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Lottery 'dividend' as British Indie Film Awards nominations announced

An impressive 17 nominations in 11 categories for the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) have proved that UK Film Council investments are paying dividends for new film talent.
Three of the five nominations in the ‘Debut Director’ category of the BIFAs are backed by the National Lottery through the UK Film Council; ‘Bullet Boy’, directed by first time filmmaker Saul Dibb and starring So Solid Crew’s Ashley Walters (Asher D); John Crowley’s ‘Intermission’ starring Colin Farrell; And Emily Young’s ‘Kiss of Life’.
Mike Leigh’s ‘Vera Drake’, which won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, was nominated in seven categories.
Paul Trijbits, head of the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund, said: “This fantastic list of nominations shows that Lottery investments in new British films are crucial in delivering the next generation of great filmmakers. People love film that can tell stories about the world we live in and share these with audiences all over the world. No one can deny that the UK is currently producing some extraordinary talent in front of and behind the camera.”
Additionally, an unprecedented ten Lottery backed films have screened at international festivals including Venice, Toronto and London.
As well as Vera Drake, Michael Radford’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ (which received £600,000 from the Lottery), starring Al Pacino as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio, and Joseph Fiennes as Bassanio, screened at Venice.
The line up at Toronto included Bullet Boy, debut films from Brad McGann (In My Father’s Den) Lucile Hadzihalilovic (Innocence), Amma Asante (A Way of Life), Charles Dance (Ladies in Lavender), Christopher Smith (Creep), as well as new films from Ziad Doueiri (Lila Says), Sally Potter (Yes) and John Stephenson (Five Children and It.).
Vera Drake opened the Times bfi 48th London Film Festival on October 20.
Films receive 2.3% of National Lottery proceeds given to good causes.
As of October 2003 UK Film Council backed films had been seen by more than 31 million people around the world and taken £125 million at the global box office - £9 for every £1 invested in their production by the Lottery.
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