29 March 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Sundance Round-Up
24 Jan 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
This year’s Sundance marked the 30th anniversary of the long-revered Utah-based film festival. For Irish cinema, it was also a distinctive festival.

First off, the festival saw the world premieres of Lenny Abrahamson’s (‘Garage’, ‘What Richard Did’) ‘Frank’, starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and of ‘Calvary’, starring Brendan Gleeson and directed by John Michael McDonagh (‘The Guard’). Both films received raving reviews from publications and websites worldwide including Variety and the Guardian among many others.

’Calvary’ had the noteworthy achievement of earning a US release distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures (see the full story here). Chief Executive of the IFB, James Hickey, was delighted with the announcement and stated, “US audiences will embrace this film which was shot on location in Co. Sligo and features a very strong line-up of world-class Irish acting talent.”

There was also a fair presence of Irish talent at the festival. Among those attending were directors Lenny Abrahamson and John Michael McDonagh as well as actor Chris O’ Dowd of ‘Bridesmaids’ and TV comedy series ‘Moone Boy’ fame.

Finally, there have been rumours of Magnolia closing in on a domestic deal for ‘Frank’ which could involve a seven-figure agreement. Element Pictures announced a first look deal with director Abrahamson following the Sundance premiere of ‘Frank’ (more can be read about this here) and the first clip of the movie was released (see more here).

The festival’s last screening of ‘Frank’ will take place tomorrow at the Eccles Theatre, Park City at 12.15pm while the last screening of ‘Calvary’ is tomorrow evening at 6.30 p.m. at Perry’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden.

The festival will close this Sunday.

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