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Macdara Kelleher

Producer on the Move 2008 - Ireland


Cineuropa: What is your background and how did you become a producer?
Macdara Kelleher: I studied English Literature and Classical Studies at University College Dublin and followed that with an MA in Film in 1999. I'd simultaneously been working as a camera assistant on feature films but knew it wasn't something I wanted to pursue. I had produced a couple of short films in college and discovered I had an aptitude for it. The summer after I graduated I worked on as a camera operator on a low-budget film called Last Days In Dublin and ended up accidentally producing the film. The director of the film was Lance Daly and we decided to make a partnership and we've been making films ever since.

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What is the production philosophy of your production company?
Integral to our ethos is a bold and dynamic approach to filmmaking. Seeking out original, challenging and cutting edge films, we aim to nurture, develop and creatively exploit the radical, the innovative, the visionary, the truly extraordinary in cinema worldwide. Our only criteria are excellence, singularity of vision and that each new project offers a new challenge. We believe that the values and aspirations of the company attract distinctive cinematic voices, both emerging and established, and we provide them a supportive and stimulating environment in which to work. We're committed to producing projects that, regardless of their country of origin, can translate into a universal cinema experience.

How do you choose projects? What qualities must a project have to catch your attention?
We are interested strong director driven projects with an original vision in any genre provided it fits the ethos of our company.

Do you have international perspectives involving co-producing with other European countries?
We aim to be producing films that can compete at the highest level artistically and commercially in both Europe and internationally. In any co-production we always try to assess what is the potential of a film outside of it's own country, If a film does not at least aspire to be successful on at an international level then it is not really interesting for me. The Irish Film Board's current policy towards European co-production also makes co-producing with Ireland a very simple and attractive process right now.

With which countries do you co-produce the most?
We are always interested in co-producing with new countries for example in the last year we produced the first Hungarian-Irish co-production with The Investigator and the year before the first Irish/Kosovar co-production with Tonight Is Cancelled. Traditionally, we would have produced a lot with the UK under the old Sale and Leaseback system. But now that's not so easy and we would usually look to Scandinavia, Canada, Australia.

As a producer I am personally interested in producing with Eastern European countries and I would like to see more co-productions with France because throughout history France has often been our ally I feel there is a strong connection there.

How do you feel about being selected as a Producer on the Move 2008
I'm very grateful to the Irish Film Board for selecting me as Producer on the Move. I consider it a privilege and looking at the calibre of other European producers who have been selected I feel honoured to be in their company.

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