Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Northern Exposure

Ciarán Hinds in Terry George's short film, The Shore

With Ireland's longest duration film festival kicking off in Belfast on Friday I've been sent a timely release about about film activity in Northern Ireland.

Three features - Jump, Whole Lotta Sole and Good Vibrations - are at various stages of production while the new titles Killing Bono, Behold the Lamb and Terry George's short The Shore will all be screened during the Belfast Film Festival.

Jump is in Belfast in the final stages of its shoot. Lisa McGee's script has been a hot project in Northern Ireland for a number of years and Brendan Byrne at Hotshot Films has shown his persistence in getting it off the ground, together with Katie Holly of Blinder Films in Dublin. The director is Kieron J Walsh, also of Blinder, and the film is backed by NI Screen, the Irish Film Board, Firefly Film Sales, BBC Northern Ireland and Bentico Trading Ltd. AV Films will handle international sales.

Whole Lotta Sole is a comedy heist film from Terry George which will film in Belfast in April and May, produced by Mark Huffam of Generator Entertainment. In it hapless gambler Martin McCann falls foul of mobster Brendan Fraser (yes, that Brendan Fraser) and depends on his hostages to get him out of a tight spot. Other cast includes Colm Meaney, Yaya Dacosta and David O'Hara.

Next up is Good Vibrations, the second feature from Cherrybomb directors Glen Leyburn and Lisa Barros D'Sa. Produced by Chris Martin and exec'd by Andrew Eaton the film is based on the true-life exploits of legendary Belfast punk promoter Terri Hooley. The cast is led by Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham, and David Holmes is music maestro on the project.

Killing Bono, which filmed Belfast last year as 80s Dublin, is the opening night premiere at the Belfast Film Festival and goes on immediate general release from Paramount. Directed by Belfast native Nick Hamm the film is produced by Generator’s Mark Huffam.

Terry George’s short The Shore will have a gala screening during the festival. The film, which sounds somewhat autobiographical, is the story of an Irish exile (Ciarán Hinds) who brings his adult daughter back to Belfast from which he fled 25 years earlier.

Behold the Lamb, a quirky road movie which won Northern Ireland Screen’s Ultra Low-Budget Fiction Fund finance in 2010 will be the closing night film at the festival. It's directed by John McIlduff who has moved home to Belfast from Paris to launch Dumb Productions.

All of the productions were backed by the Northern Ireland Screen fund supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


Denis said...

Interesting that Terry George has made a short. As far as I know, it's pretty rare for an established Irish feature director to return to the short form, except as part of a larger project such as the "Beckett on Film" series. Look forward to seeing that one.

dave said...

I have not seen any of this director's films. Can you suggest where I should start? Belfast Cinema.

irish film portal said...

Dave, start with Hotel Rwanda and work backwards chronologically. Some of his work for US TV might be hard to come by but look him up on where you will also find details of his writing collaborations with the Dublin director Jim Sheridan.