One of the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. backed big hitters for the upcoming year is Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture.
The film, which is an adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s 2008 Man Booker Prize nominated novel of the same name, is the story of a one-hundred-year-old woman, Roseanne McNulty, who now residing in Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital decides to write her autobiography.
Lady Rose is an elderly woman who has lived in a hospital for 40 years. Despite her bleak surroundings there is a light in her eyes that cannot be extinguished. Dr Greene is drawn to her, compelled to discover her past and gain her freedom. Through her scripture we reveal a life of extraordinary love, great injustice and a remarkable young woman of courage whose only crime was to fall in love yet she survives the system’s brutal violations. Set against a backdrop of troubled times locally and chaos internationally we learn of her ultimate triumph.
US star Rooney Mara plays the younger Rose, with screen legend Vanessa Redgrave playing her in her older years. These are supported by Australian actor Eric Bana, and rising UK star Theo James, as well as Irish stars Jack Reynor, Aidan Turner, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.
Six-time Academy Award nominee Sheridan co-wrote the screenplay with the late Johnny Ferguson. Director of photography Mikhail Krichman worked on the brilliant Russian film Leviathan, and composer Brian Byrne has previously worked with Sheridan on In America. It is edited by Dermot Diskin (Wake Wood, Moscow Never Sleeps), with production design by Derek Wallace (Good Vibrations, The Sea).
The Secret Scripture, which is produced by Noel Pearson and Rob Quigley for Ferndale Films in association with Voltage Pictures, is financed by the Irish Film Board, the Ingenious Senior Film Fund, Apollo Media, and the European Media Fund.
The film is currently in the final stages of post-production and is expected to be completed soon. However its US distributor Relativity Media is currently subject to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, meaning that the US release date is uncertain. Under their proposed restructuring deal the film would be released on December 31st, 2017. Voltage Pictures are the sales agent for other regions, meaning that we could get the film earlier.