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RELEASES UK

Tough competition for Kidulthood

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Tough competition this week with 10 new films up on the screens. On the independent distribution front, there is the European co-production Manderlay [+see also:
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by Lars von Trier (released on seven screens by Metrodome Distribution) and two UK directorial debuts: Mirrormaskby Dave Mckean (released by Tartan Films on five screens) and Kidulthood by Menhaj Hudas (released on 40-50 screens by Revolver Entertainment).

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Major US releases are star vehicles The Matador with Pierce Brosnan, fantasy thriller Stay with Ewan McGregor, and political thriller Syriana with George Clooney.

However, MirrorMask and Kidulthood are the interesting openers of the week. Produced by Jim Henson Productions in the US, MirrorMask is the first feature film of comic strip artist Dave McKean. It tells the story of 15 year-old Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) who juggles and sells popcorn at her parent’s circus. After a violent row with her mum (Gina Mckee), the latter falls ill and Helena, overcome by grief and guilt, falls asleep and enters a dark and fantastical world. The film first screened in competition at Locarno last August and won the Art Direction and Make-up awards at Sitges Film Festival.

Kidulthoodis the biggest release of 2006 for Revolver, which has deployed all its marketing skills and efforts to attract the over-15 audience for this film about school kids and street life in west London. Based on a first-time script by actor Noel Clarke (Dr Who), the film is a kaleidoscope of real life teenage stories in the UK capital, carried by a strong soundtrack from UK artists such as The Streets, Shystie or Dizzee Rascal. The music is, in fact, a key selling tool for the film, and is also being promoted heavily on digital TV music stations, pirate radio stations and the Internet.

Hanway is handling international sales on the film.

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