Scots company lands top film title

AN award-winning French film has been acquired for screening in the UK and Ireland by an Edinburgh-based based film distribution company.

Winner of three prizes at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, including the ‘Audience prize’, distribution rights for Welcome have been secured by CineFile.

It has taken more than one million admissions in France since it was released in March.

Set in Calais, it traces the relationship between a Kurdish youngster who persuades a French swimming instructor to coach him to swim the English Channel, so he can reach London and his girlfriend, after after a couple of abortive attempts at smuggling himself into the UK.

Says Richard Mowe, communications director of CineFile: “It portrays with brutal honesty the lives of refugees trying to reach the UK from France – the cold, hunger, casual violence from police and the risks run by some to help them. It’s a human story that seems certain to become an art-house hit and will cross over into multiplex cinemas. It could be another Slumdog Millionaire.”

CineFile has previously distributed Conversations with My Gardener, Pot Luck, True North and Rivers and Tides.

Adds Ilona Morison, CineFile acquisitions director: “There was keen interest in the title and we are delighted that the French sales agents and producers decided to trust CineFile’s expertise in distribution in the UK and Ireland. Our rights include theatrical, television and eventually DVD.”