Irish Abroad: The Lobster and High-Rise added to Fantastic Fest slate

Fantastic Fest has unveiled its second wave of films for the 2015 edition of the acclaimed Texan festival. This wave includes the US Premiere of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster as the opening night film, and a screening of Ben Wheatley’s Northern Irish filmed High-Rise.

Yorgos Lanthimos’s critically acclaimed Irish co-production The Lobster is a love story set in the near future where single people, according to the rules of The City, are arrested and transferred to The Hotel.  There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days.  If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods.  A desperate Man escapes from The Hotel to The Woods where The Loners live and falls in love, although it is against their rules.

The film is the English language debut of Greek director Lanthimos, and stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz with a supporting cast including Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C.Reilly, Olivia Colman and Ashley Jensen. The Lobster is written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou and produced by Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey and Yorgos Lanthimos. Executive Producers are Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross and Sam Lavender with Isabel Davis as the lead executive for the BFI Film Fund. The film was developed by Element and Irish finance for the film came from the Irish Film Board with Rory Gilmartin as the lead executive for the IFB.

High-Rise centres on a new residential tower built on the eve of Thatcher’s England, at the site of what will soon become the world’s financial hub. Designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of the city, it is a world apart. Enter Robert Laing, a young doctor seduced by the high-rise and its creator, the visionary architect Anthony Royal. Laing discovers a world of complex loyalties, and also strikes up a relationship with Royal’s devoted aide Charlotte. But rot has set in beneath the flawless surface. Sensing discord amongst the tenants, Laing meets Wilder, a charismatic provocateur bent on inciting the situation. Wilder initiates Laing into the hidden life of the high-rise and Laing is shocked at what he sees. As the residents break into tribal factions, Laing finds himself in the middle of mounting violence. Violence that he also finds emerging in himself.

Filmed in Bangor, and directed by Ben Wheatley from a screenplay by his regular collaborator Amy Jump, High-Rise is an adaptation of JG Ballard’s classic British thriller, starring Tom Hiddleston in the lead. He is joined by Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss. The film is produced by Jeremy Thomas through his production company Recorded Picture Company, with funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund, supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

[quote title=”Tim League – Fantastic Fest, CEO/Founder”]This is a big year for genre cinema. We’re exceptionally proud to honour incredible filmmakers and welcome back some of Fantastic Fest’s favorites.[/quote]

Fantastic Fest 2015 takes place in Austin Texas from September 24th to October 1st.