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Film4 secures £25m budget for 2017/18

Upcoming slate includes new films from Steve McQueen, Mike Leigh, Lenny Abrahamson and Ben Wheatley.  

Film4 boss Daniel Battsek last night confirmed that the division has secured a £25m budget for 2017/18 for the second year in a row.

The funding boost once again gives the broadcaster a significantly increased war chest on the £15m it was previously allocated and the £10-13m of BBC Films.

The division’s funding was increased to the record £25m in 2016 under the stewardship of former director David Kosse.

Speaking at the company’s annual pre-Cannes bash, Battsek, who took over from Kosse last July, praised outgoing Channel4 boss David Abraham for his commitment to Film4 and lamented the departure of Film4 head of creative Rose Garnett who is departing to lead BBC Films.

Cannes titles

Film4 has backed four of the five UK features heading to Cannes. Three play in Official Selection: Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing Of A Sacred Deer and Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here, which are both in Competition, and John Cameron Mitchell’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties, which is screening out of Competition.

Meanwhile, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not A Witch plays in Directors’ Fortnight.

During the event, Film4 revealed first footage of each of the Cannes-bound titles, as well as footage from Andrew Haigh’s Lean On Pete (pictured), Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Asif Kapadia’s Maradona, Bart Layton’s American Animals Michael Pearce’s Beast, Rachel Weisz-starring Disobedience, and comedy Old Boys, starring Alex Lawther.

Upcoming projects

The upcoming slate also includes Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Steve Mcqueen’s Widows, Lanthimos’s next film The Favourite, Stephen Merchant’s Fighting With My Family, Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene, Michaela Cole-starring musical Been So Long, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Paddy Considine’s Journeyman and Jim Hosking’s An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn.

Projects set to shoot this year include Tom Harper’s Country Music, Gregor Jordan’s Dirt Music, Sean Durkin’s Janis, Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger and an untitled feature from Inbetweeners creator Iain Morris.

Room director Abrahamson’s forthcoming adaptation of Sarah Waters’ acclaimed wartime ghost story The Little Stranger was among films recently supported by the Irish Film Board in its latest round of funding decisions.

The novel, which centres on the strange goings-on in a country house in rural Warwickshire, has been adapted for the big screen by English novelist and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl). Domhnall Gleeson is attached to the project, which will be co-produced by Element Pictures and Potboiler.

According to a report in Deadline, Armie Hammer will star with Alicia Vikander in the Ben Wheatley-directed Freakshift, an action-thriller about a band of misfit cops who hunt down and kill nocturnal underground monsters.

IMR is reportedly handling international rights to the title, with Riverstone Pictures and Film4 financing.

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