The Irish feature film Five Day Shelter has won the top prize in the Compétition du Premier Film Européen, The Best First European Feature Film, at the Mons International Film Festival in Mons Belgium.
One of eleven films selected from all over Europe, Five Day Shelter was awarded the prize of €10,000 at the gala awards ceremony on Friday 25th February. The prize goes towards the creation of a French language version of the film and to help underwrite distribution costs in Belgium
Five Day Shelter follows several characters through an urban landscape over the course of five days. The ragtag band of people often collide but also pass each other by. And sometimes, unknown to themselves, they affect each other’s lives, occasionally happily – more often tragically.
Shot on location in Dundalk County Louth, this film was produced by Liam O’Neill and Villi Ragnarsson, as well as being penned and helmed by first-time director Ger Leonard. Five Day Shelter’s ensemble cast includes John Lynch, Kate Dickie, Michael Fitzgerald, Marcella Plunkett, Ger Ryan, Stella McCusker, and 10-year-old Emma Tuthill in a first performance as the young Jess.
The film was developed by Paradox Pictures with funding from the Irish Film Board and production finance provided by the IFB Regional Fund, Section 481, Irish Screen Entertainment, and Northern Ireland Screen. Culture Ireland has also assisted with international promotional costs.
The 27th Mons International Film Festival ran from the 18–25 February 2011. The festival’s international programme included a short series of specially selected Irish films – Alicia Duffy’s All Good Children, Jordan Scott’s Cracks, Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins and Jim Sheridan’s My Left Foot.