Neil Jordan and Ronan Bennett project Fury receives IFB’s largest development grant in May funding round.

In its May round of fiction development funding the Irish Film Board (IFB) awarded its largest grants to new scripts from Neil Jordan and Ronan Bennett (Public Enemies) and Juanita Wilson (As If I Am Not There).

Jordan and Bennett’s script Fury, to be directed by Jordan, received a grant of €50,000. Still in its earliest stages, the script, described as part gangland thriller, part love story, charts the rise and fall of a young Irish traveller and reluctant gangster called Bunny Fury.

The film is currently on the development slate of local production outfit Octagon Films, whose co-founder Juanita Wilson was also awarded €50,000 for her adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s (Winter’s Bone) novel The Ones You Do, which Wilson is also attached to direct.

The Ones You Do tells the story of John X Shade, an ageing lothario, inveterate gambler and one-time pool hall king of The Deep South who is forced to go on the run with his ten-year-old daughter after his young wife steals the $50,000 he was minding for a local gangster.

Octagon comprises writer-director Wilson and producers James Flynn and Morgan O’Sullivan. Wilson and Flynn were both nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for their short film The Door.

Jordan, currently in pre-production on Number 9’s Byzantium, is also attached to the Number 9 - Little Wave Productions - Octagon Films feature Skippy Dies and Merlin Films’ Broken Dreams.

Funding has also gone to new projects from first time director Norah McGettigan for her debut The Sanctuary, an Ireland-Poland co-production, produced by Andrew Freedman (His and Hers), set to start shooting on Aug 2, and the second feature from Lance Daly (Kisses), Life’s A Breeze, scheduled to go into production later in the year.

IFB’s new CEO James Hickey told Screen: “Despite the difficult economic conditions in Ireland, Irish producers continue to raise international finance for their films and we are delighted to see a strong number of projects going into production over the next few months with a variety of our European co-production partners.

“It’s great to see talented Irish directors including Neil Jordan and Lance Daly continue to return to work in Ireland having completed major intermational features abroad. We also continue to support new, up and coming talent including Brendan Muldowney’s second feature [Love Eternal], a director who showed great promise with Savage and we look forward to Norah McGettigan’s debut feature with much anticipation.”

Further IFB-backed productions set for August shoots include Stephen Bradley’s France-Ireland co-production Wayfairing Strangers, Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Good Vibrations (Aug 15 start of shoot) and Germany-Ireland feature documentary Saving The Titanic (Aug 25 start). Ireland-Luxembourg co-production Love Eternal gets underway on Aug 22.

Among local prodcutions in post are Dollhouse by Kirsten Sheridan (August Rush) and The Rafters by John Carney (Once).