Pix win with U.K. lottery cash

Phil Agland’s “The Woodlanders” and George Sluizer’s “Crimetime” are among six British films awarded a total of £2.32 million ($3.6 million) Sept. 21 in production funding from the National Lottery.

These are the first feature projects to receive money from the pilot lottery fund managed by the Arts Council of England. The Arts Council has ear-marked $110 million of lottery money for film financing over the next five years.

“The Woodlanders,” a $6 million adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, got $1.55 million, the biggest single award. The film’s other backers are Channel 4 and Chargeurs.

Produced by River Films, pic marks the feature debut of renowned documentary helmer Agland, best known for his docu “Beyond the Clouds.”

“Love and Death on Long Island,” a $4.2 million Anglo-Canadian co-production, received $1.2 million. This Skyline Pictures production, adapted from Gilbert Adair’s novel, also is backed by British Screen, BSkyB, the BBC, Nova Scotia Film Development Corp., Telefilm Canada and Imagex.

“Crimetime,” a $6 million psychological thriller directed by Sluizer, received $470,000. Pic, starring Pete Postlethwaite and Stephen Baldwin, is produced by Focus Films with several European co-production partners; Trimark has U.S. rights.

“Gallivant,” the debut feature of writer-director Andrew Kotting, was awarded $263,000 of its $530,000 budget.

The film, an odyssey around the coast of Britain, is a co-production between the British Film Institute and producer Tall Stories, backed by Channel 4.

The makers of a movie celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Glastonbury rock festival received $56,000; other backers include MTV. Finally, lottery money will provide half the budget for a $180,000 short film, “The Man Who Held His Breath.”

Other grants, totaling $1.39 million, went to four other British film orgs for capital projects.

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