Screen Ireland/ Fís Éireann has announced the six projects that form the inaugural edition of its female-focused POV scheme.
The aim of the POV scheme is to enable distinct Irish female voices with a passion to tell stories on the big screen through the development and production of feature films. The programme is open to live action fiction feature films that can be produced at the required budget level of €400,000. There is no limitation on the genre, narrative style, content or other elements of the screenplay/story.
The six projects selected will take part in an intensive development process which will include mentorship, workshopping and story development. Following this phase, three projects will be selected for production. The three selected films will aim to enter production in late 2019/early 2020. All crew working on the projects should be given the opportunity to upgrade. A strong gender balance will also be expected across all crew with training and mentorship opportunities afforded to all involved in the making of the films.
The six projects were selected by project managers Celine Haddad, Lesley McKimm, and Dearbhla Regan ,and production and distribution manager Emma Scott. 65 applications were received for the project, with 12 invited to interview. “The standard of applications we received on this scheme was very impressive. It was a hugely competitive process with 65 applications competing for six funding awards. It was no easy feat whittling them down, but we believe that the six chosen projects are wonderful examples of the wealth of female talent working in the Irish screen industries today.”
Knowl to be written by Elisabeth Gooch (Nightbird), directed by Lisa Mulcahy (The Legend Of Longwood), and produced by Ruth Carter (Damo And Ivor: The Movie) for Blue Ink Films. Based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s Gothic thriller, Uncle Silas, Knowl is a period adaptation with a modern twist. Forced to fight her guardian for her inheritances — and her life — an orphaned heiress must embrace her family’s dark legacy to survive.
It Is In Us All to be written and directed by Antonia Campbell-Hughes and produced by Conor Barry (Pilgrimage) for Savage Productions
Hamish is a fast-living, successful media type from London. He has it all, yet he is deeply unsatisfied. After a near-fatal car crash, he is unable to shake off the mysterious pull of the boy racer who almost took his life.
Down By Your Side to be written directed by Niamh Heery (A Father’s Letter) and produced by Heery and Caroline Kealy for Swansong Films. Nicola and Cian (25) are twins who live and perform as Irish dancers in their family pub, deep in the bog lands of Ireland. Nicola is a fierce, adept Irish dancer with a caustic sense of humour. Cian is gay, tall and jocular with a touch of frenzied energy. They drink to excess to the disdain of their widowed mother. However, Nicola and Cian have their bond tested when a secret is revealed from their past.
Sunlight to be written by Ailbhe Keogan (Take Me Swimming), directed by Claire Dix (Take Me Swimming) and produced by Roisín Geraghty for Blinder Films. In this compassionate comedy, Leon, a recovering addict cares for Iver, his terminally ill sponsor with a bonded devotion. Leon interrupts Iver self-euthanizing with an exit-guide, Maria, in attendance. A betrayed Leon refuses to let his hero die until Iver sees the tribute show Leon has created in his honour.
Tryst to be written and directed by Jeda De Brí and produced by Claire McCaughley (Metal Heart) for Treasure Entertainment. Matt and Steph are planning their wedding. Their maid of honour, Rachel, has just been fired. Things are under control. Mostly. But when their friendship and relationship start to get tangled, events transpire that threaten to unravel everything.
You Are Not My Mother to be written and directed by Kate Dolan and produced by Deirdre Levins (Nails) for Fantastic Films. In a North Dublin house estate, Char’s mother goes missing. When she returns, Char is convinced something or someone has replaced her.
"We launched POV with the sole purpose of increasing female representation both in front of and behind the camera as part of Screen Ireland’s wider commitment to achieving 50/50 gender parity within the Irish screen industries. Our aim with the scheme is to enable female-driven storytelling on screen and we are looking forward to seeing three of these stories coming to fruition and being seen by Irish and international audiences."
James Hickey, CEO – Screen Ireland / Fís Éireann
"The IFB remains steadfastly committed to achieving 50/50 gender equality within the Irish film, TV and animation industry and as we seek to empower female talent in bringing their unique and original narratives to screens, we hope that POV will provide an important launch-pad from which gender parity can be eventually achieved."
Annie Doona, Chair – Screen Ireland / Fís Éireann
CinÉireann / Issue 9 13