Here’s our annual rundown of the 10 largest awards given out by the British Film Institute’s Film Fund across 2021. Backed by National Lottery money, the grants are a key supporter of indie cinema in the UK.
This year also saw long-time Film Fund chief Ben Roberts, now BFI CEO, hand over the keys to the fund to new director Mia Bays.
Top of the list is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, an adaptation of Rachel Joyce’s popular novel about a man who embarks on a 450-mile walk across the UK in the belief that his journey will save the life of an old friend. Jim Broadbent is starring in the pic, which Joyce is adapting herself. Hettie Macdonald, who helmed Normal People with Lenny Abrahamson, is directing. Producers are Kevin Loader with Juliet Dowling and Marilyn Milgrom.
Second on the list is Typist Artist Pirate King, the latest film from Out Of Blue and The Falling director Carol Morley, which has been shooting the back end of this year with Monica Dolan and Kelly Macdonald in the cast. Producing is Morley’s regular collaborator Cairo Cannon.
Check out the full list below. Many of the funding decisions also include additional ‘Step-up’ awards, which are special grants specifically designed to encourage the hiring of diverse crews.
The BFI’s 10 production awards 2021:
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (£1,109,000 + £27,500 Step-up)
Writer Rachel Joyce; Director Hettie Macdonald; Producer Juliet Dowling
Typist Artist Pirate King (£1,057,000 + £27,500 Step-up)
Writer/Director Carol Morley; Producer Cairo Cannon
Tuesday (£940,000 + £20,000 Step-up)
Writer/Director Daina Oniunas-Pusic; Producer Ivana MacKinnon
Scrapper (£930,000 + £25,000 Step-p)
Writer/Director Charlotte Regan; Producer Theo Barrowclough
Aftersun (£900,000 + £20,000 Step-up)
Writer/Director Charlotte Wells; Producer Amy Jackson
Girl (£850,000 + £27,500 Step-up)
Writer/Director Adura Onashile; Producers Rosie Crerar, Ciara Barry
Birchanger Green (£850,000 + £35,000 Step-up)
Writer/Director Moin Hussain; Producer Michelle Stein
Silent Roar (£835,000 + £27,500 Step-up)
Writer/Director Johnny Barrington; Producer Chris Young
A House In Jerusalem (£616,000)
Writer Rami Alayan; Director Muayad Alayan; Producer Rachel Robey
Writer/Directors Brothers Quay; Producer Lucie Conrad