Following its sold-out US premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival, Irish Indie Western Darkness on the Edge of Town has been acquired by international distributor CinemaVault.
The revenge thriller was written and directed by Patrick Ryan and produced by Lagoon Pictures. It stars Emma Eliza Regan, Emma Willis and Brian Gleeson. Filmed in Co. Kerry, Darkness premiered at the 2014 Galway Film Fleadh. Darkness continues its film festival run at the San Francisco IndieFest (5th to 19th February), with more US and European festival screenings to follow throughout 2015.
CinemaVault will be launching Darkness on the Edge of Town at the 2015 Berlinale European Film Market this week.
Oisin Hanlon takes aim at Darkness on the Edge of Town, Patrick Ryan’s thriller about a teenage sharpshooter hunting her sister’s killer. The film premiered at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.
Darkness on the Edge of Town follows Emma Eliza Regan’s character, Cleo Callahan, an expert marksman, as she is out for blood over the murder of her beloved estranged sister, played by Olwen Catherine Kelly. Cleo is accompanied by her so-called friend Robin O’Riley, played by newcomer actress Emma Willis. Cleo’s journey for vengeance forces her to commit morally questionable acts at times, resulting in a tension-filled, eerie thriller with more than a hint of a Western.
Brian Gleeson is in a league of his own in terms of performance, playing the conflicted Virgil O’Riley. Gleeson has many powerful scenes in this movie that really stretch an actor’s emotional range. Another stand-out of the film is the beautiful photography – immaculate shots that simultaneously capture both beauty and tension that are transfixing. Tommy Fitzgerald, the cinematographer, has done a marvellous job at showing the tranquillity of the Kerry countryside but somehow stocks it with a sinister undertone.
The individual performances of Emma Willis and Emma Eliza Regan are strong but it’s difficult to buy into the idea that these two characters are childhood best friends as there is a lacking of sincerity in their relationship.
Overall, Darkness on the Edge of Town is an enjoyable thriller rooted in a very creative and unique idea. Whether you buy into a revenge thriller with shoot-outs with an Irish background or not, director Patrick Ryan really delivers an original authentic Irish westernesque piece of cinema.
The cast and crew of Darkness on the Edge of Town will be in Galway for the world premiere of the art house crime thriller. Shot in Kerry, it is the latest film from award-winning writer/director Patrick Ryan and has been described as a modern-day western revenge drama. The story follows Cleo, a troubled teenage sharpshooter who plots a course for revenge after her sister is found murdered in a public bathroom.
Patrick Ryan spoke to Film Ireland about the origins of the film and what it means to have it screen at the Galway Film Fleadh.
“Darkness on the Edge of Town is a crime genre film with art house sensibilities. It takes the structure of a classical tragedy, emboldened with the visual overtones of a Western. It was our intent to do something different to the current trends of Irish cinema, to make something a little more leftfield and stay true to our sensibilites. Our influences on the film were wide and varied; everything from Asian cinema to Shakespeare, from Morricone to Caravggio.
“Darkness is an entirely indpendent film, from blank page to festival screener, and to have the backing of the Galway Film Fleadh along with a national platform on which to showcase our film, is invaluable to us. The Fleadh has a well-maintained tradition of supporting new independent Irish cinema and we’re more than proud to join those ranks. Essentially, we’re just thrilled to show our story to an audience and thankful to the Fleadh for the opportunity”.
Ryan’s screenplay was selected for the BBC Writersroom 2012, came second in the Screenwriting Goldmine Competition, and won twice at the ENGAGE European Pitching Forum. The film stars a host of Irish talent including Emma Eliza Regan (Love Eternal, The Shadows, Jack Taylor: Dramatist), Brain Gleeson (The Stag, How to be Happy, Love/Hate) and up-and-coming Emma Willis (The Christening).
Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777, or at www.tht.ie
Cast and Crew will attend.
Director: Patrick Ryan
Cast: Emma Eliza Regan, Emma Willis, Brian Gleeson, Chris Fitzgerald, Olwen Catherine Kelly, Clodagh Downing
Script: Patrick Ryan
Producer: Lisa Mackintosh, Tommy Fitzgerald, Patrick Ryan
Darkness on the Edge of Town, a violent, modern Irish Western produced by Lagoon Pictures, completed principal photography last week in County Kerry.
The film, starring Emma Eliza Regan, Emma Willis and Brian Gleeson, wrapped up its three-week shoot on Monday, 26th August. Clodagh Downing, Sam Monaghan, Olwen Catherine Kelly and Maura Foley round out the cast of up-and-coming Irish talent.
Written and directed by Patrick Ryan, the blood-soaked script tells the story of Cleo Callahan (Eliza Regan), a teenage sharpshooter who strives to avenge the death of her estranged sister, blind to the fact that the killer she’s hunting is her best and only friend, Robin O’Riley (Emma Willis).
The film was shot by DOP Tommy Fitzgerald on the RED MX camera. It was produced by Ryan, Fitzgerald and Lisa Mackintosh. Crowd funding for the independent production took place earlier in the year. Julie Caulfield was the Make Up Artist, Tania Persechini designed costume while Aoife Murray provided production design.
The screenplay for the film, already the reciever of three awards, has also this week advanced to the Semi Final round of the esteemed Academy Nicholl Fellowship in LA, one of only 149 scripts to do so from an original 8,000 entrants. In early October, 10 finalists will be announced, who then go on to compete for one of five prized fellowships.
The film now enters post-production in Dublin, under editor Conor Fitzpatrick. It will be scored by composer Alex Ryan later in the year, with hopes to release the revenge drama in the 2014.