The film "Breaker" is making its rounds of the film festival circuit this year thanks to the online poker play of its director Nick Scott who won the film's budget online at Betfair Poker.
"We're pretty sure that ours is the first film to be entirely funded by online poker winnings," said Scott. "It's difficult for British filmmakers to fund their projects. We had a great script and just wanted to make the thing, but it was going to take us months to raise the cash ourselves."
Scott's frustration over funding turned to hope when he was introduced to online poker during a friend's poker night. He's always played live before, but he saw the potential that multi-player tournaments online could have for him because of the amount a person can win off a very small stake.
One day Scott spent £3 to enter a tournament on Betfair Poker and six hours later with more than three hundred players behind him, he'd won the money he needed for his film.
"I qualified for Betfair Poker's daily £15,000 tournament and just played unbelievably tight," Scott said. "Players kept dropping, and after some careful play, I found myself playing one-on-one for £5,000."
Luck also stepped in to help the filmmaker. On the final hand he went all-in with pocket nines only to find out his opponent had pocket aces.
"I thought that was it, but the nine of diamonds came up on the turn, and I started dancing a little jig around the room," Scott said. "I rang up my producer to tell her that I'd just won our budget, but she didn't believe me and hung up."
With the money, Scott and his producer, Fiona Brownlie, were able to set up their own production company, The Winners Productions, and start pre-production on "Breaker." The film, which is about an artist who throws bricks through windows to create a controversial piece of art, will have its official London premier at Curzon Cinema in Soho Oct. 13 and has been requested by several international film festivals.
"We just made the official selection for a festival in South Africa, so I guess I better get back to the tables to pay for our tickets," Scott said.