Irish films vie for Cannes honour
A film starring two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn leads the bill of Irish movies vying for success at this week's Cannes Film Festival.
This Must Be The Place, shot in Dublin and the US last year, is one of 19 films from around the world battling for the coveted Palme d'Or prize.
Louise Ryan, Irish Film Board (IFB) spokeswoman, said Penn's movie was a leading contender for a top award. "It is definitely in the running and it is directed by Italian Paolo Sorrentino, a previous winner of the Palme d'Or, and he has a very strong reputation at Cannes," she said.
This Must Be The Place, which gets its world premiere at Cannes, tells the story of former rock star Cheyenne, played by Penn.
Aged 50 he still dresses as a goth and lives in Dublin off his royalties. The death of his father, who he had fallen out with, brings him back to New York where he embarks on a journey to find his father's persecutor, a Nazi war criminal hiding out in the US.
Cannes runs from May 11 to 22 and a total of 16 Irish films will be on the market.
A second film in competition is The Other Side Of Sleep, by young director Rebecca Daly and filmed in Offaly last year, which tells the story of Arlene, a sleepwalker since childhood, who works in the local factory and how she deals with the death of a young woman in nearby woods.
The IFB is supporting a larger than usual set of Irish-shot films showcasing at Cannes. Among the 16 movies is Albert Knobbs starring Hollywood great Glenn Close.
Ireland is also strongly represented in the documentary genre with Knuckle, directed by Ian Palmer, following underground bare knuckle boxing which is expected to announce a big distribution deal in the coming weeks.
Other documentaries are Off The Beaten Track, directed by Dieter Auner, telling the story of shepherding across Europe, and Children Of The Revolution directed by Shane O'Sullivan.