LONDON – Production company Cowboy Films whose credits include Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland and Marley, award winning doc producer John Battsek's outfit Passion Pictures and sales and finance banner Independent are among the big winners of a cash handout from the British Film Institute.
The outfits are on the list of 20 British production companies selected to grab a share of the $4.3 million (£2.8 million) handed out separately from the cashpool from 170 applicants.
Set up to help grow a sustainable U.K. film industry, the BFI dished out its Vision Award of up to $310,000 (£200,000) to each selected applicant over two years for film development and company growth.
The trio were among eight companies to get the maximum annual award of $155,000 (£100,000) for the two year period.
The BFI said the successful companies "each demonstrated a clear strategic vision for their future growth as well as a commitment to nurturing a diverse range of new voices and fresh ideas from across the UK, with a focus on creative excellence running through all the proposals."
BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts noted that the companies chosen for the awards "had a strong vision for the future growth of their business and we feel they’re poised to build their profile nationally and internationally, many of them by capitalizing on their filmmaker relationships and creative instincts, coupled with an entrepreneurial flair."
The BFI also pointed out that six, almost a third of those selected, are based outside London, eight feature women in leadership roles and for the first time – and in acknowledgement of new opportunities afforded by the recently introduced UK tax credit for animation – animation studios were eligible to apply, with four selected.
The BFI’s interview panel comprised director of Roberts, BFI creative director Heather Stewart and BFI Film Fund senior executives Chris Collins, Lizzie Francke and Natascha Wharton alongside the organization's BFI business affairs executive Jodie Orme.
BFI Vision Awards 2013-15: £100,000 awards (in alphabetical order):
Rory Aitken, Ben Pugh, Josh Varney, Kate Buckley
Film credits include: Shifty, Welcome To The Punch. Upcoming: Monsters: Dark Continent
Charles Steeland Alasdair Flind
Credits include: The Last King of Scotland, Fire In Babylon, Marley. Upcoming: How I Live Now.
Luc Roeg& Andrew Orr
Credits include: We Need To Talk About Kevin, Moon
LUPUS FILMS (animation)
Ruth Fielding, Camillan Deakin
Credits include: The Snowman And The Snowdog Channel 4. Upcoming: Raymond Brigg’s Ethel & Ernest (feature).
NEXUS PRODUCTIONS (animation)
Christopher O’Reilly, Charlotte Bavasso, Claire Jennings
Oscar-nominated, and winner of three Cannes Lions Grand Prix and two Black D&AD Pencils.
PASSION PICTURES and RED BOX FILMS (documentary)
John Battsekand Andrew Ruhemann - Passion Pictures
Simon Chinn- Red Box Films
Combined credits include One Day in September (Passion),Man on Wire (Red Box),Project Nim, The Imposter, Searching for Sugar Man.
Mark Herbert, Robin Gutch
Credits include: Four Lions, Submarine, This Is England. Upcoming: Yann Demange’s ’71 and Paul Wright’s For Those in Peril
Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
Credits include: Quartet, An Education. Upcoming: Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down based on Nick Hornby's novel
BFI Vision Awards: £50,000 awards
BLUE-ZOO ANIMATION (animation)
Oli Hyatt, Tom Box, Adam Shaw
BAFTA nominated Blue-Zoo have produced quality animation for SKY, BBC, Nickelodeon, Freemantle, Cartoon Network and Disney.
Joel Simon, David Cumming, Tim Bryans
Award-winning Northern Ireland-based animation studio has identified a gap in the market for low-to-medium budget stop motion animated feature films.
Kate Ogborn, Lisa-Marie Russo
Credits include: The Spirit of ’45, Swandown, Self Made, The Deep Blue Sea.
Kate Myersand Tracy Brimm
Credits include: Grabbers, Skeletons
Credits include: BAFTA-winningTyrannosaur
Credits include: Attack The Block, The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology. Upcoming: Under The Skin
Credits include: The Awakening. Upcoming: Mandela and X+Y
Rebekah Gilbertson, Nicole Carmen-Davis
Credits include: The Edge Of Love. Upcoming: Panda Eyes, Miss Shirley Bassey
ROAST BEEF PRODUCTIONS (documentary)
Havana Marking, Mike Lerner, Martin Herring
Credits include: Sundance award-winning Afghan Star, Hell & Back Again, Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer. Upcoming: Smash & Grab: Story of the Pink Panthers
Andy Starke, Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump
Credits include: Kill List, Sightseers. Upcoming: A Field In England
STRAY BEAR FILMS
Credits include: The Scouting Book For Boys, The Descent 2
Samm Haillay, Duane Hopkins
Credits include: Better Things. Upcoming: Bypass (currently in production)