Neil Jordan's BreakfastOn Pluto, which is tipped forcompetition slots in Venice and Toronto, headlines a slate of over two dozenBritish films, many of them world premieres, at next month's second London UKFilm Focus (LUFF), running June 27-30.
More than 140 internationalbuyers have been invited to the publicly-funded event and most of the UK'sleading sales agents will be represented.
Other titles receivingmarket premieres include Silence Becomes You (IAC), starring Alicia Silverstone and Sienna Guillroy;Neil Marshall's gorefest The Descent (Pathe); raucous comedy Shut Up And Shoot Me (Moviehouse), horror picture Boy Eats Girl (Odyssey);and comedy-drama Niagara Motel (Park Entertainment), starring Anna Frieland Craig Ferguson.
Films from ContentFilm and Peace Arch, amongothers, will also premiere.
Thereare growing signs that the event may soon morph into a full-blown summer marketfor London sellers. The official event is exclusively for British filmscompleted in 2005, but some sales agents are lobbying to keep the buyers intown for an extra day to see non-British titles.
Vine/Framework, for example, has confirmed thatit will be screening 25 minutes of footage of its biblical epic One NightWith The King starring Peter O'Tooleand Omar Sharif.
"If salesagents want to showcase non-UK titles outside LUFF and that's another incentivefor buyers to come, that's fine, but we won't be spending Government money onit," Adrian Wootton of Film London told Screen.
Alongside the buyers officially invited, severalfestival programmers will also be in attendance as will distributors who'vecome under their own steam. As per last year, they will be wined, dined, put upat a top London hotel (the Waldorf), and ushered to screenings at London'sNational Film Theatre.
Pathe International's Alison Thompson, one ofthe engineers behind Film Focus, said she held Breakfast At Pluto and The Descent for London rather thanscreening in the Cannes market. "The reality is you only need a couple of filmslike that to get the buyers to come to London," she said.
UK sellers and buyers are waxing enthusiasticabout the event, despite its proximity to Cannes. "I was sceptical last year but I'm a total convert,"commented Gary Phillips of Moviehouse. "Someone told me there are more than1,600 screenings in the Cannes market. When you are competing as we are at themore moderate end of the market , you have got to get it screened in the rightway."