Screen looks at the exciting titles emerging from the UK this year, including new films from Asif Kapadia, Chris Morris, Sarah Gavron and Ken Loach, plus debuts from Stars of Tomorrow Nick Rowland, Remi Weekes and Rose Glass.
Calm With Horses (UK-Ire)
Dir: Nick Rowland
This first film from National Film And Television School (NFTS) graduate Rowland has been generating buzz since the day it was announced. Produced by Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan’s DMC Film and developed by Film4, the drama is set in rural Ireland and stars Cosmo Jarvis as an ex-boxer turned enforcer who is also trying to be a good father to his young autistic son. Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar co-star.
Contact: Altitude Film Sales
The Day Shall Come (UK)
Dir: Chris Morris
Four Lions filmmaker Morris is understood to be close to completion on The Day Shall Come. The film is produced by See-Saw Films with US outfit Archer Gray, Film4 and the BFI, and stars Marchant Davis, Danielle Brooks, Anna Kendrick and Denis O’Hare. An impoverished preacher in Miami is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI, who plan to turn him into a criminal by fuelling his madcap revolutionary dreams.
Contact: FilmNation Entertainment
Untitled Girls Film (working title) (UK)
Dir: Sarah Gavron
Gavron put together and worked for more than two years with largely non-actors to portray a group of multicultural teenagers at a fictional girls’ school in London. The much-anticipated Girl Untitled (working title) is produced by Faye Ward with whom Gavron collaborated on Suffragette. Backers include Film4, BFI, Head Gear, Metrol Technology and Kreo Films.
Contact: Altitude Film Sales
Dir: Michael Winterbottom
Steve Coogan stars in Winterbottom’s satire of greed, excess and notoriety, which shot in London and on the Greek island of Mykonos. The black comedy, set around a 60th birthday party that goes wrong, is timely given the recent scandals to hit disgraced UK retail tycoon Philip Green. Winterbottom has a long history with Cannes. Backed by Film4 and Sony has worldwide rights.
Contact: Sony Pictures Entertainment
His House (UK)
Dir: Remi Weekes
The debut feature from Weekes, a 2017 Screen Star of Tomorrow, is a horror film about a family who believe their house is haunted. Backed by New Regency Pictures and BBC Films, His House feels right for a Midnight Screening at Cannes. The cast is led by Wunmi Mosaku (Luther), while Matt Smith supports with a featured role.
Contact: New Regency
Dir: Rupert Goold
Renée Zellweger stars as Judy Garland in this story based on the real events surrounding the troubled performer’s final concerts in London in 1968 as she battles her management and falls in love. Jessie Buckley and Finn Wittrock co-star. Judy is produced by David Livingstone’s Calamity Films for Pathé, BBC Films and Ingenious.
Little Joe (UK-Ger-Austria)
Dir: Jessica Hausner
The English-language debut from the director of Lovely Rita, Amour Fou and Lourdes is an intriguing story of identity and perception, mothers and sons, with an element of sci-fi and a genetically engineered plant. Emily Beecham (Daphne), Ben Whishaw and Kerry Fox star in the film, which is now in post-production. Little Joe is produced by The Bureau with Hausner’s Vienna-based Coop99 Filmproduktion and Berlin-based Essential Filmproduktion.
UK Contact: The Bureau International contact: Coproduction Office
Dir: Asif Kapadia
It was on the equivalent list last year but it is worth revisiting as Kapadia’s feature documentary about the legendary Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona looks poised to find a festival slot this year. Kapadia has confirmed the film is ready and Cannes would seem the mostly likely option given the director’s relationship with the festival.
Contact: Altitude Film Sales
The Nest (UK)
Dir: Sean Durkin
Jude Law and Carrie Coon star in the film about an entrepreneur who resettles in the UK with his US wife and children, and moves the family into an eerily isolated English manor house. New York-based Durkin wowed Sundance and then Cannes with Martha Marcy May Marlene in 2011 and the word is white hot on this new project developed by Element Pictures with BBC Films.
The Personal History Of David Copperfield (UK)
Dir: Armando Iannucci
Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie head the cast of this fresh retelling of the Charles Dickens novel, set in 1840 but with a contemporary take. Expect something unique from the director of the multi-award winning The Death Of Stalin. Developed by FilmNation with Film4, Lionsgate has UK rights and FilmNation is handling sales with UTA.
Dir: Marjane Satrapi
Rosamund Pike stars as the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Marie Curie in the Persepolis director’s English-language biopic. This is the biggest film to date for Satrapi and hopes are high. Working Title Films produces with Paul Webster’s Shoebox Films; Studiocanal and Amazon Studios are the financiers.
Saint Maud (UK)
Dir: Rose Glass
Buzz is strong on the debut film from 2018 Screen Star of Tomorrow and NFTS graduate Rose Glass. Backed by Film4 and the BFI, Saint Maud is a psychological thriller about a reclusive Catholic nurse who believes she is in direct communication with God. Jennifer Ehle and Morfydd Clark star in the film, which should be ready for Cannes.
Contact: Protagonist Pictures
Sorry We Missed You (UK)
Dir: Ken Loach
If Loach’s new film is selected for Cannes, it will be the UK auteur’s 14th time in Competition. Sorry We Missed You is about a family struggling with debt and promises to be as searing a take on contemporary Britain as the Palme d’Or-winning I, Daniel Blake.
Contact: Wild Bunch