McMahon pic has five noms at Irish awards

LONDON — Studiocanal has acquired U.K. and Irish rights to helmer-scribe Terry McMahon’s controversial “Charlie Casanova,” which has five nominations at the Irish Film & TV Awards including best film.

The self-financed, no-budget drama stars Emmett J. Scanlan as a sociopathic Irish yuppie who kills a girl in a hit-and-run accident and then uses playing cards to decide his fate.

It world preemed at South by Southwest Film Festival last year, before winning the prize for best first feature at the Galway Film Festival. Studiocanal plans to release the pic this spring.

The movie has provoked fiercely divided response from critics and audiences. “It sets out to viscerally provoke as many questions as possible, and answer none of them,” said McMahon, a former actor who also wrote for Irish TV soap “Fair City.”

He paid for the 11-day shoot out of his own pocket after recruiting cast and crew via Facebook. Dublin facilities house Windmill Lane provided post-production services for free.

McMahon said he was “shocked and very pleasantly surprised” by the IFTA nominations, which included best film, director, script, editing and a Rising Star nod for Scanlan. The winners will be announced Feb. 10.

“It is inspiring to see IFTA and its members show the moral and esthetic courage to support a film as independently divisive as ‘Charlie Casanova,’ ” he said.

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