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PRODUCTION Ireland

Major European films shooting this autumn

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The major Irish/French/Belgian animated film Brendan & The Secret of Kellsby Irish director Tomm Moore, the Irish/German/Swedish co-production The Front Line by David Gleeson (Cowboys & Insects) and the Irish film Middletown by Brian Kirk are going to start shooting within the next few weeks, showing a return to a busier end of the year after a slow summer shooting period for Irish films.

Brendan And The Secret of Kells, the story of the boy behind the famous Book of Kells, which has been in development for the past 5 years at Kilkenny-based animation company Cartoon Saloon, is finally going into production with French Oscar nominated company Les Armateurs (Les Triplettes de Belleville) and Belgian Vivi Film as co-production partners. Production work will be spread between Ireland, Belgium and France over the next 18 months and a number of French and Belgian animators and artists will join the Irish crew members including Ross Stewart, main Art director and Nora Twomey, Head animator.
The animated film is produced by Cartoon Saloon’s Paul Young with finance from the Irish Film Board (IFB), Celluloïd Dreams (handling international sales), Canal Plus, Gebeka, FTD Video, Eurimages and RTE.

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David Gleeson’s The Front Line (see the news from 10.10 ) starring Eriq Ebouaney (Kingdom Of Heaven) and James Frain (The Count of Monte Cristo) will start shooting early November. The film is produced in Ireland by Wide Eye Films with coproduction partners Philipp Homberg Filmproduktion in Germany and Sandrew Metronome and Film i Väst in Sweden, with support from the IFB and Hamburg Film Fund. Buena Vista Ireland will release the film domestically in 2006.

Finally Middletown, the latest feature film from Green Park Films (Freeze Frame) will move to pre-production next week with the star from Pride And Prejudice Matthew MacFadyen in the lead. Based on a script by Daragh Carville, the film directed by Brian Kirk is the powerful tale of two brothers battling for the heart and soul of their home town. The film will be co-produced by Chapter Four with financial support from the IFB, the Northern Ireland Film & TV Commission and Irish distribution company Eclipse Pictures.

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