Microwave’s Latest Feature, LILTING Secures International Sales Deal and UK Distribtor
Film London announces Lilting, (pictured) the latest project from Film London Microwave, will be distributed by Curzon Film World’s Artificial Eye in the UK with Protagonist Pictures to manage international sales. A striking feature debut from director Hong Khaou with an all-star cast led by Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Cloud Atlas) and Cheng Pei Pei (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), Lilting explores love without a common language.
Written and directed by Khaou and produced by Dominic Buchanan, Lilting is the eighth film from the successful feature film fund Film London Microwave. Alongside Whishaw and Pei Pei, the film also stars Peter Bowles (Blow-Up, The Bank Job), Morven Christie (House of 9, The Young Victoria) and Andrew Leung (The List).
As part of Film London Microwave’s mentorship component, award-winning film-maker Michael Winterbottom acted as writer/director Khaou’s mentor, while producer Buchanan received guidance and support from his mentor Ken Marshall, the producer of London to Brighton, Filth and Song for Marion.
Lilting tells the story of a Chinese mother (Pei Pei) as she grieves for her son (Leung) following his untimely death. He was her eyes and ears in the UK, their adopted country, and without him she is stranded. The only person left is his lover (Whishaw) – who she knows only as his flat mate. Together they are forced to overcome their differences and unite in sorrow whilst struggling against the absence of a shared language. An intimate and thoughtful film, Lilting addresses overcoming cultural and generational boundaries, the power of memory, and the lifelines and relationships formed in the face of grief.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “Lilting is a moving cinematic achievement and I am delighted that it will reach UK audiences through Curzon Film World and that Protagonist will be managing international sales. It is a testament to Microwave’s innovative approach to film-making that its projects attract high-calibre talent and prestigious commercial distributors and sales agents. The scheme’s successful track record is also a result of the Microwave team, who are integral to nurturing and guiding all our film-makers. I am proud to see another Microwave feature proving itself in the commercial marketplace and hope this is only the start of Lilting’s success.”
Louisa Dent, Managing Director of Curzon Film World said: "When we read the script, it was clear that this was something special. There is an emotional urgency that is compelling and honest. Hong is a real emerging talent and his short films marked him out. We knew that the Microwave/Film London team would be great partners on this and with a quality cast it seemed liked a perfect fit for us.”
Mike Goodridge, CEO of Protagonist Pictures said: “I had admired Hong's shorts so it was with great excitement that I watched his first feature Lilting. But Hong exceeds expectations: the film is an accomplished and mature portrait of love and loss, graced by two extraordinary lead performances. The whole Protagonist team was knocked out by it and we are confident it will be embraced by distributors around the world.”
Funded by Film London Microwave, additional finance came from production companies Stink Films and Andy Brunskill’s recently launched SUMS Film and Media Ltd., supported by financier/producer Bob & Co, Lim Kay Sui and Neo Swee Lin.
Film London Microwave is a unique training-through-production scheme delivered in partnership with BBC Films and with support from Creative Skillset. Challenging London-based film-makers to shoot a feature film for up to £120,000, Film London Microwave enables talent to thrive in a limited budget with its integrated training programme which offers crucial guidance and mentoring throughout the film-making process.
The Film London Microwave team is made up of Creative Producer Mia Bays, who also acts as the Distribution/Marketing Consultant and Mike Kelly, Business and Finance Producer, alongside Film London’s Talent Development Manager Kevin Dolan and Development and Production Officer Tessa Inkelaar. Film London will soon be appointing a new Head of Talent Development and Production, who will head up the Microwave team.
Encompassing training and development from script to screen and beyond, Film London Microwave has enjoyed excellent results. Last year saw the successful UK theatrical releases of Ben Drew’s iLL Manors, released by Revolver, and Frances Lea’s Strawberry Fields, released through Soda Pictures’ New British Cinema Quarterly programme. Other films produced through the scheme include the BAFTA-nominated Shifty, award-winning horror Mum & Dad, documentary The British Guide to Showing Off, teen drama Freestyle and the yet to be release Borrowed Time which was awarded Best in Fest at the 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival.