Archive for February, 2008

McDonagh Interview

29th February 2008 by Maura McHugh

In today’s Irish Times Donald Clarke interviews playwright, screenwriter, and director Martin McDonagh about his career, writing, and his new film In Bruges.

Spanish Films in March

29th February 2008 by Maura McHugh

The Campo Viejo Spanish Film Festival will be taking place in the IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin from 19-30 March, 2008.

This year’s event sees new releases from actors-turned-directors Antonio Banderas (Summer Rain/El Camino de los Ingleses) and Gael García Bernal (Déficit), Icíar Bollaín (Mataharis), and much anticipated new work from directors Julio Medem and Jaime Rosales.

We are also fortunate with the timing of the festival to coincide with the cinema release of Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Orpanage (El Orfanato), from the Pan’s Labyrinth stable. It will be screening every day of the festival.

Newcomers that we’d like to recommend in particular to audiences in Ireland are Uraguay’s Rodrigo Plá (The Zone), Argentinian Lucía Puenzo (XXY) and Mexicans duo Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán (Cochochi).

Arts & Culture Plan 2008

28th February 2008 by Maura McHugh

Last week the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Séamus Brennan T.D., announced the Arts and Culture Plan 2008.

It commits an additional €40m in funding for arts and culture infrastructure projects around Ireland, restores the Heritage Fund for the acquisition of works of artistic and cultural significance, extends and allows more flexible opening hours at national museums, cultural venues, galleries and libraries, and doubles the funding for national touring programmes to bring drama and cultural events to a wider audience.

Another initiative that will be the launched is a new National Cultural Day, which will begin in 2009, during which admission prices will be removed or reduced for events at publicly funded organisations.

The Department will also examine ways “to develop and expand the Irish film industry to be assessed as part of the renewal and enhancement of the Section 481 Tax Relief scheme, which in 2007 was worth €36 million in investment to the industry.”

Minister Brennan said that investment of this scale of taxpayers money must have as a priority increasing access to arts, culture and creativity for many more of our people, regardless of age, background or nationality.

“The challenge for all of us is to build on the progress that has been made in this area and to identify new and imaginative routes that will open up more and more opportunities to involve those who, for whatever reason, may feel excluded”, the Minister said.

Strike Over

27th February 2008 by Maura McHugh

The Presidents of the WGA East and West have written to their members to declare the Screenwriters’ Strike officially over.

Today, it is our pleasure to inform you that members of the Writers Guilds of America, East and West, have voted to ratify the MBA contract with 93.6% approval. With a total of 4,060 votes cast, the tally was 3,802 to 258. These numbers reaffirm the tremendous level of support and commitment our membership has continuously demonstrated over these last few crucial months.

NIS Supports Features

27th February 2008 by Maura McHugh

IFTN reports that Northern Ireland Screen is providing a cash injection to a slew of Irish film projects.

Supported by Invest NI and following the success and investment brought into Northern Ireland from last year’s big budget Hollywood production ‘City of Ember’, NIS will support several low-budget films from newly launched production company Generator Entertainment. Set up by producers Simon Bosanquet (Ripley’s Game, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers) and Mark Huffam (Mickybo & Me, Mamma Mia), Generator plans to undertake five film projects, four of which would shoot in Northern Ireland in the first half of this year.

‘Red Mist’, directed by Paddy Breathnach (Shrooms, Man About Dog) and written by Northern Irish writer Spencer Wright, is the first film on the slate and will receive £247,737 in funding. Set in an American teaching hospital, filming began on location in Northern Ireland on February 4th the film, with Belfast-based Michael Kelly co-producing.

Next in line for a cash boost is ‘Chatakwa Falls’, written by Richard Crawford, which will begin filming at the end of April. The project will receive £192,623

Northern Ireland Screen will also give £250,000 to Green Park Films’ ‘Cherry Bomb’. Directed by Lisa Barros d’Sa and Glen Leyburn and written by Armagh man Daragh Caville (Middletown), the film follows a group of teenagers who embark on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars. ‘Cherry Bomb’ will shoot on location in Northern Ireland and is produced by Belfast’s Michael Casey (Freeze Frame; Middletown; My Boy Jack).