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Image of Desiree Akhavan in Independent Spirit Award nominee Appropriate Behaviour, which went through the Build Your Audience course

Build Your Audience project Appropriate Behaviour out now

Date posted: 06.03.2015

Following a successful premiere at last year's Sundance, Desiree Akhavan's Appropriate Behaviour arrives on UK screens today.

Akhavan's is a face audiences may recognise from her part on this season of Girls, and while there are certainly shades of Lena Dunham in the film's dry wisecracks and quarter-life crises, Appropriate Behaviour carves out a niche of its own.

Writer-director Akhavan stars as Shirin, who we meet just as she's been dumped by her girlfriend. While she might be devastated to be facing the cold realities of single life, the breakup conveniently solves the problem of having to tell her conservative Persian parents that she and Maxine were more than friends. The film follows Shirin as she negotiates the landscape of single life in Brooklyn, through hook-ups, meltdowns and flashbacks to the glass-half-full early days.

The release has received a warm welcome from critics in the UK and beyond, with the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw calling the film "funny, risky and in exhilaratingly bad taste" and Little White Lies dubbing Akhavan "a one-woman new wave."

Build Your Audience

Appropriate Behaviour is a graduate of the first edition of Build Your Audience, Film London's innovative distribution training course for filmmakers.

The film's producer, Cecilia Frugiuele tells us what she gained from the training: "Attending Build Your Audience just before filming Appropriate Behaviour meant walking onto set with a greater understanding of our film's audience potential and the challenges we would face in achieving it. The course armed us with the tools necessary to overcome these obstacles and deliver the film successfully into the marketplace."

Funded by Creative Skillset, Build Your Audience provides filmmakers with the skills, knowledge and networks they need to face the challenge of selling their film in today's marketplace. It aims to help them find the best routes to source and maximise their audiences and negotiate the impact of new digital technologies on the traditional routes of distribution and marketing.

Taking place in nine days over four months, the course includes sessions on traditional film distribution, online DIY marketing, event releasing, the festival circuit and negotiating deals. Between the formal workshops, participants also benefit from dedicated mentor support and the opportunity to network with distributors, sales agents and digital agencies.

Film London is currently seeking entrepreneurial filmmakers for the third edition of Build Your Audience. The deadline for applications is Monday 23 March.

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