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Advance Party Directors Announce New Rules For their Films

24th Feb 2009

The writer/directors taking part in Advance Party II which is backed by Scottish Screen, the Irish Film Board, Zentropa and the UK Film Council’s Development Fund have created the new rules for this development initiative, after a week long intensive directing workshop during the Berlin Film Festival. 

The directors selected to be involved in this important initiative include four Irish upcoming directors, Enda Hughes (Northern Ireland), Rory Bresnihan, Ciaran Foy (Ireland) Steph Green (Ireland/ U.S.A) along with Paul Wright, Adrian McDowall (Scotland), Esther May Campbell and Daniel Mulloy (England).

Commenting on the Advance Party initiative, Andrew Meehan IFB Development Executive said “First films are especially hard to position in the market-place; and Advance Party is a way of getting these filmmakers noticed. If you indentify the right talent, and encourage them to think creatively, and confidently, then you’re onto something. This initiative is being driven by the filmmakers themselves, which is all so rarely the case.”

The rules of the programme aim to inspire the directors to write their first feature film script.

Gillian Berrie, Producer, Sigma Films said “Rules imposed from ‘the outside-in’ can be daunting, but the eight filmmakers created these rules to push themselves and each other on, to signal a navigable route towards a first feature. Rule-making is mischievous, yes, but we all quickly realised that creating boundaries actually focuses rather than limits the creative process. And of course, it’s up to the individual filmmaker to transcend these boundaries, just as Andrea Arnold did, with the characters she was ‘given’ for Red Road.”
Tristan Orpen Lynch, Producer Subotica Films said “In doing this workshop we've created a close community of directors who will support each other as they enter into the feature film-making arena. They have been allowed a unique opportunity to analyse the mechanics of film making and define a set of rules to impose on their films, which will be critical to their success.”
Advance Party II (APII) builds on the success of Andrea Arnold's RED ROAD, and Morag McKinnon's forthcoming DONKEYS, which were produced under the innovative conditions of Advance Party I. Taking a lead from the competitive, creative community of the Dogme movement (which spawned films such as FESTEN and THE IDIOTS), Advance Party I imposed new rules on its filmmakers. These primarily concerned the use of a pool of pre-determined characters, which had to be played by the same actors in all the films.

The next stage of the process will entail each filmmaker setting out to complete their feature film which will incorporate all of the new Advance Party rules in some way into their scripts.
1.         Each film will be inspired by a location, a character and a secret supplied one of the other 8 film-makers and assigned at random 
2.         The film must contain no more than 8 characters
3.         The backbone of the story must be filmed sequentially
4.         The film's budget must be less than €1.5 million
5.         The stories must make the audience laugh, make them cry and give them an uplifting ending.
6.         The film, in some way, must end as it begins
7.         The script must be a maximum of 88 pages
8.         The film must be shot within an 8 mile radius


Rory Bresnihan
Rory's work is unique and striking in its visual story telling techniques and ranges from live-action to stop-frame animation and special effects. His latest short The Man Inside was commissioned under the IFB's flagship scheme, Signatures, which showcases live action filmmaking, encouraging strong, original storytelling and visual flair. His previous films include The Butterfly Collector and Guy's Dog, both of which won Best Short at the Cork Film Festival.

Ciarán Foy
A graduate of the National Film School of Ireland, many of Ciarán’s college films such as The Puppet, Wired 03:36, and 1902 are award winners and have been shown at festivals around the world. The Puppet represented Ireland at the 2002 Student Academy Awards in Los Angeles.  His latest short, The Faeries of Blackheath Woods has screened at over 35 festivals worldwide and won at festivals at Melbourne, Cork, Kerry, Brest France. It was also nominated for an IFTA and a Golden Méliès (European Fantasy Award).

Steph Green
Steph is an Irish-American writer/director.  Her short films and commercials have been featured in the Cannes Lions Young Director’s showcase, Young Guns Advertising Awards as well as noted film festivals around the world.  Her recent short, New Boy, has been shown at more than 20 international festivals and is nominated for an Academy Award. Steph has had the privilege of working with mentors such as Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay, Fredrik Bond and Alan Poul.

Enda Hughes
Born in Northern Ireland, Enda has written and directed award-winning short fiction films including Flying Saucer Rock n Roll and Samuel Beckett's Act Without Words II. His documentary subjects have ranged from director Mike Figgis to Irish rock group U2. Enda's work has garnered attention around the world at major film festivals including Sundance, AFI Fest and Venice Biennale.

Adrian McDowall
Scottish writer/director Adrian’s graduation film Who’s My Favourite Girl? was awarded a Best Short Film BAFTA and was included in the prestigious ‘Cinema 16, Best of British’ short film collection.  Adrian made three further shorts films in Scotland under schemes such as Cineworks and Tartan Shorts.   Recently he has been collaborating with the Scottish Documentary Institute on a series of alternative sports documentaries and has made One Track Mind, Slice, Ma Bar and Standing Start.  Ma Bar was awarded the BAFTA (Scotland) Award for Best Short film in 2008 and has just screened in competition at the Sundance Film Festival.

Daniel Mulloy
Daniel has won more than 60 international awards for his films and has become known for his auteur vision and his ability to achieve powerful performances his cast, most of whom are non-actors. His 2006 short, Antonio's Breakfast, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win his third BAFTA award.  In 2007 Daniel was the first British director to win an Imp at Les Lutins du court-métrage and his short films have won awards at Aspen, Kansas City, Newport, Brest, Sapporo and Melbourne International Film Festivals.

Paul Wright
Paul was named by Screen International as a ‘Star of Tomorrow, 2007’. After graduating from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, his first short Hikikomori won Best New Work at the Scottish BAFTAs.  Paul is currently in his final year of the directing programme at the National Film and Television School where he is the recipient of the ‘David Lean Scholarship’. He has recently completed production on an independently funded short film Believe.

Esther May Campbell
Named as a Screen International ‘Star of Tomorrow, 2008’, Esther’s latest short September is BAFTA nominated for Best Short Film and an Encounters Festival award winner.  Esther’s work is often noted for its compelling visual style and her fondness for outsider characters. She made three short films for the BBC’s teen website Slink and her other shorts include Delilah and Poppy.

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