The festival, which aims to promote British films in France, will still go ahead with continued support from France’s CNC. Sam Taylor Wood’s Nowhere Boy to be opening film.
The UKFC and British Council have withdrawn their funding from the Dinard British Film Festival, its organisers have confirmed.
Traditionally, the UKFC has put in around $22,000 (£15,000) and the British Council around $30,000 (£20,000) each year towards the festival, which is known for its role in introducing UK cinema and film-makers to French distributors and audiences.
However the two UK bodies have withdrawn their funding for the upcoming 21st edition, which will still go ahead from October 6th to 10th, with Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Ken Loach’s Route Irish and Sam Taylor Wood’s Nowhere Boy confirmed for the line-up.
A spokesperson for the UKFC said that the decision to withdraw funding had come about as a result of having to implement “funding and policy priorities” through its three year plan, which was published in April.
“The consensus that emerged from our consultation with the film industry was that our focus should be on supporting the UK film industry at the larger international festivals, as well as helping British filmmakers explore new international partnerships through exploratory trade missions,” they added.
Meanwhile, the British Council said that while it had supported the festival since its inception 20 years ago it felt that its resources “should now be redirected into supporting new activities,” adding that it “still maintains an informal relationship with the festival providing programming advice to its artistic director.”
The festival’s other main sponsor, France’s CNC (the UKFC’s counterpart), will continue to support the festival, and will be putting up the funding for French producers and distributors to attend.
Festival organisers are hoping that the annual producers meeting, which has always been sponsored by the UKFC and the CNC and aims to foster co-productions between the two countries, will still go ahead, but it is likely to take a more “informal” format, to accommodate the budget cuts.
And whilst Dinard will still be chartering a plane to transport British producers and industry delegates to the festival, it will only be able to pay for the producers who have films screening at the festival, unlike in previous years, when it had funded around 100 producers to attend.
At last year’s festival, three British films - White Lightnin, She A Chinese and Barbara Hulanicki: Beyond Biba, all of which received UKFC support, picked up French distribution.
Describing the cuts as “symbolic”, Barbara Dent, who handles UK relations for the festival said: “Dinard has been going for more than 20 years and it is rather unique for British cinema to have something like this in a foreign country. It is difficult from the French side to understand how there is no support for the festival from Britain.”
Dinard’s artistic director Hussam Hindi said that it was “not a question of the money, but the principal,” adding that “it would not change our energy, our love of British cinema, or our friendship with the UK. The doors will always be open to the UKFC and British Council because they have done a lot for us”
He added: “We sold all our festival passes in 20 minutes in June, and we have a waiting list of 100 people. The show must go on.”