The UK Film Council have unveiled their latest round of Print and Advertising funding.
The Prints and Advertising Fund (P&A) provides £2 million a year for the wider release of specialised, art-house and foreign language film. The P&A support is used to produce extra prints and increase advertising for specialised films which otherwise would only have a limited release in the UK. The fund also aims to enhance media exposure and publicity ensuring audiences are aware of the opportunities to see the film.
[NB - this article original suggested that the Film Council has paid £1470 to WYSWYG Films based on an FCUK press release. This was in error]
Natural Scenes Ltd received an initial award of £23,503 for Ed Blum’s Scenes of a Sexual Nature with a commitment to increase that to £103,533 if the film ‘takes off’ with audiences. A lower budget film with a strong British cast, it was written by first-time writer Aschlin Ditta, and stars Ewan McGregor, Sophie Okonedo and Catherine Tate. The award will support additional prints and the digital release of the film in order to reach more cinemas. Scenes of a Sexual Nature is released on 3 November.
Icon was awarded £150,000 for Michele Placido’s Romanzo Criminale, a gangster film, shot in Italian and presented with English subtitles. The award will expand the film’s release from 20 to 60 sites including 40 sites for distribution via the UK Film Council’s Digital Screen Network. Icon was also able to increase its media campaign and university promotions. Romanzo Criminale is released on 3 November.
UIP was awarded £106,380 for Richard Laxton’s Life & Lyrics with rising British star Ashley Walters, which opened in the UK on 29 September. The release of this British film was expanded from 35 to 70 sites, more than doubling the number of screens. Life & Lyrics also benefited from a national outdoor advertising campaign.
Peccadillo Pictures was awarded £20,597 for the release of Eric Khoo’s Be with Me, co-written by him and Wong Kim Hoh inspired by the life story of Theresa Chan. A film from Singapore, it is presented in the English, Mandarin and Cantonese language, and is a triptych of fictional love stories mixed with the true story of Theresa Chan who has been both blind and deaf from an early age. The award enabled Peccadillo to triple the number of sites from 2 to 10, to produce audio description for the visually impaired and increase promotion. Be with Me is released on October 27.
The ICA received £4,500 to ensure wider distribution for Sophie Fiennes’ documentary feature, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, co-written with Slavoj Zisek. The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema is out now.
Distributor Optimum Releasing Ltd will receive £158,000 for Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, a fantasy film from the cult director shot in Spanish and presented with English subtitles. The award will expand the release of the film from 40 to 75 sites, and also help to support the digital, advertising and publicity campaign. Pan’s Labyrinth is released on 24 November.
Several classic productions have also recently been supported by the P&A Fund. Park Circus was awarded £ 3,600 for Carol Reed’s thriller Odd Man Out (1947), restored and reissued as part of a Carol Reed celebration, and chosen as the closing night film of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The company was also awarded £4,475 for Fred Zinnemann’s Oklahoma! (1955) to distribute the western on both on 35mm and digital screens and £4,400 for Sir Alan Parker’s musical Bugsy Malone (1976), to be re-released on 8 December.
Continuing to support UK film heritage and culture, the BFI received £4,640 for How to Survive the 1940s, a compilation of public information films from the post-war hat period 1946-1950. As a feature with special interest appeal and obvious educational possibilities, the award enabled the BFI to expand its single 35mm print release of the film via the DSN.
Pathé was awarded £250,000 for Pedro Almodovar’s Volver, starring Penelope Cruz enabling the distributor to double the release of the film so that it could reach in excess of 80 screens, and in particular, audiences UK-wide. The film has been hailed as Almodovar’s most exciting work to date and has broken all records for the director’s film s in the UK. With £2.57 million taken at cinemas to date, it is only the 11th foreign language film to have broken the £2 million barrier since 1991.
Dogwoof Productions received £2,811 for Ramin Bahrani’s Man Push Cart. The award contributed to an additional 35mm print and digital distribution enabling 22 additional bookings. Man Push Cart is now on release.
Awards made earlier in 2006 for a wide variety of films include £140,636 to Buena Vista for Jonathan Jakubowicz’s Secuestro Express; £39,000 to Dogwoof Pictures for Miguel Courtois’ El Lobo; £53,090 to Tartan Distribution for Byambasuren Davaa’s The Cave of the Yellow Dog; and £10,533 to Tartan Distribution for Robert Greenwald’s Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.