By Shelley Marsden
The Irish feature films Calvary and Frank will have their world premieres at the US indie festival Sundance Film Festival, in January 2014.
Irish stars featured in the films include Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Domhnall Gleeson, Aidan Gillen and Killian Scott.
This year IFB-funded documentary The Summit and animated short film Irish Folk Furniture which won awards in 2013 will also take part.
Calvary, directed by John Michael McDonagh, is a blackly comic drama about a good priest tormented by his community. It is McDonagh’s follow-up to 2011’s The Guard and again stars Brendan Gleeson (Albert Nobbs, Studs), plus Chris O’Dowd (The Sapphires, Bridesmaids), Aidan Gillen (Mister John, Shadow Dancer), Dylan Moran (Good Vibrations, A Film with Me In It), Domhnall Gleeson (Sensation, Shadow Dancer) and Killian Scott (Good Vibrations, Black Ice). Calvary is produced by Octagon Films and was filmed in Sligo and Dublin.
Frank, directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul, What Richard Did) is a comedy about a wannabe musician who joins a band of eccentric pop stars led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank and his terrifying sidekick, Clara. It was written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and stars Michael Fassbender (Haywire, Shame), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight, Secretary) and Domhnall Gleeson (Sensation, Shadow Dancer). Frank is produced by Element Pictures and was filmed in Wicklow and Dublin.
James Hickey, Chief Executive, Irish Film Board said: “Irish film has performed very well at Sundance over the last number of years. Films such as The Guard, Once, His & Hers, and The Summit have all been discovered at the festival and have gone on from there to be distributed internationally.
“Both Frank and Calvary showcase the excellent work happening right now in the Irish industry and they include a world-class line-up of Irish stars including Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson. Chris O’Dowd, Domhnall Gleeson, Aidan Gillen & Killian Scott. It is a very positive start to 2014 for the industry and a great representation for Ireland internationally.”
In 2013, the IFB-funded documentary The Summit and short film Irish Folk Furniture screened at Sundance, where both picked up prizes — the Editing Award: World Cinema Documentary and the Short Film Jury Award for Animation respectively. The Summit was also snapped up by the major American distributor Sundance Selects during the 2013 festival and is currently on release in select Irish cinemas.