UK money in three competition titles
by Annika Pham
24/04/2006 - Celebrated UK filmmaker and Cannes regular Ken Loach will be competing for the Palme d’Or with his Irish civil war film The Wind That Shakes the Barley [trailer, film focus], alongside a new face in British cinema, Andrea Arnold and her Red Road [trailer], as well as renowned US filmmaker Richard Linklater, whose Fast Food Nation was produced by veteran UK producer Jeremy Thomas.
Ken Loach has won many awards at Cannes (including Best Screenplay for Sweet Sixteen [trailer] in 2002) but never the coveted top statuette, for which he will be vying for the eighth time. The sixth collaboration with scriptwriter Paul Laverty is set in 1919 and tells the story of two brothers who fight together during the Irish civil war of Independence.
The film, starring Cillian Murphy and Liam Cunningham, is a true European co-production between Ireland (Element Film), the UK (Sixteen Films), Italy (BIM Distribuzione), Germany (EMC Produktion) and Spain (Tornasol Films), made for approximately €6.5m with support from the Irish Film Board and the UK Film Council, among others. It will be released by Pathe in the UK and Ireland next June and Pathe’s London sales arm is handling world sales.
Andrea Arnold won an Oscar in 2005 for her short film Wasp and for her feature debut Red Road, she teamed up again with UK rising star Natalie Press. The film tells the story of a CCTV operator, Jackie, who recognises a man whom she had hoped never to see again. It is a UK/Danish co-production between Sigma Films and Zentropa Entertainment, produced in association with Zoma Films and Verve Pictures, with support from the UK FC, Scottish Screen, Glasgow Film Office and BBC Films. Trust Film Sales is handling worldwide distribution.
Linklater, the US director of Before Sunrise, has joined forces with UK producer Jeremy Thomas on the film adaptation of the non-fiction book Fast Food Nation. The US/UK co-production, starring Greg Kinnear, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson and Patricia Arquette, is also supported by BBC Films and is being sold internationally by Hanway Films.