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Tony Bracewell – One To Watch

Producer Tony Bracewell founded production company Punk Cinema in 2004 with his brother, director Richard Bracewell, to make independent feature films. Their debut feature The Gigolos was released in 2007 and Tony’s second feature is Cuckoo, a thriller starring Richard E Grant. Punk Cinema is now shooting its third feature, an improvised comedy, in London.

What kind of projects attract you?
Original, different stories in commercial genres; simple, compelling ideas which challenge the status quo. Godard said of filmmaking, “All you need is a pretty girl and a gun.” To make a film now all you need is a great idea, a camera, and nerves of steel.

You can produce the film of your dreams. What and who would that entail?
An original, micro-budget British comedy that is a worldwide smash, with cameos from Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a producer?
Tony Jones, Director of the Cambridge Film Festival and co-founder of Picturehouse Cinemas, told us to ignore rejections from distributors and release The Gigolos ourselves. Without his advice and the potential of DIY releasing, we’d have made a great film that few people had seen. Sales agents and distributors told us that The Gigolos was a ‘good calling card’, and to come back with our next film. We ignored them and trusted our instincts that there was an audience for a low-budget film with no stars.

Tell us the most significant moment in your career so far?
Premiering The Gigolos on Sunset Boulevard, receiving great reviews and topping the Sunday Telegraph’s ‘Most Underrated Film Ever’ list. The BBC acquiring The Gigolos and screening it on BBC1. Richard E Grant agreeing to star in Cuckoo and it spending three weeks in the West End. Indie film producing is so tough that when great moments happen, you’ve got to grab hold!

You’ll die happy when…
Multiplex cinemas play indie British movies because audiences are demanding to watch them. And when we’ve won multiple Oscars for that micro-budget Brit comedy…

Cuckoo is available on DVD from February 28.

Taken from movieScope magazine, Issue 20 (January/February 2011)

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