'I'm a huge fan of British film' - Tom Quinn, head of acquisitions, Magnolia Pictures

"Acquiring films is about what's available on the circuit and giving ample priority to our native tongue. I've always been a huge fan of British film. There's traditionally been a typical type of British film, but in recent years I'd say everything coming out of the UK - not just films like The Queen and Pride & Prejudice - has been worth putting on your docket to chase at festivals or markets. It skews both classical and genre.

"We've worked with a couple of UK distributors jointly acquiring films to give us more leverage. Through our relationships with companies such as Warp Films (which produced Shane Meadows' Dead Man's Shoes, which Magnolia released in 2006) we keep abreast of what's coming up.

"We're soliciting more material and reading stuff early, trying to move into pre-buying and actively looking for producing partners. We can pick up a film, co-produce or partner with a foreign sales company. We're extremely flexible."

"Myself or (Magnolia's director of acquisitions) Dori Begley will attend any festival anywhere in the world if we feel it gives us an edge, so now we regularly attend the London UK Film Focus (Luff) in June and have come to Edinburgh in years past.

"Who knows what UK films work' I still feel people are chasing The Full Monty, which was in some ways where UK crossover films started and ended. In recent years we've seen more modern representations of Britain in cinema, with directors such as Meadows, David Mackenzie, and up-and-comers such as Daniel Mulloy. And you'll never go wrong with the old stand-bys such as Stephen Frears, Ken Loach, Danny Boyle, Michael Winterbottom, Clive Owen and Kate Winslet. No list would be complete without the likes of Simon Pegg.

"We've released Severance, Cashback and Colour Me Kubrick this year. Hallam Foe opens in 2008. Personally I'd love to see some feature content that's representative of the great British serial comedy, like a Benny Hill, The Young Ones or Little Britain."


'Americans are interested in the British' - Kristin Jones, senior vice-president of production, international development and acquisitions, Miramax Films

"It's well documented that there's a good talent pool there but that doesn't automatically mean every movie is a stand-out. Obviously you've got the Daniel Craigs, Keira Knightleys, Helen Mirrens and Stephen Frears of this world who, like much other highly regarded UK talent, everybody seems to know. But there are other notable talented directors and actors coming through such as the London To Brighton director Paul Andrew Williams.

"With Daniel (Battsek, Miramax president) being British, the fact that we have a UK office, and that I lived in the UK for seven years, we're able to nurture relationships and stay abreast of the latest developments in the UK. Having said that, we don't have a mandate to pick up a certain number of UK films; it's on a case-by-case basis.

"Prices depend on the budget, who is in the film, and how hot the project is. We will pre-buy on occasion, as we did with The Queen and on our upcoming releases Becoming Jane and the in-production Brideshead Revisited.

"The Britishness of certain projects is not a turn-off. Americans are interested in the British and their customs. Then again, there are plenty of films that show modern life in the UK that don't hark back to period dramas. Look at Trainspotting and the Bond movies - they all do well."


'We're seeing a wave of new young talent' - John Lyons, president of production, Focus Features

"We've been producing in the UK a lot because we find the cast, crew, writing and directing talent pools are first rate, and because obviously there are no language considerations for US audiences. While I would stress that all these things are cyclical, it seems to me right now there has been a production boom (in the UK) and we're seeing a wave of new young talent emerge in the last three-and-a-half years.

"There do seem to be more UK films set up at Focus than in the past. It's partly a result of our fruitful relationship with Working Title, and some of it is slightly random. We recently released Hot Fuzz, and coming up are Atonement, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, Doomsday and In Bruges.

"Audiences are looking for entertaining, well-made, thoughtful films. At the end of the day it's about making intelligent, character-driven pieces of any genre that are well-written and not driven by marketing. If it's good, the chances are it will do well here."


- With a shared language and humour, commercial UK films can translate easily to the US market.

- Regular buyers of UK product include The Weinstein Company, Miramax and Focus.

- Some 69 UK films (including co-productions) were released in the US in 2006, according to the UK Film Council.

- UK hits so far in the US in 2007 include Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix ($261m), 28 Weeks Later ($28.6m) and Hot Fuzz ($23.6m).

YearTotalUK% ofUK filmUK
filmsFilmsall filmsgrossshare


'We identify with UK culture' - Joel Pearlman, managing director, Roadshow Film Distributors

"We have an appetite for British cinema and recently made two acquisitions at script stage, The Young Victoria and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. The potential for the right sort of British films is commercially potent in our market and we monitor what is going on there from a production perspective.

"Australia has always been able to identify with US and UK culture. A lot of British film and television can thrive here - actually thrive as opposed to being viewed as upmarket arthouse oddities. They can crossover into arthouse multiplexes and find an audience of significance.

"The best of British period cinema, such as Miss Potter and Pride And Prejudice, do particularly well and comedies can make their mark. Our humour is aligned - if something is really funny to the British, you can expect us to get it. The working class dramas are a bit more difficult.

"Any British marquee names, such as Hugh Grant, have marquee value (in Australia). And there's no doubt you can use Maggie Smith and Judi Dench to sell a film here."

YearTotalUK% ofUK filmUK
filmsFilmsall filmsgrossshare


- With a shared language and humour, commercial UK films can translate easily to the Australian market.

- Regular buyers of UK product include Roadshow, Hopscotch and Dendy.

- Hits so far in 2007 include Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix ($27.1m), Mr Bean's Holiday ($13.7m) and The Queen ($7.5m).


'Asking prices are always too high' - Karin Beyens, head of sales and acquisitions, Diaphana

"The UK territory really interests us. There's a certain interest from the public and there are also auteurs we're interested in. We have a policy to stay faithful to Ken Loach - Diaphana has been releasing his films for 15 years.

"In general, comedies are not easy because each country has its particular humour. There is a certain British black humour that exports well but those are mostly handled by the majors.

"Working Title's comedies work well internationally, but others can be a bit difficult; the films that are available to us are dramas or certain horror films. The big-budget films with stars go to the majors but the British are aware they are doing films for a wide audience; they don't make those kinds of movies for just 50 people

"We often buy at script stage via regular contact with sales agents and certain producers, or people close to producers whom we trust. We also read Screen International.

"Asking prices are always too high. Production is expensive in the UK and they pay actors a lot to compete with the US.

"Loach was popular even before the Palme d'Or and not just with cinephiles. Even though the French sometimes miss the humour, it's not that disturbing. Sometimes with Loach there are small touches of humour and he'll ask if we understand, and I'll say, 'Oh, that was humour'' But it's really not a problem."

YearTotalUK% ofUK filmUK
filmsFilmsall filmsgrossshare


- French audiences have no particular affinity towards UK film. Working Title comedies, for example, translate well. Arthouse directors such as Ken Loach and Michael Winterbottom have a following.

- For independent films, regular buyers of UK product include Diaphana, Haut et Court and Le Fabrique de Film.

- UK hits this year have included Hot Fuzz and The Last King Of Scotland.


'Romantic comedies and period films work best' - Wilson Feitosa, director of Europa Filmes

"Our best recent experience with a British film was The Queen. That sold more than 500,000 tickets in Brazil, a reasonably good performance for an arthouse film in this country.

"The biggest advantage of releasing UK productions is the language, since English is the official idiom of cinema. That's why British titles still have advantage over French, Italian or German films. UK actors are also known in Brazil, thanks to their participation in Hollywood productions.

"Critically acclaimed directors such as Ken Loach or Mike Leigh are no guarantee of box-office profits either. What really makes us decide to buy or not is the producer. Because he is the one to put money on the film, he is the most interested in financial results. We try to minimise the risk by choosing producers that are usually successful with their films.

"One problem that sometimes stops us from buying more UK productions is the condition of buying the rights for all Latin American - especially when the title is being pre-bought. That makes the deal even more risky for us.

"The genres that work best are romantic comedies and period films. We have the impression here that UK cinema is becoming more and more Americanised."

YearTotalUK% ofUK filmUK
filmsFilmsall filmsgrossshare


- Brazilian audiences have no particular affinity to British film

- Regular buyers of British product include Europa Filmes (The Queen), Playarte Filmes and Paris Filmes.

- UK hits this year have included Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix ($15.6m).

Source: Filme B


'The sales agents are exemplary' - Jorge Tuca, head of acquisitions, Filmax

"We buy and pre-buy British cinema. Our line of acquisitions is based on quality and commerciality, and British films are great examples of that combination. In terms of quality, the tradition of British cinema hasn't come about by accident - actors, directors, scriptwriters, theatre. Since the 16th century, the UK has been a reference in the visual arts.

"Apart from staying abreast of the specialised media, the work of British sales agents is exemplary. The launch of the UK Film Focus is also enormously useful in promoting British production, and making it stand out at Cannes.

"Arthouse audiences in Spain seek quality and British cinema is always a guarantee of that. Besides this generalisation, there are areas where British cinema has stood out - the extreme care and attention placed on historical recreation; British humour is also appreciated by our public, from the Ealing films to Monty Python and Mr Bean."

YearTotalUK% ofUK filmUK
filmsFilmsall filmsgrossshare


- While British humour translates well in Spain, UK film is generally relegated to the arthouse circuit, outside of Harry Potter or Mr Bean (pictured below).

- Regular buyers of UK product include Alta Films (which handles Ken Loach's films), DeA Planeta, Vertigo, Golem and Aurum (which partners with Momentum).

- Between 30-50 UK films are released every year.


'We look for films that are Working Title-ish' - Chris H Lee, vice-president of acquisitions, Showbox Mediaplex

"I track British films at markets but most of them are more arthouse, or are very European, which is categorised as arthouse in Korea.

"European culture doesn't translate as easily here. Pricing is not so much of an issue - the main thing is we don't see enough that can attract our audiences.

"Showbox buys for a wide audience, so instead of anything too dark or serious, we look for films that are more 'Working Title-ish'. Unfortunately, we haven't had an opportunity to buy British romantic comedies since their Korean distribution rights are always tied in to US studios. The first and only British film I've picked up is the UK-Spain co-production Planet One, a well-scripted animation from HandMade Films.

"Not many British stars are bankable in Korea. Jude Law is much talked about, but Hugh Grant is uniquely positioned as he stars in more commercial films that seem to consistently satisfy female audience expectations."


- In Korea, Working Title-esque UK rom-coms work best, although these generally have studio distribution. UK arthouse titles still can find specialised audiences.

- Regular buyers of UK product include JinJin Pictures, Korean Film Art Center, Sponge Entertainment and Eureka Pictures.

- The number of UK films (including co-productions) released annually varies. In 2006 there were 15, in 2005 25 and in 2004 there were six.

- Hits this year have included Love And Other Disasters (bought by I Vision Entertainment and distributed by Prime Entertainment; 260,000 admissions) and Sunshine (distributed by Twentieth Century Fox; 105,000 admissions).


'We rarely pre-buy British' - Rainer Kolmel, managing director, and Georg Miros, head of sales and distribution, Kinowelt Filmverleih

"We have championed British movies since the 1980s - our very first film was Bill Forsyth's Gregory's Girl. Today, the small British film has a difficult time in Germany, although the quality is consistently high. But British cinema is no longer as popular.

"As more British actors seek their luck in Hollywood, British stars are not necessarily the faces of British cinema. The actors come to support the release of their films, and the German audiences appreciate being able to meet a star from across the Channel.

"The characteristic of 'Britishness' is certainly not a turn-off but marketing campaigns for most European movies tend to be story-driven. The country of origin is of less importance.

"There are great directors and wonderful actors in the UK and we will continue to track British production carefully, but we rarely pre-buy British films."


- German audiences like UK films because of their quirky humour or stories about social injustice.

- Regular buyers of UK product include Concorde, Prokino and Neue Visionen.

- UK hits this year have included Mr Bean's Holiday, $24.4m; The Queen, $4.4m; Hot Fuzz, $2.1m; and Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, $52.8m.

YearTotalUK% ofUK filmUK
filmsFilmsall filmsgrossshare
Source: UK Film Council. Includes major co-productions


Brideshead Revisited (Int'l sales: HanWay Films)

Dir: Julian Jarrold

Scr: Jeremy Brock, Andrew Davies, based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh

A cast of hot up-and-comers led by Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw and Hayley Atwell star in this adaptation of Waugh's much-loved novel about the lives and loves of a dysfunctional upper-class English family.

Donkey Punch (Int'l sales: Lumina Films)

Dir: Olly Blackburn;

Scrs: Blackburn, David Bloom

Thriller following a group of British holidaymakers in Spain for whom a hedonistic weekend turns deadly. The young cast is headed by Jaime Winstone, Tim Burke and Nichola Burley. Optimum Releasing has UK rights.

The Edge Of Love (Int'l sales: Capitol Films)

Dir: John Maybury

Scr: Sharman MacDonald

Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys star in this 1940s-set tale of love and betrayal, revolving around charismatic young poet Dylan Thomas.

Flashbacks Of A Fool (Int'l sales: Arclight Films International)

Dir/scr: Bailie Walsh

Buena Vista International has UK rights to the debut feature from music-video director Walsh. Daniel Craig stars as a fading Hollywood star who is forced to confront his past.

French Film (Int'l sales: The Works)

Dir: Jackie Oudney

Scr: Aschlin Ditta

Comedy about the different attitudes of the French and the British towards love and relationships. Hugh Bonneville and Anne-Marie Duff star.

Good (Int'l sales: Odd Lot International)

Dir: Vicente Amorim

Scr: John Wrathall, based on the play by CP Taylor

Viggo Mortensen stars in this drama set in 1930s-Berlin about the rising tide of Fascism and how it engulfs one normal German family.

How To Lose Friends And Alienate people (Int'l sales: Intandem Films)

Dir: Bob Weide

Scr: Peter Straughan, based on the novel by Toby Young

Comedy about the misadventures of an Englishman in the starry world of Manhattan magazines. Simon Pegg stars with Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Bridges and Gillian Anderson. Paramount Pictures International has UK, Australian, New Zealand and South African rights.

Hush (Int'l sales: Pathe Pictures International)

Dir/scr: Mark Tonderai

A $2m thriller about a motorist who sees a naked woman screaming for help in the back of a van. Kate Ashfield and Rafe Spall star.

In Bruges (Int'l sales: Focus Features International)

Dir/scr: Martin McDonagh

The award-winning playwright makes his feature debut with this black-comedy thriller about hitmen (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) stranded in the Belgian tourist town of Bruges.

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (Int'l sales: Focus Features International)

Dir: Bharat Nalluri

Scr: David Magee, Simon Beaufoy

Frances McDormand and Amy Adams star in this 1939-set love story about a middle-aged governess in London's high society.

The Other Boleyn Girl (Int'l sales: Focus Features International)

Dir: Justin Chadwick

Scr: Peter Morgan, based on the novel by Philippa Gregory

Historical romance starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as sisters competing for the attention of Henry VIII, played by Eric Bana.

St Trinian's (Int'l sales: Ealing Studios International)

Dirs: Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson

Scrs: Nick Moorcroft, Piers Ashworth

Raucous reinvention of the 1950s comedies set in an anarchic all-girls boarding school. Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Jodie Whittaker and Gemma Arterton star. Entertainment has UK rights.

Stone Of Destiny (Int'l sales: Arclight Films International)

Dir/scr: Charles Martin Smith

Charlie Cox, Kate Mara, Billy Boyd and Robert Carlyle star in this 1950's set feature about the raid to bring Scotland's Stone of Destiny back from London.


In 2006, UK films, including major co-productions such as Casino Royale, generated $2.2bn worldwide, representing 8.5% of the total global theatrical market. This was down from $3.6bn in 2005, mainly due to the fall in inward investment production in the UK that year.

Outside the US, UK films fare better in neighbouring European territories, with Germany generating the highest returns for UK product. In 2006, the UK Film Council recorded a total of 33 British films released in Germany, generating $211.3m at the box office. The same year UK films represented a 20.3% market share of total films released in France and 20.4% market share in Spain.

In Japan and South Korea, UK films as a brand name do not have a major presence at the box office, where local Asian films and French titles have more cachet. In 2006, British films represented less than 1% of the total admissions in Korea, down from 2% in 2005. In 2006, Japan only released 12 wholly British films and 24 UK co-productions.