BFI commits to documentaries at Sheffield Doc/Fest
by Naman Ramachandran
- Film Fund will invest in projects following pitching session
The British Film Institute (BFI) Film Fund has announced support for feature documentaries at the ongoing Sheffield Doc/Fest (June 9-12), following a pitching session by filmmakers to an expert panel comprising Ben Roberts, Director of the Film Fund, Senior Production Executive Lizzie Francke, and Katie Ellen, Senior Distribution Manager, from the BFI; as well as Janet Pierson, Head of SXSW Film.
The selected projects are Sophie Fiennes’s Grace Jones – The Musical of My Life, co-produced with James Wilson and Katie Holly, a journey into the private and public worlds of Grace Jones, mixing personal footage with staged musical sequences; Robert Cannan and Ross Adam’s The Lovers and the Despot [+see also:
film profile], produced by Natasha Dack, details the bizarre love story of a celebrity director and actress kidnapped by movie-mad dictator Kim Jong-Il and forced to make films in the communist state; and Iain Cunningham’s Irene’s Ghost, produced by Rebecca Mark-Lawson, is a part animated feature documentary that follows the journey of the filmmaker to build a picture of the mother he never knew.
The BFI will also support George Amponsah’s hybrid observational documentary, Down By Law, which follows several years in the lives of two of the closest friends of Mark Duggan, the man whose death at the hands of armed policed sparked the UK riots of 2011; and Steve Loveridge’s Untitled M.I.A. Project, a chronicle of musician M.I.A. through personal archive footage filmed by the controversial artist over 20 years.
The chosen filmmaker teams will receive a Letter of Intent from the BFI Film Fund, confirming a commitment to invest in, and endorse the project.