U.K. Film Council unveils Web site


LONDON -- The U.K. Film Council is pumping £3 million ($5.8 million) from its distribution and exhibition fund into a new Web site that will promote audience development here for movies, the organization said Tuesday.

The Council also unveiled the recipients of £500,000 ($966,000) from its P&A Fund, established to help distributors here attract bigger audiences. The money will be spread across seven titles.

The single biggest winner in the latest round of P&A awards is Lionsgate U.K., which picked up £250,000 ($483,000) for Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck's Oscar winner "The Lives of Others." The award will support a wider release for the film, which will see its screen count increase from 30 to 90-plus sites via a mix of traditional 35mm prints and digital screens, the Council said.

The Web site, created by marketing agency Sledge, will feature a recommendation engine designed to uniquely match individuals to forthcoming films, personalized space for members and a film-centric social network.

Other content will include a film screening scheduler and locator, ticketing links, film exhibitor information, reviews, news, interactive forums, offers and downloads.

The P&A awards include £150,000 ($289,800) to Tartan Film Distribution for Paul Verhoeven's "Black Book" to allow the distributor to both widen the film's release to 85 screens as well as increase the spend on national advertising.

Metrodome Film Distribution has scooped up just north of £100,000 ($193,200) for Rachid Bouchareb's "Days of Glory." The award aims to enable Metrodome to release an additional 20 prints and use the Digital Screen Network. The media campaign for the film will be increased through selective TV advertising.

The other P&A winners were Nick Broomfield's "Ghosts," the re-issue of Michael Curtiz's classic "Casablanca," Philip Groening's documentary "Into Great Silence" and David Lynch's "Inland Empire."