Monday, July 23, 2012

Magma Creditors to meet in Galway

Magma European Scripting House Ltd (which traded as Magma Films) has called a meeting of creditors for July 31st at 10.30am at the Carlton Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway. The intention of the directors (sic) of the company is to put it into liquidation.

Presumably a comprehensive statement of the company's affairs will be presented, with a detailed account of all amounts owed by the company and a full listing and valuation of all company assets retained or disposed of since the company's last accounts were provided to the year end 31/12/2008.

Creditors will also be paying close attention to transactions between MESH Ltd/Magma Films and related companies in Ireland, the UK and Germany, particularly where those transactions relate to the assignment of rights or shareholdings.

It will be particularly interesting to learn of the status of the multiple charges registered against the company by Anglo Irish Bank/IBRC, Millimages SA, the Irish Film Board, and Northern Ireland Screen.

I'm working on an expanded story about this for this weekend - any and all leads, comment, and factual information much appreciated.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Galway Film Fleadh awards 2012

Interesting to see two 'non-funded' titles doing well - Stalker and Pilgrim Hill.

Best Irish Feature Award:
Good Vibrations
Directors: Glenn Leyburn, Lisa Barros D’Sa
Producers: Chris Martin, Andrew Eaton, David Holmes

Second place: Stalker
Director: Mark O'Connor
Producer: TJ O'Grady Peyton

Best International Feature
The Parade
Director: Srdjan Dragojevic
Producer: Biljana Prvanovic

Second Place: Baikonur
Director: Veit Helmer

Best First Irish Feature
Jointly awarded:
Director: Ciaran Foy
Producers: Katie Holly & Brian Coffey

Director : Alan Brennan
Producers: Heidi Karin Madsen, Jacqueline Kerrin, Dominic Wright

Best International First Feature
Perfect Stranger
Director: Toni Bestard

Second Place:
In the Family
Director: Patrick Wang

Best Irish Feature Documentary
Natural Grace
Director: Art Ó Briain
Producers: Art Ó Briain, Aileen McDonagh

Second Place
Lón Sa Spéir
Director: Sean Ó Cualain
Producer: Eamonn Ó Cualain

Best International Feature Documentary
Four Horsemen
Director: Ross Ashcroft
Producer: Megan Ashcroft

Second Place
The Swell Season
Directors: Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, Carlo Mirabella-Davis

The Galway Film Fleadh Pitching Award
Hannah Patterson - Resistance

The Bingham Ray New Talent Award
in association with Magnolia Pictures - presented by Annabelle Ray
Pilgrim Hill
Director: Gerard Barrett
Producer: Gerard Barrett

Frank Stapleton
Isabelle Huppert

30 Minute Film Festival Judges Award
Stop Motion Biscuit Cake
Director: Alan Travers

Here To Fall
Director: Kris Kelly
Producer: Evelyn McGrath

Special Mention: Learning to Fish
Director: Teemu Auersalo
Producer: Nicky Gogan

Huston School of Film & Digital Media Cinema
Human Rights and Advocacy Award
To the film that shows the importance of cinema as a means of raising awareness about human right issues
Give Up Tomorrow
Director: Michael Collins

The Donal Gilligan Award
Best Cinematography in a short film
James Mather
for The Hatch

James Horgan Award for Best Animation
in association with Telegael
Fear of Flying
Director: Conor Finnegan
Producer: Brunella Cocchigila

Special Mention
Irish Folk Furniture
Director: Tony Donoghue
Producer: Cathal Black

The Tiernan McBride Award - Best Short Drama
in association with Network Ireland Television
The Girl with the Mechanical Maiden
Director: Andrew Legge
Producer: Ciara Whelan

Special Mention: Joy
Director: Colm Quinn
Producers: Neil Wallace, Emmet Fleming

Cartoon Saloon Best First Animation Award
Head Over Heels
Director: Timothy Reckart
Producer: Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly

The Best First Short Drama
in association with Mazars
Toy Soldiers
Director: Mike Hayes
Producer: Ciara Gillan

The Best Short Documentary Award
in association with Teach Solas
The Hood and the Collar
Director: Paddy Hayes
Producer: Ciara Ní Chormaic

Special Mentions:
Off the Board
Director: Siobhan Perry
Producer: Roisin Linnie

Saving Turf
Director: Gearóid Hayes
Producer: Gearóid Hayes

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quarterly Funding Offers

The Film Board has made its second quarterly funding annoucement of the year with offers to a number of interesting projects. John Michael McDonagh's Calvary, his follow up to The Guard, is expected to shoot around Easkey in County Sligo in the coming months. A Month in the Country makes a reappearance. Lance Daly, Kirsten Sheridan and David Gleeson all have new projects in development.

Many people will not realise that the French-based Irish producer/director/writer Mary McGuckian (a production loan offer for The Price of Desire) has made nine feature films since the mid 1990s - more, I suspect, than any of our better known directors in the same period. The project below will be her tenth and yet, I am sure, many people who came into the business here in the last decade may not have heard of her.

I note also that Irish Times reporter Simon Carswell's book about Anglo Irish Bank 'Anglo Republic' is to be adapted for the screen. Little chance I suppose that the bank's heavy involvement in the Irish film business will figure?

The bank was a partner with the IFB in two, three-year long, Company Development Initiative schemes which were supposed to put production companies on a sustainable footing as commercial enterprises. The success of the schemes is questionable. Anglo also got into providing business banking services to a number of campanies in the business and is still owed a substantial amount of money by Irish production companies, some of which have either gone to the wall or are teetering on the brink of insolvency.

I believe nearly every senior executive at Anglo availed of Section 481 tax relief as the bank ran a very busy subsidiary nominee holding company, Filipa Ltd (through MOP Solicitors), to process Section 481 SPV company business for many years during which the now CEO of the Film Board was a Filipa director. In late 2009 or early 2010 Anglo Irish Bank (now IBRC) decided to get out of the Section 481 business, perhaps because it had been taken into public ownership. Filipa Ltd has since been put into voluntary liquidation as a result of that decision.

IFB Qtrly Funding announcement July 03 2012
Project - Director- Writer - Production Company - Funding Award
First Draft Loans
The Internal World David O'Reilly David O'Reilly & Vernon Chatman €16,000
Anglo Republic Eugene O'Brien & Neal Rowland €16,000
Tough Love Matthew Roche €12,000
Vere Goold Rachel Lysaght & Glenn Montgomery €16,000
The Boys Virginia Gilbert €12,000
Bloom Barbara Deignan €12,000

Fiction Development Loans
Traders Peter Murphy & Rachael Moriarty Peter Murphy & Rachael Moriarty Coco Television €13,000
Ten Dates For Mad Mary Darren Thornton Darren Thornton & Colin Thornton Element Pictures €10,000
Blue City Rebecca Daly Rebecca Daly & Glenn Montgomery Fastnet Films €25,000
Nineteen Days And Counting Kirsten Sheridan Anne Marie McCormack Black Sheep Productions 17,500
A Month In The Country Jonathan Kent John Banville Treasure Entertainment €20,000
The Day I Tried To Live Lance Daly Lance Daly Fastnet Films €40,000
The Zone David Gleeson David Gleeson Wide Eye Films €22,500
Honoured Jasmina Kallay Ripple World Pictures €15,000

Fiction Feature Films
Ten Dates With Mad Mary Darren Thornton Darren Thornton & Colin Thornton Element Pictures Provisional Offer of Commitment
Calvary John Michael McDonagh John Michael McDonagh Octagon Films €975,000
Quirke Andrew Davies & Conor McPherson Element Pictures €450,000
The Cherry Tree David Keating Brendan McCarthy Fantastic Films Provisional Offer of Commitment
Creeping Zero Billy O'Brien Jeff Noon Grand Pictures €300,000
The Price of Desire Mary McGuckian Mary McGuckian EG Film Productions €300,000

Fiction Creative Co-Production
Brand New You Simon Pummell Simon Pummell SP Films €150,000
Food Guide to Love Teresa De Pelegri & Dominic Harari Teresa De Pelegri, Dominic Harari & Eugene O'Brien Parallel Film Productions €275,000
A Thousand Times Goodnight Erik Poppe Erik Poppe Newgrange Pictures €300,000

Wildernuts Andrew Kavanagh Andrew Kavanagh Kavaleer Productions €250,000

Three Men Go To War Kim Bartley Crossing The Line Films €85,000
Waking Morag Tinto Soho Moon Pictures €90,000
Sparlo Keith O'Shea Crow Hill Films €25,000
Hill Street JJ Rolffe Warrior Films €15,000
Circus On The Road Dieter Auner Ikandi Productions Provisional Offer of Commitment
Tied Up In Silk Pat Murphy Soho Moon Pictures Provisional Offer of Commitment
Way Out Gerard Mannix Flynn Farcry Productions Provisional Offer of Commitment
Absolute Derby Laura McGann True Films €90,000
In the Name Of Dignity Loic Jourdain South Wind Blows €40,000

Completion Fund
Me & Me Dad Katrine Boorman Merlin Films €25,000
The Good Man Phil Harrison Phil Harrison Treasure Entertainment €26,000
Pilgrim Hill Gerard Barrett Gerard Barrett Nine Entertainment €15,000

First Stage Documentary
Memphis Project Ian Palmer Seafield Productions €10,000
No Limbs, No Limits Steven O'Riordan 2000AD Productions €8,000
Pussycat Wars John Murray Crossing The Line Films €10,000
The Last Taboo Tom Roberts Soho Moon Pictures €10,000
Rex Ingram Andrew Legge Underground Films €15,000

Print Provision
Dreaming The Quiet Man Sé Merry Doyle Loopline Films €3,500

Marketing Support
Dreaming The Quiet Man Sé Merry Doyle Element Distribution €17,235
Silence Pat Collins Pat Collins, Sharon Woolley & Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride Element Distribution €18,225

Direct Distribution
Barbaric Genius Paul Duane Screenworks €7,235
My Brothers Paul Fraser Will Collins Treasure Entertainment €12,500

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fleadh Time

The wheel of the calendar has taken another turn and the Galway Film Fleadh is upon us once more. The programme for the 24th edition can be found online here.

There is a huge selection of Irish material, including a timely retrospective of the work of Frank Stapleton. I've done an 'X marks the spot' exercise on the day-by-day schedule (below) and the Irish content seems to form a higher than ever proportion of the programme this year. So much so that audiences wanting to see as many Irish films as possible are faced with some hard choices.

As the Fleadh draws closer to its 25th anniversary it's timely to reflect on the journey - best represented perhaps by the growing distance between the Rowing Club and the Radisson Hotel, or the distance between creativity and the claque - and to wonder if it should be applauded for finding its niche or chastised for losing its way?