Genre: Wedding comedy
Helmer: Debbie Isitt
Cast: Martin Freeman, Jessica Stevenson, Alison Steadman
Backers: BBC Films, Wasted Talent, Screen West Midlands
The pitch: Three couples compete to win the title of most original wedding of the year. Like Mike Leigh‘s films, script was jointly assembled by cast and principal crew; characters were workshopped over a period of weeks.
*Fade to Black*
Genre: Film noir
Helmer: Oliver Parker
Cast: Danny Huston, Paz Vega, Diego Luna
Backers: Ealing Studios, Odyssey Entertainment, Thema Prods., Isle of Man Film, Endgame Entertainment, Fragile Films, Dakota Films Prods., Movieweb, Film 87
The pitch: Recovering from his split with Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles starts work on a film in Italy. But when an actor is killed on set, Welles is drawn into a shady mystery that echoes “The Third Man.” Script penned by Parker and John Sayles.
The Last King of Scotland
Genre: African-set drama
Helmer: Kevin Macdonald
Cast: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Gillian Anderson
Backers: Slate Films, Cowboy Films, Tatfilm, DNA, FilmFour
The pitch: Shot in Uganda, period-set film tells tale of a Scottish doctor who ended up becoming dictator Idi Amin’s closest adviser. Pic reps first fictional feature for Oscar-winning docmaker Macdonald.
Genre: Comedy drama
Helmer: Penny Woolcock
Cast: Kelli Hollis, Ramon Tikaram, Christopher Simpson
Backers: Company Pictures, FilmFour, U.K. Film Council Premiere Fund, Screen Yorkshire
The pitch: Chaos ensues when a night of festivities hits a multicultural England town, entwining the fates of the white Crabtrees from one side of the tracks and the Khans on the other. Helmer Woolcock (“The Principles of Lust,” “The Death of Klinghoffer”) shows off her skill with ensemble casts.
Genre: Realist drama
Helmer: Andrea Arnold
Cast: Nathalie Press
Backers: U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund, Sigma Films/Red Road Films, Zentropa Films
The pitch: A tale of “obsession and forgiveness,” according to publicity; shot in Glasgow and helmed by feature debutante Andrea Arnold, whose gritty short “Wasp” won an Academy Award.
Helmer: Marc Evans
Cast: Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Carrie-Anne Moss
Backers: Revolution Films, Rhombus Media
The pitch: Canadian-set pic depicts an uptight Englishman who travels to a small town to seek out the family of a hitchhiker who was killed in a car accident with him. Once in the burg, he becomes increasingly involved in the locals’ lives. Film reps collaboration between prolific Brit producer Andrew Eaton and adventurous Canadian shingle Rhombus Media.
Helmer: Danny Boyle
Cast: Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh
Backers: DNA Films, Fox Searchlight
The pitch: Fifty years from now, a spaceship manned by eight people sets off to kickstart the dying sun and save humanity, but the mission begins to unravel after a fatal mistake. Helmer Boyle reteams for the third time with Alex Garland after “The Beach” and boffo-selling indie “28 Days Later.”
This Is England
Genre: Skinhead drama
Helmer: Shane Meadows
Cast: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley
Backers: Warp Films, FilmFour, U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund, EM Media, Screen Yorkshire, Ingenious Media, Optimum Releasing
The pitch: Helmer Meadows’ fifth feature unfolds a 1983-set story of an 11-year-old in northern England who becomes a skinhead after the death of his father and is caught up in the riots that sweep the nation that year. Working with some of his regular thesps, pic is tipped to be close in feeling to his last, “Dead Man’s Shoes.”
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Genre: Historical drama
Helmer: Ken Loach
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Liam Cunningham
Backers: Element Films, Sixteen Films, EMC Produktion, BIM Distribuzione, Tornasol Films, Regent Capital, U.K. Film Council, Bord Scannan na Eireann (Irish Film Board), NRW, Diaphana Distribution, Pathe Distribution, Cineart, TV3 Ireland, Film Coopi
The pitch: Fest darling Ken Loach’s first historical drama since international hit “Land and Freedom” looks at the 1919 Irish uprising through the story of two Republican brothers battling the British army.
Helmer: Roger Michell
Cast: Peter O’Toole
Backers: Free Range Films, FilmFour, U.K. Film Council Premiere Fund, Ingenious Film Partners
The pitch: Two aging actors’ comfortable routine is disrupted by the arrival of one of the men’s grandniece. Helmer Roger Michell worked before with novelist-screenwriter Hanif Kureishi on Cannes entrant “The Mother” and TV series “The Buddha of Suburbia.”