ld Actress and the Aw

in Here is your first Forum Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:52 am
by lluggg575 • 5 Posts

Big budget film productions could be on way back to Ireland

THE news that two major films may begin production here in the near future has again focused an international gaze on Ireland's film industry and the possibility of big budget blockbusters returning to these shores once more.

The success of starring Daniel Day Lewis, above has meant that the prospects of a Spielberg directed biopic of the Liberator, Daniel O has moved a step closer

By John Daly

Oscar winning film director Steven Spielberg has expressed an interest in reforming his successful partnership with triple best actor winner Daniel Day Lewis on a film about Daniel O'Connell. Discussions on the project, provisionally entitled The Liberator, are well extended according to Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan.

"Nothing is certain, but the success of Lincoln makes a stronger case as it would have an international appeal given O'Connell's role in the anti slavery campaign as well as in both Jewish and Catholic emancipations," said Mr Deenihan.

At a summer school gathering at Daniel O'Connell's home in Derrynane, historian John A Murphy underlined the historic importance of this great Irish legend. "Official Ireland has never adequately recognised its debt to Daniel O'Connell, it is the glorifiers of physical force nationalism who are always celebrated by the State and not the architects of constitutional democracy," said Prof Murphy.

Some locations in Ireland may also play a part in the next James Bond film, due to start shooting around the world in 2015.

Logan, whose film credits include Gladiator and The Aviator, attended a recent Institute of Directors gathering with Barbara Broccoli, whose family have owned the Bond franchise for over 50 years.

"Ireland is gorgeous, I'd love to come here and make a Bond film," said Broccoli, who is currently working with the Once director John Carney on another film project to be shot in Ireland.

"I hope we will come here to film whether it is a Bond or another story," she added.

A film franchise whose trademark is exotic worldwide locations, and whose last film, Skyfall, took well over 1bn at the box office, even a minor role in the next Bond movie would guarantee a huge global exposure for Ireland.

The success of Irish actors such as Michael Fassbender at the Emmys and Golden Globes also keeps Ireland at the top of film producers' minds

In 2012, the Irish Film Industry had a turnover of over 500m and employed 6,500 people in full time jobs an increase of 20% since 2008. The industry has grown significantly over the last decade and was recently described in Variety as "now achieving a critical mass of talent to match the kind of influence, disproportionate to its small size, that the country has always enjoyed in the fields of literature and theatre".

Irish films now regularly feature at international award ceremonies especially at the Academy Awards where films such as Once and Six Shooter recently won Oscars.

Similarly, The Wind That Shakes The Barley won the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival; Bloody Sunday garnered the Golden Bear in Berlin; and The Magdalene Sisters came out on top to Bradley Roby Jersey take the Golden Lion in Venice.

In addition, acting talent such as Colin Farrell, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson, Eileen Walsh, Ciaran Hynes, and Michael Fassbender are frequent success stories at the Emmys and Golden Globes as well as Irish and British TV and film awards.

In terms of attracting overseas productions, Ireland continues to punch above its weight in a very competitive global market, and has played host to a number of very successful international productions over the years such as Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, Michael Collins, Harry Potter, PS I Love You and Leap Year.

Conleth Hill will be turning his attention from playing Varys in 'Game of Thrones' to reprising his role in 'Stones in his Pockets'.

2013 is already shaping up as one of the bigger years for productions around the country led by Stones in his Pockets, the Kerry set play by Belfast playwright Marie Jones, being adapted for the screen. Starring Game of Thrones actor Conleth Hill and Boyzone singer Ronan Keating, the screenplay has been written by Jones, and her husband Ian McElhinney will direct. Filming will take place in Leitrim and Antrim on a budget estimated at 3m.

Hill, one of the lead roles in the stage version, will again reprise his character for the film. The plot of Stones in His Pockets follows Jake Quinn and Charlie Conlon, who are employed as extras in a movie being shot in Kerry, when tragedy strikes the set. Hill won an Olivier award for Best Actor in 2001 for his stage performance after a successful run in the West End and Broadway.

Penny Dreadful, Oscar winner John Logan's new Victorian psychosexual horror series, is currently filming at Ardmore Studios until Mar 2014.

Victor Treadaway will star alongside Saoirse Ronan and Bill Murray in a series featuring the origins of some of horror literature's most famous characters with recent cast additions including Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Billie Piper and Rory Kinnear. Room was shortlisted for the Man Booker, Orange, and Commonwealth Prizes; sold 2.5m copies in English and appeared in 35 other languages around the world. Abrahamson has just finished production on Frank, a quirky adventure in which the central character, played by Kerry born actor Michael Fassbender, whose character wears a giant model head hiding his face in the film. It also stars Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Mrs Brown's Boys, comedian Brendan O'Carroll's IFTA Bafta winning comedy series about a foul mouthed Irish matriarch and her clan, just completed principal photography on its feature film debut on Dublin's Moore St. Mrs Brown's Boys: D'Movie filmed in Ireland before heading to the UK, with early scenes featuring Irish comedian June Rodgers and actor Simon Delaney in a cameo appearances.

Jimmy's Hall, written and directed by The Wind the Shakes the Barley team, Paul Laverty and Ken Loach, started principal photography last August in Leitrim and Sligo for an expected cinema release in 2014. The cast features Barry Ward and Simone Kirby in the lead roles, and includes Jim Norton, Bran O'Byrne, Andrew Scott and Sorcha Fox. The film is set in 1932 and follows events when Jimmy returned from a decade in New York to open his ballroom of romance.

The Vikings returned to Ireland earlier this year to film a second season in Wicklow and Dublin. Following the massive success of The Tudors, this is an international co production between Ireland and Canada, and was developed and produced by Irish producers Morgan O'Sullivan and James Flynn's company Octagon Films, bringing the series to a global audience. About 8.3m total viewers watched the series premiere when it was broadcast on the History Channel. Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, played by Travis Fimmel, a man constantly seeking new worlds to conquer, but against the wishes of his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson, played by Gabriel Byrne. The first series contributed an estimated 20m to the Irish economy in terms of spend on local goods and services.

Part of the new generation of Irish actors making an early global impact, Irish actress Ella Connolly won two awards for Eliot Me at the 12th China International Children's Film Festival: the International Jury Award for Best Performance by a Child Actress and the Award for the Children's Favourite Child Performer. The international jury and singled out Connolly's performance as "compelling and authentic, with a naturalness rare in child acting".

The festival, the biggest of its kind in China, is held every two years. More than 500,000 children watched the films in the weeks leading up to the festival, with Eliot Me the first Irish film to be selected for the festival and the only English language film screened in the competition.

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