The year in film 2013: BFI Film Fund

As 2013 draws to a close, we glance back over a year of films backed by the BFI Film Fund.

Updated:

Broken

Acclaimed theatre director Rufus Norris’s film debut is a coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old girl whose life changes after witnessing a violent incident involving her neighbours.

Directed by Rufus Norris
Produced by Tally Garner, Nick Marston

Notable festivals and awards:

  • 2012 Cannes Film Festival
  • 2012 BFI London Film Festival
  • Best British Independent Film at the 2012 British Independent Film Awards

Watch now on the BFI Player.

Read an interview with director Rufus Norris.

Read about Broken’s win at the British Independent Film Awards.


Shell

The debut feature by Scottish writer-director Scott Graham is a poetic, coming-of-age drama set at a petrol station on a lonely road in the Highlands.

Directed by Scott Graham
Produced by David Smith

Notable festivals:

  • 2012 San Sebastian Film Festival
  • 2012 BFI London Film Festival
  • Best Newcomer (Chloe Pirrie) at the 2013 British Independent Film Awards

Watch now on the BFI Player.

Read an interview with director Scott Graham.

Watch Scott Graham and actor Chloe Pirrie on stage at the BFI London Film Festival.


The Spirit of ’45

Ken Loach’s archival documentary is an ode to the British postwar spirit that lead to the creation of the National Health Service.

Directed by Ken Loach
Produced by Rebecca O’Brien, Kate Ogborn, Lisa Marie Russo

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 Berlin Film Festival

Read an interview with director Ken Loach.


Welcome to the Punch

Shifty director Eran Creevy’s second stars James McAvoy in a violent action thriller set amid the gleaming surfaces of London’s Canary Wharf.

Directed by Eran Creevy
Produced by Rory Aitken, Ben Pugh, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones

Watch actor James McAvoy and director Eran Creevy discuss the stunts and action scenes.

Read an interview with director Eran Creevy.


Blood

Directed by Nick Murphy
Produced by Pippa Harris

Notable festivals:

  • 2012 BFI London Film Festival

Watch actors Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham and director Nick Murphy interviewed at the premiere.


Byzantium

Gemma Arterton and Saorise Ronan star as female vampires holed up in a British seaside town in the latest film from Neil Jordan.

Directed by Neil Jordan
Produced by Stephen Woolley

Notable festivals:

  • 2012 Toronto International Film Festival


The Comedian

In the first feature by Tom Shkolnik, Edward Hogg plays a thirtysomething working in a call centre while trying to make it as a standup on London’s comedy circuit.

Directed by Tom Shkolnik
Produced by Dan McCulloch

Notable festivals:

  • 2012 BFI London Film Festival

Watch now on the BFI Player.

Read an interview with director Tom Shkolnik.

Read our list of 10 great British gay films.


Spike Island

The latest film by Mat Whitecross is a riotous rites-of-passage drama set against an era-defining gig by the Stone Roses.

Directed by Mat Whitecross
Produced by Fiona Nelson, Esther Douglas

Notable festivals:

  • 2012 BFI London Film Festival

Read an interview with director Mat Whitecross.

Watch Mat Whitecross introduce his film at the BFI London Film Festival.


Trap for Cinderella

Directed by Iain Softley
Produced by Robert Jones, Dixie Linder


Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Norwich DJ Alan Partridge finds himself at the centre of a hostage situation in this big-screen debut for Steve Coogan’s much-loved sitcom character.

Directed by Declan Lowney
Produced by Kevin Loader, Henry Normal

Read about Steve Coogan’s big-screen career.

Watch Armando Ianucci discuss Alan Partridge.


The Stuart Hall Project

An acclaimed portrait of revolution, politics, culture and the New Left experience by director John Akomfrah.

Directed by John Akomfrah
Produced by Lina Gopaul, David Lawson

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 Sundance International Film Festival

Watch now the BFI Player.

Read Sight & Sound’s review.


InRealLife

Beeban Kidron’s thought-provoking documentary checks in with the first generation to have grown up with the internet.

Directed by Beeban Kidron
Produced by Stephen Lambert

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

Read an interview with director Beeban Kidron.


Mister John

The second feature by directing team Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy (Helen, 2008) is the enigmatic tale of an Irishman who travels to the east to investigate his dead brother’s estate.

Directed by Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy
Produced by David Collins

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival

Read an interview with directors Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy.


Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers

Directed by Havana Marking
Produced by Mike Lerner

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam


For Those in Peril

This atmospheric first feature charts the poetic journey of a young fisherman, the sole survivor of a tragedy at sea.

Directed by Paul Wright
Produced by Mary Burke, Polly Stokes

Notable festivals and awards:

  • 2013 British Independent Film Awards – Best Debut Director
  • 2013 Cannes Film Festival
  • 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival
  • 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

Read reactions to For Those in Peril at Cannes.


The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Directed by Sophie Fiennes
Produced by James Wilson, Martin Rosenbaum, Sophie Fiennes

Notable festivals:

  • 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
  • 2012 BFI London Film Festival


How I Live Now

Directed by Kevin Macdonald
Produced by Charles Steel, John Battsek, Alasdair Flind

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 Cannes Film Festival
  • 2013 Toronto International Film Festival


Sunshine on Leith

Directed by Dexter Fletcher
Produced by Allon Reich, Andrew Macdonald, Arabella Paige, Karen Parker

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 Toronto International Film Festival


Le Week-end

The latest collaboration between director Roger Michell and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi stars Jim Broadbent and Linsday Duncan as an ageing couple who travel to Paris to rejuvenate their marriage.

Directed by Roger Michell
Produced by Kevin Loader

Notable festivals:

  • 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

Read our list of 10 great films about the weekend.


Last Passenger

Directed by Omid Nooshin
Produced by Ado Yoshizaki, Zack Winfield


The Selfish Giant

Following The Arbor (2010), Clio Barnard’s second film merges social realism with poetic allegory in the story of two young boys working as scrap collectors for an unscrupulous dealer.

Directed by Clio Barnard
Produced by Tracy O’Riordan

Notable festivals:

  • 2013 Cannes Film Festival
  • 2013 BFI London Film Festival

Watch now on the BFI Player.

Watch an interview with director Clio Barnard.

Watch an interview with newcomers Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas.


Philomena

Judi Dench stars an elderly Irish Catholic who receives unexpected help from journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) in her search for her long-lost son.

Directed by Stephen Frears
Produced by Gabrielle Tana

Notable festivals and awards:

  • 2013 Venice Film Festival; winner best screenplay
  • 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
  • 2013 BFI London Film Festival
  • 2014 Golden Globe nominations for best actress (Judi Dench), best drama and best screenplay (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope) – pending

Watch an interview with actors Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

Read about the reaction to Philomena at the Venice Film Festival.

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