September 27, 2021

Lottery Funded Films

Lottery Funded Films

The lottery is not just a ticket buying system that promises rags to riches stories. The money brought in from lotteries is often used for the Greater Good and the UK’s National Lottery is no different. Since its start in the ‘90’s, the National Lottery has helped a number of industries, with the buzzing movie industry being one of them. Yes, the lottery funds films.


Film makers, especially independents, often have to jump through hoops for enough funding, this is where the British Film Institute teamed up with the National Lottery and set up the British Film Institute Fund. This funding has helped support and develop the UK film industry, allowing many emerging movie-makers’ dreams to come to life. Now you might think it’d be a risky business but so far, lottery funded films have won an amazing 14 Oscars and 32 BAFTAS. In 2016, a whopping 12 lottery funded films were screened at the 60th London Film Festival. No small feat at all. With the movie industry being so saturated with similar stories, the BFI looks to fund projects that a bit different, that have a cultural significance, takes risks, and those that recognise the quality of our differences, uniqueness. The trend is moving towards real, raw movies over the cookie-cutter type.


Without further ado, here is a list of lottery funded movies; some of them might even surprise you!


  • The Girl with All the Gifts – a 2016 post-apocalyptic zombie movie based on the 2014 science-fiction novel by M.R. Carey
  • A United Kingdom – a 2016 British biographical romantic drama film based on the true-life romance between Sir Seretse Khama, prince of Botswana, and his white, British wife, Ruth Williams Khama.

    Image from Wikipedia

  • 28 Days Later -Another post-apocalyptic zombie horror, released in 2002. A cult classic for any zombie lover.

Image from Wikipedia

  • Brooklyn – A 2015 film about young Irish immigrant Eilis Lace (Saoirse Ronan) navigates her way through 1950s Brooklyn



  • Bend it Like Beckham – Another 2002 classic, romantic comedy about the daughter of orthodox Sikh parents who rebels against their traditionalism and joins a football team.
  • The Constant Gardener – a 2005 political drama. A reserved British diplomat is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife’s murder after their move to Kenya.
  • Billy Elliot – A 2000 film about an 11 year old coal miner’s son who is torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disaproval, and disintegration, of his family.
  • 51st State – An action comedy released in 2001. An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal but all does not go as planned.
  • Gosford Park – A 2001 mystery film. Set in the 1930’s, a group of pretentious rich and famous are brought together for a relaxing weekend, but when a murder occurs, each one of these interesting characters becomes a suspect.
  • Seven Psychopaths – Released in 2012, this dark comedy crime follows a writer in search of a screenplay. He inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu.


  • Girl with a Pearl Earring – a 2003 romantic drama adapted from a work of fiction by author Tracy Chevalier. The movie follows the speculated events surrounding the creation of the painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.
  • Great Expectations – a 2012 film based on the famous novel by Charles Dickens. A humble orphan becomes a gentleman with help from a mysterious benefactor.


And there you have it, a not too shabby list of lottery funded movies. And these are just to name a very few from a very long list.


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