Even with plans to abolish the UK Film Council, the UKFC’s new Film Fund has been quietly operating business as usual, funding dozens and dozens of diverse projects.
“We’ve been actively working to support the best projects that have come to us,” Film Fund head Tanya Seghatchian told Screen, “and overall are looking at a real breadth of work, from new artistic, experimental, filmmaking through to work from more established filmmakers who have, or will have, long term careers in the film business. The projects are rich, diverse, influenced by film culture and reflect creative excellence.”
The projects range from those by newcomers to film (actress Catherine Shepherd is backed for her first feature script Like A Virgin) to British stalwarts such as Terence Davies, Lynne Ramsay and Andrea Arnold to commercial fare like Horrid Henry, as well as documentaries from Grant Gee (Joy Division) and Havana Marking (Afghan Star).
For development, awards have been given to about 40 projects, including Debbie Isitt’s sequel to Nativity!; Dud from Hammer & Tongs (Son of Rambow); an untitled Dominic Savage project with Blueprint; a new adaptation of Graham Greene’s Travels With My Aunt being written by Olivia Hetreed and Andy Paterson; Big Talk’s adaptation of Doug Crandell’s The Flawless Skin of Ugly People (to be written by Jack Thorne and directed by James Griffiths); Poisson Rouge’s adaptation of Bola Agbaje’s Olivier-winning play Gone Too Far; and thriller Karenfan, set up at Kris Thykier’s new production company Peapie.
Further development money went into previously backed films including Number 9’s Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, being written by Jane Goldman; Ruby’s Corsica 72; Iain Softley’s thriller Trap for Cinderella; and war correspondent story We Are Now Beginning Our Descent.
The films supported for production include Steve McQueen’s New York-set Shame starring Michael Fassbender; Terence Davies’ currently shooting The Deep Blue Sea starring Rachel Weisz; Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady; Vertigo’s 3D family film Horrid Henry; Hammer’s A Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe; Jon Wright’s horror film Grabberswith Forward Films; plus further money toward the production of films including Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heightsand Lasse Hallstrom’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.
All the awards have been made public on the UKFC Awards Database online.
The $24m (£15m) Film Fund, which was announced in late 2009 and officially launched on April 1, replaces the three former UKFC funds (The Development Fund, The New Cinema Fund and The Premiere Fund). Seghatchian runs The Film Fund with three executives: Natascha Wharton, Lizzie Francke and Chris Collins.
“It’s been an interesting challenge managing the uncertain state we’re in, but in a sense it’s been business as usual,” Seghatchian noted. “My team have just kept their heads down and kept on working to instill a certain degree of confidence in filmmakers. I hope that those films and filmmakers we’ve supported feel like we have done our best to help them.”
(The post-UKFC fate of the Lottery Funding of film in the UK will be announced by the government on Monday. Industry sources speculate that the funding operation of the UKFC will be moved into the structure of the BFI, with its existing team mostly intact. That move will be confirmed or denied Monday morning when Culture Minister Ed Vaizey reveals his plans.)
Projects are listed with awarded production company below, along with the recent amount of funding (and a cumulative total of UKFC funding if the project had received previous support), as well as any talent information known.
Bomb and Elsewhere, Adventure Pictures £25,000
30 Odd Miles Up the East Lancashire Road, Fiesta Productions £27,500 (UKFC cume £48,000) wr Chris Coghill
All Quiet on the Orient Express, Idiotlamp Productions £4,000 (UKFC cume £54,000) wrs Jim Field Smith and George Kay
Been So Long, GreenAcre Films £17,000 (UKFC cume £42,000)
Bill and Lena, Fly Film Company £23,000
Cold Water, Hurricane Films £8,800
Corsica 72, Ruby Films £44,510 (UKFC cume £65,510), wrs Neil Purvis and Rob Wade
Country Music, Kudos Pictures £18,222 wr Nicole Taylor
Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, Number 9 Films £60,568 (UKFC cume £128,658) wr Jane Goldman
Darkness Visible, Parti Production and Dan Films £20,000
Dombey and Son, Greenpoint Films Limited £20,000
Dud, Hammer & Tongs £60,000, prod Nick Goldsmith, wrs Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith
Empire of Sponge, Pesky Productions £15,000
Gone Too Far, Poisson Rouge Pictures £25,000 wr Bola Agbaje, dir Destiny Ekargha
Grabbers, Forward Films £36,750 wr Kevin Lehane, dir Jon Wright
Iggy, JWRC Productions Ltd £80,000 (UKFC cume £85,000) wr Lee Hall, dir John Crowley
In Close, Up Motion Films £7,000 (UKFC cume £24,500)
Karenfan, Peapie Films £10,000
Like a Virgin, Greenpoint Films £10,000 (UKFC cume £25,000) wr Catherine Shepherd
Marked Man, Fiesta Productions £27,500 wr Kwame Kwei-Armah
Nativity! The Second Coming, Mirrorball Films £36,650 wr/dir Debbie Isitt
New Career in a New Town: David Bowie in Berlin, Blue Horizon Productions £5,000, wr/dir Grant Gee
Of Monsters and Men, Minnow Films £7,500
One Last Time, Feelgood Fiction £10,500 (UKFC cume £33,000)
Shame, See-Saw Films £17,107 (UKFC cume £1,017,107) wr Abi Morgan, dir Steve McQueen, prod Iain Canning
Smash and Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers, Roast Beef Productions £10,000, wr/dir Havana Marking
Tell it to the Bees, Red Production Company £29,000
The Account, Ealing Studios £47,500 wr David Hilton
The Deep Blue Sea, Camberwell Productions and The Deep Blue Sea Productions £47,460 (UKFC cume £147,460) wr/dir Terence Davies
The Flawless Skin of Ugly People, Big Talk Pictures £15,250 (UKFC cume £39,000) wr Jack Thorne, dir James Griffiths
The Invisible Woman, Headline Pictures £1,000 (UKFC cume £68,875)
The Janus Effect (aka Codenames Only), Eleventh Hour Films £60,000
The Train Station, Humanfilm £25,000
The Trust, North Villas Films £27,650
Trap for Cinderella, Forthcoming Productions £42,350 (£83,350) wr/dir Iain Softley
Travels with my Aunt, Ascension Entertainment £57,500 wrs Olivia Hetreed, Andy Paterson
Untitled Dominic Savage project 2010, Blueprint Pictures £3,000
We Are Now Beginning Our Descent, Coded Pictures £28,500 (UKFC cume £63,500)
White Rose, Rebel Feet Films £5,000 (UKFC cume £61,250)
Attack the Block, ATB Pictures £175,000 (UKFC cume £1,260,788) dir Joe Cornish
Dreams of a Life, Dreams of a Life Ltd £150,000
Eight Minutes Idle, iFeatures £150,000
Grabbers, Forward Films £450,000 wr Kevin Lehane, dir Jon Wright
Horrid Henry: The Movie 3D, Vertigo Films Ltd £750,000 wr Lucinda Whiteley, dir Nick Moore, prods Rupert Preston and Lucinda Whiteley
Patience (After Sebald), Artevents £19,000 (UKFC cume £39,000), dir Grant Gee
Rafta Rafta, Left Bank Pictures £250,000, dir Nigel Cole, wr Ayub Khan-Din, prods Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Yemen Productions £42,000 (new UKFC cume £1,572,000), dir Lasse Hallstrom, wr Simon Beaufoy, prod Paul Webster
Shame, See-Saw Films £1,000,000 (UKFC cume £1,017,107) wr Abi Morgan, dir Steve McQueen, prod Iain Canning
The Deep Blue Sea, The Deep Blue Sea Productions £1,060,000 (new UKFC cume £1,107,460), wr/dir Terence Davies
The Iron Lady, DJ Films £1,000,000, wr Abi Morgan, dir Phyllida Lloyd, prod Damian Jones
The Woman in Black, Hammer Film Productions £1,000,000 wr Jane Goldman, dir James Watkins
We Need to Talk About Kevin, Kevin Films £77,500 (total UKFC support £777,500) wr/dir Lynne Ramsay
Wuthering Heights, Ecosse Films, £250,000 (total UKFC support £550,000) wr Olivia Hetreed, dir Andrea Arnold
The Nine Muses, Smoking Dogs Films £150,000 dir John Akomfrah
The Woman in the Fifth Haut et Long £227,273, dir Pawel Pawlikowski