Film London’s Microwave-funded feature Sweetheart has signed with Peccadillo Pictures, becoming the fourth title to be released from the second Microwave slate so far, with a UK cinema release on 24 September.
Sweetheart is the coming-of-age story of socially awkward teenager AJ who whilst on holiday with her family at a caravan park in Dorset, meets and unexpectedly falls for young lifeguard Isla. The film is written/directed by Marley Morrison and produced by Michelle Antoniades, 2020 Film London Lodestars behind Hazey Jane Films.
Last year, Sweetheart presented at the inaugural UK Works in Progress showcase at the BFI London Film Festival for upcoming UK productions available to international buyers and programmers. The feature then recently premiered at the virtual Glasgow Film Festival 2021, receiving positive reviews and winning the coveted Audience Award, and also screened as part of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival.
Microwave is Film London's flagship feature film scheme and serves to inspire and develop the capital’s best new filmmakers, empowering them to make bold, compelling features that will surprise and inspire global audiences. The scheme was the first low budget feature program in Europe and has been responsible for discovering and developing some of the UK’s most exciting talent.
Films from the second slate have so far been met with distribution deals, festival premieres and awards success, providing a much needed boost for London’s screen industries and profiling the city’s most exciting talent. The second slate continues to support productions, with two features in the final stages of delivery.
Welcoming the news, Film London CEO Adrian Wootton said:
“Following the almost complete global production shutdown, the industry has rallied together to restart the sector, getting paused production - and people’s jobs - back on track and producing the world-class content for which we are renowned. We’re thrilled to celebrate the ongoing success of Microwave’s second slate, showcasing not only an array of diverse and authentic stories and emerging talent, but also the sheer determination and perseverance of creatives who have overcome the various hurdles and set-backs of the past year.
Now, demand for content is higher than ever, and with Sweetheart joining Mari, Body of Water and Looted in landing distribution deals, exciting times are ahead as we work towards a relaunch and reboot of the Microwave scheme, carrying forward its rich heritage and legacy of supporting exciting new talent and outstanding independent film from 2008 until today."
Peccadillo Pictures is an award-winning UK film distributor of Art House, LGBTQ+ and International Cinema. Launched in 2000, Peccadillo represents new and upcoming talent alongside established directors, also distributing short films and re-releases of classics. As well as bringing an array of films to cinemas across the UK and Ireland, Peccadillo provides film viewing on a variety of platforms on video on demand.
Tom Abell, Peccadillo Pictures founder said:
“We have followed the Sweetheart project for some time along with the work of Marley and Michelle and are really excited to be bringing the film to UK cinemas this summer. Sweetheart is a true audience pleaser and an uplifting film to help bring us out of our COVID blues”
The films from the second slate of Film London’s flagship feature film scheme, Microwave, have been met with distribution deals, festival premiers and awards success, providing a much needed boost for London’s screen industries and profiling the city’s most exciting talent. The second Microwave slate continues to support productions, with two features in the final stages of delivery.
Microwave’s second slate was developed in partnership with BBC Films and the BFI, with the slate consisting of Zero, Homebound (formerly known as The Visitor), Looted, Body of Water, Mari, and Sweetheart.
Mari was the first film to launch from the second slate, premiering at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2018 before a UK theatrical run with Verve Pictures. Body of Water premiered at Glasgow Film Festival 2020 and was released in the UK through Verve Pictures last October. Looted had its worldwide premiere at Black Nights Tallinn in late 2019, awarded the FIPRESCI prize and released in the UK through Bulldog last November. Homebound and Zero are both now in the final stages of delivery, with Zero going out to festivals and potential partners.
Film London offers a wide range of funding opportunities for people within the screen industries. More information can be found on our funding page.