Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) the production house run by veteran producers Mike Downey and Samantha Taylor has picked up three International Prizes for Irish co-productions this weekend: the first at Karlovy Vary where Jumpman took the Grand Jury Special Mention Award, the second and third at Eurasia Film Festival where Dede by Mariam Khachvani picked up International Competition Special Jury Prize and the award for Best Editor. The announcement comes hard on the heels of the completion of shooting of their most recent Irish project, Streetkids United III – The Road to Russia and post production on Rudolph Herzog’s How To Sell a War in full swing at Windmill Lane.
A partnership with Georgia, Dede originally screened in Official Selection at the Karlovy Vary International film festival and has picked up over 20 awards internationally. The team that made Dede is currently at the writing stage and selected for this year’s Cannes Cinefondation, F&ME will partner once again with Vladimer Katcharava’s 20 Steps Productions on Nene. Nene is already blazing a trail with being and winning the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) development grant in December, after being unveiled among four projects from 105 initial submissions. Based on a true story, the feature is centred around the subject of the arbitrary use of power by law enforcement agencies and their use of force against citizens. The film will be produced and co-written by Katcharava, in partnership with Downey and Taylor as well as Dedecollaborator JaJa Film Productions of the Netherlands.
Next up for F&ME (IRE) is also partnering with Ivan Ostrochovský and Katarina Tomkova of Bratislava’s Punkchart Films on a screenplay written by Rebecca Lenckiewicz (Academy Award and EFA for Ida) and Marek Leščák entitled The Disciple. Ostrochovský, who made his name with art house breakout hits Velvet Terrorists and Koza, directs this drama set in a Catholic seminary in Communist Slovakia which began shooting in March is also a recipient of a Eurimages award, and will also do post-production in Dublin. The Disciple tells the story of 17-year-old boy best friends Michal and Juraj leave their home village of Spis in Slovakia to join a Seminary in Bratislava. Two boys fight the oppressive system, but the question is who will win? The film is a Slovak, Czech, Romanian, and Irish co-production led by Ostrochovský’s Punkchart, with Pavel Strnad’s NEGATIV s.r.o, Tudor Giurgiu’s Libra Film Productions, and F&ME (IRE) as partners.
Later in the year Fame is also partnering with Šárka Cimbalová and Svatka Peschková’s Czech production company Marlene Film on Agnieszka Holland’s Charlatan, a Czech/Irish/Slovak co-production written by Marek Epstein which will be co-produced by Film & Music Entertainment (F&ME)’s Irish outpost and Slovakia’s Furia Film. The story is about a man with exceptional abilities – inspired by the real-life healer Jan Mikolášek — living in totalitarian 1950s Czechoslovakia. Holland’s many credits include films such as Spoor, In Darkness and Europa Europa and TV hits such as House of Cards and Treme; she is also working on Netflix’s first Polish-language original series.
With the FIFA World Cup in full swing, F&ME (IRE) have partnered again with Jamillah van der Hulst and Conrad Alleblas’ JaJa Film Productions for the third in the series of Steetkids United films. Streetkids United III – The Road To Russia will take up the story of the over two hundred street-connected children from across the world will come together in Moscow for their own international football tournament, festival of arts and Congress for their rights. The film will be an Irish/Dutch/India co-production.