British funding org boosts ‘Better’

New Cinema Fund awards coin to five projects

LONDON — The U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund has awarded £255,000 ($486,000) to “Better Things,” the directorial debut of Brit Duane Hopkins.

Hopkins’ script about frustrated youngsters growing up in a village in the Cotswolds, England, with severely limited opportunities, won the Media new talent prize at Cannes in 2004.

Pic is in production.

The New Cinema Fund, which takes pride in nurturing homegrown talent, also supported Hopkins’ short “Love Me or Leave Me Alone.”

New Cinema Fund awards also have been made to Bille Eltringham’s “Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution” and Claudia Solti’s first feature, “That’s for Me!”

Awards to Richard Laxton’s quirky comedy “The Allotment” and Peter Greenaway’s Rembrandt pic “Nightwatching” were previously announced.

The five awards were initiated under the stewardship of Paul Trijbits, whose six-year tenure as New Cinema Fund topper ended in mid-September. Lenny Crooks is now at the helm.

“Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution,” about an idealistic communist family that leaves Britain to live the socialist dream in 1960s East Germany, has received a $1,336,860 boost from the New Cinema Fund.

Eltringham previously directed low-budget digital thriller “This Is Not a Love Song.”

Warner Bros. will distribute “Revolution” in the U.K., Spain and Benelux.

The New Cinema Fund has provided $286,088 in completion funding for “That’s for Me!,” Solti’s mockumentary about a talentless, celebrity-obsessed actress.

With a mission to support “distinctive voices in British cinema,” the New Cinema Fund has $9 million a year to invest in arthouse films.

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