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Irish Sci-Fi Feature Film ‘Last Days On Mars’ Selected For Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival

23rd Apr 2013

The debut feature film from Irish director Ruairí Robinson, LAST DAYS ON MARS, has been chosen for the prestigious Directors' Fortnight selection at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, which takes place next month from 15th-26th May.

LAST DAYS ON MARS which stars Liev Schrieber and Romola Garai tells the story of a group of astronaut explorers who succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.

Commenting on the news James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board (IFB) said "LAST DAYS ON MARS showcases the excellent creative skills of Ruairí Robinson as a director of a large-scale sci-fi movie. The IFB funded Ruairí's Oscar nominated short film ‘Fifty Percent Grey' in 2002 and we are delighted to see his debut feature film recognised at the world's most famous film festival, Cannes.

Irish genre producers Fantastic Films and Irish VFX post house Screen Scene have also done great work, on this film ensuring that the special effects work has been completed to a world class standard."

Director Ruairí Robinson said "Having my film selected for Directors' Fortnight is very exciting and a wonderful endorsement of the creative talents of my cast and crew. My head just exploded."

In a joint statement the Irish producers Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell said "Fantastic Films are delighted to have co-produced this creatively ambitious story. Ruairí Robinson has made a highly imaginative and darkly emotional film. At its heart, LAST DAYS ON MARS is a compelling character driven story of loyalty and betrayal and this makes it a unique sci-fi film and an impressive debut."

Shot by award winning Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan and scripted by Clive Dawson, LAST DAYS ON MARS was produced by Fantastic Films (Wakewood, Stitches) and Qwerty Films with finance from Bord Scannán hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB), the British Film Institute and Prescience, with international sales being handled by Focus Features.

Previous Irish films to have been selected for the Directors Fortnight in Cannes include Lenny Abrahamson's GARAGE starring Pat Shortt, ALL GOOD CHILDREN directed by Alicia Duffy and THE OTHER SIDE OF SLEEP directed by Rebecca Daly.

A total of 23 feature films will screen as part of the Director's Fortnight line-up, 17 of which will be world premieres. Directors Fortnight is non-competitive but first-time films including Ruairí Robinson are eligible for the Camera d'Or prize, open to all debut films across the festival and parallel sections. Many famous directors including Sophia Coppola, Werner Herzog, Michael Haneke and Spike Lee are amongst the world-class directors who have had their debut films selected for the Directors Fortnight over the past three decades.
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