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‘Mammal’ and ‘The Land of the Enlightened’ to premiere in competition at Sundance
03 Dec 2015 : Seán Brosnan
Rachel Griffiths in Rebecca Daly’s ‘Mammal’
The first batch of Sundance titles has been announced with Irish feature film ‘Mammal’ and documentary ‘The Land of the Enlightened both set to premiere in competition at the world renowned festival.

‘Mammal’ starring Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning actress Rachel Griffiths (‘Six Feet Under’, ‘Muriel’s Wedding’) and rising Irish star Barry Keoghan (‘Love/Hate’, ’71) was directed by Irish filmmaker Rebecca Daly and will have its world premiere in the World Dramatic Competition while the Irish co-produced documentary ‘The Land of the Enlightened’ will also have its world premiere in the International Documentary strand. Both films will be distributed by Wildcard Distribution and are set for Irish cinema releases in 2016.

The Sundance Film Festival which takes place in Park City, Utah is one of the world’s premiere places to debut new independent films and over the course of its more than 30-year history has launched films including ‘Whiplash’, ‘Boyhood’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘The Guard’.

‘Mammal’ which co-stars Michael McElhatton (‘Game of Thrones’) and Johnny Ward (‘Love/Hate’) is the story of a woman (Griffiths) who has lost her son and develops an unorthodox relationship with a homeless youth (Keoghan). Their tentative trust is threatened by his involvement with a violent gang and the escalation of her ex-husband's (McElhatton) grieving rage.

Speaking about the official selection of ‘Mammal’, director Rebecca Daly said, “It's such an honour and a fantastic start for ‘Mammal’. I know how much US audiences love Rachel and am really excited to see what the audience at Sundance make of the film and a very different performance from her.”

Written by Daly and Glenn Montgomery, ‘Mammal’ was selected as part of the first Berlinale Residency, a programme organised by the Berlin International Film Festival to support writer/directors develop their new projects. Daly’s debut feature ‘The Other Side of Sleep’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Directors Fortnight.

Pieter-Jan De Pue’s documentary ‘The Land of the Enlightened’ which was produced by Irish producer Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films, charts the complex Afghani war economy told through the eyes of the children who have found themselves caught up in the on-going American occupation.

‘Mammal’ was produced by Macdara Kelleher and Conor Barry for Fastnet Films (‘Strangerland’, ‘Kisses’, ‘What If’) and was funded by the Irish Film Board (IFB), Luxembourg Film Fund, BAI, TV3 and the Netherlands Film Fund. Picture Tree is the films sales agent.

‘The Land of the Enlightened’ is a Belgium/Irish/Dutch/German co-production produced by Academy Award nominated Savage Film Productions, Fastnet Films, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion and Submarine. Films Boutique is acting as the world sales agent.

Commenting on both the films selection, IFB CEO James Hickey said: "I am delighted to see that Sundance Film Festival will once again shine a spotlight on Irish cinema in 2016. Irish films which have screened at Sundance include Brooklyn, Glassland, The Guard, and Once - all of which enjoyed great acclaim and have since done extremely well both at home and overseas. Congratulations to all of the filmmakers on their selection to the festival and I wish every success to them."

The Sundance Film Festival takes place on Jan 21-31 in Park City, Utah. Stay tuned to IFTN for news of more Irish titles premiering at the festival.

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