L.A.-based indie distributor Cinema Epoch has acquired U.S. rights to “Penance,” the English- and Irish-language movie about a priest confronting his past as a firebrand preacher who promoted violence against British rule in Northern Ireland.
Tom Collins helmed the picture, which is produced by his Derry-based De Facto Films and Edwina Forkin’s Zanzibar Films. Broadcaster TG4, The Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Screen, and the Irish Language Broadcast fund supported the project. Collins’ Gaelic-language movie, “Kings,” was Ireland’s first foreign-language entry to the Oscars in 2007.
Peter Coonan (“Love/Hate”) plays the priest whose youthful support for violent resistance across a divided Ireland catches up with him in later life. Barry Barnes (“71”) and Gerard McSorley (“Omagh”) also star.
London-based Starline Entertainment is handling worldwide sales of “Penance” and did the Cinema Epoch deal. Julie Delaney, Starline’s director of worldwide distribution, negotiated the agreement with Cinema Epoch president Gregory Hatanaka and said the L.A.-based indie distributor was “a perfect fit for ‘Penance.’”
Hatanaka added: “We’re immensely excited about giving viewers here in the U.S. the chance to experience this powerful movie by multi-award-winning Irish director Tom Collins and hope that today’s generation will learn from the tragic historical events depicted in the film.”