News from the colonies, where the Filmbase Masters produced Poison Pen has been chosen as the only Irish film to screen at the Virginia Film Festival.

A four-day event, which takes place at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the Virginia Film Festival has been running since 1988, and is one of the most respected regional destination film festivals in the United States.

The Eoin Colfer scripted Poison Pen previously premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh, and has traveled to the British and Irish Film Festival in Luxembourg, and to New York with the Irish Film New York festival last week. It can next be seen by Irish audiences at the 59th Cork Film Festival, at 6:30pm on November 15th.

The film follows washed-up author PC Molloy who is forced to write for April Devereaux’s gossip magazine Poison Pen. He becomes caught up in a world of stars and their secrets and is soon in danger of becoming a celebrity himself. With the spotlight turning to Molloy, he struggles to keep his own secrets off the front page.

The romantic comedy stars Lochlann O Mearain (The O’Briens) alongside Aoibhinn McGinnity (Love/Hate) in the leading roles. Lauryn Canny (A Thousand Times Goodnight, Amber), Susan Loughnane (The Food Guide To Love, Love/Hate), Paul Ronan (One Hundred Mornings), Aaron Heffernan (Obama Mia, Love/Rosie) , and Mary Murray (Magdalene Sisters) come together as the supporting cast.

Eoin Colfer attained worldwide recognition in 2001, when the first book in his Artemis Fowl series was published. To date more than half of his books have reached the New York Times Bestsellers list at least once.

Poison Pen was produced by the participants on the Filmbase/Staffordshire University MSc in Digital Feature Film Production and was filmed in Dublin before transferring to London to complete the project.

Having won the Booker Prize several years ago, PC Molloy has been struggling with writers block ever since. Now reduced to the rank of a part time creative writing lecturer at a London university, he affects the position of a cultural critic. His prestigious residence is the top floor apartment of a Georgian building, but his strained financial circumstances have him living amid a crumbling pile, much to dismay of his college going daughter, Sally.

Enter April Devereaux, the inspirational, thirty something editor of celebrity gossip magazine Poison Pen. The magazine is situated in a glossy and glamorous office space. Populated with young hipster staff, the publication is readying itself for a switch from traditional print to modern online media.

April wants Molloy to bring her magazine a touch of class by writing profiles of London’s A-List stars and celebrities. He dismisses the intimidation, saying that he has a literary reputation to maintain. But when April reminds him that he has yet to deliver on the £500,000 advance paid to him for his second novel, he realises he has no choice.

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