|Northern Ireland Screen has announced a tranche of funding for indigenous film production from home-grown talent, through the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI.
The agency will support a slate of low-budget films from the newly launched production outfit Generator Entertainment. Set up by established producers Simon Bosanquet and Mark Huffam Generator is embarking on an initial slate of five films, four of which would shoot in Northern Ireland in the first half of this year.
Further films are planned to shoot in Northern Ireland in 2008 and in 2009. The slate is being put together in partnership with Framestore Features and Limelight and is being sold by The Little Film Company out of LA , headed up by Robbie Little, who enjoyed global success with Tsotsi, the Oscar-winning Best Foreign Language film of 2006.
Filming commenced in Belfast on the 4th of February on the first production from the slate.
Red Mist, a supernatural thriller set in an American teaching hospital, is based on a script by local writer Spencer Wright, directed by Paddy Breathnach and co-produced by Belfast-based Michael Kelly. It will be closely followed by the second film Chatakwa Falls, which is written by local man Richard Crawford.
Northern Ireland Screen will also support Green Park Films’ Cherry Bomb. Written by Armagh man Daragh Caville, the film follows three teenagers as they embark on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars. Cherry Bomb will shoot on location in Northern Ireland and is produced by Belfast’s Michael Casey and directed by Lisa Barros d’Sa and Glen Leyburn.
Further afield Terry Loane is to direct a new adventure film entitled Vannila Gorilla starring Pierce Brosnan. Written by Craig Gardner, the film centres around an albino gorilla in captivity named Gogo. Also produced by Mark Huffam’s Generator Entertainment with Danny Stepper of LA based Bottled Lightning, the film is due to begin shooting in South Africa in early March.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen said: “Last year the big Hollywood film afforded a great deal of experience for many local cast and crew and brought over £9m into Northern Ireland.
"But we have always sought to nurture local talent and support our indigenous film-makers. Our latest round of funding to Generator Entertainment and Green Park Films reflects our continued commitment to building a sustainable production sector here.”
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