Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland has announced the funding awards made by the Board for the third quarter of 2018 across film, documentary and television, in the categories of development, production and distribution.

A high-level breakdown of the figures sees €2,373,090 allocated for the period, with 52 projects sharing development funding of €815,770, 12 projects sharing production funding of €1,217,500 (with 2 non-defined commitment offers), and 11 projects sharing distribution funding of €339,820. Those figures represent the smallest amount of funding allocated in a quarter since Q4 of 2016. This despite the increase in available funding levels provided by the Irish government.

Production Funding

The amount of funding allocated to Documentary Production was the highest since Q2 of 2016, with 6 projects sharing €507,500. These figures include one Provisional Offer of Commitment and two Quantified Offers which were allocated a Provisional Offer of Commitment in a previous round of funding.

The largest offer of €125,000, including a €25,000 female funding incentive, went to Underground Films (One Million Dubliners, Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village) and writer/director Kim Bartley (I am a Traveller, The Revolution Will Not be Televised) for Pure Grit. The film will be an observational documentary about bareback racing, life and love set on the Wind River reservation in Wyoming. It had previously been awarded a Provisional Offer of Commitment in Quarter 2 of 2018.

Actors Jim Norton and Cathy Belton during filming of Prisoners of the Moon. Photograph: Brian Farrell

Actors Jim Norton and Cathy Belton during filming of Prisoners of the Moon. Photograph: Brian Farrell

Prisoners of the Moon, the other film that had previously been awarded a Provisional Offer of Commitment in Quarter 2 of 2018, received €100,000 for Bandit Films and writer/director Johnny Gogan (Black Ice) and co-writer Nick Snow. The film is a 75-minute “creative documentary” that tells the story of Arthur Rudolph, a Nazi rocket scientist who played a key role in the 1969 moon landing. The film is based on a radio play by journalist Nick Snow, and stars Jim Norton, Cathy Belton, Donal O’Kelly, Marian Quinn, Alan Devine and Marty Rea.

Another award of €100,000 was made available to Gambit Pictures for Gary Lennon (A Doctor’s Sword) and Ollie Aslin’s (Editor – 50 Ways to Kill Your MammyCastro’s Spies. The film documents the story of five Cuban spies, in the employ of Fidel Castro, who were captured in Miami in the late 1990’s.

A final €100,000 (€75,000 plus €25,000 female funding) went to Below the Radar Films (Brendan Behan: A Roaring Boy) for Claire Burgoyne and Grace Sweeney’s The Sheriff. The film previously received Documentary Development funding in Q2 of 2018 and was pitched at the recent Sheffield Doc Fest Meet Market.

ROSG (An Bronntanas) and writer/director Colm Bairéad (Murdair Mhám Trasna) were awarded €82,500 for ‘Avenger’ Ghaoth Dobhair, and a Provisional Offer of Commitment was made to Silver Moonbeam Film Production Limited for Michael McCormack’s Breaking Out.

In Irish Production €135,000 was made available to 3 productions, including two awards for Additional Irish Production and one Irish Production which was allocated a Provisional Offer of Commitment.

The Provisional Offer of Commitment. was made to Element Pictures for Clare Dunne’s Owned, which will be directed by British director Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia). The film is the story of a working mother who finds herself and her two daughters homeless after leaving her abusive partner. Frustrated with the system, she decides to build her own house. This follows hot on the heels of another look at the Irish homelessness crisis – the Element Pictures-produced, Paddy Breathnach-directed, Roddy Doyle-scripted Rosie – which is currently in cinemas.

Additional Irish Production funding of €85,000 was awarded to Samson Films for writer/director Cathy Brady’s feature debut Wildfire, which is currently filming.  Nora-Jane Noone and Nika McGuigan play two sisters who grew up in the shadow of the Irish/Northern Irish border. When one of them, who has been missing, finally returns home, the intense bond with her sister is reignited. Together they unearth their mother’s past but uncovered secrets and resentments which have been buried deep threaten to overwhelm them.

€50,000 of Additional Irish Production funding went to Fantastic Films (Nails, The Hallow) for Vivarium, from writer Garret Shanley and director Lorcan Finnegan’s (Without Name), which has just completed shooting. The film focuses on a young couple who follow a strange estate agent into a new development to look at a house. The development is brand new but completely devoid of life, and when they attempt to leave they soon find that they can’t find their way out of the maze of houses.

In Creative Co-Production €575,000 was made available to 3 productions, including two awards for Additional Irish Production and one Irish Production which was allocated a Provisional Offer of Commitment.

Two awards of €250,000 were made to Subotica (Michael Inside) for The Other Lamb, written by Catherine McMullen and directed by Malgorzata Szumowska (Mug, Body), and to Metropolitan Films (Tomato Red) for The Homeless World Cup, written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Hannes Holm (A Man Called Ove). The former sees McMullen adapt her own novel, a haunting tale that follows a young woman, raised in a repressive cult led by a charismatic patriarch, who grows skeptical of his leadership after a supernatural event and begins to challenge his teachings. The latter is a drama set around the competitive football event which brings empowerment and a sense of team spirit to participants who are homeless. The project has previously attracted the attention of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

Additional Creative Co-Production funding of €75,000 was awarded to Samson Films for Lina Luzyte’s The Castle. Lithuanian-born Monika (15) and her mother are struggling musicians in Dublin when they’re invited to play in a Galway Castle. To get money together, Monika kidnaps her Granny for ransom. But what looked like a big break turns out to be a hotel dinner gig. Heartbroken, Monika plays – until finally realizes she needs no stage to shine.

Development Funding

The largest funding section (in terms of project numbers) in any round is Project Development, with 22 future fiction films sharing €411,500 this quarter.

The biggest individual project development award saw €50,000 go to Element Pictures for Emma Donaghue’s The Wonder. The film sees the author reunite with the Dublin production company following her Oscar nomination for Room. The film is an adaptation of O’Donogue’s novel, which sees an English nurse brought to a small Irish village just after the Great Famine to observe what appears to be a miracle – a girl said to have survived without food for months.

Marcie Films received €40,000 of Mark O’Halloran’s (Viva, Garage) adaptation of Owen Martell’s Intermission, to be directed by Grant Gee (Meeting People Is Easy, Joy Division). The book is a fictional take on the period of jazz musican Bill Evans’ life when he disappeared immediately after the death of one of his band members in a car accident.

Another Element Pictures project sees A Date for Mad Mary duo Darren and Colin Thornton return as writers on Here Comes the Night, which will be directed by Darren and received €34,450.

Maze director Stephen Burke received €30,400 to Mammoth Films for The Bank, while Vivarium and Without Name writer and director pair Garret Shanley and Lorcan Finnegan were awarded €25,800 for Nocebo via Lovely Productions.

Writer/director Siofra Campbell (Marvelous) and production company Price Film Productions were awarded €15,000 for The Price. The film is the story of the mother of a kidnapped boy offered her young son back in return for a little girl of the same age.

Blinder Films recieved €12,510 for Kelly Campbell and Michael McDonough’s Famine, an adaptation of the Liam O’Flaherty novel of the same name, set among three generations of the same family during the Irish Famine.

Elsewhere awards were made of €22,000 to Treasure Entertainment for Drift, written by Senta Rich and to be directed by Kieron J Walsh (Jump); €20,000 to Black Sheep Productions for A Kind of Longing, written by Ger Gleeson and to be directed by Malgorzata Szumowska; €19,500 to Fail Safe Films for Double Blind, written by Darach McGarrigle and to be directed by Ian Hunt Duffy (Gridlock); €19,340 to Park Films for The Quiet Woman, written by Caroline Grace-Cassidy and Ciara Geraghty; €18,250 to Savage Productions for Soul Hunter, written by Glenn Montgomery (Good Favour) and to be directed by Andreas M Dalsgaard (The Human Scale); €17,500 to Tailored Films for Black Unicorn, written by David Turpin (The Lodgers); €16,700 to Subotica for Northern Light, written by Brendan Heery and Niall Heery (Gold); €16,200 to Sixty Six Pictures for The Smaller I Am, written by Shane Crowley (Brief Encounter); €14,350 to Black Sheep Productions for The Navigator, written by Dathaí Keane (An Klondike); €12,500 to Element Pictures for 3 Feet Of Snow, written and to be directed by John Butler (Papi Chulo); €10,000 to Deadpan Pictures for The Fish & the Duck, written by Damien Owens; €10,000 to Blinder Films for Silvia, written by Maeve McQuillan and to be directed by Erika Tasani; €5,000 to Subotica Ltd for Joy & Mully, written by Ailbhe Keogan and to be directed by Emer Reynolds; €1,500 to Sixty Six Pictures for A High Place, written by Rebecca Daly and Glenn Montgomery and to be directed by Rebecca Daly (Good Favour); and €500 to Element Pictures for I Found My Tribe, written by Ruth Fitzmaurice.

One Screenplay Envelopment award of €16,000 went Homemaker, written by Shane Langan, Amy Stephenson and Rory Connolly, three of the key players in comedy troupe Diet of Worms.

Nine films received Documentary Development funding: €15,000 to Wildfire Films for Children of the Church, written by Ian Lawton and to be directed by Kim Bartley; €15,000 to Bear Print Films for The Last Nomad,  written and to be directed by Hanan Dirya; €15,000 to Subotica Ltd for Lullaby, written and to be directed by Pamela Drynan; €15,000 to Venom Films for The Million Dollar Pigeon Race, written and to be directed by Gavin Fitzgerald; €15,000 to Marcie Films for Rory, written and to be directed by Declan Quinn; €15,000 to Marcie Films for Without His Tie, written and to be directed by Trisha Ziff; €13,740 to Little Wing Films Ltd for After Katrina, written and to be directed by Ciaran Cassidy (The Moderators); €13,120 to Flawless Films Ltd for The Baby Snatchers, The, written and to be directed by Sharon Lawless; and €11,810 to SOS Productions for an untitled documentary project, written and to be directed by Sinead O’Shea (A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot).

Four International TV Drama Development funding awards were made of: €30,700 to Underground Films for Dream House, written by Judith Gleeson, Michael Gleeson, Yannick Hill, and Dathai Keane; €24,500 to Subotica Ltd for The O’Neill, written and to be direcetd by Tim Loane; €21,750 to Shin Awil Productions for Kill, written by Barry Devlin; and €18,650 to An Pointe Productions for Eternal City, written by Paul Mercier (Pursuit), Anne Gately, Declan Brennan.

Ten New Writing Development awards were made, with one of €10000 to writers Janet Hayes and Deborah McGee for Herself, and nine awards of €8000 to Sarah Ingersoll for The Blow In, Cara Loftus for CLASS A (Working Title), Máire Robinson for Drinking for Two; Ciaran Collins for The Gamal, Sinead Fagan for Jolly, Sam Uhlemann for The Last Watch, Eoin Maher for Our House Our Rules, Sarah-Jane Drummey for Some Kind of Atlantis, and Sean Smith for The Wild Kindness.

The six POV: Production & Training Scheme for Female Talent participants were also included in this round of funding: €15,000 to Blue Ink Films for Knowl, written by Elisabeth Gooch and to be directed by Lisa Mulcahy (The Legend of Longwood); €15,000 to Blinder Films for Sunlight, written by Ailbhe Keogan (Run and Jump) and to be directed by Claire Dix (Broken Song); €13,000 to Swansong Films for Down By Your Side, written and to be directed by Niamh Heery (Displaced); €13,000 to Savage Productions for It is In Us All, written and to be directed by Antonia Campbell-Hughes (Q4L); €13,000 to Treasure Entertainment for Tryst, written and to be directed by Jeda De Brí (Procession); and €13,000 to Fantastic Films for You Are Not My Mother, written and to be directed by Kate Dolan (Catcalls).

The aim of POV is to enable distinct Irish female voices with a passion to tell stories on the big screen through the development and production of feature films. It is for live action fiction feature films that can be produced at the required budget level of €400,000. The six selected participants will engage in an intensive development process which includes mentorship, workshopping and story development. Following this phase, three projects will be selected for production.

Distribution Funding

Dublin Oldschool

Dublin Oldschool

Seven recent releases were awarded Distribution Support for their distributors: Element Pictures Distribution was awarded €65,000 to help the release of Emmet Kirwan and Dave Tynan’s musical ode of the capital Dublin Oldschool, €15,840 for Maurice Sweeney’s documentary I, Dolours, and €42,480 for Roddy Doyle and Paddy Breathnach’s homelessness crisis drama Rosie; Wildcard Distribution received €75,000 for Lance Daly’s famine epic Black 47; €35,000 for Ross Whitaker’s documentary Katie, and €16,500 Aoife McArdle’s trippy teenage drama Kissing Candice; Eclipse Pictures received €35,000 for the release of Alan Gilsenan’s post-rape drama The Meeting.

Direct Distribution funding was awarded to Anu Pictures for Donal O Ceilleachair’s documentary The Camino Voyage (€15,000), to FSE Films for Fergal Ward’s documentary The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid (€15,000), to Savage Productions for Rebecca Daly’s ethereal drama Good Favour (€12,500), and to Sea Fever Productions for Katrina Costello’s documentary The Silver Branch (€12,500).

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