British actors aren’t the only hot tickets in Hollywood — UK film production and post-production are extremely valued as well. Many of the biggest box office hits of recent years were filmed in the UK. And the diversity of British-made films does more than bring in box office: they are also frequent award winners and globally influential. And influential film isn’t limited to the cinema — UK directors are making waves with music videos and VR, as well.
In 2014, British TV, film, radio and photography generated £10.8 billion of economic value to the UK. Come see some of the UK’s amazing new films here at SXSW.
Below is a partial list of British work being screened during SXSW. For a full lineup, visit www.sxsw.com.
Director: Edgar Wright
A talented young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams, Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway.
Director: Nathaniel Martello-White
Hog is a man you’d cross the street to avoid. An eccentric, manic character, he stumbles around his South London neighborhood watching in disbelief as local joints are transformed – seemingly overnight – into hipster coffee bars and expensive estate agents. His best friend JJ has gone missing, and he’s convinced there’s a wider conspiracy at work.
But no-one listens to him – they’re too busy knocking back overpriced lattes. His investigation begins to turn up terrifying evidence that perhaps he was right all along – and he might be next to disappear. But is it all in his head? “Cla’am” is the debut short from Nathaniel Martello-White, one of the UK’s leading young playwrights and actors.
Director: Patrick Clair
This is an entrant for the Title Design Competition. ‘The Crown’ title sequence opens the hit Netflix series with shadowy glints of gold and molten metal curling from the darkness, at first menacing and slow, that entwine to form a single, sinister crown.
Director: Peter Mackie Burns
Hectic days and late nights. Daphne is caught in the daily rush of her restaurant job and a nightlife kaleidoscope of new faces. She is witty, funny, the life of the party. A quick and acerbic humour is her distinctive feature, but deep down Daphne is not happy.
Director: Nick Pittom
Decay Theory is an Episodic Sci-Fi Storytelling Experience, made up of six 15 minute episodes.
Director: Ben Wheatley
Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, ‘Free Fire’ is an electrifying action comedy about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong.
Garden (Music Video Competition Entry)
Director: Pedro Martin-Calero
Director: Taneli Mustonen
Every camper’s worst nightmare came true at Lake Bodom in 1960 when four teenagers were stabbed to death while sleeping in their tent.
Now, a group of teenagers arrives at the same campsite, hoping to solve the murder by reconstructing it minute by minute. As night falls, turns out not all of them are there to play.
Tonight… it’s girls against boys. Let the killing games begin.
Love Again (Music Video Competition Entry)
Artist: Run the Jewels (feat. Gangsta Boo)
Director: Ninian Doff
Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo
Director: David Fairhead
At the heart of Apollo was the team who worked in Mission Control in Houston. They were born in the mid 20th century, a time of economic turmoil and conflict. Some came from farms and a lifestyle little changed for a century. Others grew up in a blue-collar America of mines and smoke stacks. They ranged from kids just out of college to those hardened by military service. But from this group of people an extraordinary team was born, setting out on what JFK called: “The most hazardous, dangerous, and greatest adventure upon which mankind has ever embarked.” The film takes us from the faltering start of the US program, through their personal struggles, to the glories of the Moon landings.
Nikes (Music Video Competition Entry)
Artist: Frank Ocean
Director: Tyrone Lebon
Nobody Speak (Music Video Competition Entry)
Artist: DJ Shadow ft. Run the Jewels
Director: Sam Pilling
Notes to my Father
Director: Jayisha Patel
Notes to my Father’ is a story of love, grief and reconciliation between father and daughter.
Flooded by memories of life in an Indian brothel, Ramadevi pens a letter to her father, who unintentionally played a role in his daughter’s trauma.
Despite being close now; they have never spoken about what happened to her.
Through Ramadevi’s touching letter, she reaches out to her father so that they can talk about the unspoken between them. Of their pasts, their pain and her hope that her own young daughter is saved from having a similar fate.
“Notes to My Father” is an Oculus VR for Good project in conjunction with My Choices Foundation.
On the Road
Director: Michael Winterbottom
On the Road’ is a documentary following acclaimed British rock band and Grammy nominees Wolf Alice on tour, recording their gigs as well as the romance and routine of their daily life backstage.
Paa Joe & The Lion
Director: Benjamin Wigley
Inside a duty shack sleeps Paa Joe, the world renowned Grandfather of the fantasy coffin trade. He dreams of his bygone days: bringing money home in briefcases and his work being shipped the world over.
Director: Alice Lowe
A pitch-black, wryly British comedy from the mind of Alice Lowe, ‘Prevenge’ follows Ruth, a pregnant woman on a killing spree that’s as funny as it is vicious.
Roseau – “Disintegrate”
Director: Hannah Jacobs
The film follows the journey of a female astronaut as she discovers new terrain whilst navigating the painful backdrop of her past.
Song of Granite
Director: Pat Collins
“Song of Granite” revolves around the life of the great traditional Irish singer, Joe Heaney. The harsh landscape combined with the myths, fables and songs of his Connemara childhood helped shape this complex and fascinating character. Enigmatic and complex, Heaney’s devotion to his art came at a huge personal cost.
Directors: Roland Lane, Alex Lambert
‘Spatium’ is the debut piece of a VR trilogy inspired by the creations of Treacy, a designer renowned for creating hats that appear to defy the possible. Fashion becomes fantasy and fantasy is given form. In VR, the hat becomes an architecture where the limitations of the physical no longer apply, conjuring discovery and wonder.
Director: Remi Weekes
When Natalie learns that Elliott is ticklish, things get bad. And then they get worse.
Director: Jennifer Zheng
Some things can only be understood with maturity. New light is shed on childhood cultural misunderstandings when a Chinese mother and her British born daughter speak as adults for the first time.
Two Fish and an Elephant (Music Video Competition Entry)
Director: Scott Dungate
Director: Dominic Bridges
Hussein, a wide-boy estate agent, doestn’ realise he’s sharing his apartment with a forgotten stranger, a master of concealment… until his malicious campaign of sweet revenge starts to really hit home.
Us and Them
Director: Joe Martin
This is a backlash against the drone of British period dramas. Danny is an ordinary working class kid who is tired of the rough deal he faces. His plan? To start a revolution by streaming attacks against the one percent on the web.
Director: Aaron Bradbury
Within an empty void, fragments appear of their life together, refracting and glistening. We hear the voice of an old man describing these moments and how they always lead to the same memory of her. The fragments slowly coalesce to reveal a haunting snapshot of their last moment together.
Walk With Me
Directors: Max Pugh, Marc J. Francis
With unprecedented access, ‘Walk With Me’ goes deep inside a Zen Buddhist community who practice the art of mindfulness with their world-famous teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Filmed over 3 years in their monastery in rural France and on the road in the USA, this visceral film is a meditation on a community grappling with existential questions and the everyday routine of monastic life.
Director: Marie-Cécile Embleton
A poetic portrait of a Persian watchmaker, whose philosophical musings on his craft invite us to reflect on how we engage with time in a globalized, fast-paced world. Moving between his colorful pared-down home and the wind swept marshes of East London, we discover the horologist’s ascetic and beautiful private world.
Wednesday with Goddard
Director: Nicolas Menard
“Wednesday with Goddard” is an animated short film by Nicolas Ménard. It was commissioned by Channel 4’s Random Acts, and is part of the Late Night Work Club’s latest anthology. It tells the surreal story of Eugene, an introspective man who suddenly finds himself wanting to find God. The visual style combines elegant pencil drawings by Manshen Lo with digital 2D animation. It was produced at Nexus Studios, in London, and features music and sound by David Kamp.