Four win U.K. lottery for film funds


LONDON -- A quartet of movie projects -- about spies, superheroes, fairies and a man who thinks he's a dog -- have secured development funding from the U.K. Film Council, the organization said Wednesday.

The latest round of National Lottery awards from the Film Council's Development Fund includes more than £60,000 ($117,200) to "Blowback," billed as a spy satire from film and television writer Rupert Walters ("Spooks").

Stephen Garrett ("Spooks") and former Film4 chief Paul Webster ("Pride and Prejudice") are set to produce for indie banner Kudos Film & TV.

Independent U.K. distributor and producer Vertigo Films ("Football Factory") received £13,750 ($26,850) for "Bad Dog," which is billed as an "extreme U.K. horror film" from writer-director Sam Walker ("Tea Break") and co-writer Rob Morgan ("Monster").

Allan Niblo and Brock Norman Brock will produce the story of a bored bloke who winds up drugged by a family of French maniacs who torture him into submission and use him as the family dog.

The superhero comedy "Hero Trip," a first feature script from James Henry ("Green Wing"), also flies to the fund to fashion a script about an all-American superhero forced to drive his captured arch-nemesis across the U.S. to defuse a bomb set to destroy the planet. The unlikely coupling during the trip gives the superhero pause on whether humanity is worth saving. "Hero Trip" received £17,500 ($34,200).

"Fizzle," a new family animation script from writer Richard Vincent ("Casualty"), has been picked up by production house Cosgrove Hall ("The Wind in the Willows") from the Development Fund's 25 Words or Less plan. It received £20,960 ($41,000).