Mark Cousins' The Eyes of Orson Welles screened as a Cannes Classic after screening to Cannes programmers through British Council
Enabling festivals to programme new, high-quality work from the UK is at the heart of British Council Film. For some feature films and most shorts, festivals are often the most significant means of reaching an international audience. Similarly, in many countries, festivals are an effective way of enabling large numbers of people to refresh their perceptions of the UK.
We work with international festivals in several ways.
Festival Selector Preview Screenings
The most important of these is to provide a preview service for selectors from the world's major film festivals/markets. This entails maintaining an advanced tracking list of new and imminent UK feature films and staging screening sessions of that work to senior programmers from international Festivals here in London. We currently provide Festival Selector screenings of British feature length films (fiction films or documentaries over 75 minutes in length) to the following international Film Festivals:
Cannes, Official Competition and Un Certain Regard
Cannes, Directors' Fortnight
Cannes, Critics' Week
Download and read the FAQ about our selector screenings at right.
To programme these screenings we send updates on forthcoming visits to a large mailing list of producers, sales agents and industry contacts. If you would like to be added to this mailing list and have your film considered for inclusion please send your contact details to Rowan.Woods@britishcouncil.org
Please note that you will be required to submit the details of your film on a festival by festival basis. We make the selection for each screening in conjunction with the Film Festival's programming team. If your film is selected for any of our Festival Selector Screenings there is a fee payable of £75 (+VAT) for films without a sales agent and £125 (+VAT) for films with a sales agent. (The festival will then waive their submission fee so you will not be charged twice for submissions).
UK Presence at International Festivals
We take an active role in hosting UK stands at key film markets (in recent years including the European Film Market in Berlin, European Short Film Market in Clermont-Ferrand, Toronto International Film Festival and UK Film Centre in Cannes). We are also a partner in We Are UK Film, an umbrella organisation which brings together the UK’s film commissions, national and regional agencies, producers and sales companies in order to provide the latest information about our outstanding locations, services, films and talent.
UK activity in other international Film Festivals
Working with both our offices overseas, and a range of international partners, we help to curate programmes and obtain DCP/prints, rights, speakers and publicity material for a range of international festivals. This sometimes means detailed support to help festivals mount specific UK focusses in their programmes (such as the upcoming British focus at the 2017 Dubai Film Festival) or can be simple one-off advice.
International Festival exposure for UK Shorts
We take an advisory role for Festival selectors from specialist short film festivals (including Oberhausen); select new UK short films to promote at international festivals; and offer Travel Grants to UK short Filmmakers to travel to represent their work at a number of key international events (via our Short Support Scheme).