BFI industry event programme announced for UK Pavilion at Cannes

Writer-director Sandhya Suri (Santosh) and cinematographer Robbie Ryan (Bird, Kinds of Kindness) are among the festival filmmakers taking part in our Cannes events programme.

8 May 2024

Sandhya Suri, writer-director of Santosh (2024), playing in Un Certain Regard

Today we announce the line-up of industry events hosted by the UK Pavilion in this year’s Cannes Film Festival led by filmmakers with world premieres in the festival’s official selections.

The events which are open to all festival delegates will spotlight filmmakers, creatives and producers with films In Competition, Un Certain Regard, Immersive Competition and the Directors’ Fortnight.   

Discussion events with leading industry speakers will explore: 

  • new international initiatives focused on developing audiences;  
  • maximising opportunities offered by international co-production forums and markets;  
  • how and which UK films are breaking into international markets; 
  • how creatives are experimenting with new ways of telling stories;  
  • how UK funders are working to support talent in the new media landscape;  
  • creative and production processes at work in international co-productions; and 
  • the UK’s new Audio-Visual Expenditure Credits.  

UK Pavilion industry events are open to festival and market delegates as well as press attending the festival. 

“To have 12 films with UK participation in Cannes selections, many that have been created through international co-production and collaboration, is fantastic to celebrate,” says Denitsa Yordanova, BFI Head of the International Funds and UK Global Screen Fund. “We are delighted that our UK Pavilion programme this year will be welcoming filmmakers in sharing their journeys, as well as an exciting group of UK and international screen industry leaders who will be sharing their experiences in working across the wider screen industry, and sharing their insights on how the business is working today.” 

The BFI is also partnering with Diversity in Cannes, the British Blacklist and Times Up UK to host a Black Women’s lunch event as part of the Cannes Marché event programme, celebrating Black women filmmakers (12:30 to 14:30, Sunday 19 May).   

BFI International is also a partner in a number of events focused on stimulating collaboration opportunities with different countries. CoCreate — Cannes 2023 in the Canada Pavilion (Monday 20 May, 09:00) with Ontario Creates, Telefilm Canada, the New Zealand Film Commission, Screen Australia, Screen Scotland, and Screen Ireland.  UK – India Business for producers from each country to explore co-production opportunities in the India Pavilion co-hosted with the National Film Development Corporation of India.  A BFI International Co-production reception for UK producers to meet counterparts from other countries including Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Uruguay, Brazil, Dominican Republic and the US, on Friday 17 May, 17:30, at the UK Pavilion. These three events are by invitation only. 

The UK Pavilion is based in the Cannes Marché International Village and this year unveils a new look and feel reflecting the launch of the new ScreenUK Industry brand, supporting international collaboration with UK talent and businesses. In addition to a programme of events, the UK Pavilion offers a meeting space for delegates, a terrace and a range of resources about working with the UK, which are also made available on the new ScreenUK Industry platform. The BFI’s Certification Unit also offers 1-2-1 sessions on qualifying for the UK’s Audio-Visual Expenditure Credits.  

The UK Pavilion industry events programme which runs from Thursday 16 May to Monday 20 May, includes:  

Talent Talk: Santosh (Un Certain Regard)  

Writer/director Sandhya Suri, producer Mike Goodridge from Good Chaos and Eva Yates, Director of BBC Film, share the journey behind making Suri’s narrative director debut. A co-production with partners in India Production Scope, Suitable Pictures, UK (Good Chaos), Germany (Razor Films) and France (Haut et Court) and supported by the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding) and BBC Film, Santosh is receiving its world premiere in Un Certain Regard. 

Moderated by Kristy Matheson, Director of the BFI London Film Festival. 

Sunday 19 May, 16:00 to 17:00, UK Pavilion 

Talent Talk: Robbie Ryan, director of photography (In Competition Bird, Kinds of Kindness) 

Irish director of photography Robbie Ryan is in Cannes with two films In Competition this year - Bird directed by Andrea Arnold and Kinds of Kindness directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.  Ryan will be discussing his work and passion for film in all its forms – from short movies to features and documentaries. 

Moderated by Wendy Mitchell, journalist and Film Festival Consultant.   

Friday 17 May, 11:30 to 12:30 UK Pavilion 

Talent Talk: Talent Talk: Maya: The Birth of a Superhero and Evolver 

The UK Pavilion is delighted to offer a deep dive into two immersive works, both selected for Cannes Immersive Competition. Artists Poulomi Basu and CJ Clarke will take the audience behind the scenes of Maya: The Birth Of A Superhero, an immersive story following an ordinary girl as she transforms into a uniquely female superhero. The work will have its European premiere in Cannes. Producers Emma Hamilton and Sam Pressman will guide us through Evolver (French premiere) which takes the audience on a journey inside the human body, through the processes that sustain all life. 

Moderated by Ulrich Schrauth BFI, XR & Immersive Programme Lead. 

Monday 20 May, 14:00 to 15:00, UK Pavilion 

GREAT8 presentation of films with their filmmakers

The BFI and the British Council are co-hosting an event presenting eight of the UK’s most exciting first and second feature filmmaker with their films to UK and international buyers and programmers. This event is supported by GREAT, the UK Government’s international promotion campaign, which aims to enhance the UK’s reputation and drive growth by encouraging international audiences to visit, study and do business with the UK

Thursday 16 May, 16:30 to 17:30. UK Pavilion 

Good Work in Production: how can we become the healthiest and happiest sector to work in? 

A discussion looking at steps being taken by some countries to improve working conditions for workers in production to create a healthier, happier, safer and therefore a more productive working culture, alongside the impact on workers in not addressing them. With Grainne Brunsdon, Chief Operating Officer, Screen Australia, Philippa Childs, Bectu, UK, and Agnès Toullieux, Deputy Secretary General, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, France. 

Moderated by Sara Whybrew, Director of Skills and Workforce Development, British Film Institute, UK.  

Friday 17 May, 11:30 to 12:30, Palais des Festivals 

International co-productions: case studies 

This session will go behind the scenes of two international co-productions funded by the UK Global Screen Fund: September Says, the directorial debut of Ariane Labed, premiering in Un Certain Regard (Ireland, UK, Germany), and Leonora In The Morning Light, a film by Thor Klein currently in production (Germany, Mexico, UK, Romania), revolving around the story of British Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. The UK producers, alongside the international majority co-producers, will share the films’ production histories, addressing the creative and financial challenges met by the partners and the opportunities offered by international collaborations.   For September Says with producers Rachel Dargavel, Crybaby Films, Chelsea Morgan Hoffmann, Element Pictures and Mark Byrne, Group Head of Business Affairs, Sackville Film and Television Productions; and for Leonora in the Morning Light, producer James Heath, Mallinson Television Productions and producer Lena Vurma, Dragonfly Films. 

Moderated by Denitsa Yordanova, BFI Head of International Funds and UK Global Screen Fund. 

Friday 17 May, 16:00 – 17:00, UK Pavilion 

How the UK’s new Audio-Visual Expenditure Credits (AVEC) work and the introduction of the AVEC for independent film 

The UK introduced new Audio-Visual Expenditure Credits in January and has recently announced a new uplifted AVEC of 53% (40% after tax) for UK qualifying independent films with budgets up to £15m (with a UK writer and/or UK director, or which quality as an official co-production). Unpacking details of the new measures will be Bennett McGhee, Co-founder, Home Team, Judith Chan, Executive Director, Coutts &Co, Harriet Finney, Deputy Chief Executive, BFI, and Isla MacGillivray, Partner, Saffery. 

Moderated by Anna Mansi, BFI Director of Video Games & Certification. 

Saturday 18 May, 11:30 to 12:30, UK Pavilion 

Working together: how to find your international partner 

(in association with the BFI and the British Council)  

Films need a nurturing environment to thrive, and international collaborations have increasingly proved essential to attract financiers and improve improve the success of projects to market in a highly competitive landscape. Guevara Namer, DOK Co-Pro Market Coordinator, Dok Leipzig, Alessandra Pastore, Market Manager, When East Meets West, Justin Pechberty, Co-founder, Les Valseurs, and Elhum Shakerifar, producer and curator, Hakawati, will explore how to maximise the opportunities offered through participating in international co-production forums and markets. 

Moderated by Jo Duncombe, Senior consultant: new talent programmes, the British Council  

Saturday 18 May, 14:00 to 15:00, UK Pavilion 

Developing new audiences for independent film: international case studies  

What do Godzilla Minus One, European arthouse films and anime have in common? International audience development experts discuss innovative projects and release strategies to reach new audiences. How young film lovers are engaging with arthouse films through the European Film Challenge project; how fans and influencers can shape a distributor’s release strategy demonstrated by Piece of Magic Entertainment. New initiatives such as the Futura Cinema incubation hub in France and the UK’s Escapes project, aim to grow more inclusive and accessible cinema experiences. With Sarah Calderon, Director, The Film Agency, Ian Cartwright, Co-founder, Elevenfiftyfive, Manon Dulauroy, Distribution Director, Piece of Magic Entertainment and Anne Pouliquen, Director, Futura Cinema. 

Moderated by Ben Luxford, BFI Director of UK Audiences. 

Saturday 18 May, 16:00-17:00, UK Pavilion 

Supporting creativity across the UK: film funders in conversation  

Six UK funders share their national and international ambitions, how they are working to empower emerging talent in a new media landscape, and their approach to creativity and risk. With Mia Bays, Director, BFI National Lottery Filmmaking Fund, Isabel Davis, Executive Director, Screen Scotland, Ursula Devine, Development Executive, Northern Ireland Screen, Shanida Scotland, Co-Director and Global Head of Film at Doc Society, Lee Walters, Chief Executive, Ffilm Cymru Wales, and Denitsa Yordanova, Head of UK Global Screen Fund and International Funds, BFI

Moderated by Louise Tutt, Deputy Editor, Screen International 

Sunday 19 May, 11:30-12:30, UK Pavilion 

Storytelling across media: film, TV, interactive formats and games  

Discover how creative working across film, television and games are playing with different media and experimenting new ways of telling stories. This discussion will explore affinities and differences withing creative processes travelling through traditional and interactive films; short-form content for the internet and TV; and films and novels adapted into games. We may even be able to answer the question: is it possible to be ‘platform agnostic’? With John Giwa-Amu, CEO, Good Gate Media, Eline van der Velden, Founder and CEO, Particle6 and Neil McPhillips, Co-Head of Games, Blazin Griffin. 

Moderated by Nadia Maria Oliva, film and industry programmer. 

Sunday 19 May, 14:00-15:00, UK Pavilion 

Challenges and opportunities in the international circulation of UK films  

Independent film faces challenges globally with competition for talent and skills, production cost inflation and disruptive changes in the modes of consumption. Do genre films travel more widely than arthouse, auteur-driven films? International sales agents and distributors look at how UK films can travel across borders and ask what does ‘UK cinema’ mean to other countries. With Stephan De Potter, CEO, Cineart , Stefano Massenzi, Head of Acquisitions, Lucky Red, Sarah Mosses, CEO, Together Films, and Fabien Westerhoff, CEO, Film Constellation. 

Moderated by Wendy Mitchell, journalist and Film Festival Consultant.   

Monday 20 May, 11:30-12:30, UK Pavilion 

The British Film Commission is also partnering Film France-CNC in a Cannes Marché event. Lifting the Veil on Cross-border Collaborations: a UK and France Locations Masterclass takes a look behind the scenes of The Veil, created by Steven Knight and starring Elisabeth Moss, which shot in France, the UK and Turkey. Hear from the producers and commissioners about the opportunities, challenges and value of working across jurisdictions. With Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive, British Film Commission; Daphné Lora, Film France-CNC); producers Adrian Kelly and Xavier Roy. Moderated by Lyndsay Duthie, Chief Executive, Production Guild of Great Britain. Sunday 19 May, 14:30 to 15:30. Open to Marché-accredited badge holders 

The UK Pavilion is supported by the BFI with National Lottery funding, in partnership with the British Council, British Film Commission (BFC), Creative Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film London, Northern Ireland Screen, Screen Scotland, ScreenSkills.  Additional partners include Film Export UK, Bottle Up, UV&S Event Services and media partner, Screen International. 

GREAT 8 forms part of a new GREAT campaign, The Audacious Kingdom, launched in France in September 2023 and aimed at celebrating the UK as a catalyst for innovation, creativity and fresh perspectives