Sigma Films

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Sigma Films
Sigma Films Logo.jpg
Notable work Starred Up, Perfect Sense, Hallam Foe, Young Adam, The Legend of Barney Thomson, Under the Skin, Red Road, Dogville, Swung & Citadel
Website http://www.sigmafilms.com

Sigma Films [1] is a film production company based in Glasgow, Scotland. The company was formed in 1996 by Gillian Berrie, David Mackenzie and Alastair Mackenzie - a producer, director and actor respectively.[2][3] Sigma is a leading independent European producer of prestigious, quality films that challenge audiences, genre and convention, regularly delivering critically acclaimed work that has been recognised by BAFTA, BIFA and all of the A-List film festivals including Berlin, Sundance, Telluride, Toronto and Cannes. Over the last twenty years the company has been responsible for some of the biggest Scottish film releases including Starred Up (2013), Under the Skin (2013), Perfect Sense (2011), Hallam Foe (2007), Red Road (2006), Young Adam (2003) and Dear Frankie (2004).[4]

The company regularly co-produces films with international partners such as Lars von Trier's company Zentropa Entertainments - including Dogville (2003), Manderlay (2005), After the Wedding (2006), Dear Wendy (2004), Brothers (2004) and Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002).[5]

Sigma spearheads indigenous production at their production and post-production facility Film City Glasgow.[6]

Sigma founded the charity JUMPCUT, the UK's one and only mentor-led, intensive fast-track for new-entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds. JUMPCUT is dedicated to providing its graduates with a VIP pass into the screen industries every year.[7]

History[edit]

Gillian Berrie began by making David Mackenzie's short films California Sunshine (1997) and Somersault (2000) before she went on to produce Mackenzie's debut feature The Last Great Wilderness (2002). The film stars Alastair Mackenzie and was co-produced by Zentropa [8] and premiered in Toronto in 2002.

Following their first feature, David Mackenzie directed Young Adam (2003) starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2003 in the Un Certain Regard competition and won Best Film and Best Director at the 2003 BAFTA Scotland Awards.[9]

Meanwhile, Sigma strengthened links with co-producer Zentropa, developing the Advance Party Project created from an idea by Gillian Berrie, Sisse Graum Jorgensen, and Lars Von Trier. Advance Party was specifically designed to break feature film debutant directors into the industry [8] and produced Andrea Arnold's Red Road (2006) and Morag MacKinnon's Donkeys (2010). Both films star a mixture of the same characters and cast including Kate Dickie, Martin Compston, Natalie Press, Tony Curran and James Cosmo.[10][11] Red Road played in the Palme d'Or competition at Cannes Film Festival in 2006, winning the Jury Prize,[12] whilst Donkeys won Best Film at the 2011 BAFTA Scotland Awards.[13]

Gillian and David's second feature film collaboration was Hallam Foe (2007), starring Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles. It won many awards including a Silver Bear in Berlin 2007,[14] the Golden Hitchcock and Kodak Award for Cinematography at the Dinard Festival of British Cinema 2007,[15] and the 2008 National Board of Review Award for Top Independent Film,[16] as well as numerous other nominations including for Bell and Myles' performances.[17]

Sigma and Zentropa collaborated again to make David Mackenzie's sixth feature film, sci-fi romance Perfect Sense (2011).[18] The film follows a burgeoning romance between Ewan McGregor and Eva Green against the backdrop of a global epidemic of people losing their senses one by one.[19] The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and picked up numerous awards at film festivals around the world including Edinburgh, Bratislava and Philadelphia International Film Festivals.[20]

Immediately after Perfect Sense, Mackenzie directed the comedy musical You Instead (2011) [released as Tonight You’re Mine in the US] starring Luke Treadaway and Natalie Tena. Astonishingly it was filmed over four and a half days at the Scottish music festival T in the Park in 2010 where the cast and crew had to adopt a kind of guerrilla filmmaking approach to shoot amidst the chaos of a music festival alongside over 100,000 revellers.[19] It premiered at both T in the Park in 2011 and at Austin's SXSW.[21]

Sigma's Brian Coffey collaborated with Irish production company Blinder Films to produce Ciaran Foy's Citadel (2012). Foy's involvement in the film was a result of Advance Party II.[22] The film stars Aneurin Barnard and James Cosmo and it premiered at SXSW 2012 where it won the Midnighter Audience Award.[23]

Next, Sigma produced Starred Up (2013), again directed by David Mackenzie and starring Jack O'Connell alongside Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend. The story is based upon writer Jonathan Asser's real-life experiences as a voluntary therapist in a London prison.[24] The film was critically acclaimed and won numerous awards including the BAFTA Scotland 2014 Best Film and Best Director Awards,[25] seven BIFA nominations [26] and holds a remarkable 99% Rotten Tomatoes score.[27]

Sigma also co-produced Jonathan Glazer’s multi-award winning Under the Skin (2013) starring Scarlett Johansson. The majority of the film was shot undercover with hidden cameras and non-actors in real locations in Scotland.[28] The film had its World Premiere at Telluride at the same time as Starred Up, then played Venice Film Festival and has since won over 20 awards and 90 nominations all over the world.[29]

More recently, Brian Coffey at Sigma produced Robert Carlyle's directorial debut The Legend of Barney Thomson starring Carlyle, Emma Thompson and Ray Winstone. The film opened the 2015 Edinburgh International Film Festival and won Best Film at the 2015 Scottish BAFTAs.[30] Coffey also produced director Colin Kennedy’s first-feature, Swung (2015), starring Elena Anaya, Owen McDonnell and Elizabeth McGovern also premiered at EIFF and received nominations at the BAFTA Scotland Awards.[31]

Coffey's latest production, supernatural horror film Hush (2017), stars Florence Pugh, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Celia Imrie. The film was made in association with L.A. based Thruline Entertainment and is directed by Icelandic filmmaker Olaf de Fleur Johannesson.[32]

In late 2016, Sigma begun work on a TV pilot called Damnation for the USA Network which is being directed by Mackenzie and exec produced by Berrie.[33] Described as an epic saga of the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, it chronicles the mythic conflict and bloody struggle between big money and the downtrodden, God and greed, charlatans and prophets. Written by Tony Tost (Longmire) the pilot centers on Seth Davenport (Killian Scott), a man masquerading as a small town Iowa preacher in the hopes of starting a full-blown insurrection against the status quo. Up against Davenport is the professional strike breaker Creeley Turner (Logan Marshall-Green) but unbeknownst to the rest of the town, these two men share a secret bloody past.[34] Tost, James Mangold, David Mackenzie, Gillian Berrie and Entertainment 360’s Guymon Casady and Daniel Rappaport executive produce for Universal Cable Productions.[35]

Over the years, Sigma Films has also produced a number of up and coming director's short films including Johnny Barrington - Trout (2007) & Terra Firma (2008), Paddy Considine - Dog Altogether (2007), Jane Linfoot - Seaview (2013), and Colin Kennedy - I Love Luci (2010).

As well as nurturing writing and directing talent, Sigma regularly brings on new producers and has mentored Brian Coffey - Hush (2017), Swung (2015), The Legend of Barney Thomson (2015), Starred Up (2013), Citadel (2012), and I Love Luci (2010), and inspired Anna Duffield - Trout (2007), Dog Altogether (2007), Terra Firma (2008), Seaview (2013) & Donkeys (2010).

Film City Glasgow[edit]

Gillian Berrie founded Film City Glasgow, a production and post-production facility located in the old Govan Town Hall.[5] The project was inspired by a trip to Zentropa's 'filmbyen' ('film city' in Danish) in 2000, a film studio complex located in Hvidovre just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. At that time Glasgow desperately needed a production base for both indigenous and visiting productions. With the help of Helena Ward, Steve Inch and Lenny Crooks, Berrie secured the 65,000 square foot building which was the original Govan Town Hall and raised £3.5 million for its redevelopment.[36]

Film City is home to post-production companies Serious and Savalas (and their state-of-the-art Dolby theatre) and production companies including Keo, Finestripe and Hopscotch. The University of the West of Scotland also has a base there to ensure film students have regular exposure to professionals. It has also been used as a studio for film and television productions including; Jon S. Baird's Filth (2013), Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher (1999), David Mackenzie's Hallam Foe (2007), Shona Auerbach's Dear Frankie (2004), BBC's Mrs Brown's Boys, Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights, WWII zombie trilogy Outpost (2008-2013), Idris Elba starring Legacy (2010) and most recently supernatural horror film Hush (2017).[37]

JUMPCUT[edit]

Sigma founded JUMPCUT, a charity dedicated to providing opportunities in the screen industries to young people. Around 25 young people aged between 16 and 25 form a production company to make a professional, budgeted short film under an intensive programme mentored by the country's leading industry professionals.[38] 75% of JUMPCUT's alumni go on to forge careers in the film industry.[39]

JUMPCUT's first film was sci-fi short Good Souls (2013), directed by Elizabeth Randon and starring Daniel Cahill, Finlay MacMillan, and Bobby Rainsbury.[40] It premiered at goNORTH Festival in Inverness.[41]

The next batch of emerging filmmaker's made Dropping Off Michael (2015), starring Brian McCardie and his nephew Michael McCardie. The film was directed by Zam Salim and picked up the audience award at the Glasgow Short Film Festival and a nomination for Best Short Film at the BAFTA Scotland 2015 Awards.[42]

JUMPCUT's latest production, Misgivings (2016) was filmed in May 2016 at Film City Glasgow and is directed by Adrian Mead. The film was written by Jahvel Hall, starring Kathryn Howden and Scott Reid.

Filmography[edit]

Film Year Director Notes
Wanting and Getting 1995 David Mackenzie Short Film
California Sunshine 1997 David Mackenzie Short Film
Somersault 2000 David Mackenzie Short Film
Marcie's Dowry 2000 David Mackenzie Short Film
The Last Great Wilderness 2002 David Mackenzie
Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself 2002 Lone Scherfig In Association with Zentropa Entertainments
Young Adam 2003 David Mackenzie In Association with Recorded Picture Company
Dogville 2003 Lars von Trier Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
Brothers 2004 Susanne Bier Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
Dear Frankie 2004 Shona Auerbach In Association with Scorpio Films
Dear Wendy 2004 Thomas Vinterburg Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
Drabnet 2005 Per Fly Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
Zozo 2005 Josef Fares Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
Manderlay 2005 Lars von Trier Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
The Judge 2005 Gert Fredholm Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
1:1 2006 Annette K. Olesen Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
When Children Play in the Sky 2006 Lorenzo Hendel Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
Red Road 2006 Andrea Arnold In Co-Operation with Advanced Party Scheme & Zentropa Entertainments
After the Wedding 2006 Susanne Bier Co-Production with Zentropa Entertainments
Trout 2007 Johnny Barrington Short Film
Dog Altogether 2007 Paddy Considine Short Film, Co-Production with Warp Films
Hallam Foe 2007 David Mackenzie
Terra Firma 2008 Johnny Barrington Short Film
I Love Luci 2010 Colin Kennedy Short Film
Donkeys 2010 Morag MacKinnon In Co-Operation with Advanced Party Scheme & Zentropa Entertainments
Perfect Sense 2011 David Mackenzie In Association with Zentropa Entertainments
You Instead 2011 David Mackenzie
Citadel 2012 Ciaran Foy In Association with Blinder Films
Seaview 2013 Jane Linfoot Short Film
Under the Skin 2013 Jonathan Glazer Co-Production with Nick Wechsler Productions
Starred Up 2013 David Mackenzie
Good Souls 2014 Elizabeth Randon Short Film, In Association with Jumpcut
Dropping Off Michael 2015 Zam Salim Short Film, In Association with Jumpcut
The Legend of Barney Thomson 2015 Robert Carlyle In Association with Trinity Works Entertainment
Swung 2015 Colin Kennedy
Misgivings 2016 Adrian Meade Short Film, In Association with Jumpcut
Ending 2017 James Lees Short Film
Hush 2017 Olaf de Fleur Johannesson In Association with Thruline Entertainment
Damnation 2017 David Mackenzie Universal Cable Productions
Outlaw King 2018 David Mackenzie

Awards[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2007 After the Wedding Best Foreign Language Film of the Year Nominated

BAFTA Awards[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2005 Dear Frankie Most Promising Newcomer (Shona Auerbach) Nominated
2007 Red Road Most Promising Newcomer (Andrea Arnold) Won
2008 Dog Altogether Best Short Film Won
2013 Seaview Best Short Film Nominated
2015 Under the Skin Best British Film Nominated
Best Original Music (Mica Levi) Nominated

BAFTA Scotland Awards[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
1997 California Sunshine Best Short Film Nominated
2003 Young Adam Best Film Win
Best Director (David Mackenzie) Win
Best Actor in a Scottish Film (Ewan McGregor) Win
Best Actress in a Scottish Film (Tilda Swinton) Win
2004 Dear Frankie Best Director (Shona Auerbach) Nominated
Best First Time Performance (Jack McElhone) Nominated
2006 Red Road Best Film Win
Best Director (Andrea Arnold) Win
Best Actor in a Scottish Film (Tony Curran) Win
Best Actress in a Scottish Film (Kate Dickie) Win
Best Screenplay (Andrea Arnold) Win
2007 Hallam Foe Best Film Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Actor (Jamie Bell) Nominated
Best Actress (Sophia Myles) Win
2011 Donkeys Best Feature Film Win
Best Director (Morag McKinnon) Nominated
Best Writer (Colin McLaren) Nominated
Best Actor/Actress - Film (James Cosmo) Win
Best Actor/Actress - Film (Brian Pettifer) Nominated
Audience Award - Favourite Scottish Film Nominated
Perfect Sense Best Feature Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Audience Award - Favourite Scottish Film Nominated
You Instead Audience Award - Favourite Scottish Film Nominated
I Love Luci Best Short Film Win
2012 Citadel Best Feature Film Nominated
2013 Starred Up Best Feature Film Win
Best Directing in Film or TV Win
Best Actor - Film (Jack O'Connell) Nominated
2015 The Legend of Barney Thomson Best Feature Film Win
Best Directing in Film or Television (Robert Carlyle) Nominated
Best Actor - Film (Robert Carlyle) Nominated
Best Actress - Film (Emma Thompson) Win
Swung Best Actress - Film (Elena Anaya) Nominated
Best Actress - Film (Elizabeth McGovern) Nominated
Dropping Off Michael Best Short Film Nominated

Berlin International Film Festival[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2007 Hallam Foe Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas Win
Silver Berlin Bear - Best Film Music Win
Golden Berlin Bear Nominated

British Independent Film Awards[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2003 Young Adam Best British Independent Film Nominated
Best Director (David Mackenzie) Nominated
Best Actor (Ewan McGregor) Nominated
Best Actress (Tilda Swinton) Nominated
Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself Most Promising Newcomer (Jamie Sives) Nominated
Best Screenplay (Anders Thomas Jensen & Lone Scherfig) Nominated
Best Supporting Actor/Actress (Shirley Henderson) Nominated
Best Supporting Actor/Actress (Adrian Rawlins) Nominated
2006 Red Road Best British Independent Film Nominated
Best Actor (Tony Curran) Win
Best Actress (Kate Dickie) Win
Best Supporting Actor/Actress (Martin Compston) Nominated
Douglas Hickox Award (Andrea Arnold) Nominated
2007 Hallam Foe Best British Independent Film Nominated
Best Director (David Mackenzie) Nominated
Best Screenplay (David Mackenzie & Ed Whitmore) Nominated
Best Technical Achievement (David Mackenzie & Colin Monie for Music) Nominated
Best Actor (Jamie Bell) Nominated
Best Actress (Sophia Myles) Nominated
Dog Altogether Best British Short Win
2011 You Instead Best Achievement in Production Nominated
2013 Starred Up Best British Independent Film Nominated
Best Director (David Mackenzie) Nominated
Best Screenplay (Jonathan Asser) Nominated
Best Achievement in Production Nominated
Best Technical Achievement (Shaheen Baig for Casting) Nominated
Best Actor (Jack O'Connell) Nominated
Best Supporting Actor (Ben Mendelsohn) Win
Best Supporting Actor (Rupert Friend) Nominated
Under the Skin Best Director (Jonathan Glazer) Nominated
Best Technical Achievement (Johnnie Burn for Sound Design) Nominated
Best Technical Achievement (Mica Levi for Music) Nominated
Best Actress (Scarlett Johansson) Nominated

Cannes Film Festival[edit]

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2003 Young Adam Un Certain Regard Nominated
Dogville Palme d'Or Nominated
2005 Manderlay Palme d'Or Nominated
2006 Red Road Jury Prize Win
Palme d'Or Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://screenbase.screendaily.com/production-companies/136
  2. ^ Mitchell, Wendy (2 March 2011). "You Instead premiere and Sigma Films anniversary party". Screen Daily. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Martin-Jones, David (2010). Scotland: Global Cinema : Genres, Modes and Identities. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 224–225. 
  4. ^ "Film production companies working in Scotland". 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  5. ^ a b Fielder, Miles. "Interview: David Mackenzie on Perfect Sense and You Instead". The List (Edinburgh/Glasgow). Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Licensing framework modelling and marketing research" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "FILM CITY FUTURES". FILM CITY FUTURES. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  8. ^ a b Martin-Jones, David (2010-01-01). Scotland: Global Cinema : Genres, Modes and Identities. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9780748633920. 
  9. ^ "Young Adam scores Bafta success". BBC. 2004-11-15. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  10. ^ Arnold, Andrea (2006-10-27), Red Road, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  11. ^ McKinnon, Morag (2010-10-08), Donkeys, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  12. ^ Arnold, Andrea (2006-10-27), Red Road, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  13. ^ McKinnon, Morag (2010-10-08), Donkeys, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  14. ^ Scott, A. O. (2008-09-04). "Stalking in Scotland, the Aerial Perspective". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  15. ^ "'Hallam Foe' takes top prize at Dinard fest". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  16. ^ "2008 Archives - National Board of Review". National Board of Review. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  17. ^ Mackenzie, David (2007-08-31), Hallam Foe, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  18. ^ "BBC - Perfect Sense - BBC Films". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  19. ^ a b "Interview: David Mackenzie on Perfect Sense and You Instead". 2011-08-24. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  20. ^ Mackenzie, David (2011-10-07), Perfect Sense, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  21. ^ "T in the Park film returns to festival for premiere". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  22. ^ "Ciaran Foy to make first feature with Blinder, Sigma". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  23. ^ "Citadel". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  24. ^ "Starred Up: How ex-prison therapist Jonathan Asser turned his". 2014-03-09. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  25. ^ "British Academy Scotland Awards 2014 Winners Announced". www.bafta.org. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  26. ^ BIFA. "Nominations - Awards 2013 - BIFA - The British Independent Film Awards". www.bifa.film. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  27. ^ Starred Up, retrieved 2016-08-09 
  28. ^ "Under The Skin: the making of Scarlett Johansson's alienating new film". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  29. ^ Glazer, Jonathan (2014-03-14), Under the Skin, retrieved 2016-08-09 
  30. ^ Carlyle, Robert (2015-07-24), Barney Thomson, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  31. ^ Kennedy, Colin (2015-12-11), Swung, retrieved 2016-08-10 
  32. ^ "Hush - Embankment Films". Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  33. ^ "'Hell or High Water' Director Boards USA Network's 'Damnation'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  34. ^ "USA Drama 'Damnation' Taps 'Ripper Street' Alum to Replace Aden Young". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  35. ^ Petski, Denise (2016-09-08). "‘Damnation’: ‘Hell Or High Water’ Helmer David Mackenzie To Direct USA Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  36. ^ "Inspiration - Film City Glasgow". www.filmcityglasgow.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  37. ^ "Film City Glasgow- The heart and soul of Scotland's film and television industry". www.filmcityglasgow.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  38. ^ "JUMPCUT". 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  39. ^ "JUMPCUT 2014 CREW". 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  40. ^ Randon, Elizabeth (2000-01-01), Good Souls, retrieved 2016-08-15 
  41. ^ "2014 goNORTH Short Film Screening Programme Announced | Emergents". www.emergents.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  42. ^ Salim, Zam (2000-01-01), Dropping Off Michael, retrieved 2016-08-10 

External links[edit]