Enabling festivals to programme new, high-quality work from the UK is at the heart of British Council Film. For some feature films and most shorts, festivals are often the only means of reaching an international audience. Similarly, in many countries, festivals are an effective way of enabling large numbers of people to refresh their perceptions of the UK.
The British Council works with international festivals in the following ways:
The British Council provides a preview service for selectors from the world's major film festivals/markets. This entails maintaining an advanced tracking list of new and imminent UK feature films and staging screening sessions of that work to senior programmers from international festivals in London. The British Council currently provides Festival Selector screenings of British feature-length films (fiction films or documentaries over 75 minutes in length) to the following major film festivals: Sundance; Rotterdam; Goteborg; Berlin; Sofia; Tribecal; Cannes, Official Competition; Cannes, Directors' Fortnight; Cannes, Critics' Week; Karlovy Vary; Locarno; Venice; Rome; Toronto and Busan.
The British Council also sends updates on forthcoming screenings to a large mailing list of producers, sales agents and industry contacts. If you would like to be added to this mailing list, please send your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
The British Council takes an active role in UK stands at key film markets (including the European Film Market in Berlin, the European Short Film Market in Clermont-Ferrand, the Toronto International Film Festival and the UK Film Centre in Cannes). It is also a partner in We Are UK Film, an umbrella organisation which brings together the UK’s film commissions, national and regional agencies, producers and sales companies in order to provide the latest information about the country’s outstanding locations, services, films and talent.
Working with both its offices overseas, and a range of international partners, the British Council helps to curate programmes and obtain DCP/prints, rights, speakers and publicity material for international festivals. This sometimes involves giving detailed support to help festivals mount specific UK focuses in their programmes (such as those in Rio and Guadalajara in 2012) or alternatively simple one-off advice.
The British Council takes an advisory role for festival selectors from specialist short film festivals (including Oberhausen); selects new UK short films to promote at international festivals; and offers travel grants to UK short filmmakers to travel to represent their work at international events (via the Shorts Support Scheme).