Irish Feature, Black ’47, Will Receive World Premiere at 68th Berlinale

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Irish Feature, Black ’47, Will Receive World Premiere at 68th Berlinale

Posted: 15th January 2018

The Irish feature film Black ‘47 directed by Lance Daly (Kisses, Life’s A Breeze) will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival next month. The film, which is an action movie set during the Great Irish Famine, stars Hugo Weaving (Hacksaw Ridge, the Lord of the Rings, Matrix andTransformers franchises) and Jim Broadbent, (Oscar®winner for Iris) and the prolific Irish screen and stage actor Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire). Black ‘47 follows major Irish films such as Jim Sheridan’s The Boxer, Neil Jordan’s The Butcher Boy and John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard to have premiered at the festival.

Speaking about the selection, Macdara Kelleher, MD of Fastnet Films and lead producer of the film said “It’s an honour to be premiering Black ‘47 at one of the world’s most prestigious festivals, alongside truly great filmmakers. There’s a strong history of major films launching in Berlin and we can’t wait for the world to see this epic Irish famine story”.

Black ’47 sees Weaving and Broadbent joined by other international talent including James Frecheville who starred in the critically acclaimed Animal Kingdom and The Drop with Tom Hardy and Freddie Fox who was recently seen in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

The film also has a strong young Irish cast including Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Moe Dunford (Vikings, Patrick’s Day) and Sarah Greene (Noble, Penny Dreadful).

It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and reunite with his estranged family.

He’s seen more than his share of horrors, but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland that has brutalised his people and where there seems to be no law and order. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets a destructive path to avenge his family. Hannah, an ageing British soldier and famed tracker of deserters, is sent to stop Feeney before he can further stoke the fires of revolution.

But Hannah and Feeney are old army comrades, forged by their time fighting together. Personal bonds and shifting allegiances cause both men to question their motives, as they are tested to the limit by the hellish landscape of ‘The Great Hunger’.

Black ’47, is directed by Lance Daly — one of Ireland’s most acclaimed directors whose previous films include Life’s a Breeze, which premiered at Toronto Film Festival. The film is produced by Macdara Kelleher (Strangerland, Kisses, The Other Side of Sleep) of Fastnet Films. The screenplay is written by PJ Dillon (Rewind), Pierce Ryan (Standby), Eugene O’Brien (Eden) and Lance Daly (Life’s a Breeze, Kisses).

Two other IFB-supported projects — Dr. Glas, directed by Aisling Walsh and produced by Fantastic Films and Soul Hunter, directed by Andreas Dalsgaard and produced by Savage Productions — will feature in the Berlinale Co-Production Market as the titles join 34 other feature films looking for co-producers.

The film was also produced by Tim O’Hair, Arcadiy Golubovich and Jonathan Loughran with financing from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Primemeridian Entertainment, the Luxembourg Film Fund, Wildcard Distribution, Altitude, BAI, TV3, Eurimages, Umedia, Samsa Films and Fastnet Films.

Black ’47 will be brought to Irish cinemas by Wildcard Distribution later this year.