Archive for September, 2007

Festivals Ahoy

24th September 2007 by Maura McHugh

The Aspects of Irish Literature Festival will take place from the 26th of September – 30 of September in the North Down Museum in Bangor. It features readings, workshops, recitals, and discussions by Irish writers. Culture Northern Ireland will broadcast podcasts from the festival.

Also coming up is the 50th Dublin Theatre Festival, which runs from September 27 – October 14th, and will showcase a diverse range of theatre from international and Irish playwrights.

Knockout for Mahon

24th September 2007 by Maura McHugh

RTÉ reports that the Irish film Strength and Honour has won Best Picture and Best Actor (Michael Madsen) awards at the Boston Film Festival – the first time both awards have gone to the same feature in the festival’s history.

Written and directed by Cork filmmaker Mark Mahon, ‘Strength and Honour’ tells the story of an Irish-American boxer (Madsen) who promised his late wife he would never fight again having killed his friend in the ring.

However, when he discovers that his only son is dying of the same hereditary heart disorder that killed his wife, he is forced to go back on his promise and become a bare knuckle boxer in order to raise money for the boy’s life-saving surgery.

The film was shot in Cork over seven weeks last autumn and also stars Patrick Bergin, Richard Chamberlain and Vinnie Jones.

Commenting on his film’s festival success, director Mahon said: “This is a great honour. To win top awards at such a prestigious festival is surreal – competition was fierce this year with a large number of high profile titles competing.”

The Dream is Over

21st September 2007 by Maura McHugh

The LA Times reports that two years into the deal where Paramount bought out Dream Works SKG Steven Spielberg and David Geffen are not pleased with how the partnership is developing.

Smarting from seller’s remorse, the DreamWorks principals are expected to bolt late next year. Geffen has been telling people in Hollywood that he and Spielberg would look for a new backer and studio home as soon as they are free to do so.

Geffen plans to exercise an out in his contract that frees him to leave next year. If he exits, Spielberg has the right to follow him out the door. Stacey Snider, who runs DreamWorks, can walk if Spielberg departs.

Any breakup is sure to be messy for both sides. Spielberg is knee-deep in movie productions at the Melrose Avenue studio. He and his DreamWorks partners would be forced to leave behind hundreds of projects, including a planned movie version of Alice Sebold’s bestseller, “The Lovely Bones,” to be directed by Peter Jackson of “The Lord of the Rings” fame. Spielberg pursued that property for many years. They would also abandon key executives at DreamWorks as well as those they installed in senior positions at Paramount. .

I’m sure this news article is causing concern among producers and writers who have projects lined up in Paramount.

Final Call

21st September 2007 by Maura McHugh

Today is the last day for members of the IPSG to nominate work for the ZeBBies, the inaugural awards by the Guild that celebrate the best work in film, radio, television and theatre by Irish writers.

Each Guild member can nominate one project from each of the four categories. Nominations close today, at 5pm.

The short-list of nominations will be announced on Monday, the 8th of October.

Travelling Shorts

20th September 2007 by Maura McHugh

IFTN reports that the 10th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival will be travelling to Galway and Cork in the coming weeks as part of its world-wide journey to find the best film among its twelve finalists, which were selected from 456 entries received from 33 countries.

The short film festival will screen at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, on Sunday, September 30th at 3 pm, and the Cork Film Centre, Cork City on Sunday, September 30th at 8 pm. Tickets cost €7. It will be the end of a week-long tour of countries from as far apart as St. Petersburg, Russia and Buenos Aires, Argentina. 50,00 people are expected to see the films.

Filmgoers at every event are asked to vote for one film. The votes are forwarded to the festival’s headquarters where the winner will be announced at Union Square Park (NYC) on Sunday, September 30th at 9:15 pm. and posted on the web site by 10 pm.