Glasgow Film Festival

#IrishAbroad: Four more Irish films head to 13th Glasgow Film Festival

The Glasgow Film Festival has announced the full line-up for their 13th annual festival and added 4 Irish films in the process. Liam Gavin’s A Dark Song, Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture, Juanita Wilson’s Tomato Red, and Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name join the already-announced Handsome Devil (which opens the festival) and Lost in France.

A Dark Song - Catherine Walker and Steve Oram
A Dark Song

Liam Gavin’s feature debut A Dark Song follows Sophia, a young woman who insists on renting an old house in the remote countryside so that she can hire an occultist. She needs him to perform an ancient invocation ritual, the Abramelin, to summon up Sophia’s Guardian Angel so her wish can be granted. She wishes to talk to her murdered child, a desire that consumes her.

A Dark Song features Patrick’s Day star Catherine Walker in the lead, with Sightseers‘ Steve Oram as the occulist hired in to help her. Frank star Mark Huberman and Poison Pen‘s Susan Loughnane offer strong support. It was was filmed in locations around Dublin and Wicklow in the summer of 2015. Viva cinematographer Cathal Watters shot the film, with Connor Dennison as production designer. Bowsie Workshop assisted on the practical effects.

Post-production took place at Windmill Lane Pictures with editor Anna Maria O’Flanagan and Patrick’s Day composer Ray Harman. David Collins and Cormac Fox produce for Samson Films, with Tim Dennison producing for UK production company Tall Man Films. Funding comes via the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann and Ffilm Cymru Wales.

A Dark Song plays at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Thursday, February 23rd at 20.20 and on Friday, February 24th at 13.00.

The Secret Scripture
The Secret Scripture

Six-time Academy Award nominated Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan’s latest film is The Secret Scripture. The film, which is an adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s 2008 Man Booker Prize nominated novel of the same name, is the story of a one-hundred-year-old woman, Roseanne McNulty, who now residing in Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital decides to write her autobiography. Lady Rose is an elderly woman who has lived in a hospital for 40 years. Despite her bleak surroundings there is a light in her eyes that cannot be extinguished. Dr Greene is drawn to her, compelled to discover her past and gain her freedom. Through her scripture we reveal a life of extraordinary love, great injustice and a remarkable young woman of courage whose only crime was to fall in love yet she survives the system’s brutal violations. Set against a backdrop of troubled times locally and chaos internationally we learn of her ultimate triumph.

US star Rooney Mara plays the younger Rose, with screen legend Vanessa Redgrave playing her in her older years. These are supported by Australian actor Eric Bana, and rising UK star Theo James, as well as Irish stars Jack Reynor, Aidan Turner, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.

Six-time Academy Award nominee Sheridan co-wrote the screenplay with the late Johnny Ferguson. Director of photography Mikhail Krichman worked on the brilliant Russian film Leviathan, and composer Brian Byrne has previously worked with Sheridan on In America. It is edited by Dermot Diskin (Wake Wood, Moscow Never Sleeps), with production design by Derek Wallace (Good Vibrations, The Sea). The Secret Scripture, which is produced by Noel Pearson and Rob Quigley for Ferndale Films in association with Voltage Pictures, is financed by the Irish Film Board, the Ingenious Senior Film Fund, Apollo Media, and the European Media Fund.

The Secret Scripture plays at Cineworld on Wednesday, February 22nd at 20.30 and on Thursday, February 23rd at 13.00.

Tomato Red
Tomato Red

Directed by Juanita Wilson (As If I’m Not There), Tomato Red is based on the acclaimed novel by Daniel Woodrell (Winter’s Bone) and follows the story of small-town drifter Sammy Barlach on his search for his next cold beer and the bunch that’ll have him. When he meets the red-haired Jamalee and her beautiful brother Jason, his life is opened up in ways he could never have imagined. Happy to have a home at last, Sammy finds his life opening up in ways he could never have imagined. But this new life is torn apart by a sudden violent incident, leaving them crying out for justice and revenge. But what if your cries fall on deaf ears? How do you make yourself heard if you don’t have a voice? Finding themselves powerless against the forces of corruption and prejudice, the only thing Sammy has left to fight is the demons inside his own head.

The film stars Julia Garner as Jamalee, with Nick Rowe as her brother Jason, and Jake Weary as Sammy. British actress Anna Friel plays Jamalee and Jason’s mother, with Sean Tyson, Kurt Max Runte, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Trevor Lerner, and Scott A. McGillivray supporting.

Principal photography took place in British Columbia in Canada in summer 2015. Post-production took place at Screen Scene in Dublin, with Room editor Nathan Nugent. Cinematography is by the always excellent Piers McGrail, with a soundtrack from Kevin Murphy, Thomas Haugh, and Stephen Shannon. The film is produced by Elizabeth Gill and James Flynn of Metropolitan Films/Octagon Films, and Daniel Bekerman for Scythia Films. Financing comes via the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉirean, Take 5 Productions, and Screen Scene.

Tomato Red plays at Glasgow Film Theatre on Friday, February 24th at 20.30.

Without Name
Without Name

Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name is one of the three Irish Film Board-backed Catalyst projects from 2014, and follows a systematic land surveyor who loses his reason in a supernatural environment that defies all boundaries.

The film stars Alan McKenna, Niamh Algar, and James Browne as leads, as well as Morgan C. Jones, Olga Wehrly, Brendan Conroy, Bryan Quinn, Paul Ward, Donncha Crowley, Brandon Maher, Helen Roche, and Alan McNally. Director Lorcan Finnegan and writer Garret Shanley have previously collaborated on the award-winning short film Foxes which was selected for SXSW and the Tribeca Film Festival.

Cinematography comes from Piers McGrail (Glassland), with Tony Cranstoun as editor. Casting was by Thyrza Ging and Louise Kiely, with production design by Jeannie O’Brien, art direction by Mick Minogue, and costume design by Niamh Buckley. The film is produced by Finnegan and Brunella Cocchiglia Lovely Productions, with support from the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann.

Without Name plays at Glasgow Film Theatre on Saturday, February 18th at 23.15 and on Thursday, February 23rd at 23.00.

The 13th Glasgow Film Festival runs from February 15th to 26th.