Cosmo Jarvis (Lady Macbeth), Barry Keoghan (The Killing Of A Sacred Deer) and Niamh Algar (The Drummer And The Keeper) will lead the cast of director Nick Rowland’s feature debut Calm With Horses for Michael Fassbender’s DMC Film.
Altitude Film Sales has boarded international rights and, through its distribution label, will partner with Element Pictures Distribution for the film’s release in the UK and Ireland.
Calm With Horses is based on a novella from the collection of award-winning short stories Young Skins by Irish writer Colin Barrett. Joe Murtagh has adapted the screenplay, his debut feature.
Set in rural Ireland, the film follows ex-boxer Arm who has become the feared enforcer of the drug-dealing Devers family while trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son. Torn between these two families, Arm is asked to kill for the first time, and his attempt to do the right thing endangers everyone he holds dear.
Shooting is due to get underway on May 14 across the counties of Galway and Clare in Ireland.
DMC Film, the production company founded by Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan, and producer Daniel Emmerson developed the project with Film4. DMC will co-produce with Irish outfit Element Pictures.
Emmerson is producing with Fassbender and McCaughan serving as executive producers for DMC. Further exec producers are Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe for Element Pictures, Sam Lavender and Daniel Battsek for Film4, Celine Haddad for the Irish Film Board and Sarah Dillon for the WRAP Fund. Element Pictures’ Rory Gilmartin will serve as co-producer along with Kate Glover.
Film4 is financing the production with the Irish Film Board and the newly announced Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP Fund).
Director Rowland’s previous work includes the Bafta and Bifa nominated short film Slap. He recently directed episodes of BBC drama Hard Sun and Amazon’s Ripper Street.
Shaheen Baig is handling casting. Key crew include director of photography Piers McGrail, production designer Damien Creagh, editor Nicolas Chaudeurge, costumer designer Sharon Long and composer David Holmes.
The project is a who’s who of former Screen Stars of Tomorrow. Actors Jarvis and Keoghan were Stars in 2013 and 2015 respectively, while director Rowland and screenwriter Murtagh were Stars in 2016, and producer Emmerson was in 2015.
Producer Daniel Emmerson said: “Everyone at DMC is very grateful for the incredible support from Film4, IFB, Element, Altitude and the WRAP fund in getting us to this point. We feel very lucky to have an amazing cast and crew working on the film, and can’t wait to get started.”
Mike Runagall from Altitude added: “Nick Rowland and Joseph Murtagh’s work has marked them out as exciting director and writer talent to watch and we are delighted to be working with them and our friends at DMC and Film4 to bring Calm With Horses to audiences worldwide.”
Altitude Film Sales is also heading to Cannes next month with Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney, to play at the festival as a midnight screening. The company’s current sales slate also includes Asif Kapadia’s Maradona, the Daniel Radcliffe-starring Guns Akimbo, James Erskine’s Billie Holiday project Billie, Brian Welsh’s Beats with Steven Soderbergh as an executive producer, and gothic drama Carmilla with Jessica Raine.
DMC’s slate includes dystopian London crime thriller The Kitchen, to be directed by Kibwe Tavares from a script by Daniel Kaluuya, who will also star in the project, and female bare-knuckle boxer story Gentle In The Bones, which will be written by Hayley Squires, who will also star.