Principal photography has begun on Volker Schlondorff’s new feature film Return to Montauk, which is an Irish co-production and based on a screenplay co-written with Brooklyn author Colm Tóibín.
The film follows a German writer who visits New York for the release of his book, which is about how he meet and fell in love with a young woman in the city 17 years ago. As his wife plans his new book tour he bumps into his orignal love again, and they decide to spend a weekend together in Montauk, a fishing port on Long Island.
Schlondorff, who won a Palme d’Or and an Oscar for The Tin Drum, is no stranger to Irish shores, having been the focus of the Galway Film Fleadh’s Director Tribute in 2007. Here he is working with major international stars Stellan Skarsgard and Nina Hoss. The cast also includes Susanne Wolff (Bullying), Isi Laborde, Niels Arestrup, and Irish star Bronagh Gallagher.
Aside from Tóibín and Gallagher, Irish involvement in the film comes from Conor Barry of Savage Productions, who co-produces with Regina Ziegler of Ziegler Film and Schlondorff, Francis Boesplug for Pyramid Productions in France, Gaumont in France, in association with Mike Downey and Sam Taylor at Film & Music Entertainment of the U.K. Other co-producers include Til Schweiger and Tom Zickler of Barefoot Films, Christoph Liedke and Marc Gabizon of Wild Bunch, and the broadcasters WDR BR and ARTE. It is funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FFA, DFFF, Eurimages, the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., and CNC.
Return to Montauk will shoot in Long Island and Berlin. It will be represented at the Cannes Film Marché later this month by Gaumont, with Wild Bunch Germany releasing the film theatrically there.
Savage Productions are on a roll at the moment, having produced the multi-award-winning You’re Ugly Too last year, as well as the forthcoming Irish/UK co-production Identicals. They are currently in post-production on the eagerly anticipated historical adventure film Pilgrimage, and are in various stage of pre-production of other projects including Rebecca Daly’s Good Favour, and the Jamie Hannigan scripted Airlock.