U.K. Film Council empties till

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BERLIN -- The U.K. Film Council is pumping cash into the development of several high-profile scripts with BBC Films, including "Coram Boy," based on the children's novel by Jamila Gavin (HR 2/12).

The government-backed British media-funding body is clearing out the house before development fund chief Jenny Borgars' tenure at the top of the cash pile comes to an end later this year.

Borgars and her team are pushing more than $100,000 to scripter Stuart Beattie ("Collateral") to adapt Len Deighton's novel "Bomber," about 24 hours of the Allied bombing campaign against Germany, for producers Roger Randall-Cutler and Rob Cheek at the First Film Co.

The script tells the story of the Allies and Germans and looks at how good men survive the essential immorality of war. Pete Travis ("Omagh") directs.

Development cash also goes to "My Week With Marilyn," based on the memoirs of Colin Clark that tell of the weeklong friendship he had with Marilyn Monroe.

Adrian Hodges ("Tom and Viv") is penning the script, with Simon Curtis ("David Copperfield") set to direct. Oscar winner David Parfitt ("The Madness of King George") will produce through his banner Trademark Films. Clark met Monroe while working as a young assistant on Laurence Olivier's "The Prince and the Showgirl."

When Monroe experienced emotional difficulties during shooting, the third assistant director came to her aid and a romance developed for one week only.

The fund also is putting $2.3 million into the production of "Brideshead Revisited" from its Premiere Fund, having already steered development cash into the Andrew Davies-scripted, Julian Jarrold-helmed adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel.

Said Borgars: "These projects represent a fantastic array of talent developing films that reflect and draw on our cultural heritage and which have the potential to impact at international level."

"Coram" will be produced by Alison Owen ("Sylvia") and New York producer Scott Rudin ("Closer").

The new slate of projects follow a successful chain of Development Fund- and BBC-partnered titles including Andrea Arnold's British Film Academy Award winner "Red Road."
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