Country Focus: Ireland
EFM: The hunger for Irish films
by Birgit Heidsiek
- One of the most highly acclaimed competition entries at the Berlinale was Yann Demange‘s ‘71 [+see also:
Q&A: Yann Demange
film profile], about a young English soldier who struggles after being thrust into the escalating civil war in Northern Ireland. The anti-war parable had already been pre-bought by Studiocanal for the UK. At the European Film Market, Protagonist sold the German-speaking rights to the Swiss distribution company Ascot Elite. Ascot's acquisition team had already picked up the black comedy Calvary [+see also:
interview: John Michael McDonagh
film profile] by John Michael McDonagh before its premiere in the Panorama section. In this tragicomic story, an Irish priest finds out during a confession that he will be killed within a week.
Ascot Elite also acquired the action-packed epic tale The Dead Lands, which the award-winning filmmaker Toa Fraser is currently shooting in New Zealand. The film follows a Maori chief's adolescent son who fights to avenge his father's murder, and will premier at the Toronto International Film Festival this autumn. In addition, Ascot Elite bought the Irish documentary Road, about the motorcycle legends Robert and Joey Dunlop, which is narrated by Liam Neeson.
The Irish actor also stars as an air marshal in the upcoming action thriller Non-stop by Jaume Collet-Serra, which was sold internationally by Studiocanal at the EFM. In Berlin, the pan-European distributor acquired the rights to Sing Street, the new movie by Irish writer/director and musician John Carney. His love story Once [+see also:
film profile] won the actors and musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová an Academy Award for Best Original Song. John Carney will shoot his coming-of-age story this summer, and musicians such as Bono will contribute to the 80s soundtrack.