Seven IFB Films Heading to BFI London Film Festival
Seven IFB-funded titles have been selected to screen at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival (LFF) which takes place in the city from 4–15 October. Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner will both receive Gala screenings at the festival; presented as a Headline Gala and a Strand Gala, respectively while Twomey’s animated feature will also screen in Official Competition. Nick Kelly’s debut feature, The Drummer and the Keeper will screen in Journey. David Freyne’s The Cured will be shown as part of LFF’s Cult section, while Pat Collins’ Song of Granite will play in the festival’s Create strand. Duncan Campbell’s short film, The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy will screen in Experimenta and Sinéad O'Shea's doc, A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot will feature in the festival's Debate strand.
The BFI London Film Festival is the UK’s leading and most prestigious film festival, representing one of the first opportunities for audiences—both the UK public and film industry professionals—to see the very best new films from across the globe, alongside an events programme with some of the world’s most inspiring creative talents.
Following a successful screening at the Cannes Film Festival, where it scooped the award for Best Screenplay, the Element Pictures-produced The Killing of a Sacred Deer sees Colin Farrell starring as Steven; a charismatic surgeon forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart when the behaviour of a teenage boy (played by up-and-coming Irish actor, Barry Keoghan) he has taken under his wing takes a sinister turn. Nicole Kidman stars as the wife of Farrell's character, in the film which is produced by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe. Lanthimos co-wrote the film alongside Efthimis Fillippou, with whom he previously collaborated on 2015 title, The Lobster.
The Breadwinner tells the story of 11-year-old Parvana, who gives up her identity to provide for her family and to try to save her father’s life. Produced by Paul Young of Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon (Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) alongside Canada's Aircraft Pictures, and Luxembourg's Melusine Productions and Oscar-winning actress, Angelina Jolie serves as the title’s executive producer. The film will receive its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival later this month, where it will receive a Gala screening.
Nick Kelly’s The Drummer and the Keeper follows Gabriel—a chaotic young rock drummer who is desperate to hide his recent bipolar diagnosis from his increasingly exasperated band mates. When he is forced to bond with Christophe—an institutionalised 17-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome—their union results in a very unlikely friendship. The Drummer and the Keeper is produced by Kate McColgan for Calico Pictures and stars Dermot Murphy and Jacob McCarthy. The film received its world premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh where it won Kelly the accolade of Best Irish First Feature.
Featuring a stellar Irish and international cast including Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Sam Keeley and Ellen Page, David Freyne’s The Cured is produced by Rory Dungan and Rachael O’Kane at Tilted Pictures, with Freyne writing and directing the film. For six years, a virus has devastated Europe, transforming people into zombie-like monsters. All is lost until a cure is found. The cure, which has a 75% success rate, restores the infected to full physical health, although the cured remember everything they did while infected. Three years into this great hope, the third wave of cured are ready for release in Ireland. The film will also receive its world premiere at TIFF.
Pat Collins’ Song of Granite portrays the life of the great traditional Irish singer, Joe Heaney and sees the beautiful yet harsh landscape combined with the myths, fables and songs of Heaney's Connemara childhood that helped shape this complex and gifted character. The biopic, which was filmed on location in Galway, was produced by Alan Maher and Jessie Fisk of Marcie Films and Martin Paul-Hus at Amerique Films. The film received rave reviews from the international press following its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year, with IndieWire applauding the title for breathing new life into the musical biopic genre.
Set against a visit by two American anthropologists to Dún Chaoin in Co. Kerry, Duncan Campbell’s short film, The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy sits at the interface of what they perceive as the terminal decline of language and customs of the past and the perspective of the local community who largely misconstrue their intentions. The work takes Paul Hockings and Mark McCarty’s 1968 documentary film, The Village as a starting point alongside three influential anthropological studies; Inis Beag by John C. Messenger; Inishkillane: Change and Decline in the West of Ireland by Hugh Brody and; in particular, Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics by Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Commissioned by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy previously screened at the prestigious Berlinale in February of this year.
Five years in the making, Sinéad O’Shea’s A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot, exposes paramilitary activity in present day Northern Ireland during a supposed time of peace. One night Majella O'Donnell took her teenage son Philly to be shot in both legs. Majella, Philly and his shooters all live within an extraordinary community in Derry, Northern Ireland.
The “Troubles” officially ended in 1998 but they are still at war. They do not accept the government or police. They have their 'own' ways. All this happens within the United Kingdom. How do you bring your son to be shot? What happens afterwards? How does a war really end? A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot is produced by Ailish Bracken at Dublin’s Blinder Films and Figs Jackman at Spring Films. The Academy Award winning director Joshua Oppenheimer serves as executive producer on the title.
The BFI London Film Festival takes place from 4–15 October and more information can be found here.