Irish stars to sparkle at Cannes premiere

IRELAND’S burgeoning film industry will be making its mark at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with some of the country’s finest stars taking to the red carpet.

Civil War tale The Wind that Shakes the Barley, directed by Ken Loach, is in the running for a top award, with 13 other home-grown productions selling in the Cannes Market.

Hollywood favourite Cillian Murphy and fellow Breakfast on Pluto star Liam Cunningham, both stars of Loach’s film, will be among the top actors in the Irish contingent.

Rising stars Padraic Delaney (Pure Mule, The Clinic) and Orla Fitzgerald (Love is the Drug, The Last Furlong) are also preparing to walk the red carpet at the world premiere of Loach’s latest production.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley, to be shown on Thursday, is the first Irish film in the Official Competition at the festival since John Boorman’s The General in 1988. It is due to be released in cinemas nationwide on June 23.

Irish producer Julie Le Brocquy’s film My Beautiful Rambutan Tree has also been selected for the Directors’ Fortnight section.

Films selling at the event include Marion Comer’s debut 48 Angels, Paul Mercier’s STUDS starring Brendan Gleeson, and Winter’s End, written and directed by Patrick Kenny.

Julian Hill’s short film Death’s Mailing, which picked up the prize for Best Short Film in Rome and Cyprus, is also screening in the Short Film Corner.

The festival, which runs from May 17 to 28, will attract leading Irish film producers to source finance for their upcoming projects.

“The Cannes Market will provide an opportunity for Irish producers to meet with international film financiers, sales agents and film distributors,” said Simon Perry, chief executive officer at the Irish Film Board. “It also provides an opportunity to endorse Irish production services and competitive tax incentives, whilst acting as a high profile, well-resourced base for the Irish film industry and its guests attending the Cannes Film Market and Festival.”

The Irish Pavilion in Cannes will be the central point for the Irish presence at the festival, promoting films and the country as a film location.

An official reception will be launched next Sunday by Arts Minister John O’Donoghue.

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