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29/04/2002

British talent leads the way in Cannes line-up

The official line-up for the Cannes Film Festival features a host of British filmmaking talent.
Three British directors take their films into Competition. Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People, co-funded by the Lottery through The Film Consortium, lines up alongside Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen and former Palme d'Or winner Mike Leigh with his film All Or Nothing. Winterbottom has competed in Cannes previously with his award-winning films Wonderland and Welcome To Sarajevo. The critically acclaimed 24 Hour Party People, produced by Andrew Eaton and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, is the highly charged story of the spectacular rise and fall of Manchester's Factory Records, stable for Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays and the infamous Hacienda nightclub and stars Steve Coogan as maverick record company boss Tony Wilson.
Film Council co-financed 'Tomorrow La Scala!' the feature debut of documentary filmmaker Francesca Joseph, receives its world premiere in Un Certain Regard. The film follows an opera company's performance of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in a maximum-security prison using a chorus of lifers. Tomorrow La Scala! is a Home Movies production and is the first film to be made under the New Cinema Fund's joint venture with BBC Films for BBC Two. The film which stars Jessica Stevenson was produced by Christopher Collins and Ruth Caleb.
Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar, co-funded by the Film Council, will premiere in Director's Fortnight (La Quinzaine Des Realisateurs). Produced by George Faber, Charles Pattinson and Robyn Slovo of Company Pictures, the film is adapted from Alan Warner's cult novel and stars Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton as a supermarket worker from a small port town in the west of Scotland whose quiet life is turned around when she discovers her boyfriend's body on the kitchen floor. Ramsay has enjoyed continued success at Cannes - two of her shorts won prizes at the festival and her debut feature Ratcatcher premiered in Un Certain Regard.
John Woodward, Film Council Chief Executive Officer, said: "The Film Council congratulates all of those involved in the production of these films. We're delighted that the Cannes selection committee has recognised the high quality and creative originality of British filmmakers, from established masters to debut talents."
Film Council, www.filmcouncil.org.uk
(GB)
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