23 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Sineád O’Connor Feature Documentary on the way from Control Producer and Director Maurice Sweeney
2021/11/10 12:00:00 : News Desk
Sinéad O'Connor
Orian Williams, the film producer behind Joy Division’s Ian Curtis biopic Control, Irish production company ShinAwiL (Miss Scarlet & The Duke) and legendary Irish DJ Dave Fanning are joining forces on a feature documentary on one of Ireland’s most celebrated musicians – Sineád O’Connor.

Deadline reports that Irish director Maurice Sweeney  who directed I, Dolours will helm, while Williams, ShinAwil’s Larry Bass, and Dave Fanning act as executive producers.

Currently titled Sineád, the access-led documentary will tell the story of O’Connor, who now goes by Shuhada Sadaqat after converting to Islam in 2018.  O’Connor burst onto the international music scene with her 1987 album The Lion and the Cobra and her 1990 song  Nothing Compares To U (which was written by Prince), and has been an inspiring musician and outspoken public figure for over three decades.

An often-controversial figure, she is arguably best known for appearing on US Comedy Show Saturday Night Live in 1992 where she performed a cover of  Bob Marley’s War, intended as a protest against the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church. She made international headlines when  tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while singing the word ‘evil’.

Earlier this year, O’Connor announced her retirement from music after the 2022 release of her album No Veteran Dies Alone, but later announced that she would tour next year. Also this year, in an Irish Independent piece, she interviewed Ian Bailey, who featured in Jim Sheridan’s Murder in the Cottage and  Netflix’s Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, both of which documented the murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier

IFTA-Winning Director Maurice Sweeney is known for his work across both documentary and large-scale TV Drama. His recent work includes Lead Director on Blood - Season 2 and  the three -part drama Penance for Channel 5, which was one of the channel’s highest viewed dramas of 2020. 

He recently directed Khorfakkan with UK director Ben Mole. The film is based on Sheikh Al Qasimi's book, Khorfakkan's Resistance Against the Portuguese Invasion of September 1507. Shot on the shores within the ancient city, the film details how local communities fought back against the invasion led by Portuguese naval commander General Afonso de Albuquerque.

Sineád follows Sweeney’s critically acclaimed and award-winning Feature Documentary I Dolours which he directed and co-wrote. It was released in cinemas and went on to be acquired by Netflix. Sweeney has won 5 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs) and was awarded Best Director at the London Independent Film Festival 2013.

Williams is best known for the Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Willem Dafoe/John Malkovich film Shadow of the Vampire, as well as the BIFA-winning Control, an Ian Curtis biopic which also received multiple Cannes and BAFTA awards. He is directing Everybody Here Wants You, a biopic of Jeff Buckley and producing  Paper Heart a feature about former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, based on his memoir Not Dead & Not for Sale.

David Fanning is an Irish television and radio broadcaster, rock journalist, DJ, film critic and author. Fanning currently hosts weekend midday magazine/chat show The Dave Fanning Show on 2fm and a number of RTÉ Radio 1 programmes

ShinAwiL is one of the largest and most successful independent production companies in Ireland.Set up in 1999 specialising in entertainment, factual entertainment, live event programming and now scripted drama, ShinAwiL is behind some of Ireland’s biggest entertainment series’ including The Apprentice, Dragons’ Den, MasterChef Ireland, The Voice of Ireland and Dancing with the Stars Ireland.

ShinAwiL are also working on another music doc titled Conductrix. This documentary focuses on the life of Irish composer and conductor Eimear Noone, and her successes and struggles as an artist in a substantially male-dominated industry. Noone an Irish conductor and composer, best known for her award-winning work on video game music. She has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Bretagne, the Sydney Symphony, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and several other national orchestras. Noone was the first woman to conduct at the Oscars on 9 February 2020, leading the orchestra in excerpts from the five nominated film scores and was also the first woman to conduct at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.As per Deadline, Abacus Media Rights, the distribution company set up by former Kew Media exec Jonathan Ford, will handle global sales.

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