Staunton, director of marketing at Rocket Science, said: “The U.K. Global Screen Fund award is a very welcome boost that will help us enhance the premiere of the film in Cannes, as well as creating digital and title-specific assets to increase the international profile and reach of ‘Mothering Sunday.’ It’s all about the profile of independent films in the increasingly competitive marketplace and the fund will raise the voice and the visibility globally.”
Karina Gechtman, head of international marketing and publicity at Altitude Film Sales said: “The award fund will enable us to create a strong and dynamic marketing and publicity campaign to help boost the profile of the film around the world as well as deliver additional assets to our distributors to help them reach as wide an audience as possible for this beautiful heartfelt film.”
Meanwhile, the U.K. Pavilion for Cannes this year will be virtual with open access to activities via the We Are UK Film platform (www.weareukfilm.com). Activities include talent talks with filmmakers with films premiering in the Cannes selection including Mark Cousins (“The Story of Film: a New Generation:); director Eva Husson and producer Elizabeth Karlsen (“Mothering Sunday”); producer Kat Mansoor (“Cow”); and producer Tracy O’Riordan (“Ali & Ava”).
The BFI is also partnering with the Marché in supporting five U.K. producers to take part in the Cannes Producers Network and the Cannes Producers Network ImpACT panel discussion looking at actions taken by BAFTA and the European Film Academy to celebrate and embed diversity.