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Ken Loach’s JIMMY’S HALL


Officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board is pleased to announce that the upcoming feature JIMMY’S HALL, directed by Ken Loach, has been officially selected for the prestigious Festival de Cannes (May 14th to 25th, 2014), where it will have its world premiere. This UK/Irish/French co-production shot for seven weeks in Leitrim and Sligo last summer and stars Barry Ward, Simone Kirby and Andrew Scott, with a strong supporting cast of Irish talent.

James Hickey, CEO of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, commented: “We had the privilege of supporting The Wind That Shakes the Barley, directed by Ken Loach and co-produced by Element Pictures, almost ten years ago. We were delighted that Ken chose to return to Ireland to tell another important Irish story. JIMMY’S HALL features a wonderful lineup of Irish acting and creative talent, and it showcases the beauty of the Irish northwest. Having its premiere at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, where Ken Loach has had so many years of deserved success, means that the eyes of the film world will once again be on Ireland, the setting for this fascinating tale of courage and freedom.”

Element Pictures, the film’s Irish co-producer, released the first trailer from JIMMY’S HALL earlier this month. Watch it here. The film will be released in Ireland and the UK on May 30th by Entertainment One.

Executive producer Andrew Lowe (Element Pictures), commented, “We are delighted to be back in Cannes with Ken, Paul and Rebecca with JIMMY’S HALL. We’re particularly pleased for the Irish cast and crew who contributed so much to make this wonderful film, and grateful to the IFB who supported us in making the film in Sligo and Leitrim.”

Ken Loach has been a firm favourite at the Cannes Film Festival since his first feature, Kes, screened there in 1970. Since then, he has had a further sixteen films screen in and out of competition, for which he won the Palme d’Or (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), three Jury Prizes (The Angels’ Share, Raining Stones, Hidden Agenda) and a Young Cinema Award (Looks and Smiles).


In 1921, Jimmy Gralton’s sin was to build a dance hall on a rural crossroads in an Ireland on the brink of civil war. The Pearse-Connolly Hall was a place where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream . . . but above all, to dance and have fun. As the hall grew in popularity, its socialist and free-spirited reputation brought it to the attention of the church and politicians, who forced Jimmy to flee.

A decade later, at the height of the Depression, Jimmy returns to Leitrim from the US to look after his mother and vows to live the quiet life. But as he reintegrates into the community and sees the poverty and growing cultural oppression around him, the leader and activist within him is stirred. He makes the decision to reopen the hall in the face of the dangers it may bring.

JIMMY’S HALL’s producer, Rebecca O’Brien, and writer, Paul Laverty, are long-time collaborators of Ken Loach’s, having worked on My Name is Joe, Sweet Sixteen and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. The film’s ensemble cast also includes Jim Norton, Brían F. O’Byrne, Francis Magee, Sorcha Fox, Aisling Franciosi, Karl Geary, Denise Gough, Aileen Henry, Seamus Hughes, Martin Lucey, Conor McDermottroe, Mikel Murfi and Shane O’Brien.

JIMMY’S HALL is a Sixteen Films, Element Pictures, Why Not Productions and Wild Bunch production made with support from the BFI, Film4 and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.