The fourth edition of BFI The London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express Works-in-Progress Showcase, will present five new feature films and documentaries from UNITED KINGDOMfilmmakers based at Picturehouse Central.
The selection of these UNITED KINGDOM films still in production or post-production offer the opportunity to discover feature-length fiction and documentaries from emerging directors at the stage of their first or second feature film.
This showcase is a key element of the festival UNITED KINGDOM Talent Days, in partnership with the British Council, a weekend of events and activities designed to highlight the diversity of UNITED KINGDOM talent and foster international networking and business opportunities for filmmakers and the companies that support films.
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The showcase event screens exclusive clips from each project presented by their filmmakers to an invited audience of international buyers as well as UNITED KINGDOM sales agents and festival programmers, reflecting the growing international reach of the festival, followed by a networking event with filmmakers and industry guests. Projects are either in production or post-production. The online package will also be available online for one week starting October 7 via a secure platform to a wider pool of invited international industry professionals.
The Works-in-Progress Showcase continues to support featured projects that enter the marketplace to national and international audiences. Taken from last year’s showcase, Girl written and directed by Adura Onashile, premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and will screen at LFF selection, alongside Hoard written and directed by Luna Carmoon, premiering at the Venice International Film Festival, and Scala!!!, the documentary by filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall, following its premiere at Cinema Ritrovato 2023.
From the 2021 showcase, Dionne Edwards’ Pretty Red Dress had its world premiere last year LFF and Medusa Deluxe by Thomas Hardimann, previewed at the Locarno International Film Festival, then screened at the LFF. Of LFF2020 showcase, The Score by Malachi Smyth was released in the WE And UNITED KINGDOM; and Here Before by Stacey Gregg followed his SXSW premiere by winning the Feature Film Award at the Galway Film Fleadh and a UNITED KINGDOM release. Lee-Haven Jones’ The Feast has been screened at several international festivals while 8 Bar — The Evolution of Grime, directed by Ewen Spencer, received its world premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest last year.
BFI Director of the London Film Festival, Kristy Matheson, said: “My thanks to the filmmakers for showcasing their work with us. It is a great privilege to welcome these teams to London to meet industry leaders, distributors and financiers as well as other creatives. We look forward to seeing their successful creative and commercial collaborations emerge at the festival.
The in-person showcase will take place on Saturday, October 7 as part of the festival UNITED KINGDOM Talent Days focus on support and promotion UNITED KINGDOM Talent. Working in partnership with the British Council, the LFF will provide a series of opportunities for UNITED KINGDOM talents from all sectors of cinema to network and meet invited international buyers, commissioners, producers and programmers. In addition, annual buyers & The seller event returns as an in-person meeting where international sales agents can meet UNITED KINGDOM buyers, and NETWORK@LFF will host masterclasses and events for 12 pioneers UNITED KINGDOMWriters, directors and producers based at the festival will be able to learn from leading international filmmakers and industry executives at the festival.
Projects in progress 2023
Director Jack King; pushes Hollie Bryan, Lucy Meer; with Tudor Cucu-Dumitrescu, Erdal Yildiz. In post-production. Sales contact — Cosmosquare Films, Strive Films
A self-taught writer and director from Yorkshire, Jack started out directing music videos for independent and major record labels, which have racked up repeat Vimeo staff picks and millions of views online. He made a series of independent short films before The Crossing was financed by the BFI and Creative England (awarding National Lottery funds), and selected to play multiple BAFTA and the American Academy Qualifying Festivals. His independent short film Prints was shot on a low budget in Japan and was selected in competition at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival (2019). Jack was selected to participate in NETWORK@LFF in 2019 and Edinburgh Talent Lab in 2021. His most recent short film Predators was funded by BFI NETWORK (thanks to funding from the National Lottery) and will also premiere at this year’s festival. While in post-production with The Ceremony, Jack is developing his second feature film, Sunburn, an Andalusian thriller which was selected for the 2022 Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Talent Lab Connects programme.
The Ceremony is an existential road drama about a migrant worker and his colleague who, with only a day and a night to find a burial place for a deceased colleague, find their quest hampered by their moral and spiritual differences.
Harder than rock
Director Mark Warmington; pushes Mark Warmington, Jeremiah Cullinane; co-producer James Baxter; with Locksley Gichie, Franklyn Dunn, Michael Arkk, Winston Reedy. About to start post-production. Sales contact — Margot Films
Filmmaker Mark Warmington is originally from Northern Ireland and has lived in North West London for 20 years. He recently moved to the North East of England. He has directed for television, but his career is mainly dominated by his work as a cinematographer. Harder Than The Rock is his first feature film as director. Mark’s film credits include Calcio: The Blood Of Florence (2017), Paul Weller: Find The Torch (2010), the short Somewhere I’ve Been (2021) and the BFI-Short funded division (2022); TV series including the BBC‘s Top Gear and the Amazon series All or Nothing: New Zealand All black people. He has also filmed music videos for artists such as Maverick Sabre, Hollie Cook, Tom Walker and Paul Weller.
Reggae exploded in the 1970s and the Cimarons, the UNITED KINGDOMThe first reggae group, formed in 1967, was at its heart. Thousands of miles from Jamaica, they brought enthusiasm, experimentation and sheer anticipation to a new generation of young black British people, putting them in touch with their roots.
Harder than the Rock celebrates Cimaron’s rich history and explores the band’s overlooked impact and influence as they persevere against all odds and dream of playing in front of a live audience again, one last time…
Real Campbell wrs: Campbell X, Stephen Strachan; pushes Stella Nwimo, Rebecca Long; with Emma McDonald, Thishiwe Ziqubu. In post-production. Sales contact — Boudica Entertainment
Campbell X’s work addresses queer memory, desire, and blackness across the African diaspora. He directed the award-winning queer urban romantic comedy feature Stud Life, which was voted by The Guardian as one of the 10 best black British features of the last 40 years. Stud Life is part of Criterion Channel’s Masc Collection. Campbell’s latest film, the short Still We Thrive, about black joy and resistance, is currently screening at film festivals around the world. He directed and produced the short film Des!re about the joy and sensuality of men (trans and non-binary) and masculine women (i.e. studs/butches), while the documentary Visible interested in recovery. QTBIPOC UNITED KINGDOM history.
Londoner Quinn is at a crossroads. When her mother dies suddenly, Quinn begins searching for her wandering South African father. Quinn’s impulsive mission to reconnect with him is not as simple as she had imagined and a chance meeting in Cape Town with the mysterious Harley, offering to help Quinn on her journey to connect with her father, leads Quinn in a tumultuous and sinuous twist. across the underbelly and backwaters of the Western Cape. In this black queer road trip adventure, Quinn is confronted with the realities of her identity, the truth and the lies of her past.
Director David Warwick; pro Dewi Gregory. Filming. Commercial contact — Truth Department.
David Warwick is a writer-director whose films draw on a particular interest in place, landscape and the immediacy of physical experience, as well as debates within contemporary philosophy and critical theory. His short film Out For A Walk has been screened at numerous film festivals such as the Drama International Short Film Festival, the Filmfestival Kitzbühel and the Aesthetica Short Film Festival. David works as an adverts and documentary content director for well-known brands and charities, alongside media organizations such as The Guardian. He previously worked as a film journalist and associate producer for Portland Green, where he facilitated film projects from leading artists such as Brothers Quay, Simon Keenlyside, Wayne McGregor and Lucian Freud. David is also an avid surfer and co-founder of the research collective Res Communis.
In the shadow of Port Talbot’s steelworks, generations of local surfers ride waves of uncertainty in this unlikely surf spot.
A winter trip
Director Alex Helfrecht; produced Jorg Tittel, Richard Mansell, Hugh Welchman; with John Malkovich, Martina Gedeck, Jason Isaacs, Marcin Czarnik, Ólafur Darri Ólaffsson, Gabriella Moran. In post-production. Sales company — MK2 Movies
Born in Oxford in 1979, Alex grew up in France and the Caribbean. Specializing in adaptation, Alex Helfrecht’s films include the multi-award nominated The White King, co-directed with Jörg Tittel, and starring Jonathan Pryce, Fiona Shaw and Agyness Deyn; and the short agit-prop film Nyet! A Brexit border farce, starring Olivia Williams, Garry Mountaine and Beatie Edney. Alex also adapted Ernest Hemingway’s Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises for the West End stage at Trafalgar Studios. She is currently developing a documentary film Les Troyennes, a radical reworking of Euripides’ play told entirely by survivors, in co-production with the National Theater of Greece. It will involve traveling 400 kilometers on foot through the Peloponnese and performing in the magnificent Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Bavaria, 1812. A young poet in love, banished from society, is forced to wander through mountains, ice and snow, on a dangerous journey that will lead him either to death or to a new life.
Girl, Hoard, Scala!!!, Pretty Red Dress, Medusa Deluxe and The Feast are films co-financed by theBFI Filmmaking fund with money from the National Lottery,