Source: Altitude

‘Calm With Horses’

To Hell Or Hibernia, a dark period comedy, and Trace, a drama about two female police officers tracking a suspected serial killer, are the first features to receive development funding from Ireland’s new regional Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP). 

Developed by Mayo-based production company Hardy Films and written by Mike Cockayne and Vincent Cleghorne, To Hell Or Hibernia is about two convicts who attempt to flee their captors. Trace is being developed by Galway-based production company Magamedia and written by Ray Lawlor, 

WRAP is an initiative of Ireland’s Western Development Commission and the Galway Film Centre and was launched to stimulate production activity in the region in late 2017. It is investing a total €2m in the sector until 2020.

In addition to the unspecifed level of development support, WRAP has invested approximately €500,000 across five features in production. They include Matt Bissonnette’s Irish-Canadian co-production Death Of A Ladies Man, starring Gabriel Byrne and Brian Gleeson, which is now filming in Canada with further production to follow in Galway. The project is being co-produced by Ireland’s Cohen Productions, Port Pictures and Canada’s Corey Marr Productions, DCP Mystery Arts and MCP Productions. The film is inspired by the work of Leonard Cohen and features many of his songs, with Byrne starring as a colourful university professor looking for answers in his life.

Further projects to receive production backing include Phil Sheerin’s The Winter Lake, a psychological thriller co-produced by Ireland’s Winter Lake Productions and Tailored Films with Canada’s EMA Films. It recently completed production in Sligo. Backed by Screen Ireland, The Winter Lake is about a withdrawn teenager who makes a terrifying discovery.

Ciaran Cassidy‘s Screamers is a feature documentary about a radical female-fronted commune based in Ireland’s north west for over four decades. It is being produced by Ireland’s Dot Television, Marcie Films and Littlewing and is now in pre-production.

Nick Rowland’s Calm With Horses, co-financed by the UK’s Film 4 with CWH Productions, DMC Film and Ireland’s Element Pictures, also received production support from WRAP. Now in post, it shot for several weeks in the rural west of Ireland. Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar star in the film about an ex-boxer who has become the feared enforcer for a local crime family while trying to be a father to his young autistic son.

Ooops! Back in the Deep End, an animated co-production from Galway-based Moetion Films, with Germany’s Ulysses Filmproduktion and Luxembourg’s Fabrique d’Images co-producing, is in production and is the final production to receive backing from WRAP in its first round of support. The animation is being directed by Sean McCormack and Toby Genkel.

These projects have already generated more than €4m in spend across the west of Ireland, according to WRAP. 

St John, a TV series about a man trying to escape his past, and Weekend, a comedy drama set in Donegal, and animated TV series The Wee Littles, also received development support.

“It is exciting to see the calibre of applications we are receiving,” said Sarah Dillon, development manager of the WRAP Fund. “This is reflective of the general standard over the last few years in Irish film, television and animation with Irish talent making its mark on a global stage at the world’s leading film festivals.”