“Adam and Paul,” a black comedy about two druggies adrift in Dublin, announced a major new filmmaking partnership between director Lenny Abrahamson and writer-actor Mark O’Halloran. “Garage” is their follow-up, and anticipation is huge to see whether this tragicomedy set in rural Ireland can deliver on the artistic promise of their debut. Veteran Irish comedian Pat Shortt stars as a gas station manager of limited intellectual capacity searching for love, acceptance and the best place to store his motor oil.
Production company: Element Films
Finance: Irish Film Board, Film4, RTE, Broadcasting Commission of Ireland
A bunch of American college students travel to Ireland to find out if the local magic mushrooms really are as potent as legend suggests. But their head-trip turns out to be a lot scarier than they bargained for. Paddy Breathnach directs this gleeful horror movie aimed squarely at the international marketplace. Pre-sold to 28 territories.
Production company: Treasure Entertainment
Finance: Ingenious Film Partners, IFB, Northern Ireland Film & TV Commission, TV3
Distribution: Capitol Films (worldwide sales), Buena Vista Intl. (Irish distribution)
“How About You?”
Director Anthony Byrne misfired with his macabre left-field debut “Short Order,” but he has moved firmly to the middle of the road with his second movie, “How About You,” an adaptation of a Maeve Binchy short story for veteran producer Noel Pearson. It’s the heartwarming, old-fashioned story of a young woman who has to spend Christmas looking after the cantankerous residents of an old-folks home, among them Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Fricker.
Production company: Ferndale
Funding: IFB, NIFTC, Prescience Film Finance, Lip Sync Prods, RTE
Sales: Bankside Films
“Tonight Is Canceled”
The debut of writer-director Brendan Grant, a Dublin-born graduate of the U.K.’s National Film & TV School, this semi-improvised movie is the story of an Irish filmmaker (played by Mark O’Halloran) who travels to Kosovo to re-enact a love story between a young man kidnapped during the war and the girl he left behind.
Production company: Fastnet Films
Funding: IFB, Kosovo Ministry of Culture
Billed as Ireland’s first bilingual movie, “Kings” is adapted by writer-director Tom Collins from Jimmy Murphy’s play “Kings of the Kilburn High Road.” It’s the tragic story of the Irish-speaking laborers who came to London in the 1970s with high hopes of making their fortune on building sites, but ended up living in seedy one-room apartments and drowning in drink, never at home in the big city but never able to return to Ireland. Stars Colm Meaney.
Production company: Newgrange Pictures
Funding: IFB, Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, NIFTC, Gaelic broadcaster TG4, Irish Language Broadcast Fund
Sales: High Point Films
Directed by Marian Quinn and starring Aidan Quinn, “32A” is a coming-of-age comedy about a 13-year-old girl obsessed with breasts (hers and other women’s), bra size (hence the title) and boys.
Production company: Janey Films
Funding: IFB, BCI, RTE, and German regional funds MBB and MDM
Sales: Beta Cinema
“Small Engine Repair”
Iain Glen and Steven Mackintosh star in Niall Heery’s award-winning debut, a country-music-flavored dramedy about a small town loser with aspirations to be a singer. Despite a warm reception at the Galway fest last summer and several Irish Film Award nominations, it has taken a long time to find distribution.
Production company: Subotica
Funding: IFB, NIFTC