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13/12/2007

Irish Shorts Selected For Sundance Film Festival

Three Irish short films 'Farewell Packets of Ten' and 'Scoring' directed by Ken Wardrop, along with 'The Sound of People' directed by Simon Fitzmaurice have been selected for Competition at the Sundance Film Festival (17 - 26 January 2008).
There will be a strong Irish presence at the festival as two Irish feature films The Escapist, directed by Rupert Wyatt and Martin McDonogh's film In Bruges have also been selected to premiere there. Sundance is North America's most prestigious independent film festival.
Sundance short films Farewell Packets of Ten and Scoring were both directed by the award-winning Irish director Ken Wardrop, who has had an unprecedented success with his previous short film Undressing my Mother and both films will screen in competition in the Documentary section. Both films are creative short documentaries from a Channel 4 series 'Mouthing Off' and were produced by Venom Film.
Farewell Packets of Ten is a comic confessional where two old ladies consider their addictions to cigarettes. It has previously won the Best Short film award at the Worldwide Short film festival in Canada and will also screen at the prestigious Rotterdam Film Festival in the New Year. Scoring is a poignant short piece that explores the sensual power of a kiss for a young man that has been left paralyzed after a freak accident.
The Sound of People is the only Irish short in the international dramatic short film section and is the story of a moment in the life of an eighteen year old boy, standing on the brink of his life and death.
‘The Escapist', which is set to receive its World Premiere screening at the Sundance Film Festival (17 - 26 January 2008) filmed on location in Dublin over four weeks in February 2007, the film boasts a formidable cast of Brian Cox (Troy, The Bourne Identity), Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, Stormbreaker), Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare In Love), Dominic Cooper (The History Boys), Stephen Macintosh (The Jacket, Small Engine Repair), and Irish actor Liam Cunningham (The Wind That Shakes the Barley). The film is a tense prison escape thriller set following a life convict (Cox) who, after 13 years behind bars, learns the tragic news that his estranged daughter is near death in hospital. Desperate to make peace, he hatches a plan and enlists a group of inmates to help him escape.
To coincide with these achievements Once, directed by John Carney, has been listed as one of the top ten independent films this year by the US National Board of Review, other films listed here include A Mighty Heart starring Angelia Jolie. Once has also just been nominated for the Film Independent's Spirit awards and is listed on //www.4rfv.co.uk/link-error.aspx/ as a film to watch for the Oscars.
Also this week Lenny Abrahamson's Garage has scooped another top prize at the 25th Turin Film Festival in Italy. According to Variety, Turin is considered as one of the top discovery festivals in Europe and Garage was also one of the audience favourites when it screened there.
Garage is produced by Element Pictures and co-financed by Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board, Film4, RTÉ and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. Once is produced by Samson Films with finance from Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board.
(DS)
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