Niland wasn’t long out of college when she joined veteran producer David Collins at Samson, where her role is to nurture new writers and directors through shorts and into features. She has already amassed an impressive list of credits, including Karl Golden’s debut “The Honeymooners,” Perry Ogden’s debut “Pavee Lackeen” and John Carney’s Sundance-winning debut “Once.” Upcoming projects include Golden’s “The Cat’s Tale”; Carney’s “Off Season”; and “Eden,” the screenwriting debut of hot stage and TV scribe Eugene O’Brien, to be directed by another rookie, Declan Recks.
Katie Holly, Kieron J. Walsh and Richie Smyth
Walsh is an experienced film and TV director whose credits include “When Brendan Met Trudy.” Smyth is a young promo helmer. They tapped development exec Holly from Treasure Entertainment to launch their new film and TV production company last March. Their focus is on projects generated either by Walsh, Smyth or other directors — such as Ciaran Foy, a graduate of the Dun Laoghaire film school, who’s prepping his debut “Citadel,” a low-budget chiller, for the company. Other upcoming projects include Smyth’s revenge thriller “Slice” and French co-production “Bad Guys,” a heist comedy Walsh will direct from a script by Gallic producer Jean-Pierre Alessandri.
Jackie Larkin andLesley McKimm
TV producer Larkin created Newgrange in 2005, then merged it last year with McKimm’s Comet Films. Their first movie, now in post-production, is “Kings,” billed as Ireland’s first bilingual feature. Next up is wedding comedy “Happy Ever Afters,” written and directed by Stephen Burke, and “Stella Days,” described as an Irish “Cinema Paradiso” set in the 1950s, to be directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan and starring Martin Sheen.
Paul Young and Tomm Moore
Animators Tomm Moore and Paul Young founded Cartoon Saloon, based in rural Kilkenny,fresh out of college in 1998. The company has had success with commercials and the TV strand “Skunk Fu!” but now its major focus is on completing its debut movie, “Brendan and the Secret of Kells,” directed by Moore, for delivery in 2008.
Safinez Bousbia and Heidi Egger
Egger is an Australian who came to Dublin six years ago for a holiday and never left. Bousbia is an Algerian by birth, raised in both France and the United Arab Emirates, who ended up doing her master’s in Dublin. On a trip to Algeria, she stumbled across the remarkable story of a multiethnic group of musicians from the Algiers Casbah who were scattered to the winds 50 years ago by the Algerian revolution. She determined to track them down and reunite them for a documentary, which Egger joined her to make. The result, titled “El Gusto,” has evolved into a multimedia project, akin to “Buena Vista Social Club,” including live tours, albums and, of course, the movie. They also are developing several other features, including a doc on the Egyptian trance music linked to a matriarchal Sufi cult, and a drama titled “Nollywood Paradiso,” about the Nigerian film biz.