Irish Film: Wildcard acquires Irish rights for Terry McMahon's Patrick's Day

Wildcard Distribution has announced that it has acquired the rights for award winning Irish feature film Patrick’s Day, from writer-director Terry McMahon.

The film, which is currently getting great attention in the US, will be released by Wildcard Distribution into Irish cinemas in early 2015. Before that Patrick’s Day will have a gala screening at the Cork Film Festival this November.

Speaking about the announcement, Terry McMahon said, “The ongoing international embrace of Patrick’s Day is beautiful but the perfect distributor for the Irish cinema release of Patrick’s Day is Wildcard. Their campaign for this film is brave, eclectic and smart and, most importantly for a film dealing with the taboo of intimacy and mental health, it will be all inclusive. Patrick’s Day is a bold, emotionally provocative, big screen movie and we can’t wait to screen it to Irish audiences.”

James Mullighan, Creative director of the Cork Film Festival added, “I am delighted and thrilled that Terry McMahon, Tim Palmer, Kerry Fox, and Moe Dunford will be able to present Patrick’s Day to Cork audiences during the Festival. This powerful and nuanced drama had me captivated within its first five minutes. It is a significant achievement in contemporary Irish filmmaking.”

Patrick’s Day has also just won the hightly coveted Directors Guild of America 2014 ‘Finders Series’ Award, and will be screened to an audience of industry insiders at the Directors Guild of America Theatre in Los Angeles this coming October 10th.

Starring Kerry Fox (Shallow Grave), Moe Dunford (Vikings), Catherine Walker (The Clinic), and Philip Jackson (My Week With Marilyn) Patrick’s Day is the story of a young man with mental health issues who becomes intimate with a suicidal air hostess only to have his obsessive mother enlist a dysfunctional cop to separate them.

Since premiering at the prestigious US festival SXSW in March Patrick’s Day has played to huge acclaim at festivals worldwide including Edinburgh and Shanghai, culminating in the film winning Best Irish Feature at the 2014 Galway Film Fleadh and further awards for Best Actor (Moe Dunford) and Best Screenplay (Terry McMahon) at Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Festival in Michigan, U.S.A.

On top of screening at the renowned Mill Valley Film Festival in California next week, Patrick’s Day is also one of just eight films selected for competition the following week at the renowned Woodstock Film Festival under a jury chaired by the legendary cinematographer Haskel Wexler (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, In the Heat of the Night – and McMahon’s favourite movie of all time – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).

The film has drawn praise from critics and filmmakers alike, including:

“Very moving. Big emotions. Brilliant acting. The film that I cried most at Edinburgh Film Festival.” – Mark Cousins

“…a heartbreaking sadness…flawless performances…the most emotionally-conflicting cinema moments I’ve experienced in recent years.” – Kevin Matthews Flickfeast

“…an unsettling phantasmagoria whose very oddness is hard to resist. I recommend Patrick’s Day with some enthusiasm.” – Donald Clarke The Irish Times

“…brilliant writing and cinematography…full of delicate twists, irony, allure and heartbreak…an eloquent, unforgettable film that electrifies.” – Pollyanna McIntosh Crave Magazine

“…a staggeringly beautiful film. It is truly one that must be seen to be believed.” – Conor Fleming Film Ireland

“The emotional intensity of his work is unlike anything I have ever seen out of Ireland before…one of the most insightful and unrelenting directors Ireland has produced in a generation.” – Cahir O’Doherty The Irish Voice

“A stunning and shattering piece of work with a profound sense of truth to it.” – Nicholas Roeg

Patrick’s Day was produced by Tim Palmer (A Love Divided, The Last of the High Kings, Into the West) and Rachel Lysaght (Dreams of a Life, The Pipe, One Million Dubliners) for Ignition Film Productions with support from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

A provocative love story about mental health and the right to intimacy, Patrick’s Day suggests that when it comes to love, we are all more than a little crazy. Professor emeritus of psychiatry at University College Dublin and former chief psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board, Ivor Brown sums it up :

“By any stretch of the imagination Terry McMahon’s Patrick’s Day is a powerful, brilliantly written and directed film. Moe Dunford is wonderful, as is Kerry Fox, and the other actors are also excellent but this is more than a creative work of cinema. It is not fiction. It is absolutely true to life. In my fifty years as a psychiatrist, and in the practice of psychotherapy, I have had to deal with family situations exactly like this. I feel it is vital that Patrick’s Day should be shown to as wide a public as possible. This film is an extremely valuable piece of work that will have a major impact on people’s understanding of the nature of psychotic breakdown and indeed of psychiatric illness generally.”