I just got word that EXAM (on which I was an Assoc Producer) won the Bronze Hitchcock award at the Dinard Film Festival – the Bronze Hitchcock is a special award chosen by French exhibitors and it gives us a theatrical run on 40 screens across Brittany and Normandy – great news for us all. Director Stuart Hazeldine was there to collect the award at the closing night ceremonies (pic above). I was at Dinard in 2008 with Gone Fishing myself – it’s an odd little festival that shows British films only and it was, for me at least, a quite disconnecting experience (video blog here).
We also just found out from our Mexican distributors that EXAM will be released on seventy, yes 70 prints! OUTSTANDING!
I can’t help but reflect on the press grilling I was given last week for suggesting that SOME British films could be made more cost effectively.
EXAM is a great example of what can be done with a very low budget – it has a strong commercial idea, it is brilliantly executed, on a very low budget, with a paid crew, with lots of four star reviews in the press… and zero support in the UK from those who should have been behind us, pushing the film into more theatres. Ironically, EXAM was squeezed OUT of many of the digital sceens that the UKFC paid into as James Cameron needed the space for ‘Avatar’.
I appreciate that kitting out theatres with digital projectors is a complex business proposal, but if we the UK tax payer actually funds it, you would think that British film makers and audiences alike would get a better than fair crack at the whip. Sadly not.
So let’s all remember… UKFC2 will reboot at some point soon. Someone will need to distribute that lottery money. Who will it be? You? Me? At the very least we should have a voice in the new entity so we can ensure that success stories such as EXAM are not limited to massive releases in just Mexico!
Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author