There were capacity attendances last Saturday at the Northern Ireland Screen lunch hosted by their Chairman Rick Hill and, later that evening, the Irish Film Board/Culture Ireland’s beach party. Delegates in Cannes know of Ireland’s reputation for hospitality and this year was no exception on the Croisette.
Although there are no Irish titles, in - or out-of competition, in the Festival this year there has been a fine selection of Irish titles in the Market, including ‘Ondine’ (Neil Jordan); Danis Tanovich’s thriller ‘Triage’; Ian Fitzgibbon’s ‘Perrier’s Bounty’ and ‘A Film With Me In It’, André Nebe’s ‘The Race’, Conor McPherson’s ‘The Eclipse’, Tomm Moore’s ‘Brendan and the Secret of Kells’, Mark Mahon’s ‘Strength & Honour’, ‘8.5’, ‘Cherrybomb’ and more.
Also announced in Cannes are titles confirmed to film in Ireland this year: Ignition Film’s ‘Lend Me Your Face’ to be directed by Maurice Linnane and written by Barry Devlin, with Jayne Wisener (Sweeney Todd) and Mark O’Halloran (Adam and Paul) attached; French director Agnès Merlet, who directed ‘Dorothy Mills’, is confirmed for ‘The Last Furlong’, written by Nick Murphy (The Running Mate). The project will be a co production with Dublin’s Octagon Films and France’s Fidelite. Production is likely to happen in November of this year in Dublin and Wicklow. These are in addition to ‘Your Highness’ currently in prep in Belfast’s Paint Hall Studios, and Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s ‘Stella Days’.
Panel session topics at the Irish Pavilion included Section 481 (paneled by producers Andrew Lowe from Element Pictures, David Collins from Samson Films, Paul Donovan from Grand Pictures and Mark Byrne from the Irish Film Board) hosted by SPI.
Speaking to IFTN, SPI’s CEO Sean Stokes said he was very happy with how the event went: “We had over 60 people in attendance - a large number from America, the UK, Europe and further afield. The emphasis was to outline the significant enhancements to Section 481, to promote Ireland as a place for inward investment through film and television and where Ireland has a lead on other countries’ tax incentives. It turned into a Q&A session that people were really interested in."