UK films line up for Cannes Great 8 showcase

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She Will The BFI and the British Council have unveiled this year’s Great 8 – the annual Cannes Marché buyers showcase for features from emerging UK filmmakers

Now in its fourth edition, the showcase is funded and run by the BFI and the British Council, in partnership with BBC Film and Film4.

In preparation for the Marché, unseen first-look footage from each of the titles will be introduced by their filmmakers and screened on Thursday 17 June exclusively to buyers and festival programmers and made available across five different time zones. All of the features are now in post-production and will be available to buyers during the online Cannes Marché, which runs from 21-25 June.

The Great 8 2021 line-up is:

  • BALLYWALTER, directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah from a screenplay by Stacey Gregg. Produced by James Bierman and Nik Bower, and starring Seána Kerslake, Patrick Kielty. From Empire Street Productions, Riverstone Pictures, Cowtown Pictures.


  • A BANQUET, directed by  Ruth Paxton form a screenplay by Justin Bull. Produced by Leonora Darby, Mark Lane, James Harris, Nik Bower and Laure Vaysse. Stars Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes, Kaine Zajaz and Lindsay Duncan, from Tea Shop Productions, Riverstone Pictures, REP Productions 8. 


  • BOXING DAY, directed by Aml Ameen; written by Aml Ameen and Bruce Purnell. Produced by Matthew G Zamias, Damian Jones, Aml Ameen, Dominique Telson and Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor. Stars Aml Ameen, Aja Naomi King, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Tamara Lawrence. From DJ Films, Studi0 113, BFI, Film4, Warner Bros UK. 


  • BRIAN AND CHARLES, directed by Jim Archer from a screenplay by David Earl, and Chris Hayward; produced by Rupert Majendie. Stars David Earl, Chris Hayward, Louise Brealey, Jamie Michie, Nina Sosanya and made by Mr Box, BFI, Film4. 


  • THE REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN, documentary, directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney; written by Oliver Kindeberg, Peter Middleton, James Spinney. Produced by Ben Limberg, John Battsek, Mike Brett, Steve Jamieson, Jo-Jo Ellison. From Archer’s Mark, Passion Pictures, Smaller Biggie, BFI, Film4, Showtime. 

  • RIDE THE WAVE, documentary, directed by Martyn Robinson. Produced by Martyn Robinson, Louise Storrie for Blackhouse Films. 

  • SHE WILL (pictured), directed by Charlotte Colbert from a screenplay by Kitty Percy and Charlotte Colbert. Produced by Jessica Malik and Bob Last and starring Alice Krige, Kota Eberhardt, Malcolm McDowell and Rupert Everett. Produced by Popcorn Group, Rocket Science, Intermission Film, Pressman Film.

  • TRUE THINGS, directed by Harry Wootliff; written by Harry Wootliff and Molly Davies. Produced by Tristan Goligher, Ruth Wilson, Ben Jackson and Jude Law, and starring Ruth Wilson and Tom Burke. Made by The Bureau, Lady Lazarus, Riff Raff UK, BFI, BBC Film. 

Neil Peplow, the BFI’s director of industry and international affairs, said: “The high quality and diversity of UK filmmaking talent bringing their stories to film is exciting and a conversation that has grown through GREAT8. The level of interest shown by international buyers, programmers and the wider industry in the programme has been encouraging and we look forward to seeing their response this year.

“GREAT8 plays an important part in our activities to support the export of UK film around the world and build international relationships, work that we will be expanding thanks to our Government’s support for the new UK Global Screen Fund.”

She Will image via Rocket Science. 

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