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Behind the scenes at Cannes 2018

Date posted: 15.05.2018

While the sun (occasionally) shone down on the world's most famous film festival, Film London and the British Film Commission were far from the glamour of the red carpet, the posh frocks and the tuxedos.

Instead, both agencies were overheating their Fitbits as they clocked up countless miles on the Croisette, flying the flag for UK film and TV production, answering questions from international producers and working to generate inward investment opportunities.

On Friday Adrian Wootton OBE met with Margot James, Minister for Digital and Creative Industries, on behalf of the British Film Commission to discuss the UK industry's strengths and the challenges it faces. The Minister met a select group of key US execs, who recounted their experiences and answered the Minister's questions, providing a first-hand account of what it's like to make major films and high-end TV shows everywhere from London to Northern Ireland.

That same day saw a panel at the UK Film Centre entitled 'Small Films, Big Impact', wherein London Calling filmmaker Georgia Goggin talked about her experience with the excellent short film We Love Moses.

Saturday morning saw Adrian co-hosting a table discussing sustainability with long-term partners Il de France Film Commission as part of Le Marche du Film's Producers Network, while Film London's Head of Inward Investment and Business Development, Helena Mackenzie hosted another table geared towards discussing the practicalities of international production.

Film London hosted an intimate reception that same evening for European partners and funders who have worked with us on projects ranging from film financing and talent development to the green agenda. The overriding message was 'London is open', and that we want these important partnerships to continue well into the future.

Sunday saw Film London's third 'talent mixer' take place, which brought together filmmaking alumni from our various talent development schemes, alongside funders, financiers and public bodies with an interest in meeting emerging talent. As well as a great opportunity to get an update on what our filmmakers have in the pipeline, we also had the chance to hear about the deals they've been brokering in Cannes and - we hope - catalyse some new business relationships in a low-key environment far from the whirlwind of the Croisette.  

Monday saw Adrian chairing a BFC-backed panel on how producers can maximise international incentives. The panel, held at the UK Film Centre, featured producer Piers Tempest (The WifeDriven), co-founder and director of Element Pictures Andrew Lowe (The Favourite, Disobedience), executive producer Manuel Monzón (The Bookshop, Black Snow) and See Saw's Head of Production, Amy Jackson (How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Top of the Lake).

The evening saw the BFC and Film London join Screen International and Twickenham Studios in hosting the annual UK Reception, which was attended by filmmakers, financiers, studio execs and other industry professionals from all over the world. The evening offered an opportunity to bang the drum for the UK being the best place in the world to make film and high-end TV thanks to its unique mix of talent, facilities and locations, all of which are underpinned by generous and reliable tax reliefs.

The next morning execs from both Film London and the BFC headed down to the UK Film Centre for a series of 'meet the expert' sessions with producers and filmmakers interested in learning more about filming in London and the UK.

With those wrapped it was time for us to pack our suitcases and return to basecamp. See you next year, maybe?



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