Independent has announced that they have closed a North American deal with Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, for new Irish cycling drama The Racer. Gravitas is planning a release in US theatres in the fall.

The film is produced by award-winning Blinder Films (Love & Friendship, Vita & Virginia) in coproduction with Calach Films (Mammal) and Caviar (Sound of Metal, The Rider, Tabula Rasa) and stars Louis Talpe (Of Kings and Prophets), Matteo Simoni (Gangsta), Tara Lee (A Date for Mad Mary), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Karel Roden (The Bourne Supremacy) and is directed by Kieron J. Walsh (Jump, Finding Joy, When Brendan Met Trudy).

The Racer was due to premiere at SXSW Film Festival but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Independent will market premiere The Racer at the Cannes Virtual Market later this month and is sharing a first look at the international sales trailer and poster here.

The deal was negotiated by Head of Sales, Sarah Lebutsch on behalf of Independent and Brett Rogalsky on behalf of Gravitas.

Summer 1998 – the opening stages of Le Tour de France are relocated to Ireland. Belgian rider Dom Chabol (late 30s) has been one of the best “Domestiques” (support riders) on the Tour for the last 20 years. It’s a sacrificial role – setting pace, blocking wind, and providing support to enable the team’s sprinter to victory – winning is not an option. But Dom secretly harbours a desire to wear the yellow jersey – just once before his career is over.

At the start of what will likely be his last Tour, Dom is unceremoniously dropped from the Team he has dedicated his life to. His best mate Sonny, the team masseur, fails to reassure him about his future. But a chance liaison with Lynn, a young Irish doctor, softens the blow, and Dom starts to accept – and even enjoy – the idea of civilian life. But as he gears up to go home and to face his estranged sister, a massive doping error knocks another teammate off the Tour and Dom is thrown back in the saddle…

The film was shot in Ireland and Luxembourg.

Written by Ciaran Cassidy (Jihad Jane) and Kieron J. Walsh with Blinder Films’ Katie Holly (Vita & Virginia, Love & Friendship, Citadel) and Yvonne Donohoe (Boys From County Hell, Extra Ordinary, Striking Out) producing and Jesus Gonzalez-Elvira from Calach Films co-producing along with Caviar’s Robin Kerremans and Dimitri Verbeeck.

The film is supported by Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, Film Fund Luxembourg, Eurimages, Screen Flanders, the BAI Sound & Vision Fund and RTE.  Kinepolis Film Distribution (KFD) will release the film in the Benelux territory.

The Racer was a long time in the making. This isn’t unusual in the world of movie-making but what was unusual was that the very day we completed it, the world started to shut down due to Covid-19. Heart-breaking news followed – SXSW, where The Racer was due to premiere, was cancelled. Like many film-makers, I didn’t know where to turn… A short time later I was revitalized to hear that the folks in Gravitas Ventures loved our movie and despite the cinemas being closed at the time, were determined to release the film theatrically in the autumn. It was a real shot in the arm to witness their enthusiasm and excitement as they talked about their plans for the North American release. The Racer is an emotional rollercoaster of a movie and although it is set in the world of professional cycling, it has the potential to capture the imagination of anyone who knows how hard it is to keep doing what you love. I look forward to working closely with Gravitas on the release.

Kieron J. Walsh, Writer/Director

The Racer is a remarkable film in the sense that it is both exciting and heartbreaking. Gravitas is extremely proud to be able to play a role in its release.

Brett Rogalsky, Acquisitions Coordinator – Gravitas Ventures

About The Author

Managing Editor

Founder and Managing Editor of Scannain. Head of Business Affairs at Treasure Entertainment. If found please return to a cinema. Always willing to lend a hand to an Irish film, actor or director in need.

Leave a Reply