News of the latest round of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. funding comes courtesy of ScreenDaily, with the Irish Film Board awarding funding to a host of familiar names, including Juanita Wilson, Jim Sheridan, Julien Temple and Aisling Walsh.
In The Name of the Father director Sheridan has secured the largest commitment from the Film Board, with €600,000 pledged to his The Secret Scripture. The film, which is an adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s 2008 Man Booker Prize nominated novel of the same name, is the story of a one-hundred-year-old woman, Roseanne McNulty, who now residing in Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital decides to write her autobiography.
Voltage Pictures are producing the film, with Sheridan’s My Left Foot producer Noel Perason attached. The film will star Jessica Chastain, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jeremy Irons and Vanessa Redgrave. Gangster No. 1 screenwriter Johnny Ferguson, who sadly passed last year, adapted the source material. Production is due to start next month.
The second largest commitment, of €500,000, is being given to As If I Am Not There director Juanita Wilson, for her adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s Tomato Red. Writer-director Wilson is adapting the Winter’s Bone authors novel herself, which tells the tale of two siblings, Jamalee and Jason Merridew, and their ex-con sidekick Sammy Barlach who live among the Ozark community in the US.
Octagon Films are producing the film, with shooting due to start late this year.
The Irish Film Board has also committed €250,000 to Song For A Raggy Boy director Aisling Walsh’s next feature, Maudie. Canadian writer Sherry White has peened the script, which sees Sally Hawkins as a disabled woman, with an artistic gift, who is hired as a housekeeper by a reclusive fisherman.
The Canadian-Irish co-production, from Parallel Film’s Landscape and Solo Productions is due to start shooting in Newfoundland in July. Game of Thrones star Sean Bean is currently in talks to play the fisherman.
Three documentaries have received commitments of €100,000 each, with Parallel Film’s production of Julien Temple’s The Strypes, and Fastnet Films’ Jihad Jane: Dangerously Seeking Marriage and Zato gaining funding.
A number of other films and TV series have received funding commitments including Virginia Gilbert’s Helen, Paul Mercier’s Pursuit, Blinder Films’ Perish and TV series Ripper Street. On the development commitments front Good Vibrations directors Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa’s The Virgin Of Las Vegas, and The Stag director John Butler’s Devil now have Irish Film Board backing.