Irish Abroad: 8 Irish films to screen to buyers at the 2015 American Film Market

The American Film Market (AFM) has announced its full list of screenings, including 80 world and 324 market premieres, for the upcoming edition running November 4th to 11th in Santa Monica, California. Over 400 films are scheduled to be screened with more expected to be confirmed as the market approaches. So far there are eight Irish films screening for buyers: Mark Noonan’s You’re Ugly Too, Jerzy Skolimowski’s 11 Minutes, Michael Lennox’ A Patch of Fog, Corin Hardy’s The Hallow, Mary McGuckian’s The Price of Desire, Graham Cantwell’s The Callback Queen, Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy’s Traders, and Declan Recks’ The Truth Commissioner.

youre-ugly-too_imageYou’re Ugly Too stars Aiden Gillan and Lauren Kinsella, and focuses on a man who is released from prison on compassionate leave to care of his niece, after the death of her mother.

You’re Ugly Too was produced by John Keville and Conor Barry for Savage Productions and was filmed in counties Dublin and Offaly. The film was funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board. It recently completed a successful cinematic run via Element Pictures Distribution, and will soon be released on DVD and VOD.

11-minutes_image11 Minutes stars Richard Dormer (Good Vibrations, ’71, Game of Thrones) in the lead role of a film director. It follows the same 11 minutes in the lives of several different characters; young and old, prosperous and destitute. Some story elements surprisingly intertwine, others follow their own intricate rhythm. Some characters are shown just as they are about to make crucial life changing decisions, others are idly passing time, caught in the midst of their day?to?day routines. What they all have in common is an enigmatic sighting of the elusive dark spot, seen in the sky earlier that day, and the tragic chain of events that will seal their fate. What really caused it? Did all of them deserve it? Could any of them avoid it? What is the fabric of life? These lingering questions constitute the film’s underlying theme.

11 Minutes stars an ensemble of other Polish actors including Agata Buzek, Beata Tyszkiewicz and Mateusz Ko?ciukiewicz. It is produced by Ewa Piaskowska of Skopia Film and co-produced by Andrew Lowe and Ed Guiney of Element Pictures. The film received funding from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

a-patch-of-fog_imageA Patch of Fog is a psychological thriller about a celebrated novelist and television personality who finds his reputation on the line and his life invaded by a lonely security guard when caught shoplifting. The film stars Stephen Graham (Get Santa), Conleth Hill (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), Arsher Ali (Four Lions), and Ian McElhinney (Leap Year).

A Patch of Fog is the feature debut of Lennox, who was Academy Award nominated for his short film Boogaloo and Graham last year. The screenplay,  by Michael McCartney and John Cairns, was developed through Northern Ireland Screen’s New Talent Focus scheme. Robert Jones (The Hooligan Factory), Wayne Marc Godfrey (The Anomaly), and David Gilbery (X Moor) produce, with funding from the UK’s The Fyzz Facility, the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and the British Film Institute.

the-hallow_imageThe Hallow follows a London-based conservationist who moves to Ireland with his wife and baby, to survey an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground. He unwittingly disturbs a horde of terrifying beings and must fight to protect his family.

The film stars Joseph Mawle (Ripper Street), Bojana Novakovic (Edge of Darkness), Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones) and Michael Smiley (The World’s End). The Hallow was produced by Occupant Entertainment and Fantastic Films. It was funded by Prescience, Altus Media, Hyperion and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.


The Price of Desire focuses on the controversial story of how Swiss-French architect/designer/painter Le Corbusier effaced and defaced Eileen Gray’s moral right to be recognized as the author of her work, the modernist villa E-1027.

Orla Brady plays Gray, with Vincent Perez as Le Corbusier. Alanis Morissette and Francesco Scianna co-star. The film is a co-production between Ireland’s EG Film Productions and Belgium’s Saga Film, in association with Fabrica de Cine, Liberty Liquid Films, and Rush River Entertainment. Funding support comes from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Section 481, BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund, with the support of the Media Production Guarantee Fund and Audiovisual Aval S.G.R.

Photo by Anthony Bowes

The Callback Queen is a romantic comedy, which stars Amy-Joyce Hastings (The Tudors) and Mark Killeen (300: Rise of an Empire), the story sees Hastings play a vivacious Irish actress in the cut-throat London film industry, striving to land a role in an epic fantasy film, directed by Vincent Catalano (Killeen). This film within a film stars Irish actor Eoin Macken, who is currently starring as the lead in NBC army doctor series The Night Shift, which recently aired on RTÉ.

With Australian cinematographer Anthony Bowes behind the lens, the film was shot on location predominantly in London, with additional photography taking place in Snowdonia, Wales. It co-stars an array of recognisable British and Irish talents, notably Seán T. Ó Meallaigh (Charlie), Kate Braithwaite (Gravity), Vicki Michelle (‘Allo, ‘Allo), and Ger Ryan (Intermission). The score comes from two time Emmy nominated composer Joseph Conlan.  The Callback Queen is Cantwell’s second feature film as a director. Executive Producers were Stephen Gibson, Martin Carroll, and Martin Witts.

traders_imageTraders follows newly redundant Harry Fox who is approached by a former colleague with a new business proposition. Two people convert all their assets to cash, arrange to meet, dig one grave and fight to the death. Winner buries the loser and instantly doubles his value. Can he persuade Harry to become a “Trader”?

Murphy and Moriarty are working from their own script, with a cast that includes Killian Scott, John Bradley, Peter O’Meara, Nika McGuigan, Moe Dunford, and Barry Keoghan. Garage cinematographer Peter Robertson is DOP, with Rachel Lysaght, Stuart Switzer, and Libby Durdy producers. Traders is a COCO Television production, with funding from Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann.

the-truth-commissioner_roger-allamSet in a post-Troubles Northern Ireland, The Truth Commissioner follows the fictional story of Henry Stanfield, played by Roger Allam, a career diplomat who has just been appointed as Truth Commissioner to Northern Ireland. Eager to make good as a peacemaker, the Prime Minster urges a commission following the South African model of Truth and Reconciliation. But, though Stanfield starts bravely, he quickly uncovers some bloody and inconvenient truths about those now running the country; truths which none of those in power are prepared to have revealed.

The film stars Roger Allam (The Queen), Sean McGinley (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), Tom Goodman Hill (The Imitation Game), Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones), Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones), Brid Brennan (Shadow Dancer) and Barry Ward (Jimmy’s Hall). The film is directed by Declan Recks (Eden) and produced by David Collins (Once), Eoin O’Callaghan (Five Minutes of Heaven) and Kevin Jackson (Falling For a Dancer) for Big Fish Films and Samson Films. The Truth Commissioner is produced in association with Northern Ireland Screen, BBC Northern Ireland, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Other films with an Irish interest include Trepass Against Us, which stars Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Killian Scott, and Barry Keoghan; and Damascus Coverwhich stars Jonathan Rhys Myers in the lead role.

With 8,000 industry leaders from more than 80 countries, 700 screenings and the industry’s largest Conference Series, AFM is the pivotal destination for filmmakers, producers, writers, distributors, financiers, industry executives, talent, the international media and all those who provide services to the worldwide motion picture industry.