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Irish production Five Months Gone wins 1st prize at JETS 2023
07 Mar 2023 : News Desk
Writer Marcus Lloyd, director Hildegard Ryan, and producer Jason Forde.
Producer Jason Forde talks with IFTN about his experience of going to Berlin to pitch a new film and coming away with 1st prize on his feature film to be written by Marcus Lloyd writer and directed by Hildegard Ryan.

JETS 2023 is an initiative that offers selected producers the opportunity to take part in its annual pitching session during the Berlin International Film Festival.

It stands for Junior Entertainment Talent Slate and unites 1st, 2nd and 3rd feature film filmmakers with Irish, German, Canadian, Norwegian, Austrian, British, South African, and US producers, sales agents, finance, and distribution companies during a pitching session with the aim of co-production.

Each year, 20-24 projects from filmmakers are selected for the JETS Initiative. Of those Forde’s project, Five Months Gone picked up 1st prize following its presentation in Berlin.

“Taking part in JETS 2023 was a brilliant learning experience and a chance to meet with fantastic members of the film industry in several different territories,” Forde told IFTN.

“Winning with our pitch for Five Months Gone has given us a chance to take our project forward and connected us with really exciting potential partners already we are in talks,” the producer added. “To get so much interest in the script from around the world shows that we have something very special on our hands.”

Five Months Gone finds Steven Rivers, a respected doctor, driving home with his pregnant wife after a Christmas party, only to lose control of his car and crashes into a tree, causing the death of their unborn child. Three years later and now living alone, Steven cultivates a friendship with Amy, a homeless teenager at a hostel where he volunteers. Telling her that he is divorced, but saying nothing about the reason why, he offers her a room in his house in exchange for household chores and she accepts. When she moves in she stumbles upon information about the crash and realizes that Steven wants more from her than housekeeping, but is he seeking a surrogate daughter, or a stand-in wife? The truth is far more sinister. First, she discovers that there was another girl before her who disappeared. Then she finds herself pregnant and facing a desperate battle to save herself and her unborn child.

The judges feedback noted that the project had “a high marketability and will receive industry support for its development/realisation”.

“We were delighted to have gone with our film title Five Months Gone and our participation,” added Forde, “the feedback at JETS will help us to improve our strategies in taking it to the next level.”

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