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Are These The Next Hot British Directors?

By | Tuesday February 15, 2011 @ 12:47pm PST

For a Hollywood talent agent looking for somebody hot to sign up, the winner and even some other nominees (see below) for BAFTA’s Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer fits the bill. Previous winners have been Duncan Jones, who’s currently making Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal for Summit, Steve McQueen (currently filming Shame in New York), Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights), and Joe Wright (Atonement). So the most recent winner is Sunday night’s writer/director/actor satirist Chris Morris for his feature film debut and black comedy Four Lions, about an inept group of Jihadi suicide bombers from Sheffield, England. Both the BBC and Channel 4 rejected his pitch even though Moore was a seasoned British TV satirist with several shows to his credit. (His The Day Today anticipated Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show by 3 years.) And one right-leaning UK tabloid had dubbed him “The most hated man in Britain”. But, when it came to funding his film, “a lot of people were unable to think beyond their jumpy gut reaction” said Morris, who spent 5 years researching and making his pic. Screenwriters Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, whose other credits include Bruno and Channel 4 comedy Peep Show, came on board. In the end, Film4 and UK distributor Optimum came up with the $3.8 million budget. Drafthouse released Four Lions domestically on November 5th. So far it has grossed $4.2 million worldwide:

Director Clio Barnard was a nominee and made a film called The Arbor about a bleak … Read More »

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Danny Boyle Honored At London Festival

The director, whose 127 Hours is closing the festival, was presented with a BFI Fellowship at tonight’s awards ceremony by fellow director Stephen Daldry. Also on hand was Martin Scorsese, who paid tribute to the BFI National Archive. As for the winners, jury president Patricia Clarkson presented director Alexei Popogrebsky the Best Film award for the isolation-themed How I Ended This Summer. Andy Serkis presented the Best British Newcomer award to Clio Barnard, director of The Arbor, about playwright Andrea Dunbar. And Barnard also won this year’s Sutherland Award for most original and imaginative feature debut, presented by jurors Michael Winterbottom and Olivia Williams. Armadillo won Best Documentary. Other guests at the ceremony, held at LSO St. Luke’s, home of the London Symphony Orchestra, included ex-BBC Director General Greg Dyke and screenwriter Tony Grisoni.

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