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29/01/2008

'Man On Wire' Strikes It Lucky Twice At Sundance

Man on Wire, a feature documentary film by British filmmaker James Marsh and supported by the Lottery through the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund has won two prizes at Sundance, the leading international film festival for independent films.
The film which is the dramatic retelling of Philippe Petit's daring and illegal exploit to walk the high-wire between New York's twin towers, proved to be a huge success with both critics and public audiences winning both the World Cinema Documentary Jury Prize and the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award.
Lenny Crooks, Head of the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund which backed the film said: "Man on Wire demonstrates the great potential of feature documentaries if we tackle subjects with an international perspective. James Marsh is a proven talent, both in drama and documentary, and we are privileged to have supported him on this film."
In addition, British filmmaker Simon Ellis's Soft, funded by the Lottery through the UK Film Council and Film4 partnered Cinema Extreme programme, won Sundance's International Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking. For Ellis, the award is the latest in a string of successes, having previously won prizes at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival. Ellis is now working on his first feature film.
This year's Sundance was the best-ever for the British film industry with 23 British films selected for screening, including nine UK Film Council Lottery-funded films.The British selection included seven features, four feature documentaries and 12 short films, a variety reflecting the breath of British filmmaking creativity working in film.
Geoffrey Gilmore, Director of the Sundance Film Festival said: "The excellence of the British filmmakers at this year's Sundance Film Festival highlights the growing role of the festival as a showcase for international cinema in the United States. With more films represented in the world documentary competition than any other country, the British filmmakers have clearly broken through to the United States audiences, and they exemplify the possibilities for other countries seeking to bring international cinema to the United States. We have never had anything like the range, quality and full spectrum of films from the UK this year."
(DS)
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