13 British films to tempt festival directors in 2022 | Characteristics

Screen spotlights 14 UK titles aiming to tempt festival directors in 2022 – a year the industry hopes will see even more in-person festivals blossom. Features new tracks from Joanna Hogg, Mark Jenkin, Martin McDonagh and Florian Zeller, plus debuts from Prasanna Puwanarajah and Charlotte Regan.

A weekend in Gaza
Real. Basil Khalil
Palestinian-British director Khalil’s feature debut is set amid a viral outbreak that is consuming Israel, making Gaza the safest place in the region. Amina Dasmal and Robin Fox are producing for their UK and UAE based Alcove Entertainment, with backing from the BFI and Film4, and a cast including Stephen Mangan and Mouna Hawa. Protagonist Pictures handles worldwide sales.
Contact: Protagonist Pictures

Real. Prasanna Puwanarajah
British actor Puwanarajah – who is set to reprise his role as Martin Bashir from Diana in the next series of The crown – makes his directorial debut in this comedy, which follows a college dropout living with her mother and making money as an unlicensed minicab driver, who picks up an aspiring comic whose marriage has imploded. Seána Kerslake stars in the comedy alongside Patrick Kielty. Producers are James Bierman of Empire Street Productions and Nik Bower of Riverstone Pictures – both based in London – in co-production with Alan Maher and John Wallace of Cowtown Pictures in Ireland. It is funded by the BFI Film Fund, Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and Salmira Productions. Bankside Films handles worldwide sales.
Contact: Bankside Films

The Banshees of Inisherin
Real. Martin McDonagh
McDonagh’s next feature, after Three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri, reunites the director In Brugge stars Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, and frequent collaborators Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of Blueprint Pictures, who produce for Searchlight Pictures and Film4. A pair of longtime friends on a remote Irish island find their relationship is falling apart. Searchlight has worldwide distribution rights.
Contact: Projector Pictures

Enys Men
Real. Marc Jenkins
This 1970s horror is Jenkin’s sequel to his escape, Bait. He is directing from his own script, with co-financing from Film4 and Denzil Monk producing for Bosena. Bait star Mary Woodvine plays the lead, who lives alone on a Cornish island haunted by both the past and the future. The protagonist represents global sales.
Contact: Protagonist Pictures

The Eternal Daughter
Real. Joanna Hogg
Tilda Swinton finds Memory director Hogg for this ghost story, which filmed secretly in Wales and centers on a middle-aged girl and her elderly mother who confront buried secrets when they revisit their old family home. Element Pictures is produced with JWH Films, with support from BBC Film. Martin Scorsese is executive producer and A24 owns the worldwide rights.
Contact details: A24

I came
Real. Babak Anvari
Anvari’s third film, after under the shade and injuries, is a Netflix thriller about an anarchist graffiti artist. It features a cast including George Mackay, Kelly Macdonald, Hugh Bonneville and Dakota Johnson. Film4 and New Regency developed the project and executive produced alongside XYZ.
Contact: Netflix

luxury jellyfish
Real. Thomas Hardimann
Hardiman’s debut is a murder mystery set in a competitive hairdressing contest, also written by Hardiman, and produced by Mike Elliott and co-produced by Louise Palmkvist Hansen and Lee Groombridge of Emu Films, developed and financed by BFI and BBC Movie. Hardiman previously worked as a production assistant on Emu’s catch me daddy and The Goob. New Europe Film Sales handles worldwide distribution.
Contact: New Europe Film Sales

Pretty red dress
Real. Dionne Edwards
Edwards’ debut features Natey Jones and X factor Alexandra Burke, winner, and explores a South London family whose lives revolve around a red dress. Georgia Goggin is producing the drama for Teng Teng Films in the UK, in conjunction with the BFI, BBC Film and the Sundance Institute. Edwards was a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2019. Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide sales.
Contact: Protagonist Pictures

The son
Real. Florian Zeller
Zeller’s sequel to the Oscar-winning actor The father sees Vanessa Kirby and Hugh Jackman play new parents whose lives are turned upside down when the father’s ex-wife appears. See-Saw Films is producing with Christophe Spadone alongside Zeller. Film4 co-financed. Embankment and Cross City Films jointly handle international sales.
Contact: Backfill

Real. Charlotte Regan
This is Regan’s feature debut, a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2020. The reverse coming-of-age narrative follows 12-year-old Georgie, who lives independently, until her absentee father is released from prison. Theo Barrowclough produces for DMC Film. The iFeatures project is supported by Creative England, BFI and BBC Film.
Contact: DMC Film

Real. Sally El Hosaini
The true story of Syrian Olympic swimmer sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini is produced by Working Title Films for Netflix. my brother the devil filmmaker El Hosaini took over as director from Stephen Daldry, who remains executive producer. Jack Thorne wrote the script for the drama, with real-life sisters, Lebanese actresses Manal and Nathalie Issa, in the lead roles.
Contact: Netflix

Real. Daina O. Pusic
Screen Star of Tomorrow 2021 Lola Petticrew stars as a 15-year-old girl alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus as her mother in the feature debut of O. Pusic, produced by Gingerbread Pictures’ Helen Gladders, Wild Swim Films’ Ivana MacKinnon and Record Player Films’ Oliver Roskill alongside A24. BBC Film co-financed with A24, alongside the BFI and Cinereach.
Contact details: A24

Real. Sebastien Lelio
Fiona Lamptey’s first Netflix order is a psychological thriller starring Florence Pugh, Niamh Algar and Ciaran Hinds. House Productions and Element Pictures are producing. It is based on a novel by Room the writer Emma Donoghue, about an English nurse observing a girl in an Irish village in 1862, who apparently survived months without eating.
Contact: Netflix

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