Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. (IFB) has announced the funding awards made by the IFB Board for the third quarter of 2016 across film, documentary and animation, in the categories of development, production and distribution.
A high-level breakdown of the figures sees €2,407,500 allocated for the period, with 38 projects sharing development funding of €558,800, , 12 projects sharing production funding of €1,652,200 (including 6 non-defined provisional offers of commitment), and 8 projects sharing distribution funding of €196,500.
Last November the Irish Film Board outlined a 6 point strategy aimed at increasingly female represent in the Irish film industry and moving towards gender equality in funding and other decisions. This latest round of funding sees 18 of the 58 supported projects have either a female writer or director, or both.
The biggest recipient of funding is The Delinquent Season, the directorial debut of Intermission, Perrier’s Bounty, and Boy A writer Mark O’Rowe. The film, which received an offer of €650,000, is a relationship drama that focused on infidelity between two couples. The Delinquent Season previously received development funding in 2013 of €45,000 so has long been on the Irish Film Board radar. It is being produced by Parallel Films, who are also working with British director Bharat Nalluri (Spooks, Life on Mars, Hustle) on The Man Who Invented Christmas. The film is scripted by Susan Coyle, based on the book by Les Standford, and tells the story of Charles Dickens writing of A Christmas Carol. It has received an offer of €150,000.
The second largest recipient of a funding award is Viko Nikci’s psychological thriller Cellar Door, which has been offered €450,000. The film is being produced by Samson Films, who also worked with Nicki on his debut feature documentary, Coming Home, which premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2014. Samson are currently in pre-production on the film, and hope to start principal photography early next year. Two further projects produced by Samson Films, Carmel Winters’ Float Like a Butterfly and Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor’s Rose Plays Julie also received Provisional Offers of Commitment. Snap director Winters received a similar backing for Float Like a Butterfly in the last quarter of last year, having been granted Fiction Development Loans in 2014 and 2015. Rose Plays Julie comes from writer/directors Molloy and Lawlor, who form the creative partnership Desperate Optimists. They recently released the documentary Further Beyond in the IFI. Their film, which is co-financed by the BFI, tells the tale of an adopted girl who seeks out her birth mother only to be told her mother has no desire to meet her. Undeterred she sets out from Dublin to London in an effort to confront her birth mother, and face her own identity. Rose Plays Julie is set to go before cameras in the second half of 2017.
Adam & Paul and Viva writer Mark O’Halloran’s Trade has also received a Provisional Offer of Commitment. The film will be directed by Hong Khaou (Lilting) and is adapted from O’Halloran’s play of the same name. Trade tells the story of a young man searching for stability in the wake of his father’s death, and will be produced by Roads Entertainment and Tristan Goligher at The Bureau.
Blue Ink Films and directors Rob and Ronan Burke, who gave us the wonderfully warm Standby, have been given a Provisional Offer of Commitment for a big-screen adaptation of RTÉ comedy series Damo & Ivor. The film, which received a Fiction Development Loan of €25,000 last year, will follow the titular pair of contrasting Dublin stereotypes (both played by co-writer Andy Quirke) on their biggest adventure yet. The Burkes directed season 2 of the TV series so know the characters well, and will hope to follow the successfully path forged by fellow TV adaptation The Hardy Bucks, and by the recent comedy-smash The Young Offenders.
On the co-production front, director Yorgos Lanthimos’s latest film The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which recently wrapped in Cincinnati, was awarded €200,000. The film stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, Sunny Suljic, and Barry Keoghan is an Irish actor from Summerhill in Dublin, best known for his roles in Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.; and sees a teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family takes an unexpected turn. The film is produced by Element Pictures is run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin and London, working across production, distribution, and exhibition. Element Pictu... More and Film 4, both of whom worked with Lanthimos on The Lobster.
Also on the co-production front is Farhad Safinia’s The Professor and the Madman, which is currently filming in and around Dublin. The film, which stars Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, and Natalie Dormer, received an offer of €150,000 to Irish producers Fastnet Films is the Irish film and television production company of Macdara Kelleher, Morgan Bushe and director Lance Daly.. The film tell the story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, and sees Gibson play its author Professor James Murray. Penn plays William Chester Minor, a doctor, but also an inmate, at an asylum for the criminally insane, who penned more than 10,000 entries for the dictionary, and is based on the book by Simon Winchester,
Away from fictional narrative the Irish Film Board also made production commitments to documentary and animated features. These include a Provisional Offer of Commitment to documentary All The Numbers from Ross Whitaker is one of Ireland's most respected documentary filmmakers. His work includes Katie, Between Land & Sea and Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story. (Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story) and to animated feature Peckles from Jam Media and directors Alan Shannon & Conor Finnegan.
Under development funding the Irish Film Board offered support to seven film to aid Screenplay development. These include Joyriders from The Young Offenders writer/director Peter Foott; Sea Horse from Glassland actor Shashi Rami; Piper from East Is East director Damien O’Donnell; Nightcrawler from The Sun, Moon and Stars director Geraldine Creed; Ritual, a punk love-story set in 1970’s Belfast from Pierce Ryan (Standby); What We Know About Men from Traders writer/directors Peter Murphy & Rachel Moriarty; and Tank Man from actor and comedian David McSavage.
21 Fiction development loans were offered. These included Kelly Campbell & Michael McDonagh Famine, to be produced by Blinder Films; Incognita, written by Nick Kelly and produced by Calico Pictures; The Master, written by Anne Marie Casey and produced by David P. Kelly Films; Woken, directed by Alan Friel and co-written with Rebecca Pollock, Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium, written by Garret Shanley, and Glenn McQuaid’s Grimes And Blake At Your Service, all to be produced by Fantastic Films; Duncan Campbell’s Untitled Film and Somebody’s Wife from Mammal co-writer Glenn Montgomery, to be produced by Fastnet Films; Goodbye Horses from writer Gavin Burke and producers Fleming Creative; Liz Gill’s Matchbreaker, to be produced by Goldfish Films; Marian Quinn’s Antigone, to be produced by Janey Pictures; The Boys Of Summer, directed by Garret Daly & Martina McGlynn, written by Conor Ryan and produced by Mixed Bag Media; closerthanthis from Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope writer Stephanie Preissner and produced by Parallel Film Productions; Declan Recks’ The White Room, written by Maggie Mitchell & Neal Rowlands and produced by Ripple World Pictures; Witchfever written by Ron Hutchinson, Freight written by Gary Duggan and George Kane’s The Yes Express, all to be produced by Samson Films; Damien O’Donnell’s The Boy That Never Was, written by Karen Gillece & Paul Perry and produced by Subotica; Phil Sheerin’s The Winter Lake, written by David Turpin and produced by Tailored Films; and Sarajevo Calling, written by Viko Nikci & Jonathan Ellen and produced by Vico Films.
Seven Animation development loans were offered to: Cartoon Saloon for Nora Twomey & Fabian Erlinghauser’s Dorg Vandango, written by Mick O’Hara & Ciaran Morrissey, and Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart’s Wolf Walker, written by Will Collins; Jam Media for Alan Shannon’s Meddlers, written by Mark Hodkinson & David Rice; Mooshku for Jason Tammemagi’s Spooklies; Piranha Bar for Alan Foley’s Max And The Monster Trucks, co-written with Stephen Bowen; Treehouse Republic for Stephen Fagan & Graham Holbrook’s I’ve Got A Time Travelling Monkey On My Back, co-written by Fagan and Dale Robinson; and Zink Films for Gary O’Neill’s Bob’s Jobs, written by Richard Hansom.
Three Documentaries received development funding: One Million New Yorkers from Brendan Byrne (Bobby Sands: 66 Days) and Fine Point Films, which is an alternative history of NYC, told through the stories of New York’s ‘unclaimed’ dead who lie buried on Hart Island; With God In My Corner from Gary Lennon (A Doctor’s Sword) and John Kelleher Media; and 12 Miles from Ciaran Cassidy (The Last Days of Peter Bergmann) and Roads Entertainment.
On the distribution front a Direct Distribution award of €10,000 was made to Underground pictures to help the release of Aoife Kelleher’s Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village; while Distribution Support was provided to Element Pictures Distribution for the releases of Darren Thornton’s A Date For Mad Mary (€35,000), Declan Recks’ The Flag (€37,500), Richie Smyth’s The Siege Of Jadotville (€37,500), Colm Quinn’s Mattress Men (€24,000), and Paddy Breathnach’s Viva (€20,000). Wildcard Distribution is an Irish film distributor established in early 2013 specialising in new and fresh approaches to distribution. received Distribution Support for their releases of Simon Dixon’s Tiger Raid (€10,000) and Vivienne DeCourcy’s Dare to be Wild (€22,500).
Visit the IFB website for a full list of projects in receipt of funding.