Abacus Media Rights has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Reel Britannia from independent duo Jon Spira and Hank Starrs (Canal Cat Films) with BritBox in the UK, US, Canada, and South Africa taking the four parter.

Reel Britannia is billed as a “bold, ambitious and visually striking documentary project” from director Jon Spira and producer Hank Starrs, who collaborated on Hollywood Bulldogs: The Rise and Falls of the Great British Stuntman– also available on BritBox UK – and Elstree 1976, and tells the story of modern British cinema “in all its vibrancy. “

Decade by decade, from 1960 through to 2010, the series portrays how cinema held a mirror up to society. It explores the less-told stories from the producers, production companies and studio boardrooms which shaped our national filmic identity. =

Narrated by actor and comedian Nick Helm, Reel Britannia is a patchwork of exclusive interviews (featuring Terry Gilliam, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Hanif Kureishi, Mike Newell, Simon Beaufoy, David Leland and Terence Davies with more to come), and archival interviews alongside behind-the-scenes footage.

Jonathan Ford, Managing Director at AMR comments, “This entertaining and informative series will thrill our international viewers who love watching movies, and give them access to an incredible line-up of films which no longer get talked about or promoted.  It will flesh out the core of modern British cinema history and allow for a prequel series and a number of spin-offs as we move into future decades.” 

Jon Spira, Director states, “This is the dream project for me. Having become known for my indie documentaries about cinema, the next step I wanted to take was to tell a much broader story on a bigger canvas. AMR has given Hank and I the chance to really stretch our wings and go wild with almost 60 years of incredible British cinema history to play with. It covers the classic films audiences love but also really comes alive as we reveal the untold stories from behind the scenes, bring back some long-forgotten faces and expose some absolute gems which have been overlooked for decades.” 

Hank Starrs, Producer adds, “Reel Britannia will be my fifth collaboration with Jon Spira. Over the years we have developed a fantastic, inspiring, and telekinetic working relationship so I’m really looking forward to realising this new project.  It will be my third collaboration with Jonathan Ford at AMR who have proven to be a splendid and high performing sales partner in an everchanging global sales marketplace.” 

Picture: KEN LOACH (c) Daisy Starrs

Jon Creamer

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