The BFI has extended its innovative new pilot scheme to help eligible UK films premiering at the 2014 SXSW Festival (7–16 March) attract theatrical distribution and reach wider audiences in the US – the world’s biggest film market and a priority territory for the BFI’s International Strategy alongside China and Brazil.
Films having their world premiere at SXSW and eligible for funding through the pilot US distribution initiative include:
- The Legend of Shorty, co-directed by Angus Macquee and Guillermo Galdos
- Beyond Clueless, directed by Charlie Lyne
- The Possibilities Are Endless, co-directed by Edward Lovelace and James Hall
- Pulp, directed by Florian Habicht
- Soul Boys of the Western World, directed by George Hencken
The BFI will make awards of up to £25,000 per eligible film available to US distributors, to enable them to strengthen the marketing campaigns for the US theatrical release and, in particular, support the promotion of UK film talent to US audiences.
The scheme was launched as a pilot at the beginning of the year and initially limited to British films currently without US distribution receiving their world premieres in official selection at the Sundance Film Festival 2014 and with a production budget less than £2m. Three films which had their world premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January applied to the scheme and now all three – Hong Khaou’s Lilting, Stuart Murdoch’s God Help the Girl and Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s drama-documentary featuring artist and musician Nick Cave, 20,000 Days on Earth – have secured US theatrical distribution deals.
BFI Film Fund Director, Ben Roberts, says, “with each of the eligible films at Sundance quickly securing US distribution deals, we were very keen to extend the pilot to see if it has legs at SXSW, and explore further if it can help increase the visibility of a range of cultural British film in the all-important US market.”