22 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Small Things Like These announced as opening film of Berlinale Film Festival
18 Jan 2024 : Luke Shanahan
The world premiere of Small Things Like These will open the Berlin International Film Festival on February 15th, 2024. The film stars Cillian Murphy, with an adapted screenplay from Enda Walsh.

The 74th Berlin International Film Festival has announced Small Things Like These as their opening film. The Irish-Belgian production stars Cillian Murphy. The film is directed by Tim Mielants (Patrick) from an adapted screenplay by Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs). The film is based on the novel of the same name by author Claire Keegan, whose novella Foster was adapted for the screen as An Cailín Ciúin.

Set in an Irish town in 1985, the film follows coal and timber merchant Bill Furlong (Murphy) in the lead up to Christmas, as he struggles with his conscience and the fear of standing up to church powers upon discovering the local convent’s treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies.

Mielants and Walsh are both frequent collaborators of lead actor Cillian Murphy. Mielants and Murphy previously worked together on series three of Peaky Blinders, and Murphy has starred in a number of Walsh's plays including Misterman and Grief Is The Thing With Feathers.

Joining Murphy in the cast are Eileen Walsh (The Golden West), Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), Emily Watson (God’s Creatures), and Ciarán Hinds (Kin).

“With Small Things Like These, Tim Mielants tells the story of a man of few words, with wide open eyes, as clear as the skies of Ireland,” said Berlinale’s Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian. “In The Quiet Girl we already had a sense of Claire Keegan’s skill in portraying small, apparently simple characters and making them unforgettable; here her delicate, rich and yet down-to-earth writing finds a great interpreter in Cillian Murphy.”

“We are confident that this story that allies the kindness to be directed to the more fragile, and the willpower to stand up against injustice, will resonate with everyone. We are looking forward to launching this ‘quiet’ yet quite exceptional film at the start of Zeitgeist Irland 24, a year-long celebration of Irish culture in Germany.”

The production filmed in New Ross, County Wexford for four weeks in early 2023. Quay Street, O’Hanrahan Bridge, Conduit Lane, and Michael Street featured as shooting locations. An estimated cast and crew of 80 people were based in New Ross for five to six weeks during production.

The film was produced by Murphy and Alan Moloney for Big Things Films along with Catherine Magee. Matt Damon and Drew Vinton produced the film with executive producers Ben Affleck, Kevin Halloran, and Michael Joe for Artists Equity. The film was financed by Artists Equity and Screen Ireland, and co-produced in Belgium by Wilder Content. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.

Small Things Like These will open the Berlin International Film Festival on February 15th, 2024.

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