Still from The Pearl Button (large)

New BFI FAN scheme to support foreign language films

The BFI's Film Audience Network (FAN) is launching a new scheme to support the distribution of foreign language films in the UK, and two Creative Europe-funded films have been selected as the first titles to receive support.

FAN is made up of nine regional ‘Film Hubs’ in the UK who work closely with a number of regional exhibitors. They will invest £100,000 in the distribution of six films this year. The first two titles chosen for the scheme are: 

  • Patricio Guzmán’s Spanish-language documentary The Pearl Button, which premiered at the Berlinale in 2015, winning a Silver Bear for best script. The film was supported by Creative Europe at development stage through the Single Project schemeThe Pearl Button is being distributed by New Wave in March.
  • French Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang, which premiered in Cannes Directors' Fortnight and has been Oscar-nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The film’s release in several European territories has been supported by Creative Europe’s Automatic Distribution scheme. It is being distributed in the UK by Curzon Artificial Eye in May. 

Each release will receive a tailored marketing pack, and the funds will be used towards a new release strategy, targeting specific audiences across the UK through regional preview screenings, events with film talent, online advertising and Facebook campaigns.

New Wave's Robert Beeson, said: “We’re very pleased that The Pearl Button has been chosen as one of the first of, we hope, many films to benefit from this new initiative. Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light engaged and moved audiences nationwide in 2012 and The Pearl Button should reach even more screens.”

Ben Luxford, the BFI’s Head of Audiences, added: “By supporting these new releases, BFI FAN aims to positively intervene in the market, engaging new and underserved audiences with critically revered, curated titles.”

Photo: The Pearl Button, courtesy of New Wave Films