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Pat Collins' That They May Face The Rising Sun to world premiere at BFI London Film Festival
31 Aug 2023 : News Desk
That They May Face The Rising Sun, the third feature from Irish auteur director, Pat Collins (Song of Granite, Silence), has been selected to receive its world premiere screening at the prestigious 67th BFI Film Festival on October 8th 2023.

The film will play as part of the festival’s Journey strand. 

Capturing a year in the life of a rural, lakeside community in Ireland in the 1970’s, That They May Face The Rising Sun is an adaptation of the final novel from John McGahern, one of Ireland’s greatest novelists. The film stars Barry Ward (Jimmy’s Hall, ‘Bad Sisters’) and Anna Bederke (Soul KitchenSterben) in the lead roles. Lalor Roddy (Grabbers, God’s Creatures), Sean McGinley (Michael Collins,Braveheart), Ruth McCabe (Philomena, Joy Ride), and first-time actor Phillip Dolan make up the rich cast of supporting characters. 

Joe and Kate Ruttledge have returned from London to live and work among the small, close-knit community near to where Joe grew up. Now deeply embedded in life around the lake, the drama of a year in their lives and those of the memorable characters around them unfolds through the rituals of work, play, and the passing seasons as this enclosed world becomes an everywhere. 

I’m delighted that ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ is receiving its world premiere at the London Film Festival. Over the years London has been an exceptionally welcoming festival to me,” said director Pat Collins. “John McGahern, on whose novel this film is based, said that he believed the novel was only completed by the reader. So too with a film - and reaching our audience is an essential part of film making.  London will hopefully play a vital role in that process.” 

Since 1999, writer-director Pat Collins has made over 30 films. His debut feature, Silence premiered at the London Film Festival in 2012. His next feature, Song of Granite, was based on the life of the traditional Irish singer Joe Heaney and received its world premiere at SXSW 2017. That They May Face The Rising Sun, is Pat Collins’ third feature. The film is scored by composers Irene Buckley & Linda Buckley, and edited by Keith Walsh.  

That They May Face The Rising Sun was produced by Tina O’Reilly (Silence,Henry Glassie Field Work) of South Wind Blows and Brendan J. Byrne (Jump, Maze) of Cyprus Avenue Films, and executive produced by Philip King (The Dance, Keeping Time: The Poet & The Piper). Éamon Little also features as co-writer. The film is financed by Screen Ireland, Coimisiún na Meán, Northern Ireland Screen, RTÉ, BBC Northern Ireland, Yellow Moon Post Production.

Irish distribution outfit Break Out Pictures have acquired UK/Ireland rights and plan to release the film theatrically in Spring 2024.

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