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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Lottery cash for UK blockbuster
Shrek's producers are behind the animation
An animated British film made by the producers of the Shrek movies is to receive 2.58m in Lottery funding through the UK Film Council.

The film, Valiant, will use the latest computer-generated imaging (CGI) effects to tell the story of a young pigeon in the homing pigeon service during World War II.

It is being financed with the help of a grant from the council's Premiere Fund, which has backed movies such as Oscar-winner Gosford Park.

The film will be produced in the UK by Vanguard Films in partnership with Ealing Studios, and sold worldwide by British companies.

It is being directed by British director Gary Chapman, and produced by John H Williams and Barnaby Thompson.

It will be distributed by Entertainment Film Distributors in the UK, and Disney in the US.

Robert Jones, head of the Premiere Fund, said the project proved that UK companies were confident about competing in the international marketplace.

Other films benefiting from the fund include The Freddie Randall Story, written and directed by Peter Chelsom, which is receiving 250,000.

Also set during World War II, it tells of an amateur inventor who falls in love with a US singing star as they both lie injured in hospital.

Gary Oldman and Cate Blanchett are lined up for the lead roles.

Meanwhile, Mike Leigh's Untitled 03 project, which has already received 500,000, is to get a further 777,632.

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