The BFI’s Film Fund Invests in Space Movie, Cop Drama

8:03 AM PST 01/24/2012 by Stuart Kemp

Films by Ruairi Robinson and Nick Murphy secure lottery cash from British Film Institute after U.K. Film Council shutdown.

LONDON -- Ruairi Robinson’s Last Days on Mars (aka The Animators) and Blood (aka Conviction), directed by Nick Murphy are among the latest projects to garner lottery funding dished out by the fledgling BFI Film Fund.

Robinson’s film, backed by former PolyGram Filmed Entertainment chief Michael Kuhn’s Qwerty Films, is a thriller in space about a group of astronauts collecting specimens on Mars who succumb one by one to a mysterious force.

The BFI Film Fund has dished out £1 million ($1.6 million) for the development and pre-production of the project.

Also benefitting, to the tune of £700,000 ($1.1 million), is Murphy’s police thriller about two cops investigating a crime they committed.

The awards are among the first awards made after the BFI took over the lottery funding distribution to movie projects from the now defunct U.K. Film Council in April last year.

Other projects grabbing a share of the lottery loot, to varying degrees, include Shadow Dancer directed by Oscar winner James Marsh starring Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson and Andrea Riseborough, Jon Wright’s Grabbers and Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights.

Oscar nominated Meryl Streep’s turn in The Iron Lady, is another project enjoying lottery largesse although originally allocated by the previous gatekeeper of lottery funds, the U.K. Film Council.

BFI CEO Amanda Nevill said: “One of the most exciting things about the BFI’s Film Fund is that we can support talented new filmmakers making their first features, and help some of the U.K.’s most well known and respected directors create ambitious, large scale films.”

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