The European premiere of Irish feature ‘Songs For Amy’ was cancelled at the last minute at the Cannes Film Festival this week due to ‘technical difficulties’.
The film was scheduled to screen at the festival’s market in The Market Cinema on the French Riviera, but was cancelled at the last minute with crowds waiting outside patiently for more than 30 minutes.
It will now receive its Irish and European premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh in July, where it has been officially selected.
Writer and producer Fiona Graham told IFTN the cancellation was “really gutting”, especially as the film had generated a lot of buzz from potential investors after an intensive marketing campaign from the cast and crew. No official explanation was given as to what went wrong, but ‘Songs for Amy’ was the only filmed cancelled among 500 screenings.
Producer Graham, director Konrad Begg, cast members Kevin Ryan, Ross Mac Mahon, and executive producer Mairi McLellan, all travelled to Cannes this week in anticipation of the film’s European premiere. Ryan travelled from Toronto with the remaining crew making the trip from Ireland.
Despite an apology from Cannes’s organisers and an offer to return to the festival next year, there is no sign of the prestigious event reimbursing the crew, who are on their way back to Ireland today, for their flights. The money spent on the screening has been returned.
Graham told IFTN how a party held the night before on a beach in Cannes generated a lot of attention for the film, with the cast and crew networking with a number of industry professionals.
Staff at the screening told Graham they had never seen crowds as large as the one waiting for ‘Songs for Amy’ at a screening before. She said everyone waited the full half hour for staff to get the equipment working, a sure sign of the huge interest the Irish filmmakers had clocked up over the week.
Musicians Ultan Conlon and Jim McKee, who wrote the original soundtrack for 'Songs For Amy', also accompanied the cast and crew, and played the songs in bars throughout the week to drum up further publicity.
‘Songs for Amy’ is a love story based on the trials and tribulations of a young man who pens an album for the girl he loves. Music is considered a character in the film, with acclaimed musicians Alabama 3 and actor Patrick Bergin, who also features in the film, contributing to the soundtrack.
The film had its debut screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival on May 1, and went on to win the festival’s Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking prize.
The film stars Kevin Ryan (Raw), Sean Maguire (Meet the Spartans), James Cosmo (Sons of Anarchy) and Lorna Anderson (River City), with Gavin Mitchell (You Instead) and Patrick Bergin (Sleeping with the Enemy) co-starring. Graham produced for Sonny and Skye Productions with Seafaring Films. Graham said they are all “really looking forward” to the Irish and European premiere in Galway, and are happy to “move forward”.
The Galway Film Fleadh runs from July 10-15.