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Prospect House wins Best New Irish Feature award at Cork International Film Festival
21 Nov 2023 : News Desk
Barry Ward in Prospect House
Cork International Film Festival (CIFF) has announced the winner of the inaugural Best New Irish Feature award: Paul Mercier’s Prospect House.

Writer-director Paul Mercier’s new film, Prospect House, has been selected as the winning entry for the inaugural Cork International Film Festival ‘Best New Irish Feature Award’, supported by the Irish Examiner. The Jury comprised Academy Award-winning film producer, educator and CIFF Patron, Lord David Puttnam, award-winning filmmaker Carmel Winters, and filmmaker/Head of Doc Station Berlinale, Zeynep Güzel. The Jury decision was announced in front of a sold-out auditorium in The Everyman for the Irish premiere of All Of Us Strangers on Sunday November 19th.

Prospect House tells of a group of protesters who film a period reenactment in a dilapidated 18th century house in a last ditch effort to save it from demolition. Through this film-within-a-film device, Paul Mercier blurs the lines between ‘real life’ and dramatised events, while touching on art, historical truth and conservation. The film is scored by Mel Mercier. The Irish premiere screening was followed by a Q&A session with the film's director, Paul Mercier, and the producers, in The Everyman on Friday November 17th.

"As a Jury, we all felt it came across as a beautifully written, well-constructed and highly idiosyncratic parable,” said Lord David Puttnam, Festival Patron and Chair of the Jury. “We felt it was a timely tale, a film which from start to finish kept its promise to its audience. Whilst always being very clearly Paul’s voice, it succeeded in achieving a seamless transition from its internal theatricality to a genuine cinematic experience in a way that spoke to all of us."

There were five films eligible for Best New Irish Feature at CIFF 2023: One Night In Millstreet, So This Is Christmas, The Days Of Trees, All You Need Is Death, and Prospect House.

“All five films in competition for Best New Irish Feature this year were remarkable examples of the diverse storytelling and dynamic energy of Irish filmmakers at the moment, and it was an honour to showcase every one of these features at Cork International Film Festival,” added Fiona Clark, Festival Director and CEO. “We wish Prospect House every success with its ongoing journey reaching audiences in Ireland and beyond.”

The 68th Cork International Film Festival will continue to run until Sunday 26th November, 2023. For more information and to view the full programme, click here.

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