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AFM Round-Up: McDonagh for Indie Director Roundtable and rights acquired to ‘The Trainer’ & ‘A Dark Song'
07 Nov 2016 : Katie McNeice
'A Dark Song', directed by Liam Gavin
The American Film Market has already seen hit Irish comedy ‘The Young Offenders’ acquired by Carnaby International last week, with several others announced over the weekend.

The UK, Irish and Australian rights to Neil Jordan’s (Michael Collins) upcoming feature have been acquired by eOne at the market from HanWay Films. Jordan is set to direct Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List) in ‘The Trainer’, with production scheduled in the West of Ireland for next Summer.

Gabrielle Stewart, Managing Director of HanWay Films:
“Having eOne come on board the UK and Ireland, the film’s home territory, and also Australia is a ringing endorsement that ‘The Trainer’ is being recognized in the market as the perfect mix of a first class film team and a powerful story with wide mainstream appeal.”

Also announced is the acquisition of US rights to ‘A Dark Song’, the feature debut from IFTA-nominated Irish talent Liam Gavin (Sunshower), by IFC Midnight. Kaleidoscope also announced the acquisition of worldwide sales to this title, excluding North America at the market last week.

Other Irish titles acquired by IFC this year are Billy O’Brien’s ‘I Am Not a Serial Killer’, which was announced at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Spokesperson, IFC Midnight:
“Liam Gavin demonstrates a remarkably unique eye in ‘A Dark Song’, an unnerving film that we’re confident will both frighten and astound audiences. We are very excited to be working once more with XYZ Films and with Liam to release his film in the US.”

Michael Chapman, Acquisitions & Development Executive of Kaleidoscope Film Distribution:
“We’re thrilled to be working on Liam’s debut, a film which is both darkly unsettling and ultimately moving. After a stream of critical acclaim, we look forward to sharing this gem with international buyers.”

‘Calvary’ helmer John Michael McDonagh discussed financing and producing projects with a panel which included debut feature director Ewan McGregor (American Pastoral) and Steven Cantor (Dancer).

Throughout the AFM Indie Director Roundtable McDonagh, whose feature ‘War on Everyone’ released to Irish cinemas in early October, discussed his script for ‘The Bonnot Gang’. Focusing on Parisian bank robbers in 1911, McDonagh stated the action-heavy project will be an option when he has another one or two films to his name, as the budget will also be considerably higher.

Irish film became a shared topic throughout the roundtable as the group discussed the last “great” film they saw, with Cantor nominating ‘Sing Street’ (John Carney) for its fusion of styles and Lone Scherfig (Their Finest) commending ‘The Lobster’ for its originality in vision and tone.

The AFM will continue to run in Santa Monica, California until Wednesday, November 9th.

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