EXCLUSIVE: The Cannes Film Festival lineup may be short on Brit movies but for the second year the UK’s three leading financiers, the BFI, BBC Films and Film4, in collaboration with the British Council and the UK government’s ‘Great’ campaign, will be showcasing up-and-coming UK talent with projects in the market.
Here, I can reveal the ‘Great 8’, which will be highlighted on Tuesday 8 May during a private reception for buyers and festival programmers at the Gray d’Albion beach. These are projects in post-production which have a strong chance at critical and/or commercial success. It’s a non-exhaustive list, there are others in the market which fit that bill, but this is a useful snapshot.
Last year’s lineup included Michaela Coel musical Been So Long, which was nabbed by Netflix in a multi-million dollar deal soon after the festival, and Michael Pearce drama Beast, which went on to play at festivals including Toronto, London and Sundance.
2018 Great 8 lineup:
Beats, dir. Brian Welsh
This music-themed coming of age story, exec-produced by Steven Soderbergh, follows two best friends in a small Scottish town in the summer of 1994 who head out for one last wild night together before life takes them in different directions.
(International sales: Altitude, Wild Bunch)
Eternal Beauty, dir. Craig Roberts
Sally Hawkins stars as a woman who spirals into a chaotic, schizophrenic world where love and normality collide with humorous consequences. Roberts starred in UK indie hit Submarine.
Gwen, dir. William McGregor
This gothic mystery follows a young girl who desperately tries to hold her family together in the face of a hostile local community, a rapacious slate mine nearing their land and a growing darkness that has begun to haunt her home life. Maxine Peake stars.
(Great Point Media)
Ilkley, dir. Harry Michell
Set in an idyllic spa town during its annual literary festival, this black comedy follows two hapless evangelicals tasked with killing the world’s most controversial secularist
Only You, dir. Harry Wootliff
Laia Costa and Josh O’Connor play a couple who, after a one-night stand on New Year’s Eve, fall madly in love. When things don’t go as planned, pressure builds on the pair and the idea of a family begins to overshadow their relationship.
Tell It To The Bees, dir. Annabel Jankel
Set in 1950s Britain, Anna Paquin plays a doctor who returns to the town she left as a teenager where she falls in love with the mother of a patient, played by Holiday Grainger.
We Don’t Talk About Love, dir. Scott Graham
Starring Game of Thrones’ Mark Stanley, Shell and Iona director Graham’s third feature is a love story set over the course of one adrenaline-fuelled car ride.
White Riot, dir. Rubika Shah
A doc which explores how punk influenced politics in late-1970s Britain, a time of deep social unrest. Based on the well-traveled short of the same name.