14 June 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
‘Glassland’, ‘Strangerland’ and ‘The Visit’ Selected for Official Competition at Sundance
04 Dec 2014 : Seán Brosnan
Three Irish films and co-productions - ‘Glassland’, ‘Strangerland’ and ‘The Visit’ – have all been selected for official competition at the Sundance Film Festival, one of the world’s leading festivals for independent film.
Both ‘Glassland’ and ‘Strangerland’ will screen in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section which only selects 12 films from thousands of entries.

‘The Visit’, an Irish co-production, from the team behind the documentary ‘His & Hers’ will screen in the World Documentary Competition category. Both films were produced with support from the Irish Film Board.

Commenting on the news, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board Chief Executive, James Hickey said: ‘Congratulations to the filmmaking teams behind ‘Glassland’, ‘Strangerland’ and ‘The Visit’. It’s great to see the work of talented Irish directors, writers and actors compete with the best in the world at the Sundance Film Festival. Frank and Calvary proved to be amongst the most well received films at Sundance last year and sold to territories worldwide. I look forward to seeing how international audiences react to these new films and wish the filmmaking teams the very best of luck.’

‘Glassland’ is written and directed by Gerard Barrett and tells the story of a young taxi driver on the fringes of the criminal underworld who, in a desperate bid to save his mother from addiction and unite his broken family, is forced to take a job which will see him pushed further into its underbelly. The film is Barrett’s follow-up to his award winning debut film ‘Pilgrim Hill’ and stars Jack Reynor (‘What Richard Did’), Toni Collette (‘The Sixth Sense’) and Will Poulter (‘The Maze Runner’). ‘Glassland’, the joint winner of the Best Film Award at the 2014 Galway Film Fleadh, was produced by Element Pictures (‘Frank’, ‘What Richard Did’) and was filmed on location in Dublin.

Director Gerard Barrett said: 'It’s such an honour and privilege to take this film to Sundance. To be in competition at Sundance, really is something special.' Producer of 'Glassland' Ed Guiney added that he is 'delighted to be bringing 'Glassland' to Sundance. I can’t think of a better place to launch Gerard’s brilliant film to the world'.

‘Strangerland’ is directed by Kim Farrant and stars Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes. When Catherine and Matthew Parker’s two teenage children disappear into the remote Australian desert, their relationship is pushed to the brink as they confront the mystery of their children's fate. The DOP of the project is PJ Dillon, who just got nominated for an ASC award for his work on ‘Vikings’. The film is produced by Fastnet Films and Dragonfly Pictures and funded by the IFB, Worldview Entertainment, Screen Australia and Screen NSW.’

Co-produced by Venom Film (‘His and Hers, Undressing My Mother’), ‘The Visit’ is a creative documentary that poses the question, what would happen if we were to be visited by a being from another world? The film presents this hypothetical scenario to experts from around the world who have already dedicated their lives to preparing for such an event.

Also of Irish interest at Sundance this year will be the action-thriller ‘Slow West’ which stars Michael Fassbender (‘Frank’, ‘Hunger’) and was shot by Robbie Ryan (‘Jimmy’s Hall. ‘Philomena’). That will screen alongside ‘Glassland’ and ‘Strangerland’ in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition while Saoirse Ronan (‘Atonement’, ‘Brooklyn’) will star in ‘Stockholm, Pennsylvania’ as a teenage abductee re-united with her parents after 17 years. That film will be one of 16 films screening in the US Dramatic Competition category.

Also, in the spotlight section will be Irish war thriller '71', starring Jack O' Connell, while Irish actor Cillian Murphy will star in the Spanish/French/Canadian co-production 'Aloft'. In the Park City at Midnight section of the festival, Irish/British co-production 'The Hallow', written and directed by Colin Hardy, will have its' world premiere.

The Irish film industry has a long and successful history with Sundance with previous films ‘Frank’, ‘Calvary’, ‘The Guard’, ‘The Summit’, ‘Irish Folk Furniture’ and ‘Once’ proving popular with previous festival audiences.

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 22nd to February 1st 2015 in Park City, Utah. Further selection announcements will be made by the festival this week.

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