Leading international sales and film finance company Bankside Films has teamed up with Screen Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen and on a joint venture that intends to produce, and fully fund, up to two feature films per year.
This exciting new venture is aimed at projects with a budget of up to €1.5 million and is open to projects across all genres. It is envisaged that the initiative’s priority will be to support second time feature film directors. However, projects from directors with more than one feature film produced will also be considered. The creative teams on each project will come from both the north and south of Ireland. Successful projects will be selected from Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland’s development slates, and will be projects already in receipt of development funding from either agency. Production funding from Bankside Films shall come via its finance partner Head Gear Films. This project is part of the ongoing close relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and with focus on funding projects with strong market potential.
Bankside Films has a long-standing relationship with both agencies and is currently handling international sales for Lee Cronin’s The Hole in the Ground, which will premiere at Sundance this week and recently sold to A24 and Direct TV. They have also worked on Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barrros d’Sa’s Normal People starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville which sold to Bleeker Street and John Butler’s new film John Butler's third feature, Papi Chulo, is the story of a lonely TV weatherman who strikes up an unusual friendship with a middle-aged Latino migrant worker., which premiered at TIFF last year, sold to Blue Fox Entertainment and will be released in cinemas in the coming months.
Having established a strong working relationship with Northern Ireland Screen and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. in recent years, we are thrilled to be entering into a formal arrangement with both agencies in order to champion the undeniable talent coming from the island of Ireland. We are excited to be able to lend support to directors in bringing their projects to fruition and our objective will be to identify unique directorial voices and compelling takes on story and genre which will attract the attention of distributors worldwide.
Stephen Kelliher, Director – Bankside Films
We are delighted to be working closely with Northern Ireland Screen on this cross border initiative. We welcome Bankside’s involvement, bringing their experience and market finance to the table. A key part of this initiative for us will be helping to build the careers of filmmakers from across the island of Ireland. We look forward to announcing the successful projects in the coming months. James Hickey, Chief Executive, Screen Ireland
We are always on the look-out for partnerships which provide an outlet for bringing on local talent. Partnering with Bankside and Screen Ireland on this initiative presented us with an ideal model to help advance directors who can struggle to swiftly follow their first feature with a second feature.
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen
Projects will need to address the requirements of all three organisations.