Three feature films starring Europe’s top writers and directors are to be supported with £460,000 from the Film Agency for Wales.
Isabel Coixet’s (Elegy, Paris Je T’aime) Panda Eyes will be produced by Rebekah Gilbertson’s Rainy Day films (Patagonia and The Edge of Love) and Tornasol, Spain (Oscar winning The Secret in Their Eyes).
Fox International Productions is taking on the distribution as well as handling sales. The Film Agency for Wales has invested £200,000 in the teen psychological chiller due to go into production Spring 2012.
“This project will see a team of producing partners, from across the UK, working together to increase vital talent relationships and connect with financing partners across Europe,” explains Suzanne Alizart, Interim Chief Executive of the Film Agency for Wales.
“Without doubt, the talent behind this film gives it real commercial viability and we would expect significant interest with both festival and commercial exposure. The potential economic benefits for Wales are also strong with a substantial inward investment of approximately £1.75 million and a Wales based shoot ensuring jobs for local crew.”
Creatively astute Severn Screen will be shooting Bypass in late Spring 2012 in conjunction with Third Films. The film will be directed by one of the UK’s most promising writer-directors, Duane Hopkins. A festival favorite with his debut Better Things, Hopkins won the critics’ prize at the Stockholm Film Festival alongside receiving Camera D’Or and Michael Powell nominations at Cannes and Edinburgh.
£110,000 has been awarded to Severn Screen for the project which also has support from the British Film Institute and Sweden based Film I Vast. Kate Crowther, the Welsh born and based co-producer is an experienced producer with recent work having included Ar y Tracs for Ruth Jones’ Tidy Productions and the BBC Wales series Belonging.
Kate comments on the investment: “Severn Screen really values the support offered by the Agency to help them develop key co-financing and talent relationships with partners such as the BFI and Film I Vast.“
Suzanne Alizart of the Film Agency adds: “Co-productions are vital for the development of small production companies and they need help if we are to create a viable and sustainable Wales-based infrastructure.”
The Film Agency for Wales has also awarded £150,000 to Welsh producer Meinir Stoutt of Links Film Productions for the feature film titled Cassy and Jude, a UK/French co-production. Meinir recently moved to producing having been in the industry for a number of years as an established and experienced line producer. She most recently produced Owen Sheers’ film Resistance starring Michael Sheen and Andrea Riseborough which has now opened to critical acclaim in cinemas throughout the UK. Resistance was also funded by the Film Agency for Wales. This funding will give Meinir and Links Films Productions the opportunity to work alongside Sam Taylor and Mike Downey of F&ME, one of the UK’s most successful independent production companies and Partizan, an award winning French production company.
Cassy and Jude is based on the novel Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker. It tells the story of Cassandra Edwards who is the complete opposite of her twin sister Jude who is about to move to get married and leave for New Zealand. Dominic Murphy will direct. Content Film is attached as sales agent for the film. Their recent titles include Ironclad, Last Orders and the Crow and I am Slave and In the Dark Half.
Suzanne Alizart adds: “The funding for these three feature films is all about nurturing Welsh film talent and supporting the long-term viability of Welsh production companies. Our investment plays an important role in ensuring that Welsh talent develops and produces high impact films of international significance, confirming Wales as the creative nation to watch. “
Established in July 2006, the Film Agency for Wales is the sole Agency for film in Wales, with a remit to ensure that the economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effectively represented in Wales, the UK and the world. As a strategic agency, the Film Agency aims to facilitate the emergence of a viable and sustainable Welsh film industry and to promote a vibrant and dynamic film culture.
Recent projects that have benefited from production support from the Film Agency for Wales include Owen Sheers’ debut feature film Resistance, released on 25 November 2011 and The British Guide to Showing Off, released on the 11th November and Hunky Dory now on release in cinemas across the UK to excellent reviews.
Submarine opened to rave and the film has generated a UK box office in excess of $2 million through the support of Optimum Releasing. It has been sold to all major territories in the world by Protagonist including to the Weinstein Company for US distribution.
The Film Agency for Wales is funded by the Arts Council of Wales, the BFI and the Welsh Government, via Creative Business Wales, the latter of which was set up to support, encourage and increase the range and number of films being produced in Wales and to foster the abundance of creative talent in Wales.
Further information is available at www.filmagencywales.com