2014 has so far proven to be a strong year for Irish cinema with films such as Calvary, The Stag, Frank, Jimmy’s Hall and Universal’s Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie proving popular at the Irish box office and there is plenty more yet to come. Irish audiences can look forward to a wide choice of Irish stories on films hitting cinemas over the coming months.
The upcoming, and exciting slate of titles includes: Noble, the true story of Christina Noble; Standby a romantic comedy set in the streets of Dublin starring Brian Gleeson (The Stag) and Mad Men star Jessica Pare; The Guarantee, which tells the infamous story of the Irish bank guarantee starring Peter Coonan as David Drumm; and Gold a heart-warming comedy starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and James Nesbit.
The IFB is also set to present an interesting line-up of feature documentary films including One Million Dubliners, an award winning film which explores the necropolis of Glasnevin Cemetery in North Dublin; Unbreakable:The Mark Pollack Story, which tells Pollack’s inspirational story of strength and positivity in the face of extraordinary adversity; and Showrunners which takes a look at the big names behind the international business of major US TV drama and features interviews with JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon.
All go on release this autumn, starting with Noble on September 19th, Unbreakable: The Mark Pollack Story on October 3rd, Gold on October 11th, Showrunners on October 17th, The Guarantee on October 30th, One Million Dubliners in late October, and Standby on November 14th.
Emma Scott, Production and Development Manager, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. said: “Having had a strong start to the year, with Irish titles capturing the interest of cinema-goers on films like Calvary, The Stag, and Frank the IFB is looking forward to an equally exciting Autumn schedule of theatrical releases. Diversity and talent alongside great Irish story-telling is evident across the range of films gaining releases here.
Irish distributors are working hard, with the invaluable support of the exhibitors, to reach new audiences. The rise of Event Cinema is proving to be a widely popular way of reigniting the audience’s relationship with their local cinemas. The wide array of genres from comedy to drama to life-enforcing documentaries and the variety of film-making talent on display is indicative of a healthy independent film sector.”
Noble is the inspiring true story which has won multiple awards at international film festivals, including Best Feature at the Boston Film Festival. Starring Deirdre O’Kane and directed by Stephen Bradley, Noble is based on the story of Irish woman Christina Noble who, overcame an oppressed and impoverished childhood and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
Gold, due for release in October, is an uplifting comedy starring David Wilmott (The Guard), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Kerry Condon (Rome) and James Nesbitt (The Hobbit) in a story of an estranged father who returns to his hometown after a long absence to reconnect with his family. Director Niall Heery previously wrote and directed the feature Small Engine Repair, for which he won the Breakthrough Talent IFTA award.
The Guarantee will hit cinemas in October and will have a live cinema event with live satellite linkup national wide, to launch the film in cinema before its December broadcast on TV3. The film recounts the events leading up to one of the most notorious political decisions in recent Irish history – the 2008 Bank Guarantee. Written by Colin Murphy and based on his stage play, The Guarantee recounts the hubris of the Celtic Tiger years all the way to the market crash which led to the night of the bank guarantee in September 2008. The Guarantee stars Peter Coonan, David Murray, Morgan Jones and Gary Lydon and audiences can expect to see portrayals of key figures in the events, including David Drumm, Brian Cowen, Sean Fitzpatrick and Brian Lenihan.
Standby is a romantic comedy directed by brothers Ronan and Rob Burke. The film stars Brian Gleeson (The Stag) and Jessica Paré (Mad Men). Gleeson stars as Alan, a 28-year-old worker at Dublin Airport who bumps into a former lover, Alice (Paré) who is waiting on standby for a flight to the US. Eight years before, Alan and Alice had a romance that ended badly. Now, every hotel room in Dublin is booked and despite initial frostiness, they decide to spend the evening getting to know each other again. Both will tell lies about how well the last eight years have gone, but as the night goes on they gradually come to realize that perhaps they are more compatible than ever before.
Ten years after losing his sight at 22, Mark Pollock became the first blind person to race to the South Pole and the psychological impact of that success put blindness behind him. He moved on with his life and got engaged to his girlfriend Simone. However, in a freak accident three weeks before the wedding, Mark fell from a third floor window and became paralysed from the waist down. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Ross Whitaker is one of Ireland's most respected documentary filmmakers. His work includes Katie, Between Land & Sea and Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story. (When Ali Came to Ireland, Saviours), this emotional, fascinating film tells the story of Mark’s rehabilitation and his search for information and cures in the worlds of robotics and science.
Showrunners, released in October, is the first documentary to focus on the world of the “showrunners” – those in charge with delivering TV shows to the screen on time and within budget. Directed by Dublin native Des Doyle with Wexford producer John Wallace, the documentary is not shy to emphasise the high tensions, behind-the-scenes drama and lack of glamour in such a role. The documentary features contributions from showrunners past and present including JJ Abrams (Alias), Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) amongst many others.
Winner of the best Documentary Award at the Galway Film Fleadh One Million Dubliners will be released in the Autumn and explores the necropolis of Glasnevin Cemetery in North Dublin. The resting place of 1.5 million souls, One Million Dubliners is a film about life, from the rush to florists on St. Valentine’s Day to American visitors seeking the graves of their ancestors.