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netribution > features > interview with Claire Battersby of FilmUK

If you have anything to do with British film and you happen to be in Edinburgh this week, don't just watch great movies, pay FilmUK a visit. The office serves as a signpost and a rendezvous for British filmmakers with product, those seeking that product and the talent that comes with it and those working in the industry who want to be at the heart of the action. This straightforward question and answer session with FilmUK's delightful Claire Battersby will tell you everything you need to know, you'll be licking your lips by the end of it…that is, if you aren't just returning after an indulgent first week.


| by tom fogg |
| logo courtesy of filmuk |
| in edinburgh |

Who conceived Film UK and when did the idea first come about?
Ginnie Atkinson, the Managing Director of EIFF 2001, conceived Film UK two years ago.

What is the ethos behind it?
Elements of relevance to British film are labelled Film UK. This label is also attached to seminars, panel discussions and industry events that are of interest to the British film industry or which are about, or affect, British film.
Edinburgh is regarded as the unique focus for the British film industry and through the Film UK brand the festival caters to:

a) British filmmakers with product: new British films are included in the Film UK Videotheque and the Guide to British Film.

b) Those seeking British talent and product, which is showcased.

c) Those working in the British film industry who want to be at the heart of the action - accessible through debate, training and networking opportunities.

The Festival's Videotheque, where VHS cassettes will be made available for viewing by accredited industry delegates (with priority for buyers), will house a Film UK section offering cassettes of as many of the films in the Guide as possible. In addition, the Videotheque will also offer as many as possible of the films in the Festival to view. It's a valuable talent-spotting showcase and resource for all industry professionals, and it will be open the entire length of the Festival where delegates, buyers and press will have access to view the films.
The Film UK focus is concentrated in the second week of the Film Festival.

You've set up an Industry Office, what does this offer and how would you like those interested to use the service?
The Industry Office, run by Mary Davies with myself, will be open throughout the Festival. The two groups with a British focus, those who have product and projects and those who are seeking British product and talent, will be able to move freely within an industry environment.

The Festival will signpost British product and talent, and events that are relevant to all concerned with British filmmaking, under the Film UK banner. The Festival is a "must go" place for the whole community, both national and international, who may be seeking the UK's new film product and looking at the state of the nation.

Those interested in the services offered by the Industry Office or are curious about what we do, please pop by during the Festival to talk to us. (The Industry Office is located to the side of the Festival's Delegate Centre).

Tell us about the Film UK Guide and how does one get a copy?
The Film UK Guide to British Film, printed in association with the British Council, lists all UK feature and short fiction films completed within the last year (end of July 2000 - end of July 2001). The Guide is available to all Festival Industry Delegates and distributed by the British Council. There will also be a pdf file of the Guide available on and listed on the British Council website

What's your Meet the Experts event and who does it cater to?
For one day only a group of respected professionals within the UK film industry will be available to offer advice to UK filmmakers attending the festival.

Many filmmakers, although enthusiastic, lack the knowledge to realise and execute their projects to the best of their ability. Eager to be a "filmmaker", many new to the art overlook important steps and the film suffers the consequences.

Meet the Experts will provide a rare opportunity for these filmmakers to pose questions and gain professional advice to, not only aid the development of their current project, but also to further their career. This is an extremely valuable and much-needed event.

Who are the experts and how do they represent areas of the industry that need addressing?
The experts will consist of industry professionals from all areas of the UK film industry. They provide a wide range of knowledge and thus serve to cover all filmmaker queries.

EXPERTS will include:
David Nicholas Wilkinson, founder, Guerilla Films
Guerilla Films distributes a number of feature films in the UK. As a company we specialise in films that others term Œdifficult‚. We are looking to take on more British films and help reduce the backlog of films that are trying to find a UK cinema release. We have raised finishing funds, from private investors, for low-budget British pictures in the past and this is something we intend to do more of in the future. In this instance the films must have already been shot and in some stage of editing.

Gary Phillips, former Sr. VP, Head of Distribution J&M Entertainment
Senior Vice President, Head of Distribution for film finance production and sales company. Responsible for implementing sales and marketing strategies for approximately 12 pictures annually, plus 200-title library. Directly handling sales of new theatrical pictures in major markets including the UK, Italy and Germany, evaluating potential future projects for content and projected sales values as well as concluding output deals in various territories. Sales include Anthony Waller's An American Werewolf in Paris, John Boorman's The General, Shirley MacLaine's directing debut Bruno and Joel Silver's (executive) produced titles House on Haunted Hill and Dungeons & Dragons.

Liz Rosenthal, UK Representative Next Wave Films
Liz Rosenthal runs the UK office for Next Wave Films, a company of the Independent Film Channel in the US. Next Wave Films finances and produces features shot on digital video for theatrical release through its production arm Agenda 2000 (A2K). A2K produces films by exceptionally talented filmmakers who have already established themselves with prior directing work and enables these filmmakers to make daring films less expensively and with greater creative control. The company also provides finishing funds to features shot on film or video and serves as a producer‚s rep for their films, helping to implement a film festival strategy and secure distribution.

Virginia Nelson, Senior Publicist Corbett & Keene

A Senior Publicist at Corbett & Keene, Virginia Nelson is experienced in film & TV unit, festival and distribution pr. Corbett & Keene, founded in 1988, specialise in film and television pr and provide a wide spectrum of services including: publicity for international and UK film production and distribution, publicity for films at festivals and markets, publicity for television production and broadcast, corporate and personal pr. Recent successes include unit publicity for Claire Peploe's Triumph of Love and Thomas Vinterberg's It's All About Love, distribution pr for Shrek, Enemy At The Gates, Almost Famous, American Beauty and East is East and international pr representation for Kathryn Bigelow's K-19, Michael Haneke's award-winning The Piano Teacher and Liv Ulman‚s Faithless at the Cannes Film Festival.

David Castro, CEO New Producers Alliance (NPA)

The NPA is a national training organisation dedicated to providing a focus and forum for new filmmakers.

Matthew Justice, Invicta Capital
Leading sales and leaseback company specialising in equity financing and co-productions.

For further information, please contact Claire Battersby:
Tel: 0131 221 8735 Fax: 0131 229 5501

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