Good news from the continent this morning as Irish film Rialto, directed by Scottish director Peter Mackie Burns, will world premiere in the Orizzonti (Horizons) competition at the prestigious 76th Biennale di Venezia (Venice International Film Festival). The film is based on Mark O’Halloran’s play Trade and has been adapted by O’Halloran.

Set in present day Dublin, Colm is married, with two teenage children. We meet him at a crisis point, he is grieving the death of his father, a destructive figure in Colm’s life. Unable to articulate his pain Colm is repeating similar mistakes with his own son. In the midst of this crisis, a brief sexual encounter with a young rent-boy called Jay has a deep affect on Colm. The struggle to be moral and the urge to satisfy his own needs starts to corrode his spirit.

Colm’s growing compulsion threatens to demolish his family. The seemingly ordinary life of a simple family man begins to fracture, building towards a climax that is both devastating and wholeheartedly moving.

Rialto stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Citizen Lane, Maze, Avengers: Infinity War) in the lead role, with Tom Glynn-Carney and Monica Dolan in support. It is produced by Alan Maher (Song of Granite, Being A.P.) and John Wallace for Cowtown Pictures and Tristan Goligher (Lean on Pete, 45 Years) and Valentina Brazzini for The Bureau. Financed by Screen Ireland, the BFI and The Bureau, with The Bureau acting as sales agent.

O’Halloran’s original play was commissioned by thisispopbaby and first performed as part of the 2011 Dublin Theatre Festival. It subsequently won Best Theatre Script at the Writer’s Guild of Ireland’s ZeBBie Awards and Best New Play at the Irish Theatre Awards in 2012.

Rialto
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor in Rialto

I am thrilled and excited that Rialto will be premiering at such a prestigious festival. This is a film I am very proud of and I believe it is a testament to the talents of all those involved. It will be such an honour to have our first screening at Venice. Very special thanks to Screen Ireland and the BFI too.

Mark O’Halloran, Writer

We are thrilled to be premiering Rialto in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival. For Mark O’Halloran to have trusted us to bring his remarkable screenplay to the screen gives us an enormous sense of pride. Helping to realise the directorial vision of the prodigiously gifted Peter Mackie Burns has been very rewarding, as has been collaborating closely with Tristan Goligher and Valentina Brazzini from the Bureau. We had amazing talent working across all departments on Rialto, including a wonderful cast led by the fiercely committed Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and we are very much looking forward to sharing this work with audiences next month.

Alan Maher and John Wallace, Producers – Cowtown Pictures

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Peter Mackie Burns, Mark O’Halloran and Cowtown Pictures on Rialto’s selection for the 2019 Venice International Film Festival. Following on from previous success for Irish film last year with The Favourite, Venice is one of the world’s leading film festivals and the selection process highly competitive. The Orizzonti strand for which Rialto has been selected in particular represents new horizons in world cinema that demonstrate creative originality. This is a testament to the creative talent behind Rialto, and will provide an excellent launchpad for the film in the European marketplace.

James Hickey, Chief Executive – Screen Ireland

The 76th Venice International Film Festival is scheduled for 28 August to 7 September 2019.

About The Author

Managing Editor

Founder and Managing Editor of Scannain. Head of Business Affairs at Treasure Entertainment. If found please return to a cinema. Always willing to lend a hand to an Irish film, actor or director in need.

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