Film council offers funding for 'Flower'

The U.K. Film Council has announced its latest round of prints and advertising awards, including a $600,000 injection into the coffers of UPI to assist with the distribution of Zhang Yimou’s Chinese epic “Curse of the Golden Flower.”

The UKFC P&A fund helps distribs bring foreign, arthouse and classic pics to a wider audience.

“Golden Flower” bowed in seventh place last weekend, taking $726,085 at 223 in a frame hit hard by warm weather.

Optimum Releasing picked up two hefty awards: $300,000 for Patrice Leconte’s French subtitled pic “My Best Friend” and $180,000 toward Shane Meadows’ local “This Is England.”

“This Is England,” Meadows’ arresting semi-autobiographical portrayal of life growing up in former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s England, has been attracting lots of media attention in the Brit press.

The UKFC award has meant the stylish pic, which won two British Independent Film Awards, will be released on 70 rather than 20 screens on April 27.

Other much smaller awards were made to distribs Park Circus (“Guys and Dolls” and “Prick up Your Ears”), Axiom Films (“Half Nelson”), Yume Pictures (“The Night of the Sunflowers”), Verve Pictures (“Scott Walker — 30 Century Man”), Punk Cinema (“The Gigolos”) and to Artificial Eye (“Bamako”).

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