Cannes Deals for ‘The Callback Queen’

Mark Killeen and Amy-Joyce Hastings in The Callback Queen



Graham Cantwell’s The Callback Queen has been picked up for global sales US Sales Agent Princ Films following a deal struck at Cannes.

The romantic comedy, which stars Amy-Joyce Hastings and Mark Killeen, will soon enjoy a select UK theatrical release. A number of Northern Ireland cinemas are confirmed, with dates and screens to be announced soon.

The Callback Queen sees Hastings play a vivacious Irish actress in the cut-throat London film industry, striving to land a role in an epic fantasy film, directed by Vincent Catalano (Killeen).

With Australian cinematographer Anthony Bowes behind the lens, the film was shot on location predominantly in London, with additional photography taking place in Snowdonia, Wales. The score for the picture is by two-time Emmy-nominated composer Joseph Conlan.


For more on The Callback Queen visit


Report: Galway Film Fleadh 2013



Matt Miccuci looks back over his 7 days following Irish film in the sweltering heat of Galway for the Fleadh’s 25th anniversary.

“We borrowed the weather from Cannes,” was this year’s joke at the Fleadh.

Indeed, this could easily be remembered as the ‘hottest’  edition of the festival on account of the weather alone. It was hot, very hot, and the unventilated Town Hall Theatre often felt like one big oven. Yet, the programme was too stimulating to give into the call of the beach and strange urges to build a sand castle.

Of course, the people who decided to spend the hottest days Galway has possibly ever seen locked in a theatre were widely rewarded. Just like every year since its birth twenty-five years ago, the festival showcased some of the best home-grown productions today which in turn represented the good health and ambition of Irish cinema.

Things kicked off to a crowd pleasing start with Roger Gual’s Tasting Menu, a very charming comedy of errors telling the story of intertwining lives at the closing night of a Catalonian restaurant, regarded as the best restaurant in the world. Its theatrical approach aided by a good pace and great timing recalled the works of great names from Robert Altman to none other than William Shakespeare! Just as impressively, it closed with the introverted and reflective drama The Sea, in which director Stephen Brown skilfully made the task of turning the famous John Banville novel based on memory and regret look easy in a compact production complete with refined visual touches and compellingly withdrawn performances by Ciarán Hinds and Charlotte Rampling.

There were many different stories told and a wide assortment of styles and genres presented, but the recession inevitably came out as the prevailing theme. Two films in particular, though very different, represented it directly.

Lance Daly’s Life’s a Breeze, billed as a feelgood recession comedy, saw the return of the working class comedy à la Ealing Studios of Passport to Pimlico. This film is quite entertaining and commercially appealing – this is also the reason why it will probably be among the most successful films shown at the Fleadh during its domestic cinema run.

Alternatively, Out of Here used a much more direct and though-provoking approach to capture the essence of the everyday urban monotony and frustration of the life of a young Dubliner. Donal Foreman’s film is nothing short of praiseworthy for its passive anger and realist approach, as well as a visual style that is beautiful in its simplicity. Foreman also represented the kind of independent filmmaking that Irish cinema should thrive on for the way in which he brought Out of Here together through crowd-funding but also through determination, passion and a will to go out there and really make it happen.

The influence of the recession in the new Irish films could also be seen by the vulnerability of a lot of the lead characters, particularly the male characters. In fact, many aspects of masculinity were revealed in original ways. An excellent example is found in Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy’s hypnotic modern noir Mister John with its wonderfully unconventional character study of a man – played by Aiden Gillen in what is hands down one of this year’s most enchanting and haunting performances – whose troubled family life and misery lead him to re-invent himself as his dead brother’s alter ego in Singapore. The film is driven by a unique brand of mystery, with a hypnotic flow and stunning 35mm photography that enrich the experience and take full advantage of the naturally sinister beauty of a humid Singapore.

Similarly, in the documentary Coming Home, Viko Nikci captures the life of Angel Cordero, a man incarcerated for thirteen years for a crime he did not commit and chooses to examine the man rather than the case by focusing on his struggles as he reconnects with the outside world and his estranged daughter. Nikci’s use of narrative filmmaking photography and Angel’s own genuine magnetism as well as a desire to open up to the camera eye made this film very popular and without a doubt the most touching film of this year’s Fleadh. Indeed Nikci’s film was justly rewarded at Galway, picking up the Best Irish Documentary prize at Sunday’s award ceremony.

One could even read a specific viewpoint on masculine stubbornness and how it threatened to end the world in the gripping documentary, Here Was Cuba by John Murray and Emer Reynolds. Muldowney’s beautifully bizarre Love Eternal, on the other hand, is about a necrophiliac – in fact it may well be the sweetest film that could possibly ever be made about necrophilia.

The horror genre was well represented with Rossella de Ventuo’s Irish Italian production House of Shadows, a film which carries many new ideas and a genuine dramatic depth – both things lacking in the vast majority of today’s horror films – as well as an absorbing performance by Fiona Glascott.

My greatest personal regret is that I didn’t get to see the best Irish feature prize by Academy Award nominee Steph Green Run & Jump, though the positive feedback it received will have me rushing to the cinema as soon as it hits the screens. I also regret missing films like Discoverdale and Hill Street. Yet, in the end it didn’t matter that much, as I felt highly rewarded for the time I dedicated to following this year’s festival and highly rewarded by the quality of the many premieres I attended. So, I think it’s fair to congratulate everyone involved on the organising team who was responsible for yet another exciting Fleadh. But maybe let’s get some air conditioning for the Town Hall Theatre for next year, yeah?


Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh: The Callback Queen


The 25th Galway Film Fleadh (9 – 14 July, 2013)

The Callback Queen

Wednesday, 10th July

Town Hall Theatre



Acclaimed Dublin-born director, Graham Cantwell, premieres his romantic comedy The Callback Queen at the 25th Galway Film Fleadh. It is his second feature following Anton, which was nominated for three IFTA Awards. Amy-Joyce Hastings (The Tudors), who leads this all Irish cast, plays a young actress trying to get her first break while fending off the interests of her director.

Film Ireland spoke to Graham Cantwell about what it means to have The Callback Queen premiere at Gallway this year:

‘I’m delighted to continue my long-standing relationship with The Galway Film Fleadh. It’s my favourite festival on the calendar, the support and opportunities we have received in the past at the Fleadh have been invaluable, they are true supporters of indigenous talent and have helped to launch many careers, including my own. We’re all looking forward to a great night, with many of the cast attending and some great local support for Galway actors Amy-Joyce Hastings and Seán T. O Meallaigh’.

The Callback Queen explores the cutthroat arena of show-business. After landing an audition for the lead roll for a massive movie franchise, Kate Loughlin (Amy-Joyce Hastings) is pimped out to director Vincent Catalona (Mark Kileen) by her sleazy agent. Determined to prove her strict professionalism, she starts second guessing Vincent’s motives.

Tickets are available to book from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777 or at


‘The Callback Queen’ to Premiere at Galway Film Fleadh

Galway Film Fleadh Launch Amy-Joyce Hastings and Sean T O Meallaigh

Galway Film Fleadh Launch Amy-Joyce Hastings and Sean T O Meallaigh

Graham Cantwell’s second feature The Callback Queen will have its World Premiere the 25th Galway Film Fleadh at the Town Hall Theatre at 7pm on 10th July.

Speaking at the launch of the Fleadh on 25th June, Programme Director Gar O’Brien billed the film as a charming and hilarious romantic comedy which is genuinely funny and genuinely romantic. The plot is set in the cut-throat London film industry, where a vivacious actress chasing her big break struggles to maintain her integrity in the face of the director’s advances. The film has a special relevance to the film industry, whilst also sure to be greatly enjoyed by the general public and fans of comedy. The Callback Queen is one of the official ‘Fleadh Picks’ and a limited number of public tickets are on sale now.

As the screening is a World Premiere, the director Graham Cantwell and principal cast members will be in attendance along with the film’s Exec Producers Martin Carroll and Stephen Gibson (RCA Media) and Emmy nominated composer Joseph Conlan who scored the film.

Irish actress Amy-Joyce Hastings (The Tudors) plays Kate Loughlin, opposite Mark Killeen (Game of Thrones) in the male lead role. Both the film’s stars will be attending having flown in from London, along with other principal cast members Seán T. O Meallaigh (Kings), Kate Braithwaite (Little Deaths), Morgan Deare (United 93), Eoin Macken (Merlin) and ‘Allo, ‘Allo star Vicki Michelle, who is also fondly remembered by Irish audiences as Sally O’Brien from the much loved Harp commercial.

Director Graham Cantwell has a long history of success at the Fleadh with his short film A Dublin Story winning the Kodak Tiernan McBride Award, and subsequently being shortlisted for Academy Award Nomination in 2004. In 2008 the Galway Film Fleadh hosted the Irish Premiere of his first feature film Anton (Internationally titled Trapped) which went on to have a theatrical release, sold to over 40 territories worldwide and secured 3 IFTA nominations in 2009.

Tickets for this premiere event are on sale now at