28 January 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Cornerstone boards Frank Berry's Aisha starring Letitia Wright and Josh O'Connor
03 Jun 2021 : Nathan Griffin
The first look image for the film has also been revealed as production recently wrapped in Ireland.

Cornerstone has picked up worldwide sales rights for the direct provision drama and will commence sales at the upcoming Cannes virtual market.

Speaking about the acquisition, Cornerstone’s Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder said; “Frank’s beautiful and uplifting script along with the strong acting talent will help shine a much-needed spotlight on a process that millions of people experience around the world.”

Following on from his 2018 IFTA Best Film-winning drama Michael Inside, writer/director Frank Berry’s next project stars Emmy award nominee Letitia Wright (Black Panther, Avengers End Game, Small Axe) and Golden Globe winner Josh O'Connor (The Crown, Emma, God’s Own Country).

“I am delighted that our project has attracted the attention of such amazing funding partners and the incredible talents of Letitia Wright and Josh O’Connor who act alongside many former and current international protection applicants,” Berry said. “It’s been a very special experience making this film so far, and I look forward to all of us bringing Aisha to national and international audiences next year.”

“Aisha is set in the world of Direct Provision in Ireland; while working with former and current international protection applicants over four years, a story emerged of a human connection in an inhumane system,” added Berry.  

The film will also see the continued collaboration between Berry and Subotica Production (Michael Inside) with Tristan Orpen Lynch, Aoife O'Sullivan, and Donna Eperon producing. Park Pictures’ Sam Bisbee (Truffle Hunters) will also produce. 

Aisha charts the experiences of a young Nigerian woman as she seeks international protection in Ireland. Caught in limbo for years in Ireland’s immigration system, Aisha Osagie (Wright) develops a friendship with former prisoner Conor Healy (O’Connor) who she meets at one of the accommodation centres. Aisha and Conor’s growing friendship soon looks to be short lived as Aisha’s future in Ireland comes under threat.

The film was developed and financed by Screen Ireland, BBC Film, RTE and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in association with Park Pictures, Wavelength and World of Ha Productions. 

Executive Producers are Rose Garnett for BBC Film, Hallee Adelman, Ivy Herman, Jenifer Westphal, Joe Plummer, Lance Acord, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Wendy Neu, William Byerley and George Rush. Production leads include cinematographer Tom Comerford (Herself), editor Colin Campbell (The Hole in the Ground) and production designer Tamara Conboy (Once).

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