16 May 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Festival News: 'Swansong', 'Killing', Nesbitt & ABÄRA
24 Nov 2010 :
ABÄRA Festival - Rudely Interrupted
‘Essential Killing’has scooped both the best film and best actor prize at Mar del Plata and has been nominated alongside other Irish feature ‘Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne’ at Poand’s Plus Camerimage film festival. Furthermore, IFTA winning actor James Nesbitt has scooped the Best Actor award at the New York City Horror Film Festival for ‘Outcast’ and Dublin will play host to Ireland’s first Disability Film Festival, ABÄRA.

‘Essential Killing’ enjoys Victory at Mar del Plata

The Element Pictures co-production, ‘Essential Killing’ this weekend walked away with the Mar del Plata’s Golden Astor (Astor de Oro) prize for best film in the international competition whilst the film’s lead actor, Vincent Gallo (Buffalo ‘66) was awarded the prize for Best Actor for his role as a Taliban fighter in the political thriller.

An Irish/Polish/Norwegian/Hungarian co-production directed by veteran Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski (Moonlighting), ‘Essential Killing’ tells the story of an Afghan man, captured by American forces in Kabul, who finds himself transported to a nameless European country. He manages to escape into the vast frozen woodland and is forced into extreme survival mode where he must kill anyone who strays into his path.

Presenting the Golden Astor, jury president Román Gubern said that ‘Essential Killing’ highlighted “the current situation and has political vigour.” The film has already won the Venice Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize and the CinemaAvvenire Award. Vincent Gallo’s acting talent has been previously recognised by the Coppa Volpi who awarded him the Best Actor title for his role in the film. Irish audiences will get an opportunity to see ‘Essential Killing’ in cinemas when it goes on theatrical release later this year through Element Pictures Distribution.

The 25th annual Mar del Plata International Film Festival closed on Nov 21st and saw 80,000 spectators watch 314 films over the nine days. For a full list of winners visit www.mardelplatafilmfest.com

Irish Nominees at Ploand’s Plus Camerimage

Zanzibar Films’ ‘Swansong, Story of Occi Byrne' and Element’s ‘Essential Killing’ have been selected as two of twelve films from hundreds of entries worldwide to compete at the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography (Plus Camerimage) in Poland. The festival is dedicated to feature films with notable cinematography, lighting, camera movement and visual impression.

‘Swansong, Story of Occi Byrne', directed by Conor Mc Dermottroe (Squaddie), portrays the life of Austin ‘Occi' Byrne who is brought up in Sligo by his alcoholic mother and who suffers traumatic bullying at the hands of a local gang because he has no father. Setting out to find his father and discover the secret of his birth, Occi is consistently tested, but eventually learns the true power that comes with love, friendship and most of all, a sense of belonging.

The film stars Martin McCann (Killing Bono) in the lead role as Occi, alongside Jodie Whittaker (Perrier’s Bounty), Marcella Plunkett (Once), Gerard McSorley (The Constant Gardener), Brid Brennan (Excalibur) and Owen Roe (Intermission). It was produced by Edwina Forkin (Three Days in Dublin) and Tom Maguire for Zanzibar Films in Ireland and Hermann Florin (Une Femme sur Mesure) for Florin Films in Germany with finance coming from BSÉ/IFB, RTÉ, Eurimage, Kinowelt and ZDF/Arte. The film’s Cinematography team was led by DOP Alexander du Prel (Viva Europa!).

’Essential Killing’ will be represented by the film’s director of photography Adam Sikora (Four Nights with Anna) and many crew members from ‘Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne’, alongside writer and director Conor Mc Dermottroe will be in attendance at the festival, which is being held from 27th November-4th December in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The Plus Camerimage runs in Poland from the 27th of November to the 4th of December. For a full list of nominees visit www.pluscamerimage.pl

James Nesbitt Win at NYC

IFTA winning actor James Nesbitt has scooped the Best Actor award at the 9th annual New York City Horror Film Festival for his role in Colm McCarthy's gritty chiller ‘Outcast’. The film, which also stars Kate Dickie, follows the story of Mary and her son Fergal who are on the run from Cathal, played by Nesbitt, a dangerous and terrifying man, who is intent on tracking down and killing them.

Nesbitt was recently signed on to play dwarf Bofur in the Peter Jackson’s epic films, ‘The Hobbit’. His acting talents have been lauded for many years; he was BAFTA nominated for his role in ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 2002 and Golden Globe nominated for his role in 2007’s ‘Jekyll’. He also nabbed a National Television Award in 1997 for his long running role in ‘Cold Feet’ and won an IFTA in 2003 for his part in ‘Bloody Sunday’.

Produced by Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell for Fantastic Films and Makar Productions in the U.K, ‘Outcast’ was co-financed by the IFB, Scottish Screen, Bankside Films and Headgear. The film is scheduled for release in Irish cinemas before the end of the 2010.

The annual NYCHFF looks to celebrate both horror classics and the new horror films and the filmmakers who created them. For a full list of winners visit www.nychorrorfest.com

First Irish International Disability Film Festival

Dublin will play host to ABÄRA, Ireland’s first ever International Disability Film Festival from Friday, December 3rd to Sunday, December 5th. Taking place in Filmbase and other venues the event will see the screening of features including Liz Crow’s ‘Resistance’, Simon McKeown’s ‘Motion Disabled’, Ian Wolverton’s ‘Rudely Interrupted’ and Kim Flitcroft’s ‘Happy Birthday Thalidomide’ to mark the 50th birthday of the notorious drugs which was once prescribed to pregnant women.

ABÄRA is aimed at celebrating the progress made by people with disabilities while increasing awareness and understanding of the many challenges still faced by people with disabilities across the globe.

An ‘Access All Areas’ Festival Pass is currently available to buy for the festival which will get holders into all films, on a first come first served basis. This is priced at €2. For this and other booking opportunities and information visit www.dochas.ie

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