LONDON -- The British Film Institute has stepped in to help U.K. films premiering at the SXSW Festival attract U.S. theatrical distribution, and reach a wider audience Stateside.

U.K. films having their world premiere at SXSW, which runs March 7-16, include "The Legend of Shorty," "Beyond Clueless," "The Possibilities are Endless," "Pulp" and "Soul Boys of the Western World."

The BFI will make awards of up to £25,000 ($41,700) per eligible film available to U.S. distributors, to enable them to strengthen the marketing campaigns for the U.S. theatrical release, and support the promotion of U.K. film talent to U.S. audiences.

The scheme was launched as a pilot at the Sundance Film Festival. Three films applied to the scheme and all three -- Hong Khaou's "Lilting," Stuart Murdoch's "God Help the Girl" and Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's "20,000 Days on Earth" -- secured U.S. theatrical distribution deals.

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