AMC Networks International


New Documentary Examines History of HandMade Films

(Life of Brian, The Long Good Friday, Withnail & I)

Featuring George Harrison, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Richard E. Grant and Others

Feature-Length Documentary to Premiere in First Window on AMC Internationally

London, 7 March 2019 – AMC announced today that it will premiere An Accidental Studio, a new documentary which charts the creation of the ground-breaking British film studio, HandMade Films on 4 May at 9pm, exclusively to BT customers.  Featuring never-before-seen interviews with key players, the documentary captures an extraordinary moment in film history through the eyes of the filmmakers and actors as well as the man who started it all, former Beatle and music legend George Harrison. The feature-length documentary is AMC UK’s first original production and will premiere in first window on all AMC channels internationally later this year. The trailer can be viewed here and images can be downloaded here.

AMC is available in the UK free of charge to BT customers as number 332 on BT TV, and to BT Sport Pack subscribers on Sky channel 192.  AMC is also available in HD on both BT TV and Satellite with an HD subscription[1]. The documentary will also be available on demand on BT TV.

Coming to the rescue of Life of Brian when the money fell out at the last minute, George Harrison offered to fund the entire movie, mortgaging his house and his office to do so. As a Monty Python fan, he credited the Pythons’ humour for saving his sanity whilst he was a Beatle. Now it was his turn to pay them back. The film was a massive hit, so successful in fact that they decided to set up a company – HandMade Films.

In a rare moment in film history, HandMade dominated the British movie scene with its ethos of making and releasing maverick films that everyone else had rejected, from Life of Brian, The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits and Alan Bennett’s triple BAFTA winner, A Private Function to Withnail and I and the Oscar®-nominated Mona Lisa. Harrison’s generosity in helping others fulfil their dreams and his hands-off approach allowed filmmakers to shine in their work. As its films won awards and launched careers, HandMade became more than a happy accident. It became a celebration of integrity and collaboration.

With unreleased archive interviews and footage with Harrison, new and exclusive interviews with BAFTA winner Michael Palin, Golden Globe® and Oscar® nominee Terry Gilliam, Oscar® nominee Richard E. Grant and Oscar® winner Neil Jordan, and unseen interviews with Golden Globe® and BAFTA winner Bob Hoskins, An Accidental Studio explores HandMade’s baptism of fire and the risks it took in producing uniquely crafted, intelligent films. Additional interviews in the film include Bruce Robinson, Ray Cooper, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, Cathy Tyson, Brenda Vaccaro, A Martinez, Richard Loncraine and Jonathan Lynn.

“HandMade Films created some of Britain’s most iconic films and gave a global platform to artists who continue to have a strong impact on popular culture today,” commented Executive Producer Harold Gronenthal, EVP of Programming and Operations, AMC/SundanceTV Global. “This new documentary is AMC UK’s first original production, and we’re excited to partner with BT, Bill & Ben Productions, Propellor Films and DCD Rights to showcase the important legacy of HandMade Films with AMC’s audiences internationally.”

Co-Directors and Co-Producers for AMC Networks International are Ben Timlett and Bill Jones of Bill & Ben Productions and Kim Leggatt. Executive Producers are Gronenthal, Bruce Kenyon and Nicky Davies Williams, CEO of DCD Rights. DCD Rights distributes the film in the US and internationally outside of the AMC territories.

– Ends –

Social links:



About AMC (UK)

AMC, a business unit of AMC Networks International, commemorates favourite films from every genre and decade and showcases acclaimed first run original programming. The network has created some of the most award-winning series of the past decade that have re-defined dramatic storytelling. In addition to being widely distributed throughout North America, AMC is available in over 125 countries. AMC in the UK is a premier entertainment destination that is available free of charge to BT customers as number 332 on BT TV, and to BT Sport Pack subscribers on Sky channel 192. AMC is also available in HD on both BT TV and Satellite with an HD subscription (customers must opt in to receive the AMC channel).

About AMC Networks International – UK

AMC Networks International – UK (AMCNI – UK) distributes television programming throughout the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) and manages a portfolio of eleven channel brands, including AMC, SundanceTV, Eva and Eva+. AMCNI – UK also operates a number of joint venture, partnership and managed channel services in the EMEA region, including Outdoor Channel as well as a portfolio of seven entertainment channels with CBS Studios, including CBS Justice, CBS Action, CBS Drama, CBS Europa, CBS Reality, CBS Reality +1, Horror Channel and Horror Channel +1.

AMC Networks International – UK is a business unit of AMC Networks International, a leading producer and distributor of television channels reaching subscribers in more than 130 countries and territories and spanning a range of genres, including movie, lifestyle, entertainment, sports, children’s and factual.  AMC Networks International is the global division of AMC Networks. For more information, visit:

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.  BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

About DCD Rights

DCD Rights is one of the UK’s leading independent television programming distributors representing more than 3,000 hours of content across a wide range of genres, including drama, factual entertainment, lifestyle, music, documentary programming and formats. DCD Rights’ catalogue contains shows from top international producers/directors and independent producers and also features classic and cutting-edge concerts. An independent for more than 30 years, the company formerly named NBDtv became part of production and distribution group DCD Media plc in 2006. Find out more on

[1] Customers must opt in to receive the AMC channel


Press Contacts