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Production News 25/03/99
25 Mar 1999 :
Kirsten Sheridan and Audrey O'Reilly's Miramax award winning script Honour Bright has been awarded pre-development money by the Irish Film Board and is currently under-going a third re-write before a shooting schedule is finalised.

Loosely based on the true life story of a 1920's prostitute called Honour Bright who plied her trade from that legendary Dublin quarter of Monto, the film will be produced by Edwina Forkin and co-directed by Sheridan and O'Reilly. Both women have just received confirmation that they've been given Short Cut Awards from the Film Board. Audrey O'Reilly will direct her own script, In Loving Memory, with Barry Dignam producing. "An odd romance about ordinary people, it draws upon the strange relationship between the Irish and the church from the 1960's onwards. Mrs Duane, a product of contradictions finds her own way of dealing with the death of her husband". Kirsten directs Majella McGinty from a script by Morna Regan.

Pearce Lehane will shoot his Oscailt script 10 Steps to the Door from 8th May with Edwina Forkin producing, Ronan Fox as DoP and John Hand designing. Forkin will also produce Colette Cullen's debut feature, The Insider, which received a fiction development loan from Bord Scannan. A contemporary Irish detective thriller about a lesbian dick (sorry) and the seedy underworld of Irish business, such scripts seem to suggest that the new wave of Irish female writer/directors are coming firmly into their own.

Nic Roeg has been spotted lurking about the country in the past few weeks reccying for Ivanhoe , the troubled production that has lived on chaser lists since the 1916 Rising. Originally intended to be shot as a Merlin/Concorde Anois co-production way back in 1996, the production fell apart when the French co-producers pulled out. However, by then props had been prepared and locations viewed and the production has been lurking in limbo. Roeg visited the country early last year and did some location scouting and was back this month for some further reccying. By now its common knowledge that Kirsten's dad, Jim, stepped in to do some pick up work on Brendan O'Carroll's The Mammy as Anjelica Huston was unavailable. Whether O'Carroll's Sparrow Trap will see final post-production completion remains to be seen, however, with various high pressure meetings scheduled to take place over the coming weeks to sort out its troubled financial status.

Conor McPherson is up and running on his directorial debut, Saltwater, currently shooting on the outskirts of Dublin, and Gerry Stembridge starts shooting All About Adam on March 15th. Meanwhile, post-production continues on the Stembridge penned Ordinary Decent Criminal, the latest edition to the Martin Cahill industry.

Good news for director Syd MaCartney and producers Tim Palmer and Alan Moloney. Their feature Wild Horses, starring Liam Cunningham and Orla Brady, originally intended for TV, has been deemed so excellent that its going to be blown up to 35mm and given a cinema release for May. Eoin Moore meanwhile, whose award winning Break Even will be screened at the Dublin Film Festival, is due to shoot his first Irish-based feature, the aptly titled Connemara in said part of the country in July. Pat Murphy is due to start shooting Nora, with James Flynn producing for Metropolitan Films. Full cast & crew details are yet to be finalised, but I'll have full details soon.

Meanwhile on the shorts front, Orla Walsh has completed shooting on her RTE/GFC short Blessed Fruit, a black comedy about a young woman confronted with a crisis pregnancy and its confused paternity. and is currently in post-production. Doreen O'Connor shoots her Galway Film Centre award winning script, The Hall, from 1st -4th April in Ballycroy, Co.Mayo, while Diversion, directed by Josephine Conlon is scheduled to shoot from April 12th - 15th in Wicklow. And any takers on the current rumour that due to poor ratings Stateside the second series of Mystic Knights of Tir na nOg has been pulled...

Nicky Fennell 25/03/99

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