The Belly of the Whale to have North American premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival

Posted October 8, 2018 by Suzanne Murray in News
The Belly of the Whale
The Belly of the Whale

New Irish feature THE BELLY OF THE WHALE starring Pat Shortt (Garage, Calvary) will have its North American premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival on Tuesday, 16th October. The festival is the longest running international competitive film festival in North America and is one of the most regarded in the industry.

THE BELLY OF THE WHALE is the debut feature film from director Morgan Bushe and also stars Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls, Pan), Art Parkinson (Kubo and The Two Strings, San Adreas), Michael Smiley (Kill List, Jawbone), Peter Coonan (Love/Hate, The Drummer and the Keeper) and Lauren Kinsella (You’re Ugly Too, Albert Nobbs).

Set over a long bank holiday weekend, misfit teenager, Joey Moody, returns to his home town in a foolhardy bid to reopen his family’s crumbling caravan park and salvage his friendship with his best friend and drinking partner, Lanks. Meanwhile, on a mission to find the money to cover his wife’s medical expenses, Ronald Tanner, a fractured soul, risks his meagre life savings on a get rich quick scheme that ends in abject failure and humiliation at the hands of local big shot Gits Hegarty, pushing Ronald over the edge and off the wagon. After Joey accidentally buns down Ronald’s camper van and is forced to find the cash to repay him, the strange pair find themselves bonded together in misfortune. In an effort to change their shabby circumstances they concoct a plan to rob the Pleasurama, the local amusement arcade, and the domain of the iniquitous Gits.

The film which opened the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year is set to also have screenings at the Rome International Film Festival and Noordelijk Film Festival in the coming month before being released in Irish cinemas later this year.

Bushe has previously directed the award-winning short film If I Should Fall Behind which was IFTA nominated and produced acclaimed Irish films The Other Side of Sleep and Anton Corbijn Inside Out.

Los Angeles-based XYZ Films are handling North American sales for THE BELLY OF THE WHALE.  XYZ Films slate includes international indie hits such as The Young Offenders, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner I Don’t Feel at Home in the World Anymore and TIFF People’s Choice Award Winner The Raid.

THE BELLY OF THE WHALE was produced by Rory Dungan for Fastnet Films and Tilted Pictures with funding from Irish Film Board, RTE, BAI, Filmbase and Windmill Lane VFX.