Variety is reporting that independent distributor Cinema Epoch has acquired the U.S. rights to Tom Collins’ latest feature Aithrí / Penance, which premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh last year.
Peter Coonan plays Father Eoin O’ Donnell, a young firebrand priest, who uses his influence over his parishioners, and in particular a teenage boy called Antaine, to promote violence against the British in the lead-up to the 1916 Rising. O’Donnell and Antaine meet again in Derry in 1969 where both men are forced to re-examine their shared past and the deadly events that have been set in motion as a result. The film also features Terry Byrne, Barry McGovern, Gerry McSorley, Diona Doherty, Dara Deveney, and Padraig Parkinson.
Collins has been producing and directing award-winning feature films and documentaries since Hush-a-Bye Baby in 1988. During his career he has had the unprecedented distinction of being twice nominated as Ireland’s Entry for Best Foreign Language Film at The Academy Awards for his films Kings 2008 and The Gift / An Bronntanas in 2014. He has produced or directed 13 documentries and feature films including Bogwoman, Dead Long Enough; Teenage Kicks – The Undertones and The Boys of St Columb’s. In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Life Time Achievement award by the Directors Guild of Ireland for his “Outstanding contribution to Irish Filmmaking”.
The film was written by Greg Ó ‘Braonáin and Collins, with Collins producing alongside Edwina Forkin (Zanzibar Films). Aithrí / Penance is funded by Northern Ireland Screen, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., TG4, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Julie Delaney of Starline Entertainment negotiation the deal for Aithrí / Penance with Cinema Epoch president Gregory Hatanaka.
We’re immensely excited about giving viewers here in the U.S. the chance to experience this powerful movie by multi-award Irish winning director Tom Collins and hope that today’s generation will learn from the tragic historical events depicted in the film that still resonate to this day.
Gregory Hatanaka, President – Cinema Epoch