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IFB-funded film CALVARY picked up by Fox Searchlight for US release


Fox Searchlight Specialty Arm Acquires U.S. Rights and Select International Territories

Film reunites Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson with The Guard director John Michael McDonagh. Fox Searchlight Pictures have announced that the company has acquired U.S. rights, as well as rights in select international territories, to the blackly comedic Irish film Calvary.

Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, Calvary was filmed in Co. Sligo and features a fantastic lineup of Irish actors including Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Domhnall Gleeson, David Wilmot, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Killian Scott, Orla O’Rourke, Owen Sharpe and David McSavage. Kelly Reilly, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh and Marie-Josée Croze also star in the film. The film was produced by Reprisal Films’s Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo and Octagon’s James Flynn, with funding from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and the BFI.

Commenting on the news, James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB), said, “We are delighted that Fox Searchlight has picked up Calvary for the US. We hope that US audiences will embrace this film which was shot on location in Co. Sligo and features a very strong line-up of world-class Irish acting talent.”

Irish producer James Flynn said, “It’s been an incredible few days at Sundance for the Irish film industry, with Calvary achieving rave reviews plus a domestic and international deal from one of the top indie distributors. John McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson’s wonderful collaboration has created a film with both critical acclaim and significant commercial potential.”

Director John Michael McDonagh commented, “We made a great film. In Fox Searchlight, we now have a great company behind us to send that film out into the world. Thank you, Sundance. Thank you, bourbon! Onward.”

“Brendan Gleeson gives a tour de force performance in a film that John Michael McDonagh has written and directed with perfection, taking us into a world with distinctive characters where the stakes are high,” said Fox Searchlight Pictures presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula.

Calvary’s Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter (played by Kelly Reilly) and reach out to help members of his church with their various moral – and often comic – problems, he feels sinister and troubling forces closing in, and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary.

Fox Searchlight previously picked up the Irish film Once for a US release at Sundance in 2007.