Cate Shortland's 'Lore' First to Get 'Sleeper' Hit Funding From BFI Distribution Fund

"Lore" (Australia"

This Australian film made in Germany may be 2012's dark horse. Newcomer Saskia Rosendahl is getting buzz for her turn as the teen daughter of imprisoned Nazis fleeing with her kid siblings through perilous postwar Germany, and forced to work with a Jewish boy she can't hate. Sounds like Oscar candy.

The World War II German language drama gets a cash boost for distributor Artificial Eye to push it onto more screens.

LONDON – Cate Shortland's World War II thriller Lore, starring Saskia Rosendahl, is the first recipient of cash from the new-look BFI Distribution Fund via a strand dubbed "Sleeper."

Shortland's movie, which details the story of a young German woman who leads her siblings on a journey across the country at the end of the war, will benefit from a cash boost for its release.

U.K. distributor Artificial Eye has been awarded $60,000 (£40,000) from the BFI coffers to enable the picture to open on approximately 10 more screens.

It was released across the U.K. on Feb. 22 on 20 sites only taking just shy of $90,000.

The BFI’s funding is primarily to help Artificial Eye "build on the current momentum and create greater audience awareness of the film through media advertising."

The Sleeper strand is a pilot strand of the new-look BFI Distribution Fund set up to react quickly to support titles current on release in the U.K. looking to expand audiences.

While a strong opening weekend performance is an important element in the decision to make an award, the BFI said titles also need to be of a high quality showing strong critical reaction and they need to be specialized as defined by the BFI.

Specialized movies currently include foreign language titles, documentary and British independent titles.

Applications for Sleepers can only be made "by invitation" from the BFI Distribution Fund.

The BFI said Lore attracts a boost on the back of a strong opening, good regional traction, strong reviews and "a demonstrable opportunity to expand" its rollout.