EXCLUSIVE: Irish Film Board to back productions including Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture and Tomato Red.

The Irish Film Board is to back productions from Juanita Wilson, Jim Sheridan, Julien Temple and Aisling Walsh in its latest round of funding decisions.

Noel Pearson (My Left Foot) is producing The Secret Scripture, which was announced in Berlin, with Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave attached, being sold by Voltage Pictures.

It has received this round’s biggest commitment of €600,000 ($820,000). In The Name Of The Father and My Left Foot’s Sheridan is now lined up to direct.

Johnny Ferguson’s adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s novel centres on the relationship between a 100-year-old woman who has been in a mental hospital for half her life and the psychiatrist who tries to understand why she is there. Production is due to get underway later this year.

Octagon Films production Tomato Red from writer-director Wilson (As If I Am Not There) has received a commitment of €500,000 ($680,000).

The adaptation of Winter’s Bone novelist Daniel Woodrell’s story is a drama set among the Ozark community in the US.

Parallel Films’ Maudie from director Walsh (Song For A Raggy Boy) is to get €250,000 ($340,000). Sally Hawkins is attached to star in the romance about a disfigured Nova Scotia woman who works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist.

Other projects to receive significant production backing include Virginia Gilbert’s Helen, Paul Mercier’s Pursuit, Blinder Films’ Perish and TV series Ripper Street.

Docs to receive €100,000 ($140,000) or more in production support include Temple’s The Strypes from Parallel Films, and Fastnet Films duo Jihad Jane: Dangerously Seeking Marriage andZato.

Development commitments include The Virgin Of Las Vegas from Good Vibrations directors Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa, and John Butler’s Devil.