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BAFTA's ‘Brits To Watch: The Screenings’ Returns To New York And Los Angeles

30 July 2014
Brits to Watch - Amma Asante's BELLE

The series, in partnership with British Council, will showcase BAFTA-nominated director Yann Demange in August and September, with screenings of his critically acclaimed feature film debut ’71

London/New York/Los Angeles, 30 July: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced four-time BAFTA-nominated director Yann Demange as the latest filmmaker to take part in ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’, a series of six showcase events, hosted by BAFTA in New York and Los Angeles in partnership with British Council, that introduces outstanding British-based talent to the US film industry.

On Wednesday 27 August in New York, and on Tuesday 2 September in Los Angeles, Londoner Yann Demange will be presented at a screening of his debut feature film ‘71, which premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and will travel to several prestigious festivals this autumn. ’71 takes place over a single night in the life of a young British soldier (Jack O’Connell) accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, and increasingly wary of his own comrades, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorientating, alien and deadly landscape. Roadside Attractions will release ’71 in the US in early 2015.

BAFTA has previously recognised Demange’s work in television at the British Academy Television Awards, where he was nominated in 2009 for Dead Set (Best Drama Serial) and in 2012 for Top Boy (Best Mini Series). He has also received two nominations for Best Director – Fiction Entertainment at the British Academy Television Craft Awards, in 2010 for Criminal Justice and in 2012, again for Top Boy.

At each ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ event, an actor, director, writer or producer who shows great promise presents a sample of recent work to an exclusive audience of film industry professionals. BAFTA then arranges a number of follow-up meetings for the individuals to meet with key industry figures in both cities.

The series began in July 2013 and has featured directors and writer-directors Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant), Richard Laxton (Burton and Taylor), Amma Asante (Belle), Kieran Evans, (Kelly + Victor) and Hong Khaou (Lilting).

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ is an exciting initiative enabling BAFTA to introduce exciting new UK voices to the film industry in the USA. I am thrilled that Yann Demange, a truly talented director who has been BAFTA-nominated several times for his television work, will receive this international showcase for ’71, his first feature film."

Nigel Daly OBE, Chairman of BAFTA Los Angeles, added: “The ‘Brits to Watch’ series of screenings has become a very important and meaningful program for BAFTA Los Angeles and we are pleased to be concluding this first series with such a strong film. There has been a long tradition of successful British filmmakers making their mark here in Hollywood, and BAFTA Los Angeles is privileged to serve as a beacon for those in the US industry looking discover the next generation of talent coming out of the UK.”

Charles Tremayne, Chairman of BAFTA New York, added: “BAFTA New York is once again pleased to help introduce the best of new UK talent to the US. I know from making several programs about the Birmingham Six how the so called Northern Irish 'Troubles' were an extraordinary part of contemporary British history, and this film starts to fill the shameful gap in our understanding of this period. It is our honor to showcase not just this film but also Yann Demange who we are sure has a career full of achievement in front of him.”

Briony Hanson, Director of Film at British Council, said: “Brits to Watch has been a fantastic showcase by which to draw attention to the UK’s most talented filmmakers. That this first series has also ably recognised the diversity of the new talent that is currently making waves in UK film has been hugely rewarding. Now to be able to complete the first season line-up with Yann and his extraordinary debut feature is icing on the cake and we are excited to see how the US industry responds to him.”

The ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ series builds on the legacy of BAFTA’s 2011 ‘Brits to Watch’ event supported by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at which BAFTA introduced 42 promising British newcomers to leading figures in the US film, television and games industries at a black-tie gala in Los Angeles.

The initiative is endorsed by ‘Friends of Brits to Watch: The Screenings’, a high-profile group of leading industry practitioners including: actors Damian Lewis (Homeland), Tom Hiddleston (Avengers Assemble, Midnight in Paris), Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer, Brighton Rock), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness, Men in Black 3), Sienna Miller (The Girl, Interview), Rebecca Hall (Parade’s End, Vicky Christina Barcelona) and David Harewood (Homeland, Blood Diamond); director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World); screenwriter John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo, The Aviator); and writer, director and producer Armando Iannucci (Veep, In The Loop).

BAFTA’s ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ is produced in partnership with British Council with the support of Framestore, Langham Hospitality Group, Soho House and UK Trade & Investment.


Biography of Yann Demange

Born in Paris and raised in London, Yann Demange began his career filming live concerts and assisting on commercials and music promos. His first fiction short film Joe was accepted by the British Council as part of its festival programme and was screened internationally. Other shorts followed including Incomplete, Alan and Samir and Headspace.

Yann attended the National Film and Television School, and on graduating in 2006 he went on to direct comedy drama Man in a Box for Channel 4. His next project was the five part series Dead Set, an acerbic satirical zombie drama, written by cult-journalist and presenter Charlie Brooker (nominated for a BAFTA for Best Drama Serial). This was followed by the five part BBC series Criminal Justice (nominated for Best Director – Fiction Entertainment at the British Academy Television Craft Awards in 2010). He then went on to direct the critically acclaimed Top Boy written by Ronan Bennett for Channel 4. Set in Hackney, London, the drama looks beyond the headlines about youth crime and delves into the personal stories of those involved. The series was nominated for Best Director and Best Drama Serial BAFTAs and won Best Drama Serial at the Royal Television Society and the 2013 Broadcast awards. His directorial debut feature film ’71, held its world premiere in February at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, followed by a screening at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July. Yann recently received the International New Talent Prize at the German Cinema Awards for Peace.


Notes to editors:

‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ is being produced as a collaboration between the BAFTA offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.

The initiative is a talent showcase, and the associated screenings are not intended as film previews for press.

For further information, please contact:

In Los Angeles:
Andy Gelb/ Rachael Trager at Slate PR
Tel: 310-461-0111
Email: andy@slate-pr.com / rachael@slate-pr.com

In New York:
Marlea Willis at Marlea Willis Communications, Inc.
Tel: 914-220-8399/212-485-9810
Email: marlea@mwilliscomm.com


About BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round, international programme of learning events and initiatives that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York.

BAFTA Los Angeles serves as a bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities. Its commitment to professional and community education is at the heart of all activity, including an inner-city outreach programme, screenings, seminars, Behind Closed Doors series, Q&As, scholarships for British students studying in the US, and a Heritage Archive project, which preserves in-depth interviews with the industry's leading talents for future generations. BAFTA Los Angeles celebrates and promotes excellence through its annual Britannia Awards, Awards Season Film and Television Tea Parties and the Student Film Awards. www.bafta.org/losangeles

BAFTA New York carries the Academy’s mission forward on the Atlantic Coast through its commitment to the film, television and documentary communities. Its activities include screenings, In Conversation series, masterclasses, Q&As and panels focusing on industry trends in film, television and multimedia. BAFTA New York's educational outreach is aimed at underserved youth in New York City and includes the BAFTA New York Media Studies Scholarship Program, which was established to support students pursuing media studies at undergraduate and graduate level institutions within the New York City area. www.bafta.org/newyork

BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work.

To access the best creative minds in film, TV and games production, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more information, visit www.bafta.org.


About British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. It is a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

British Council Film department links UK films and filmmakers to new international audiences, profiling the innovation, diversity and excellence of British films around the world and finding opportunities for creative exchange. As part of its programme it provides a preview service for selectors from the world's major film festivals/markets (including Toronto, Cannes, Berlin and Sundance).

For more information, please see: www.britishcouncil.org/film