For the first time, the UK Film Council (UKFC) is taking a delegation of UK film companies to exhibit at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Tokyo Film and Content Market.

The companies are Film and Music Entertainment, Headline Pictures, Screen West Midlands, Velvet Octopus Independent and Starfield Productions. The delegation of producers, sales agents, and screen agency representatives will use their attendance at TIFF and TIFFCOM to develop existing and new trade relationships with Japanese producers, distributors and exhibitors.

The UKFC convoy aims to use the visit to grow the market share for UK films in Japan, the world's second most valuable film market (after the US) and second largest market for independent films.

British films being screened as part of this year's TIFF line-up include Mike Leigh's Happy-go-Lucky and Steve McQueen's Hunger, both of which received support from the UKFC's prints and advertising fund.

Sarah McKenzie, Senior Executive of Export Development at the UK Film Council, said 'We are delighted to be supporting British film companies' participation in TIFF and TIFFCOM for the first time. The events provide excellent opportunities for the UK film industry to form stronger links and beneficial relationships with the Japanese market.'