Hurricane secures project funding, with UKTI support

Grants and support from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) have enabled Hurricane Films to attend several industry events. This has helped the company to find new markets for its films and make crucial connections that have led to financial backing for a new production.

Since 2000, Hurricane Films has been producing television and film works of fact and fiction. The Liverpool-based company is owned and run by Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter. They have picked up several awards along the way, including two BAFTA nominations and six Royal Television Society documentary awards.

In 2010, Hurricane Films took part in Passport to Export, the UKTI programme that helps businesses to prepare for international markets. After that, the company received UKTI funding to go to several international film festivals. These included the Berlin Film Market in February and the Cannes Film Festival in May. Each of these events brought its own success. For example, it met sales agent K5 in Berlin, who is now happy to read and consider whatever new scripts Hurricane comes across for potential collaboration and investment.

“Being successful in our industry depends a lot on how you click with people and the relationships you are able to build up,” says Sol. “If you want to be taken seriously you need to be seen time and again at industry events, following up with contacts that you meet from one to the next. UKTI has been very supportive of us, helping us to get across to different markets and meet people that we can work with. Without it, we may have managed to go to only one or two.”

New project underway

In 2012, Hurricane Films got UKTI funding to go to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). There the company met an experienced American executive producer with contacts that have helped to secure funding for A Quiet Passion, a biopic about American poet Emily Dickinson.

In November 2012, Hurricane Films went to the American Film Market with financial support from UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth programme. There it signed an agreement with Stuart Pollok of Indomitable Entertainment, and production of the biopic is due to start in Canada and the US early next year.

“It can take years to put together a project, and one of the key pieces that we need to get into place early on is finance,” says Sol. “Having UKTI’s support to attend film festivals has enabled us to meet the right people and get finance from around the world.”

Fast facts

Company: Hurricane Films

Website: www.hurricanefilms.net

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