When not one new UK feature was selected for the Cannes Film Festival this year, it caused an outburst of national soul searching.

Now the British film industry has been thrown an olive branch by the festival's artistic director Thierry Fremaux.

Fremaux says he wants to appoint a British correspondent who lives in Britain and has a strong understanding of the UK film sector to act as his scout for the Cannes Film Festival. The correspondent will tip Fremaux off about exciting new directors and projects.

Fremaux is already planning a trip to the UK in November in order to meet key players from the local film industry and discover more about British talent.

Fremaux told Screen International: "Giles Jacob and I were very sad because we wanted UK cinema to be represented at Cannes this year. British cinema is really strong and important cinema and we want to work with this cinema. I want to go to London just to think and to talk to people. I want to explore who the young talents are, and who the young producers are. Maybe the future is not in London, but in places like Liverpool or Wales. I don't want to miss out anything about UK cinema."

The decision to appoint a local correspondent follows a similar move in Germany (Screendaily.com, July 27). It has been almost a decade since a German film was included in the Festival's official competition. The decision to appoint a correspondent was seen as a concrete step to improve relations between the festival and the German film industry.