For the third 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 in Cannes via the ‘Great 8’ program. Scroll down for the lineup.
Highlighted on Tuesday May 14 during a private reception at the Hotel Gray d’Albion, the event will reveal unseen footage from eight UK projects in post-production. These are relatively low-budget UK movies in the Cannes marché with breakout festival, commercial or critical potential. Guests will comprise international buyers and festival programmers.
Movies selected in recent years include Michaela Coel musical Been So Long, which was nabbed by Netflix in a multi-million dollar deal soon after the festival, Michael Pearce drama Beast, which went on to play at festivals including Toronto, London and Sundance, and Brian Welsh’s Beats.
GREAT 8, 2019 LINEUP
CALM WITH HORSES
Director – Nick Rowland
Writer – Joseph Murtagh
Cast– Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar
Producer – Daniel Emmerson
Production – DMC Film/Element Pictures/Film4/Screen Ireland
Sales – Altitude Films Sales
Synopsis – In darkest rural Ireland, ex-boxer Arm has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son Jack. Torn between these two families, Arm’s loyalties are truly tested when he is asked to kill for the first time.
DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER
Director – Simon Bird
Writer – Lisa Owens
Cast – Monica Dolan, Earl Cave, Rob Brydon, Alice Lowe, Tamsin Greig
Producer – Matthew James Wilkinson
Production – Stigma Films/Pont Neuf/Quickfire/Storyhouse/Trigger Films
Sales – Altitude Films Sales
Synopsis: Sue works in a library. Daniel eats crisps and listens to Metallica. This was the summer Daniel was due to spend with his father and his father’s new wife in Florida. But when they cancel his trip at the last minute, Sue and Daniel suddenly face the prospect of six long weeks together. An epic war of wills ensues in the unassuming battleground of their suburban home as they each reckon with private tragedies – and pursue their personal passions.
LYNN + LUCY
Writer & Director – Fyzal Boulifa
Cast – Roxanne Scrimshaw, Nichola Burley
Producer – Camilla Bray
Production – BBC Films/BFI Film Fund/Lipsync/Charades/Rosetta Productions/Sixteen Films/Vixens
Sales – Charades
Synopsis – Lynn and Lucy are lifelong best friends, their relationship as intense as any romance. Neither has ventured far from where they grew up. Lynn, who married her first boyfriend and whose daughter is fast growing up, is delighted when the charismatic, volatile Lucy has her first baby boy. Lucy, however, does not react to being a mother as Lynn expects. Soon, they find their friendship is tested in extreme circumstances.
Writer & Director – Claire Oakley
Producer – Emily Morgan
Cast– Molly Windsor, Joseph Quinn, Stefanie Martini
Production – Quiddity Films/Creative England/BFI Film Fund/BBC Films
Sales – Protagonist Pictures
Synopsis – When Ruth moves in with her boyfriend in a remote holiday park, she makes an unsettling discovery that ushers a sense of unease into their caravan and lures her into a spiral of obsession.
Writer & Director – Hong Khaou
Cast – Henry Golding, Parker Sawyers, Molly Harris, David Tran
Producer -Tracy O’Riordan
Production – BBC Films/BFI Film Fund/Moonspun Films/Sharphouse
Sales – Protagonist Pictures; Paradigm Talent Agency co-reps U.S.
Synopsis – Kit, a British Vietnamese man, returns to his birth country for the first time in over 30 years in search of a place to scatter his parents’ ashes. He was just eight years old when he and his family escaped Saigon as ‘boat refugees’ during the Vietnam-American war. No longer able to speak his native language, Kit embarks on a journey from Saigon to Hanoi. Along the way he meets his estranged second cousin Lee, and befriends Lewis, an African-American whose father had fought in the same war that displaced Kit, and Linh, a young Vietnamese woman from a new generation that no longer wants to dwell on the past and yet is shackled by its traditions.
Writer & Director – Eva Riley
Cast – Frankie Box, Alfie Deegan, Sharlene Whyte, Will Ash
Producers – Valentina Brazzini, Bertrand Faivre, Jacob Thomas
Production – Creative England/BBC Films/BFI Film Fund/Moffen Media Limited/The Bureau/Ngauruhoe
Sales – The Bureau
Synopsis – 15 year old Leigh is a gymnast focused on her first competition on the squad. Leigh’s life is turned upside down when her older half-brother Joe she didn’t know existed, comes to stay with her and her father. But when her confidence at gymnastics is knocked, Leigh finds herself caught up in an underground world of moped crime with her brother. Starting to find excitement and the attention she has been so desperately needing, Leigh stands at a crossroads between her gymnastic dreams and an exciting new world.
Writer & Director – Rose Glass
Cast – Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Turlough Convery, Lily Frazer, Lily Knight
Producers – Oliver Kassman, Andrea Cornwell
Production – Escape Plan Productions/Film4/BFI Film Fund
Sales – Protagonist Pictures
Synopsis – Maud starts work as live-in nurse to glamorous ex-dancer Amanda, who is now dying and unable to walk. As Amanda grows friendlier, the lonely, young Maud becomes enraptured, but her fixation soon mutates into an obsessive mission to save Amanda’s soul.
Writer & Director – Cathy Brady
Cast – Nora-Jane Noone, Nika McGuigan, Martin McCann, Kate Dickie
Producers – Carlo Cresto-Dina, Charles Steel, David Collins
Production – BFI Film Fund/Screen Ireland/Film4/Northern Ireland Screen/Great Point Media/Sulcata Productions/Wellcome Trust/Tempesta Film UK/Cowboy Films/Samson Films
Sales contact – Great Point Media
Synopsis – The story of two sisters who grew up on the fractious Irish border. When one of them, who has been missing, finally returns home, the intense bond with her sister is re-ignited. Together they unearth their mother’s past but uncovered secrets and resentments which have been buried deep, threaten to overwhelm them.