After a fantastic opening weekend at the Irish box-office with further expansion this week, The Man Who Wanted To Fly has been officially selected for Newport Beach Film Festival and also nominated in the Single Documentary category of the Celtic Media Festival.
The largest international cinema event in South California, the 20th Newport Beach Film Festival will take place from April 25th to May 2nd. The Celtic Media Festival, which is held in a different Celtic heartland each year, will be situated in Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands this time round, and will run from June 4th to 6th.
“The reactions we’re getting from audiences are astounding,” said Trisha Canning, producer of The Man Who Wanted To Fly.
“What’s been really pleasing for us is the large cross section of audience with which the film is striking a chord. People of all ages seem to be really enjoying it, with one of the film’s core themes of never giving up on a dream, particularly resonating.”
Online registration will close on Thursday 18 April 2019 at 5 pm.
Screening or Selling at Cannes? If you have a Screen Ireland-supported film or co-production screening or selling in the market, please let the Screen Ireland know so that they can list the details in their marketing materials. You can inform us of films screening and/or selling by filling out the online form.
The 20th annual Newport Beach Film Festival will present the largest celebration of Irish Cinema in North America during its eight-day run (April 25 – May 2, 2019) in Southern California. Highlights include an Irish Showcase event, red carpet premieres, Breakthrough Artist Award presentation to Moe Dunford, eleven Irish feature length films, twenty Irish short films, the participation of Irish filmmakers and talent.
On Saturday, April 27th, the Festival will honour Irish Actor Moe Dunford with the Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2019 Festival Honors reception co-hosted by Variety Magazine at the Balboa Bay Resort. Dunford, who stars in three of the Festival’s Irish films (Metal Heart, Rosie, The Dig) and is best known for Vikings, Patrick’s Day and Michael Inside (a 2018 NBFF official selection), has emerged as one of Ireland’s most talented and versatile actors with a robust slate of films in the works, on the festival circuit and in theatrical release. On Sunday, April 28th, 2019, the Festival will present its Irish Showcase, an evening celebration of Celtic cinema and culture. The event will feature the premiere of the three highly anticipated Irish films, Metal Heart, The Belly of the Whale and Rosie followed by a festive post-screening reception.
Other Irish feature length narrative films screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival include the international premiere of acclaimed Irish director Alexandra McGuinness’ film, She’s Missingas well as John Butler’s, Papi Chulo and Carmel Winters’ Float Like A Butterfly (US Premiere). The Irish animated feature Captain Morten and the Spider Queen (US Premiere) will screen in the Festival’s Family Film Series. The Irish short film Breastfriends will screen as part of the Festival’s Growing Up Shortly program. Irish feature length documentary films in the line-up include Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk and The Man Who Wanted to Fly (US Premiere). Two Irish feature length documentaries An Engineer Imagines (US Premiere), Citizen Lane (US Premiere) and the short Irish documentary Bordalo II: A Life of Waste will screen as part of the Festival’s Art, Architecture + Design Film Series.
WAward winning film Taking Stock, will have its US premiere at the prestige’s Newport Beach Festival . This Irish drama short film was written and directed by Siobhán McMahon and produced by Galway native Emma Owen from Galway based production company Babyjane Productions.
This ambitious project was funded by Kildare Short Grass Films; an initiative ofKildare County Councilheaded by Lucina Russell Arts Officer. Lucina brings together both professional and aspiring film makers in Kildare to create a film cultural legacy that will hopefully continue for many years to come.
Starring Kelly Gough, Michael O’Kelly and Rachel Lynch, the film tells the story of a farmer who battles through the aftermath of a cattle raid. It explores the affect this has on him and his family and how one copes in tough circumstances.
This story is not unique to Ireland. It happens all around the world. Thieves never think of the consequences their actions have on the farmer and their families.
The project has been challenging and an absolute pleasure collaborating with all the cast and crew involved. There has been huge enthusiasm from all, which shows the necessity for schemes like Short Grass Films to continue.
‘We couldn’t have done it without the support of all the cast, crew and the locals – they are the ones who deserve all the credit’ says Emma Owen from Babyjane Productions. ‘The significant grant-aid awarded from Kildare County Council was further enhanced by sponsorship fromCreans Restaurant Killculllen, Ashover Lodge Killcullen, Cine Electric Ardmore Studios and Element Post Production. We owe them our sincerest gratitude’.
‘We also want to thank our relentless crew who worked tirelessly throughout the project. We were extremely lucky to have IFTA winning Burschi Wojnar, award winning sound designer Paul Rowland and two-time Emmy nominated composer Joseph Conlan on our team’.
We are excited to see how the film performs on the festival circuit both nationally and internationally. It’s a story that will resonate with all audiences throughout the world as it’s a real human story.
Siobhán McMahon, director & writer, commented that ‘It was a privilege to work with such an amazing cast and crew on Taking Stock and I am thrilled to be launching the film onto the festival circuit’.
Producer Emma Owen commented ‘We are excited to take the next step with Taking Stock. Siobhan’s stunning directorial is a beautiful, poignant and a searingly honest portrayal of marriage and human emotions in a difficult time. ‘
Northern Ireland’s only Oscar® affiliated film festival has launched its 2019 Light In Motion (LIM) competition, open to filmmakers and animators across the world. Based in Derry~Londonderry, the Foyle Film Festival competition will remain open for entries until September 23, 2019.
The three competition categories under Light In Motion 2019 are:
· Best Irish Short
· Best International Short
· Best Animation
The category winners will be announced at the closing evening Light in Motion Awards Ceremony, sponsored by City of Derry Crystal, on Sunday 24 November 2019.
Recipients of the LIM Awards qualify for consideration in the Short Film category of the Academy Awards® without needing the standard theatrical run. Foyle Film Festival is also an IMDb Qualifying Festival, granting all eligible film submissions a fast-tracked title page on IMDb.com.
Previous festival winners and competitors who have proceeded to win the Oscar® include: Terry George for The Shore (2012), Martin McDonagh for Six Shooter (2006), Andrea Arnold for Wasp (2004), Adam Elliot for Harvie Krumpet (2003), and Eric Armstrong for Chubbchubbs (2002).
The success continues with 2018 Oscar® nominations for LIM Award finalist The Silent Child directed by Chris Overton and 2018 BAFTA award in Short Animation for LIM Award finalist Poles Apart directed by Paloma Baeza and Ser En Low.
Funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Tourism NI, Foyle Film Festival delivers a comprehensive programme of documentaries, short films and feature films from all over the world.
Now in its 32nd year, it continues to be a platform for filmmakers, animators and artists to screen their films, network with industry professionals and gain access to the international market.
The Japanese Film Festival returns for its 11th outing this April, with a packed programme that will bring the best of Japanese cinema to screens across Ireland.
This year the schedule includes 46 screenings of 16 feature films across Dublin, Galway, Tipperary, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford and Dundalk.
The festival kicks off this year on the weekend of Saturday April 6th and Sunday April 7th with screenings in Dublin and Galway, and will continue until Saturday April 20th with the final screenings in Dundalk and Waterford.
This year’s programme includes the brilliant yakuza thriller The Blood of Wolves, which recently picked up four Japan Academy Prizes. Born Bone Born is a crowd-pleasing family drama focused around the Okinawan custom of senkotsu (bone washing ceremony). Jesusis a true original from first-time director Hiroshi Okuyama, focusing on one lonely boy’s experiences when a miniature, dancing Jesus Christ shows up unexpectedly. Quirky rom-com Tremble All You Want boasts an extraordinary central performance from Mayu Matsuoka. Meanwhile, acclaimed director Shinya Tsukamoto (best-known for the Tetsuo series) returns with his latest film – the brutal but thoughtful samurai thriller Killing. Elsewhere, The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotineis an epic and intelligent drama in which the worlds of female sumo wrestling and anarchist violence collide.
The festival will host extra cinema screenings of the smash hit zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead plusan opportunity to discover a neglected one with the outrageous 1980s musical gem The Legend of the Stardust Brothers.
This year’s anime selection includes Irish premieres of two new films. The charming Penguin Highway marks the first full-length feature from Studio Colorido, and is a delight for all ages. Elsewhere, there will be few dry eyes in the cinema during the moving romantic drama I Want to Eat Your Pancreas.
Ticket sales information for screenings are available from each participating venue.
Ticketing links and listings are also available at www.jff.ie
JFF 2019 Screening Schedule: Dublin – Chester Beatty Library: Saturday April 6th Galway – Eye Cinema: Sunday April 7th to Thursday April 11th Tipperary – LIT Clonmel: Monday April 8th Limerick – University of Limerick: Tuesday April 9th Cork – Cork Institute of Technology: Wednesday April 10th Sligo – The Model Sligo: Wednesday April 10th Cork – Gate Cinema: Thursday April 11th to Saturday April 13th Dublin – Light House Cinema: Thursday April 11th to Sunday April 14th Galway – Pálás: Friday April 12th to Monday April 15th Tipperary – Tipperary Excel: Saturday April 13th to Sunday April 14th Cork – Triskel Christchurch: Sunday April 14th to Thursday April 18th Waterford – Garter Lane Arts Centre: Thursday April 18th to Saturday April 20th Dundalk – An Táin Arts Centre: Saturday April 20th
The Irish box-office smash hit Black 47 directed by Lance Daly is available to view on Netflix from Sunday 31st March.
Set during the Great Irish Famine the film stars Hugo Weaving (Hacksaw Ridge, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix), Jim Broadbent (Oscar®winner for Iris) and the prolific Irish screen and stage actor Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Michael Collins). Joining them are rising international actors James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom, The Drop) and Freddie Fox (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) along with a strong young Irish cast including Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Moe Dunford (Michael Inside, Patrick’s Day) and Sarah Greene (Rosie, Noble).
It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and reunite with his family. He’s seen more than his share of horrors, but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland that has brutalised his people and where there seems to be no law and order. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets a destructive path to avenge his family.
The screenplay was written by PJ Dillon (Rewind), Pierce Ryan (Standby), Eugene O’Brien (Eden) and Lance Daly (Life’s a Breeze, Kisses). Produced by Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films with Tim O’Hair, Arcadiy Golubovich and Jonathan Loughran, Black 47 was financed by Primemeridian Entertainment, the Irish Film Board, the Luxembourg Film Fund, Wildcard Distribution, Altitude, BAI, TV3, Eurimages, Umedia, Samsa Films and Fastnet Films.
The Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) have welcomed the European Parliament’s final vote on the Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market.
After many months of negotiations, the EU institutions have reached a compromise on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market that establishes a much-needed level playing field for the cultural and creative sectors, in particular the audiovisual industry, to adapt to the 21th century online environment and integrate the global online players in the European copyright ecosystem.
As demonstrated by the recent survey on European audiovisual authors’ remuneration, audiovisual authors are struggling to make ends meet and to maintain sustainable careers; they are in urgent need for action to improve their situation. The Directive on Copyright in the digital Single Market features essential provisions in chapter 3 on fair remuneration for authors and performers, which represent an important achievement in EU legislation.
It sets out a general principle of proportionate remuneration allowing authors to share in the economic success of their works (Art 18), and unwaivable provisions strengthening authors’ right to information on the exploitation of their works (Art 19), reinforcing their bargaining power (Art 20 and 21) and establishing a right for revocation (Art 22).
Once the Directive will be confirmed by the Council, FERA, FSE and SAA will continue working with their members to make the most of the Directive at the implementation stage. They will in particular focus on ensuring that the implementation laws provide appropriate mechanisms to guarantee audiovisual authors receive the proportional remuneration they deserve for the exploitation of their works.
On Friday, 22 March 2019, 6 – 7:30pm TCD will host an ‘in conversation’ event with Emer Reynolds, writer and director of The Farthest (2017) chaired by Prof Ruth Barton(TCD) co-organised by Trinity School of Creative Arts and CONNECT.
Award-winning editor, writer and documentary director, Emer Reynolds, will discuss her acclaimed film,The Farthest with Associate Professor in Film Studies, Ruth Barton, and CONNECT Principal Investigator, Marco Ruffini, in the Long Room Hub on Friday March 22, at 6pm.
The Farthest tells the inspiring story of Nasa’sVoyager space probes in the words of the men and women who designed and built the spacecraft. Interspersed with extraordinary imagery from the journey through space,The Farthest played at festivals worldwide, culminating in winning an Emmy in the category of ‘Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary’ in 2018. A celebration of the possibilities of scientific vision and of the humanity of those behind these experiments, including the creators of the ‘golden record’ made to enlighten possible alien encounters about life on earth,The Farthest is a testament to the potential of the human imagination.
The interview will include sequences from The Farthest alongside a discussion of the film.
Accessibility: Yes Campus Location: Trinity Long Room Hub Room: Neill Lecture Theatre Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public Cost: Free (but registration is essential) More info: www.eventbrite.ie…
The world premiere of experimental, soundtrack-driven sci-fi Assimilation will take place at the 2019 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, to be held in New York this week, on March 6th and 9th. Filmed in Derry and Donegal and produced by Scalp Mountain Productions, Assimilation marks the feature debut both for Irish writer/director John Norby and star Ashling Vieira.
In the near future, exponential growth in technology creates an apocalyptic event of cosmic origins that finds Earth seemingly devoid of all sentient life. Assimilation depicts the stages leading up to that event and follows the journey of a lone survivor on her quest to reconnect with life: to discover what lies beyond.
Where are we headed, this human race, and what is our fate after Earth? The clues are there to be discovered; it’s all about knowing where to look.
What will you see?
Presented without dialogue, Assimilation features an immersive, darkly atmospheric soundtrack by some of the most respected dark ambient artists from around the world. The film strives through its ‘sight and sound’ approach to captivate its audience and transport them into the post-apocalyptic world it portrays, allowing them to explore it intimately as the experience unfolds.
The production of Assimilation was unique in that the soundtrack was in place before shooting began, indicating the importance of the music and its intricate relationship with the action in driving the story. The soundtrack features music by Lamia Vox, Sistrenatus, Red Harvest, Phelios, Virus, Triangular Ascension, Dahlia’s Tear, Øysnsasid, Christopher Norby, Posthum, Endvra, Necro Deathmort, O Yuki Conjugate, Zoät-Aon, and The Axis Of Perdition. Put together they provide an ethereal cinematic experience that reveals the profound and chilling story of Assimilation.
Assimilation will play at The Producer’s Club, 358 West 44th Street, New York, on Saturday, March 9. Screening time is 9pm. Q&A with director John Norby after the show.
Irish Traveller Francis has to fight for the right to pursue her passion…boxing. She is determined to make her idol Muhammad Ali proud, as well as her father who has recently been released from prison. But when she wants to show him just how tough she is, she soon comes to realise he’s got other plans for her.
CAST: Hazel Doupe, Dara Devaney, Johnny Collins
“captures humanity at its best and worst, offering a message of hope throughout.”
A sweet, naïve young woman making a go of it in the Big Apple, Frances doesn’t think twice about returning the handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta, a peculiar pianist with a predilection for Romantic music and a desperate need for company. Frances recently lost her mother and feels alienated by her father; Greta has lost her husband, and her daughter lives far away. The two become fast friends — but that friendship rapidly assumes ever more sinister hues as Greta’s attentions escalate.
Ben Slater and his wife Hazel, in the wake of the tragic death of their daughter, Molly, retreat to the west coast of Ireland to build themselves a new life in a quaint hotel by the sea. However, there is no escape for Ben who is plagued by a recurring dream of a perfect day all three of them spent on the beach last summer. Ben becomes convinced that he can change the past through this dream and bring his little girl back. As his determination to bring Molly home grows, his grasp on reality slips and his sanity is questioned by those around him. Somewhere between dreams and reality lies the truth.
CAST: Stephen Dorff, Melissa George, Simon Delaney, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Charlotte Bradley, Luke Griffin
Out of Innocence (Danny Hiller)
In Cinemas 12th April 2019
After a police investigation, a young mother, confused and scared, confesses to a crime she did not commit and is charged with murder. Based on real events in 1980’s Ireland.
CAST: Fiona Shaw, Alun Armstrong, Ruth McCabe
“puts its own harrowing spin on false truths. Women are persecuted from all aspects…”
James Allen is a successful, controlling, thirty-something banker living alone and working in Dublin city at the tail end of the recession. When a family tragedy occurs due to the ruthlessness of his employer, he takes decisive action to try to make things right.
Meanwhile, his enigmatic co-worker Alison has her own agenda, which puts her on a collision course with James, triggering and a dark spiral of deceit, revenge, and murder.
CAST: Alan Mulligan, Taine King, Tim Palmer, Anthony Mulligan
Bobby Coote left school at 13 and spends most of his time in his back shed fixing clocks and making violins, but he has never lost sight of a lifelong dream to fly. He has cut a runway in a neighbour’s field and even built a hangar. And now he’s using his life savings to buy a plane! He gets no encouragement from his brother Ernie – another octogenarian in the Coote household, who thinks the whole thing is mad. But Bobby is determined to get airborne, even if it’s the last thing he does.
An Engineer Imagines (Marcus Robinson)
In Cinemas 1st March 2109
Many of the world’s modern architectural treasures including the Sydney Opera House, the Lloyd’s Building in London, the Inverted Pyramid at the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre in Paris were made possible through the innovation of Irish engineer Peter Rice. A genius who stood in the shadow of architectural icons. Until now
Trying to escape her broken past, Sarah O’Neill is building a new life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris. A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbour shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a spiralling nightmare of paranoia and mistrust, as she tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in her little boy are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest that borders their home.
CAST: Seána Kerslake, James Quinn Markey
Starboard Home (Moira Sweeney)
IFI & TradFest 27th January 2019
Featuring the highly successful Starboard Home album and showcase gigs at the National Concert Hall, Dublin this documentary celebrates the formative bond between Dublin’s port, city and river through music, song and spoken word.
Cellar Door (Viko Nikci)
Premiere at the Cork Film Festival 2018
In Cinemas 25th January 2019
The story of young love to tortured loss and back again, the story follows Aidie a fighter inside and out – as she searches for her son while in the grip of the Church.
CAST: Karen Hassan, Mark O’ Halloran, Karen Hassan, Catherine Walker, Ian McElhinney
Witness (Mitko Panov)
In Cinemas 25th January 2019
A political thriller about an enthusiastic junior officer from The Hague War Tribunal in pursuit of justice. The arrest of General Miro Pantic ends a decade-long manhunt that had frustrated his Western pursuers and left festering one of the bloodiest chapters in Europe’s recent history. He had been indicted by a War Crimes Tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity, but when an envoy from The Hague comes looking for an internal witness – Nikola Radin, alas The General – the problems begin. Getting out of the wilderness is not easy as no one wants The General to testify against Pantic, whom they perceive as their national hero. The bloody men-hunt will give a life-changing lesson to the young envoy who will understand that there are many more shades to what he thought was a black and white picture.
CAST: Pádraic Delaney, Natasha Petrovic, Bruno Ganz
Documentary centres on the men who unwittingly became war photographers on the streets of their own Northern Irish towns. Expecting a career of wedding photography and celebrity photocalls, the images they produced would come to define that conflict.
Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.
CAST: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone
“a terse tale fit for the chaos of the times that’s unrepentant in its originality”
Set in Dublin, Monika has a dream to play a one in a lifetime concert. Her mother is sceptical and reluctant to support her daughter’s dreams, and so she sells their keyboard and forbids Monika from attending the concert. However, Monika stops at nothing to pursue her dream.
Laura and Tyler are soulmates. Thirty-something best friends and revellers residing in Dublin, they are ingrained in the fabric of each other’s lives; dating, partying, drinking and living their life without limitations.
Brings us into a unique place beyond the reach of television news reports to reveal a world rich with eloquent and resilient characters, offering us a cinematic and enriching portrait of a people attempting to lead meaningful lives against the rubble of perennial conflict.
Vita and Virginia (Chanya Button)
The true story about the love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf.
CAST: Elizabeth Debicki, Gemma Arterton, Isabella Rossellini
Here Are the Young Men (Eoin Macken)
Dublin teenagers Matthew, nihilistic Rez, and the deranged Kearney, leave school to a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking acts of transgression.
CAST: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo
Sea Fever (Neasa Hardiman)
Bild: Anders Ylander
The crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggle for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply.
Premiere at Dublin International Film Festival 2019
Cast adrift in Los Angeles, Sean — a lonely TV weatherman — drives past a middle-aged Latino migrant worker standing outside Home Depot looking for work. He decides to hire this kind-looking man — to be his friend. Sean is young, gay and white; Ernesto, portly, straight and married. Despite having nothing in common, they build a sort of friendship based on sign language, until Sean becomes consumed by a deep and obsessional attraction.
In sharp contrast to the all pervasive romanticised and glamorised media image of the Sicilian Mafia, Shooting the Mafia, unflinchingly explores the stark reality of life, and death, under the oppressive yoke of the Corleonesi Mafia.
A driving instructor must use her other-wordly gifts to save a lonely man’s daughter from a rock star looking to use her for Satanic purposes.
CAST: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward
The Last Right (Aoife Crehan)
Wildfire (Cathy Brady)
The story of two sisters who grew up on the fractious Irish border. When one of them, who has gone missing, finally returns home, the intense bond with her sister is re-ignited. Together they unearth their mother’s past, but as they uncover the secrets and resentments that have been buried deep down, it all threatens to overwhelm them.
CAST: Nika McGuigan, Nora-Jane Noone
Vivarium (Lorcan Finnegan)
A couple looking for the perfect home, find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses.
CAST: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris, Jack Hudson
A Dog Called Money (Seamus Murphy)
Chronicles the recording of PJ Harvey’s The Hope Six Demolition Project in London, as well as Harvey and photographer and filmmaker Seamus Murphy’s travels in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Washington D.C.
Calm With Horses (Nick Rowland)
In darkest rural Ireland, ex-boxer Arm has become the feared enforcer for the drug dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five year-old son, Jack. Torn between these two families, Arm is asked to kill for the first time, and his attempt to do the right thing endangers everyone he holds dear.
CAST: Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar, Ned Dennehy, Cosmo Jarvis, Hazel Doupe
Rose Plays Julie (Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy)
Rose is at university studying veterinary science. An only child, she has enjoyed a loving relationship with her adoptive parents. However, for as long as Rose can remember she has wanted to know who her biological parents are and the facts of her true identity. After years trying to trace her birth mother, Rose now has a name and a number. All she has to do is pick up the phone and call. When she does it quickly becomes clear that her birth mother has no wish to have any contact. Rose is shattered. A renewed and deepened sense of rejection compels her to keep going. Rose travels from Dublin to London in an effort to confront her birth mother, Ellen and learns a secret that has been kept hidden for over 20 years.
CAST: Ann Skelly, Orla Brady, Aidan Gillen, Annabell Rickerby
Never Grow Old (Ivan Kavanagh)
CAST: John Cusack, Emile Hirsch, Antonia Campbell-Hughes
A western in which an Irish undertaker profits when outlaws take over a peaceful American frontier town, but his family come under threat as the death toll rises.
Arracht (Tom O’Sullivan)
Set during the famine, a man loses everything and is accused of a murder. On the run for three years and with the help of a mysterious girl he attempts to rebuild his life. However, his past however comes back to haunt him.
Finky (Dathai Keane, Pierce Boyce)
Micí Phincí Ó Foghlú is a young musician with a tragic past who is crippled in a car accident and given a chance at redemption when he is recruited by a violent, avant-garde circus.
Rialto (Peter Mackie Burns)
In the wake of his father’s death, Colm must come to terms with his actions and find the resolve to halt the crumbing facade of his home, his family, and everything he has built.
CAST: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Tom Glynn-Carney, Monica Dolan
If you have a film set for release in cinemas this year and would like us to feature it, email email@example.com
Irish Writer/Director Liam O Mochain’s 3rd feature film Lost & Found has been picked up by Gravitas Ventures for all rights worldwide (excluding Ireland, UK, Australia and New Zealand). The film was recently acquired by Rialto Film Distribution for AUS/NZ, FILM 4 and High Fliers for the UK and RTE TV in Ireland. Lost & Found was released in the UK in Oct and Ireland in July. The film had its world premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh where it sold out instantly, won best foreign film at the Arizona Int. film festival and was a buzz title at the recent 25th Austin Film Festival in early November.
Liam O Mochain (WC, The Book That Wrote Itself) says, “We are delighted to have made a deal with Gravitas Ventures for Lost & Found. Although just over 10 years old Gravitas have made a huge impact on the industry releasing a lot of great films from fiction to docs from all over the world. I am really looking forward to audiences in North America getting an opportunity to engage with the film when it is released in theatres in early 2019 and internationally later in 2019”.
Producer Bernie Grummell adds “We are thrilled, the film was a labour of love for everyone involved over the 5 years of production and it is great that the film will be released by Gravitas to new audiences”. Tony Piantedosi, Director of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures said, “Liam crafts a hilarious ensemble comedy full of both small town charm and universal appeal. LOST & FOUND was a highlight of this year’s Austin Film Festival, and we look forward to bringing the film to audiences around the world,”
Lost & Found is a feature film with 7 interconnecting stories set in and around a lost & found office of an Irish train station. All segments are inspired by true stories, share a theme of something lost or found, and characters that come in and out of each other’s lives..
The ensemble cast includes Norma Sheahan (Moone Boy), Liam Carney (Outlander, Angela’s Ashes), Aoibhin Garrihy (The Fall), Anthony Morris (Games of Thrones), Seamus Hughes (Jimmy’s Hall), Liam O Mochain (WC), Brendan Conroy (Vikings), Barbara Adair (Derry Girls, Grabbers), Sean Flanagan (Foil Arms & Hog), Olga Wehrly (Vivarium, Nightflyers’), Diarmuid Noyes (Borgia, Killing Bono), Lynette Callaghan (The Tudors) and Daniel Costelloe (Albert Nobbs, Magdalene Sisters).
Budget 2019 saw an additional funding of €36m in the arts sector, an increase of 12% on 2018 figures. It brings the total culture, language and heritage budget to €339m in 2019.
That additional funding includes an increase of €2 million awarded to Screen Ireland. The department has also allocated €3.84 million to the Screen Ireland administration and training budget bringing the agency’s 2019 funding to €20,042 000.
Section 481, the Irish tax incentive for the film and television industry is to be extended until 2024.
Also included in the budget announcement by Irish Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, TD. was that Section 481, the Irish tax incentive for the film and television industry is to be extended until 2024, plus additional support for projects filmed across the regions of Ireland for the next four years.
Speaking about the increase in funding, Screen Ireland Chair Dr. Annie Doona said:
“Earlier this year, Minister Madigan announced the Audiovisual Action Plan, an industry-wide, long-term vision, to support the Government’s ambition to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the creative screen industries. Therefore, we very much welcome this budget increase, as one of the first concrete steps in ensuring that we can implement this vision. This additional funding will ensure that Screen Ireland is in a strong position to support new and established Irish creative talent across film, television and animation production.
“We also welcome the extension of Section 481, the Irish tax incentive for the film and television industries until December 2024. 2018 has been an incredibly successful year to date, with Ireland welcoming a large number of major international productions to our shores, Consistent government support for Section 481 is imperative to enable Screen Ireland to promote Ireland as an attractive international destination for film and TV production.
“The regional uplift to Section 481 of 5% will also provide an additional incentive to increase Irish and international production activity from Cork to Limerick, from Galway to Donegal, developing jobs and investment across the regions. We also look forward to working with the Government to ensure that the process of implementing section 481 continues to be improved upon.”
Spears is a mystery / thriller and is the second feature film for Irish director Gerard Lough. Best known for the short Stephen King adaption The Boogeymanand horror feature Night People, this is his first foray in neo-noir.
This ambitious thriller takes place in four different countries and stars Nigel Brennan, Michael Parle and Yalda Shahidi. A large international ensemble cast also includes Aidan O’ Sullivan, Bobby Calloway and Rebecca Thompson.
The film also aims to highlight the best of new Irish electronic artists with music from bands such as Sleep Thieves.
A young Private Investigator (Brennan) is sent to Italy to find a woman (Shahidi) who mysteriously disappeared there. Very soon he finds himself tangled in a web of obsession and revenge. Fittingly, the film’s title is taken from the Emily Bronte quote; “Treachery and violence are spears pointed by both ends; they would those who resort to them worse than their enemies.”
Part of principal photography recently wrapped in Florence, Italy and will resume in Ireland, Berlin and Britain in the coming months.
Spears is produced by Fatima Fleming and Lough and is set for a cinema release in 2019.
Lenny Abrahamson’s new film The Little Stranger tells the story of Dr. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson), the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants – Mrs. Ayres (Charlotte Rampling), Roderick Ayres (Will Poulter) and Caroline Ayres (Ruth Wilson) – are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how disturbingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own.
Gemma Creagh was at the European premiere at the Light House cinema in Dublin and talked to Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Lenny Abrahamson and Ruth Wilson.
Sinead O’Shea’s acclaimed new Irish documentary is set for nationwide Irish and Northern Irish release on 14th of September.
One night in 2012, Majella O’Donnell took her teenage son Philly to a laneway near to her home to be shot in the legs by local gunmen. In a shocking, intimate yet often warm and surprisingly humorous portrait of a family,A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot tells their story.
Majella, her son and the gunmen are all part of the dissident community in Derry, Northern Ireland. The Troubles in Northern Ireland was supposed to have ended in 1998 with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, but this community do not accept the government or police. To them, the war is not over, even as family life continues.
In the absence of a normal relationship with the police, dissident Republicans step in to combat a perceived drug epidemic with their own brutal form of justice. Majella was faced with an agonising choice: cooperate with a punishment shooting or risk even worse consequences for her son.
A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot is produced by Sinead O’Shea, Ailish Bracken and Katie Holly of Blinder Films with Figs Jackman and André Singer of Spring Films and Oscar-nominated Executive Producer Joshua Oppenheimer. The production and release received the support of Screen Ireland, RTÉ and Inevitable Pictures.
A Mother Brings Her Song to Be Shot is released nationwide on 14thSeptember.
There will be a Q&A with Sinead O’Shea after the Opening Night screening on the 14th September at the Light House Cinema, Dublin (Booking open here) and in the Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast on 15th of September.
The story of the Glenanne Gang details how members of the RUC and UDR, (a British Army regiment) were centrally involved in the murder of over 120 innocent civilians during the recent conflict in Ireland.
Thaddeus and Sally are sick of the nursing home, so the two decide to take matters into their own hands and escape to a cottage on the Kerry coast. There, they will have a nice, enjoyable weekend, and then they’re going to commit suicide.
CAST: Aeneas O’Donnell, Anna O’Donnell, Peter Shine, Muireann Ni Raghlaigh
In the fall of 1960, Father Thomas Riley and Father John Thornton were sent by the Vatican to investigate a miraculous event in an Irish home for ‘fallen women’, only to uncover something much more horrific.
Bobby Coote is in his eighties, but he still has a dream: one day he wants to fly. He has built himself a hangar, and he has a runway of sorts, all he needs is a plane. And now he is finally going to buy one and make his dream come true.
A cinematic tribute to those who suffered loss as a result of the Northern Irish conflict (1968-1998). Timed to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the film is inspired by artist Colin Davidson’s elegiac exhibition of paintings, Silent Testimony.
Looking specifically at the women (mothers, sisters and daughters) who lost loved ones at the hands of both the RUC and IRA, the documentary shines a light on a modern-day war that is often forgotten and particularly poignant in light of today’s Brexit negotiations over a hard Irish border.
A retrospective look at five decades of celebrated composer and the “godfather of Irish electronic music” Roger Doyle and observes him presenting one of his most ambitious musical projects to the general public – his first electronic opera.
On the 16th of December 2016 a group of housing activists and trade unionists commandeered Apollo House, an empty Nama-controlled office block on Dublin’s Poolbeg Street and opened a shelter for homeless people. The documentary is a faithful account of events and an honest record of the motivations, beliefs and doubts of those who became involved in making such a powerful statement at Apollo House, and a timely reminder that the homelessness crisis has yet to be resolved.
A cinematic yet intimate and complex portrait of Dolours Price, militant IRA activist, hunger striker and dissident Republican who two years before she died gave a filmed interview on condition that it would not be broadcast in her lifetime.
Racing from young love to tortured loss and back again, this story follows Aidie – a fighter inside and out – as she searches for her son while in the grip of the Church. With a unique point of view on a familiar trauma.
CAST: Karen Hassan, Catherine Walker, Mark O’Halloran
Ben and Hazel are a married couple who have recently lost their young daughter. After relocating to a small beach-side town in Ireland, Ben begins to have vivid, mysterious dreams about his little girl, which he starts to suspect may hold the key to bringing his daughter back to life.
CAST: Stephen Dorff, Melissa George, Simon Delaney, Aoibhinn McGinnity
It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and re-unite with his estranged family
The Arts Council and Arts & Disability Ireland have announced the 2018 deadline for Arts and Disability Connect, a funding scheme for artists with disabilities.
Specifically targeted at individual artists with disabilities, Arts and Disability Connect includes New Work, Mentoring and Training awards. The scheme offers artists the opportunity to: connect with other practitioners or venues; make a change in their practice; ‘step up’ in terms of scope and scale; reach new audiences and to engage in mentoring or training.
Arts and Disability Connect deadline: Thursday 26th April at 5pm
Application forms and guidelines for Arts and Disability Connect are available to download from Monday 5th March at www.adiarts.ie/connect.
Arts & Disability Ireland will visit Waterford, Sligo, Ennis, Dublin and Portlaoise to talk to artists with disabilities about this funding scheme.
Tuesday 13 March, 2pm at Garter Lane, Waterford
Tuesday 20 March, 2pm at The Model, Sligo
Thursday 22 March, 2pm at Glór, Ennis
Tuesday 27 March, 2pm at Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Wednesday 11 April, 2pm at Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise
At these information clinics we will talk through the guidelines, application process and answer any questions artists have about the scheme. Please RSVP in advance to Amie Lawless: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any access requirements please get in touch.
Irish Sign Language, speech to text and a loop system will be available at the Project Arts Centre on Tuesday 27 March. All venues listed are wheelchair accessible.
Saoirse Ronan has been nominated in the Best Actress category in this year’s Academy Award Nominations for her performance in Lady Bird, which is also included in the Best Picture category.
Commenting on her nomination, Saoirse said, “To have been a part of a film like Lady Bird was a true privilege and I am incredibly grateful to the Academy for recognizing this wonderful story about the beauty and strength of women. I am especially thrilled to share this moment with Laurie Metcalf and our leader and director Greta Gerwig, who, like Lady Bird, is an incredible woman and a dear friend.”
Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner, directed by Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo, picked up a nomination for Best Animated Feature.
Consolata Boyle has been nominated for Costume Design for her work on Victoria & Abdul. It is her third Academy Award Nomination.
The British and Irish actor Daniel Day Lewis picked up a nomination for his work in The Phantom Thread. The film is also included in the Best Picture and Director category.
The London-Irish writer/director Martin McDonagh has been nominated for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.
The 90th Academy Awards takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on 4th March 2018.
Kissing Candice has been officially selected for the world-renowned Berlin International Film Festival next month where the film will screen in the Generation strand of the festival. A visceral and thrilling coming of age drama, Kissing Candice is Aoife McArdle’s debut feature film.
Both written and directed by McArdle, the film stars the IFTA-nominated Ann Skelly as Candice, a 17-year-old who longs to escape the boredom of her seaside town, only finding solace in her vivid imagination. When a boy she dreams about (played by Ryan Lincoln,Cardboard Gangsters) turns up in real life, she becomes increasingly entangled with a dangerous local gang.
Speaking about the festival selection, McArdle said: “Berlinale is such a bold, beautiful festival. It’s a huge honour to have our European premiere there.”
The Generation strand of the festival integrates youth into the festival’s film-aesthetic discourse. Previous Irish films to have been selected for this strand in the past include Mark Noonan’s You’re Ugly Too and Tomm Moore’s The Secret of Kells.
Kissing Candice was shot on location in Dublin, Louth and Wicklow and had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. It’s the feature film debut from award-winning music video director Aoife McArdle and was produced by Andrew Freedman of Venom Films (His & Hers, Kelly & Victor, Mom & Me) and Sally Campbell of Somesuch with funding through the Irish Film Board’s Catalyst Scheme.
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) is the national development agency for Irish film and animation investing in Talent, Creativity and Enterprise. The agency also supports and promotes the Irish film industry and the use of Ireland as a location for international production.
Story Consultant — Role Description
The role will consist of working with the three Project Managers on scripts that are in mid to late stage development to help improve quality. This will involve assessing with the Project Manager where the issues with a script lie and communicating this to the producing teams through meetings and/or written notes. The Script Consultant may be the first read on a project that has delivered during a development stage – this is to help with time frames and the progress of projects. This is not intended to replace the role of the script editor employed by the production company, rather it is to help the Project Manager team focus on the crucial late stages of development.
Story Consultant — Essential Experience
Strong proven track record of working in the film and television industry is essential.
Demonstrated experience in the script development process including script editing.
Experience of working directly with writers, directors and producers in the development and script editing process.
Story Consultant — Essential Qualities
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
Excellent written and oral skills.
Ability to work as part of a team.
Ability to work under tight pressure and deadlines.
A positive forward thinking approach to the task in hand.
Interested applicants are invited to forward a detailed CV and covering letter that highlights relevant experience to email@example.com by Friday 19th January 2018 at 5.30 pm.
As part of your covering letter address the Essential Experience and the Essential Qualities and also please set out a statement on your own vision for improving quality of Irish screenplays.
This position will be offered as a 1 year contract which may be extended at the discretion of IFB. The Story Consultant position will be offered as a Contract for Services.
The remuneration will be offered at a €40,000 for the services.
Submit a short or feature film to Killarney Mountain Festival celebrating the great outdoors. Working in partnership with the renowned Kendal Mountain Festival, the Killarney Mountain Festival will host a celebration of all things mountain and adventure related over the weekend of March 9-11 2018 and the aim is to provide the biggest and best social event for outdoor enthusiasts in Ireland.
As Ireland’s adventure capital, Killarney is home to the biggest mountain range in the country, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, and is a natural location for this festival.
The programme of film screenings and events will include adventure, environmental and mountain films along with speakers and workshops. Award categories in short and feature film categories will be presented.
Killarney Mountain Festival Grand Prize
Best Mountain Film
Best Short Mountain Film
Best Adventure Award
Share the Adventure of a lifetime at the Killarney Mountain Festival March 9 -11 2018
Ahead of No Budget’s screening of Zoe Kavanagh’s Demon Hunter at Filmbase, Film Ireland finds out more about this Irish film collective.
What is NoBudget?
We are simply a show for filmmakers with nobudget made by filmmakers with nobudget. But on another level similar shows tend to take themselves too seriously. We don’t try to pass ourselves off as experts. We are like everyone else in the no-budget filmmaking market, learning as we go and trying to make short and feature films that do well in festivals whilst having fun and passing off what we have learned in the process to others.
How did it come about?
We had been talking about doing a podcast one day and how most of them seemed more related to big-budget films or about breaking into the indie film market in the US. After a discussion about doing something for Europe we came up with an idea for a YouTube show, since it’s more of a visual medium. We then reached out to a few people we had worked with in the past to join us and with that one of the best indie filmmaking shows in the interwebernet was born.
Can you give us a little background on yourselves.
NoBudget is a bit like the UN. Since its inception we have had various contributors to the show in different capacities. Currently the show is comprised of:
Milo Denison – Milo studied acting in the US and is the owner of D Studios Photography and Media.He now shares his time in front of the camera and behind it as an actor, director, and director of photography. He has worked on films that have shown in the TMC London Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, and the Chicago Irish Film Festival to name but a few.
Cathal Feeney – Cathal got involved in filmmaking when he joined a film club in 2011. In October of that year he entered the Offline Film Festival 60hr challenge and took first prize. Since then he has taken over the running of the club and gotten involved with NoBudget. His latest film Level 2 has been screened at the Vienna Independent Film Festival, the Prague Independent Film Festival and the Solaris Film Festival where it won the best screenplay award.
Claire Millan – Claire is an actor, writer and playwright from Co. Galway. She graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2012. She’s appeared in numerous theatre productions, short films and sketches. In 2015 she was a finalist in the film acting competition at the Richard Harris Film Festival. Last July she represented the West of Ireland at the International Comedy Symposium in Trinity College. Her short film The Social Experiment won a judge’s award at the Wexford Documentary Festival and her film noir Dirty Money was showcased at this year’s March on Film Competition.
Caroline Brennan – Caroline began her media career working as a radio documentary maker but made the transition to video production a few years ago. Winner of the 2014 Crystal Clear Awards for Best Health Communications through journalism, Caroline’s main source of funding was under the BAI’s Sound and Vision Scheme. She continues to produce and directs a wide range of video projects.
Glenn Kaufmann – Glenn is a Dublin-based American freelance writer who has been working in film since 1989. His first love is screenwriting, but his on-set and post-production passions are location sound recording, and sound editing/design/mixing. Twitchy, his first directorial effort, had its premiere at the 8th Underground Cinema Film Festival in Dun Laoghaire
How did you meet?
Working on a film at some point.
What have you done so far?
We are coming up to two years now and have produced over 100 videos. In addition we recently organized our first NoBudget event where we screened the feature film Lift, which was a big success.
What are you planning for the future?
The show will continue to emphasize interviews with filmmakers with an instructional twist. We are also working on more tutorials and ways to contribute to independent filmmaking in Ireland. This might be through more screenings for independent films.
No Budget present a screening of Zoe Kavanagh’s Demon Hunter on Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 7pm at Filmbase. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Zoe and some of the cast.
The 18th Kerry Film Festival will run from 19th-22nd October 2017 bringing exceptional short films from around the world along with national and regional programmes. The festival will also host, for the first time, a platform for first time feature film makers.
These DISCOVERY FEATURES will screen on Thursday 19th October and each feature film will be preceded by a featured short film. There will be school screenings supported by the IFI and film festival exchange favourites, Nickel Film Festival Tour.
The awards ceremony will take place at the INEC where awards are presented in seven different categories.
Kerry connections are plentiful in the festival. Opening night film, THE CRESTsaw much of the film captured in Kerry and follows two descendants of an Irish King who meet for the first time in Ireland.
The Crest is a story of family, immigration and the value of tradition and culture.
Ireland’s submission for the Foreign Language category at the 90th annual Academy Awards, SONG OF GRANITEwhich revolves around the life of the great traditional Irish singer, Joe Heaney, will screen in Cinema Killarney 0n Friday 20th October.
The Irish premiere of SCORE – A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY. This documentary brings Hollywood’s premier composers together to give viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges and creative secrecy of the film score. SCORE will have a FREE screening at St. Mary’s, Church of the Sloes, Killarney on Friday 20th October.
Kerry Film Festival will host the Irish Premiere of LIES WE TELL starring Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel.
When his billionaire boss Demi (Harvey Keitel) dies, chauffeur Donald (Gabriel Byrne) is given one final job – to wipe out any evidence of Demi’s relationship with his mistress, the enigmatic and beautiful Amber (Sibylla Deen).
Unwittingly drawn into a dangerous urban underworld, he encounters dark, harrowing practices, and a sinister criminal figure who will test him to his very limits.
Industry sessions including panel discussions, in conversation and Q & A sessions.
Creative Kerry Abroad
Kerry natives Maura Kelly(Emmy-winning Producer/Purple Mountain Media) and John Flahive (Kevin Roche: The Quiet Architect) discuss working abroad in film and media.
Chaired by Alex Fegan.
What is your Film Festival Action Plan?Katie McCullough from Festival Formula will guide you through the vast film festival landscape and offer advice and tips on building a festival profile and action plan.
The Feature Length
BIFA Producer Andy McDermott will discuss the making of feature film, LIES WE TELL from development to funding to casting and production.
Red Room observes Kyra, Alison, and Lily – three girls snatched off the streets and held captive in a rural Irish home where they await their turn to enter the Red Room. The film is the final chapter of Gaffney’s “Deep Web Trilogy” – a combination of thriller, crime, drama, and horror which delves into the darkest corners of the Dark Net.
Written by Stephen Gaffney and Erica Keegan, the feature stars Amy Kelly (Red Rock), John D’alessandro (Class-A, Cardboard Gangsters), Eddie Jackson (Game of Thrones), Brian Fortune (Game of Thrones), Alan Sherlock (Lift), and Fionna Twamley-Hewitt (Red Rock, Charlie), alongside Saoirse Doyle (Class-A, Crone Wood), Rodrigo Ternevoy (Fair City), Aisling O’Neill (Fair City), and more.
Red Room is produced by Marc Hughes (Sicario Pictures) and is released by Deep Web Film and will be screened at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire at 6:30pm on Thursday, August 31st.
James Bartlett takes another look at War for the Planet of the Apes.
The third in the series following Rise and Dawn (don’t worry, their stories are summarized at the beginning), War for the Planet of the Apes sees Caesar (Andy Serkis) leading his genetically-enhanced simian people in what seems to be a happy life – except that the humans just won’t leave them alone.
Nearly wiped out by the Simian Flu, the humans are now represented by a violent force of Alpha Omega soldiers led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Some scared apes have turned traitor and joined him, so Caesar agrees to a plan to lead his people across the desert to a new home – but the word gets out and there’s an attack, and the Colonel kills Caesar’s wife and son.
Wrenched away from his desire for peace, Caesar vows bloody revenge, reluctantly allowing Rocket (Terry Notary), Maurice (Karin Konoval) and Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) to join him on his quest to travel to the border and hunt down the Colonel.
En route they come across a mute girl named Nova (Amiah Miller) and a long-hidden escapee from a zoo, Bad Ape (Steve Zahn), but by the time they have reached the former weapons depot at the border, Caesar’s people (including his young son Cornelius) are there behind bars – and Caesar himself is then captured.
The Colonel tortures Caesar, revealing that the Simian Flu has mutated and now renders humans speechless, regressing them to a primitive mentality, while outside Rocket, Maurice and Bad Ape are using an underground tunnel to help prepare for an escape – but during the break, opposing military forces appear and attack…
The final story in the reboot trio, this has received excellent reviews for its camerawork, direction and performances, Serkis’ motion capture work in particular (he’s surely the best actor ever in that regard).
There are long stretches with no dialogue or subtitles here – only a few of the apes can speak, while Harrelson gets to chew the scenery as a Colonel Kurtz-type – yet we’re just as engaged with these characters and their feelings, friendships and families.
Despite the title, this is no all-out action movie, and in a time when superheroes seem to dominate the cinema screens, to see a story that is about humanity and so many of the traits we associate with it (but from characters who can’t just shake off endless pummeling) adds a real frailty and emotion.
The special effects – aside from the cinematography of stunning snowy mountains and landscapes – are first rate, and rarely do you not feel that these are real creatures we’re seeing; sometimes the many shots of the faces – and those eyes – make you almost want to look away.
More than that – and again arguably separating it from some superhero fare – there’s some real complexity here in the plot and storyline, with allusions to the ancient Hebrews, African-American slaves and Native Americans, all wrapped in our own needless inability to stop interfering with the planet and its creatures.
Nature always wins in the end though – and the Colonel’s final scene has a great bon mot – but he’s not the only character we won’t see again in the next sequel.
DIR: Alex Kurtzman • WRI: Allan Heinberg • PRO: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle • DOP: Matthew Jensen • ED: Martin Walsh • DES: Aline Bonetto • MUS: Rupert Gregson-Williams • CAST: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis.
Shared universe cross-film franchises are so hot right now.
Universal kicks off their ‘Dark Universe’ series (lawsuit pending from Warner Bros., if rumours are true) with The Mummy, a film chockfull of Tom Cruise pursuing his favourite pastime, running away from danger and explosions, and little else. While the first entry into this new cinematic universe is lukewarm at best, it yet remains to be seen whether the public will view Universal’s new venture – which will also see the Bride of Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, and the Wolfman being dusted off and pranced across screen once more – as a refreshing take on the current web of connected comic book films à la Marvel and DC, or whether the studio will fall to the same fate as Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur adaptation by greenlighting several projects before the first instalment has proven itself in the box office. Falling heavily on the ‘action’ side of the action-horror genre, The Mummy takes itself too seriously to be a fun-time summer blockbuster, but lacks the grit to provide genuine scares or tension.
The ever-limbering Tom Cruise is Nick Morton, an army reconnaissance solider stationed in northern Iraq with a shady side business dealing in the trade of ancient antiquities from war-torn areas on the black market. When an attempt to infiltrate a village occupied by oppositional forces results in the uncovering of a hidden Ancient Egyptian tomb, Morton and archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) quickly discover that their momentous find contains something far more sinister than some dusty old relics and a mummified corpse. Having unwittingly released Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), the titular ‘Mummy’, from what was supposed to be her eternal prison, Morton and Jenny find themselves on the run from a particularly archaic force of evil. Enter right Prodigium, a mysterious organisation led by the brilliant Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) of Jekyll and Hyde fame that specialises in the study and destruction of evil in all its shapes and forms. But Ahmanet is a Mummy with a mission and poses a threat to the world that not even Tom Cruise may be able to outrun.
From a technical standpoint the film is pretty competent. The visuals are strong and sleek, but action sequences throughout suffer from choppy editing and rushed pacing blurring what exactly is happening on screen. The big set pieces are handled well however, if somewhat paint-by-numbers. One of the weaker elements by far is the film’s grasp, or lack thereof, on the horror portion of the narrative. Other than a few cheap jump-scares, director Alex Kurtzman fails to utilise practically any of the possibilities that an ancient mummy brought back to life provides. Aiming at somewhat older audiences than usual Hollywood blockbuster fair (it has received a 15A rating in Ireland), the film hesitates to take the plunge into true horror, relying on the tired old clichés that are arguably the worst part of the genre.
The film suffers from other, more nuanced problems too in its… shall we say, implications? It’s safe to say no one walks into a film called The Mummy and expects a completely accurate depiction of archaeological politics and the ethics involved in excavating sites in foreign conflict-ridden countries, yet the film asks us to suspend our sense of disbelief a bit too much in regard to these topics. There is definitely an unsavoury flavour of the ‘white-saviour’ complex running along the narrative; we never meet any Iraqi or Egyptian people who are not terrorists or a supernatural incarnation of evil. The question of removing artefacts from their native homeland is only touched upon once in a tone-deaf throwaway line of dialogue from Morton near the beginning of the film where he defends his theft of these ancient items as a sort of liberation – from the ignorant local people who couldn’t truly appreciate their market value, one can assume. Considering we now live in a time where historians and archaeologists from the Middle East are literally being killed for trying to preserve their countries history, it seems a massive oversight on the films part.
Overall, The Mummy is a forgettable, if ever-so-slightly-sometimes-kinda enjoyable, flick that straddles on the edge of, well, edginess, preferring to be bland rather than bold.