from Scotsman.Com / by Anna Millar
A LOW-BUDGET Scottish film set on the streets of Edinburgh is set to eclipse Hollywood blockbusters after attracting international acclaim and winning major distribution deals.
Hallam Foe has been catapulted to success on the back of its selection at Germany’s Berlinale film festival.
Telling the story of a modern-day peeping Tom, it was written and directed by Scot David Mackenzie. It stars Jamie Bell, in his first British film since Billy Elliot, and Sophia Myles, who caught the critics’ attention last year in Tristan + Isolde. Ewen Bremner, who made his breakthrough in Trainspotting, also stars.
Industry insiders said last night that the film’s instant appeal was a sure sign of global success.
One of the most significant deals organised by the film’s sales agency, Independent, was with German distributor Prokino, one of the early supporters of Trainspotting.
Ira Von Gienanth, Prokino’s sales and acquisitions director, said: “We have always been addicted to British cinema and have been watching David Mackenzie from the beginning of his career.
“We are very proud to have such a fresh British film as Hallam Foe, as we were to have Trainspotting 10 years ago.”
Last night the interest in the film was so strong that the cast and crew were extending their stay in Berlin to cope with the demand for press appearances.
Andrew Orr, managing director of Independent, said: “I think Prokino are particularly excited because it is almost 10 years to the day that they took on Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting. They are big fans of David’s work and have been watching him for a long time and waiting to pick up a youthful, hip film to distribute.
“We screened the film to distributors last week and have had a lot of European success. The feedback seems to be that David has created something unusual but at the same time very accessible.
“Such a positive response is not par for the course here, so we are very happy with the response. We hope to complete a deal with a North American distributor next week.”
David Mackenzie – brother of Monarch Of The Glen star Alastair – has enjoyed notable success since his 2002 film, The Last Great Wilderness.
Critical and commercial hits Young Adam, starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton, and Asylum, starring Sir Ian McKellen and Natasha Richardson, followed.
Costing $6m (