#IrishAbroad: Big Irish contingent heads to 2016 Cannes Film Festival

A big Irish contingent is heading to the Croisette this year, with a number of Irish films screening and selling at the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film.

Seven Irish films will screen at the Marché for prospective buyers; Johnny O’Reilly’s Russian-language Moscow Never Sleeps, a multi-threaded-narrative set on Moscow City Day, the Russian capital’s holiday, and follows the lives of three people, a troubled businessman, a Soviet film star who has become an abandoned pensioner, and a singer searching for her true self; Billy O’Brien’s dark drama I Am Not A Serial Killer, which follows a 15-year-old who is a diagnosed sociopath, and who is plagued by constant homicidal urges, living by a set of rules designed to keep his violent impulses in check; Pieter-Jan De Pue’s arresting documentary The Land of the Enlightened, which combines a child’s fantasy of the future with footage of the actual hardscrabble Afghan country that remains after decades of conflict; Simon Dixon’s Tiger Raid,  which sees two mercenaries journey across the desert while undertaking a kidnapping in Iraq; Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship, an adaptation of the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan, an early complete work that Austen never submitted for publication, that describes the schemes of the main character, the widowed Lady Susan, as she seeks a new husband for herself and one for her daughter; Rebecca Daly’s rich drama Mammal, the compelling story of a woman who has lost her son and develops an unorthodox relationship with a homeless youth; and John Moore’s I.T., which sees a successful businessman, who was once a thug in his youth but has since changed his ways, discover that his company’s new I.T. employee is actually a dangerous madman who’s out to destroy him and his family.

A number of Irish production and co-productions will be represented at the Marché. These include Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s North-Atlantic resources documentary Atlantic, Nora Twomey and Cartoon Saloon’s new animated feature The Breadwinner, Seán Ó Cualáin’s Sheffield-bound motor-racing documentary Crash and Burn, Darren Thornton’s comedy A Date for Mad Mary, Emer Reynolds’ documentary The Farthest, John Butler’s comedy Handsome Devil, Frankie Fenton’s Simon Fitzmaurice documentary It’s Not Yet Dark, Niall McCann’s documentary Lost In France, Robert Manson’s award-winning drama Lost In The Living, Colm Quinn’s Sheffield-bound Mattress Mick documentary Mattress Men, Philip John’s coming-of-age drama Moon Dogs, Alex Fegan’s heart-warming documentary Older Than Ireland, Conor Horgan’s brilliant documentary The Queen of Ireland, Len Collins’ eagerly-anticipated comedy-drama Sanctuary, Juanita Wilson’s exciting drama Tomato Red, and Peter Foott’s bonkers-looking The Young Offenders.

These will be joined by more Irish films that will be attempting to make international distribution deals, including: Jerzy Skolimowski’s thriller 11 Minutes, Brendan J. Byrne’s documentary Sheffield-bound Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Gerard Barrett’s drama Brain On Fire, David Keating’s horror Cherry Tree, Liam Gavin’s horror A Dark Song, Fiona Tan’s dystopian History’s Future, Martin Stalker’s docu-drama Hostage to the Devil, Eric Poppe’s war-time drama The King’s Choice, Nils Gaup’s Norwegian co-production The Last King, Aisling Walsh’s Canadian co-produced drama Maudie, Stephen Burke’s prison-thriller Maze, Ken Wardrop’s IFTA award-winning documentary Mom and Me, Simon Fitzmaurice’s beautiful road-trip drama My Name is Emily, Brendan Muldowney’s epic Pilgrimage, Dennis Bartok’s horror POV, Jim Sheridan’s historical drama The Secret Scripture, John Carney’s wondrous musical-drama Sing Street, Alan Gilsenan’s Canadian co-produced drama Unless, Paddy Breathnach’s breath-taking Spanish-language drama Viva,and Lorcan Finnegan’s feature debut Without Name.

23 Irish short films will play at the Cannes Short Film Corner, which this year had 5,008 submissions. These are Neolithic Patchwork Quilt from director Paul Heary, Mother’s Milk And Cookies from director Conan Mcivor, Limoncello from director Alessandro Dioguardi, Grace from director Jack Walsh, Dancing In The Dark from director Steven Mac Sweeney, Tiger Tiger from director Donnagh Fitzpatrick, Scare from director Jake Morgan, My Uncle from director Yvonne McDevitt, A Terrible Hullabaloo from director Ben O’Connor, The Will from director Liam O Mochain, The Cheese Box from director Paddy Murphy , The Break from directors Ken Williams & Denis Fitzpatrick, Nathifa from director Fiadh Melina Kyriakopoulou Brosnan , Heads Or Tails from director Luke Morgan, Pebbles from director Shaw Jonathan, Leave from director Mike Hayes, Fat Freddie’s Drop from director Alan Markey, Safe from director Stephen Hall, Rí Thoraí from director Eoin Mclaughlin, The Pigman from directors Rik Gordon & Sarah Laura Hauenstein, Jewels from director Trevor Courtney, Breathe from director James Doherty, and A Beautiful Death from director Patrick Mcdermott

On the industry front the festival will see an influx of Irish film figures, with over 120 heading to the south French coast. These will be backed up by the Irish Film Board’s Irish Pavillion, which this year has a new home in the International Village, at Number 131, International Village, in a central location beside the USA Pavilion and across from the Palais.