Who and what decides if a film gets funded? How do those who control the purse strings also determine a film’s content and even its message? Writing as the director of award-winning feature films including Welcome to Sarajevo, 24 Hour Party People and The Road to Guantanamo as well as the hugely popular The Trip series, Michael Winterbottom provides an insider’s view of the workings of international film funding and distribution, revealing how the studios that fund film production and control distribution networks also work against a sustainable independent film culture and limit innovation in filmmaking style and content. In addition to reflecting upon his own filmmaking career, featuring critical and commercial successes alongside a ‘very long list’ of films that didn’t get made, Winterbottom also interviews leading contemporary filmmakers including Lynne Ramsay, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Asif Kapadia and Joanna Hogg about their filmmaking practice.
The book closes with a vision of how the contemporary filmmaking landscape could be reformed for the better with fairer funding and payment practices allowing for a more innovative and sustainable 21st century industry.
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