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Irish Tribeca Premieres and Screenings Announced
21 Mar 2011 :
Lotus Eaters
The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival will play host to several Irish feature premieres and screenings including Alexandra McGuinness’ ‘Lotus Eaters’ and Octagon Films co-production, ‘The Hideaways’ (previously entitled ‘The Last Furlong’). Other Irish projects screening at the event include Element Pictures’ The Guard’ alongside Irish shorts, ‘Noreen’, Switch’ and ‘Pentecost’.

The tenth instalment of Robert De Niro's New York based film festival will take place from April 20th to the 1st of May in Manhattan. Fastnet Films’ ‘Lotus Eaters’ will have its world premiere as part of the event’s Viewpoints programme along with 18 other features. The films chosen to screen in the Viewpoints programme must display a unique, personal perspective in their approach to their subjects. Written by Brendan Grant and Alexandra McGuinness who is also directing, the drama stars IFTA Rising Star nominee, Antonia Campbell Hughes (Bright Star), Benn Northover (Abyss), Cynthia Fortune (Every Thing) and Johnny Flynn (Crusade Jeans).

‘Lotus Eaters’ shot for five weeks in Wicklow, Westmeath and London city in August and September 2010 with Gareth Munden (Mike) on board as director of photography. Alexandra’s directorial debut presents a contemporary black-and-white portrait of overlapping cliques of friends struggling to get their lives under control before they fall numb to it all, it was produced by Morgan Bushe (Colony) and Mark Lee for Fastnet Films.

The other feature enjoying its world premiere at the festival is Agnes Merlet’s ‘The Hideaways’. The film, previously entitled ‘The Last Furlong’ is written by Nick Murphy (The Running Mate) and directed by Agnes Merlet (Dorothy Mills). The project, which is being produced by James Flynn (Ondine) for Octagon, Jean-Luc Ormičres (Priest Daens) for France’s Fidelité and Sean Wheelan (Centurion) for Sweden’s Filmgate Films centres around James Furlong. James is the latest in a long line of Furlongs, each blessed or cursed with a supernatural power. As a boy growing up in rural Ireland, he longs to discover his own extraordinary, hidden ability. But his experiments merely lead to the death of his family and everyone around him.

The feature will screen with John Michael McDonagh’s comedy-thriller, ‘The Guard’ which will show as part of Trobeca’s Spotlight section of the festival. ‘The Guard’, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (Ned Kelly), sees Emmy winner and IFTA nominee Brendan Gleeson (Perrier’s Bounty) playing an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins forces with ‘Ocean’s 11’ actor, Don Cheadle’s straitlaced FBI agent in a bid to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.

The film is an Irish/UK co-production, backed by the Irish Film Board and section 481 as well as International Financiers. It is produced by Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo for Reprisal Films and Ed Guiney (Garage) and Andrew Lowe (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) for Element Pictures. It premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

As to Irish shorts, the IFTA nominated ‘Pentecost’from Eimear O’Kane for EMU productions tells the story of a young altar boy who is forced to serve at an important mass and has to make a difficult choice: conform to the status quo or serve an extended ban from his passion in life.... football. The short will screen in the Narrative Shorts section alongside fellow IFTA nominated project, ‘Noreen’ from Domhnall Gleeson. The directorial debut from Domhnall is a comedic look at a pair of two idiotic Irish policemen and their quest to get out of a sticky situation of their own doing.

The final Irish short showing at the event is Thomas Heffernon’s ‘Switch’ where, two years after a traumatic car accident that leaves a girl in a vegetative state, the man responsible attempts to atone. ‘Switch’ was produced by Dave Leahy for Warrior Films.

Commenting on the selection of Irish projects showing this year, Programming Director David Kwok who visited Ireland earlier this year said “I believe you will see the rich variety and quality of the films and talent that we are presenting at Tribeca this year. The program is about both discovery and showcasing a broad range of filmmaking to our eclectic and diverse audiences who are passionate about film.”

Irish talent will be further on display in the form of ‘The Good Doctor’, a feature from Lance Daly (Kisses) which stars Orlando Bloom (Milk) which was produced in North America. It centres around Dr Martin Ploeck who falls in love with a patient. As her health starts to improve he tampers with her treatment in a bid to keep her in the hospital, with him.

Furthermore, audiences will be invited to attend the premiere screening of ‘The Swell Season’, a documentary about the Oscar winning stars of ‘Once’, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. The feature examines the behind-the-scenes relationship between the two throughout a two-year tour that followed the film’s musical Oscar win. This American documentary was directed by Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis.

The Tribeca film festival has had a very strong relationship with the Irish film industry over the past few years. Last year saw the screenings of Neil Jordan's ‘Ondine’ and celebrated the acting skills of Ciarán Hinds when he was presented with the Best Actor award for his performance in Conor McPherson's ‘The Eclipse’. Eileen Walsh picked up the award for Best Actress for her performance in ‘Eden’ in 2008.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and has become one of the key film festivals on the international calendar. The Tribeca Film Festival will take place in New York City April 20th - May 1st. For a full list of the films screening this year visit www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/



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