The first weekend in September will see the release of two new productions from Irish writer/director Shimmy Marcus (Headrush). September 3rd marks the long-awaited release of his Northern Soul feature 'Soul Boy' across screens in UK & Ireland, whilst new comedy series 'Mattie' starring Pat Shortt which Shimmy helmed debuts on RTÉ1 on September 5th.
'Soul Boy' which recently came 2nd in the Audience Award for Best Feature after its premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival, is set in 1974 against the backdrop of the Northern Soul movement. It stars Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen), alongside Nichola Burley (Street Dance 3D), Felicity Jones (Cemetary Junction), Pat Shortt (Garage), Alfie Allen (Atonement) and Craig Parkinson (Control).
Directed by Shimmy Marcus the film was shot in August 2008 but is only now being released due to funding and location changes. Written by Jeff Willliams the film was originally to shoot in Dundalk but production was moved to Stoke on Trent and Birmingham where it shot for five weeks with director of photography Vladimir Trivic (The Clap) behind the lens.
The music, a key element of the film, was provided by Len Arran who previously worked on Zanzibar’s Oscar nominated short, ‘New Boy’. The film also features a cameo appearance from Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ Huey Morgan.
’Soul Boy’ will receive fittingly alternative screenings across the UK in places such as Edinburgh, Sheffield, Manchester and Stoke on Trent, where it will receive its premiere at 9pm on Saturday, August 21st. The screening will be followed by a Gabriella Cilmi concert and an all-night disco which is expected to conclude at about 7am. As Shimmy explains: “The film is about the Northern Soul movement which was the forerunner of the rave.” The film will receive a limited UK and Irish release via distributor Soda from September 3rd onwards – a list of participating cinemas is TBC. Funding for the project came from Molinare, Screen West Midlands and Northern Film & Media.
Marcus is currently enjoying the final day of editing on RTE drama ‘Mattie’, a new comedy series starring IFTA winning actor Pat Shortt. Shortt plays Mattie Dwyer, a country detective, transferred to a city station - whose recurring ability to get into comic misadventures soon surfaces. The actor approached Shimmy about working with him on the project following the shoot for ‘Soul Boy’"It was while I was working with Pat on Soul Boy that he suggested coming on board to direct Mattie," Shimmy explains. "It's very different to Killinaskully, and we worked so well together on Soul Boy it seemed like an exciting challenge.”
As to working with the actor on this new series, Marcus thoroughly enjoyed every minute: “We have very similar sensibilities. We got on like a house on fire.” Shimmy describes the new series as having more dramatic content than ‘Killnaskully’ and compares it to ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ in its tone.
As previously mentioned the series is in its final stages of editing and is made up of five half-hour shows and a Christmas special. The RTÉ and Section 481 funded project is produced by Gable End Media’s Pat Shortt and Brian Kelly (Inside the Crystal Ball) and shot for five weeks in Limerick this May. The director of photography on board was Ciaran Tanham (Horses). The series will start on RTÉ 1 on Sunday, September 5th at 8.30pm.
Finally, Shimmy also plans to release his long awaited feature documentary 'Good Cake Bad Cake' about Dublin band LIR early next year. The doc, which was made in 2009, is expected to have a small theatrical release and will be submitted to various festivals. The production companies involved are Zanzibar Films and Let’s Not Lose It productions. It’s directed by Shimmy and produced by himself and Edwina Forkin.