28 February 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Indie Film 'Lost & Found' Forges Steady Route Through North America
03 May 2019 : Nathan Griffin
'Lost & Found'
The micro-budget indie comedy, written, directed and produced by Liam O’Mochain, has enjoyed several weeks of success since it launched its North American campaign back in March.

Running into its sixth week in selected cinemas in Boston, Toronto, and New York, ‘Lost and Found’ has been described as “Ireland’s answer to Short Cuts” by the Irish Post and guaranteed to “make you smile” by The LA Times. Completed back in 2017, after shooting over 5 years, O’Mochain’s independently funded comedy has grossed $50k so far in North America and looks likely to exceed US$75k, which is just above the film’s production budget. 

So far the film has screened in cinemas across 14 cities in the US & Canada through Gravitas Ventures who picked up the North America rights last November at the Austin Film Festival following the film's selection as a buzz title and recipient of the ‘Best Foreign Film’ award. The film will also release this week on VOD in the US & Canada, making it available to over 150 million homes across all main platforms including cable, satellite, telecom and online. 

The North American theatrical campaign and release have been overseen by O’Mochain himself with his key focus being to connect with the Irish diaspora as well as the mainstream media.

IFTN caught up with Liam to find out more about how a positive and proactive approach can drive the success of an indie production abroad.

What do you feel has been the key factor in the film’s success in North America?

“I think the reason that the film has done quite well in North America is because we not only engaged with mainstream media and audiences but also with the Irish American audience, media and Irish film festivals in North America just like filmmakers such as Alex Fegan did before us with both his films 'Older Than Ireland' and 'The Irish pub'.  It is very important for an Irish film to engage with and not forget the Irish American audience as well as mainstream audiences.”

Can you give me a bit of insight into the success of ‘Lost & Found’ thus far?

“Lost & Found is going into its 6th week this weekend in the Landmark Spectrum 8 theatre in NY where it has made just under $12k so far in that theatre alone. The film has also grossed over $12k in the Boston Landmark Kendall square cinema where it has played for a month and over $8k in theatres in LA. Many major Hollywood films and indie films have come and gone in those theatres while 'Lost & Found' continues to play. The film has also played for short programmed runs in art-house theatres in San Francisco, Long Beach, NYC, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Prince Edward Island.  It opens in Chicago and Washington this weekend May 3rd and some of the aforementioned theatres are also bringing the film back later in May.”

How encouraging has it been to see the film supported by the Irish diaspora and succeeding abroad?

“It is great vindication for us as Irish Filmmakers that the film is doing so well, as we had to fund the film ourselves.  We did look for completion and distribution support from IFB/Screen Ireland and we were turned down on numerous occasions, as they felt the film would struggle in the market place and that there was little or no audience for the film.  As William Goldman once said about the film industry and it is so true - 'Nobody knows anything'.  Lost & Found has fared quite well against some of Screen Ireland's biggest budget films particularly in North America. In some cases making triple their box office in the US.”

‘Lost & Found’ follows seven interconnecting stories set in and around a lost & found office of an Irish train station and was filmed in Ireland over 5 years. It released in Irish cinemas last summer and in UK cinemas last October.  It will be released in cinemas this July in New Zealand and Australia by Rialto Films who picked up the film late last year due to the media and audience reaction the film got during the UK cinema release.  It was picked by High Fliers for home entertainment in the UK & Ireland, In Flight for Airlines, as well as Film 4 and RTE.  It is also available on all VOD platforms in the UK and Ireland.

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