Screen International is reporting that Scandinavian distributor NonStop Entertainment has acquired rights to writer/director Stephen Burke’s new Irish feature film Maze.
The deal was brokered by Visit Films, who are handling the film at the Marché du Film in Cannes. The deal sees NonStop Entertainment acquire the Scandinavian rights to distribute Maze. Discussions are on-going for the sale of the UK rights.
The film is based on the true story of the largest prison escape in UK history, when 38 Irish Republican prisoners broke out of the Maze prison in Northern Ireland in 1983. The film is set to be a gripping portrait of two characters at the heart of an enduring conflict whose unlikely friendship holds the key to its eventual resolution.
Maze stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Love/Hate) as Larry Marley, a member of the Provisional IRA member and one of the masterminds of the breakout, with the IFTA Rising Star nominated Barry Ward (Pursuit) as the warden, and Eileen Walsh (Eden) as Marley’s wife. Martin McCann (The Survivalist) also features in the film.
The film is currently shooting for four weeks at the recently decommissioned Cork prison and around Cork City, before moving to Sweden. The film is written and directed by Stephen Burke, no stranger to Cork as a previous two time first prize winner of the Cork International Film Festival with his early short films, After ’68 and ’81.
Maze is produced by Jane Doolan of Mammoth Films and Brendan J Byrne of Cyprus Avenue Films. Maze has been developed with funding from Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., Northern Ireland Screen, Film Vast, RTE, and BAI, with both Cork County Council and Cork County Council Arts Offices providing regional support.
Speaking on the sale Ryan Kampe of Visit Films said:
Stephen’s story, based on true events and set against the Troubles, has a historical and political weight that can’t be ignored. It encapsulates the atmosphere and drama of a heist film but in reverse, as these guys plot their escape. We believe that audiences will really feel like they are in the prison deciding who to side with.