Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland has announced the funding awards made by the Board for the second quarter of 2018 across film, documentary and animation, in the categories of development, production and distribution. This is the first round of funding for the organisation since it rebranded from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.
A high-level breakdown of the figures sees €5,629,900 allocated for the period, with 34 projects sharing development funding of €670,525, 15 projects sharing production funding of €4,849,375 (with 7 non-defined commitment offers), and 3 projects sharing distribution funding of €110,000.
In Irish Production €3,565,000 was made available to 6 productions, including one award for Completion Funding and three Quantified Offers which were allocated a Provisional Offer of Commitment in a previous round of funding.
The largest offer of €800,000 went to writer/director Aoife Crehan’s The Last Right, a comedy drama with Deadpan Pictures. The film sees a reluctant man drive a stranger’s corpse across Ireland against the wishes of the police, finding love, and mending family relations along the way.
€800,000 also went as a quantified offer to Blinder Films for Kieron J Walsh’s The Domestique, written by Ciaran Cassidy. It’s 1998, the infamous year when the opening stages of the ‘Tour de France’ are relocated to Ireland – and news breaks of the massive drug scandal permeating the sport. Dominique ‘Dom’ Chabol has been one of the best ‘Domestiques” (support rider) for the last 20 years. It’s a sacrificial role – setting pace, blocking wind, and providing support, to enable the team’s sprinter to victory – for domestiques, winning is not on the table. But at the start of the Tour, Dom is unceremoniously dropped. His best mate Sonny, the team masseur, fails to reassure him about his future. A chance liaison with Lynn, a young doctor, softens the blow, and with her help Dom starts to accept – and even enjoy – the idea of civilian life… But as he gears up to go home and to face his estranged sister, a massive doping error leaves a teammate literally pissing blood… Dom is thrown back in the saddle – and realises it’s now or never if he ever hopes to be more than a domestique… The Domestique is being produced by Katie Holly for Blinder Films, with co-producers Jesus Gonzalez-Elvira for Calach Films, and Nicolas Blondeau and Robin Kerremans for Caviar Films. Earlier this year the production received €1,200,000 in support from the Film Fund Luxembourg and €1,985,000 from Belgium’s Screen Flanders.
€750,000 was awarded to Lorcan Finnegan’s new Irish thriller feature Vivarium, which is currently shooting in and around Dublin with stars Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, The film focuses on a young couple who follow a strange estate agent into a new development to look at a house. The development is brand new but completely devoid of life, and when they attempt to leave they soon find that they can’t find their way out of the maze of houses. Vivarium is produced by Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell for Fantastic Films, with Belgium’s Frakas Productions and Denmark’s PingPong Film as co-producers.
Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy a.k.a Desperate Optimists’ Rose Plays Julie was awarded €650,000 for producers Samson Films. The film tells the tale of an adopted girl who seeks out her birth mother only to be told her mother has no desire to meet her. Undeterred she sets out from Dublin to London in an effort to confront her birth mother, and face her own identity.
Irish actor Eoin Macken’s feature directorial debut, Here Are the Young Men, was offered production support of €550,000 for TYM Productions. The film, which is based on the novel by Rob Doyle, follows Dublin teenagers Matthew, nihilistic Rez, and the deranged Kearney, who leave school to a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking acts of transgression. It is produced by Richard Bolger (Cardboard Gangsters).
Completion Funding of €15,000 was given to Instigator Films and director Brian Lally of The Curious Works of Roger Doyle. The film, which premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this month, studies the life’s work of the “godfather of Irish electronica,” Roger Doyle, and closely observes him presenting one of his most ambitious musical projects to the general public – his first electronic opera. The film follows Roger from August to November 2016 as he prepares for the staging of his opera, Heresy, in Dublin.
Two Provisional Offers of Commitment were made to World 2000 and writer/director Rachel Carey for Cutters, and to Price Film Productions and writer/director Siofra Campbell for The Price.
In Documentary Production, €325,00 was divided between 3 projects and 5 others received Provisional Offers of Commitment.
The largest offer of €175,000 went to Marcie Films and writer/director Emer Reynolds (The Farthest) for Songs for While I’m Away.
John Kelleher Media and director Ross Whitaker (Katie) were given a Quantified Offer of €100,000 for Full Circle, a feature documentary that begins with charismatic Glaswegian performance artist Stephen Skrynka and his lifelong obsession with the ‘Wall of Death’. This obsession leads him to training and performing with renowned wall rider Ken Fox and, in turn, to discovering the story of Longford men Michael Donohoe and Connie Kiernan. In 1979, Connie and Michael had constructed a ramshackle ‘Wall of Death’ on their farm outside Granard, inspiring the much-loved feature film Eat the Peach. Now, forty years on, Skrynka has appeared in Granard and presented them with an audacious proposal: construct a new ‘Wall of Death’ and fulfil their dream of performing for the public. Unlikely as it may seem, construction is starting on the wall and Connie and Michael, now in their sixties, are getting ready to ride again.
€50,000 was offered to Underground Films for Angeliki Aristomenopoulou and Andreas Apostolidis’s Once in a Lifetime. The film explores the continent through the lens of the Erasmus mobility program, to offer a timely portrait of our past, present and future. The documentary captures the journey of five Europeans who leave the comfort zone of their country, to prove to themselves that they can survive in a foreign environment, overcoming their fears and adapting to different educational systems, cultures and mentalities. In parallel, we meet the first generation of Erasmus graduates (1987-1997) who help us understand how Europe has evolved in the last 30 years. The film is produced by Anemon Productions (Greece) in co-production with Seppia (France) & Underground (Ireland).
Five Provisional Offers of Commitment were made to Inland Films for Tadhg O’Sullivan’s To the Moon; to Bandit Films for Johnny Gogan’s Prisoners of the Moon; to Underground Films for Kim Bartley’s Pure Grit; to Gambit Pictures for Gary Lennon’s Piano Dreams; and to Wildfire Films for Alan Gilsenan and John Gormley’s Suds: The Father of Globalisation.
Quarter Two 2018
Words: Niall Murphy
38 CinÉireann / Issue 9