Black 47 to have U.S. release as IFC Films acquires rights

Posted August 16, 2018 by Suzanne Murray in News
Black 47
Black 47

U.S. distributors IFC Films have signed a deal to roll out Lance Daly’s BLACK 47 in the US with a release date scheduled for 28th September.  BLACK 47 is now set to be released in Ireland, the UK and America in September with the film opening in over 100 Irish cinemas on September 5th marking the widest release ever for an Irish film in Ireland.

The U.S. acquisition news follows the announcement this week that the film will have its’ North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival where it will join Steve McQueen’s Widows, Damien Chazelles’ Neil Armstrong movie, First Man and Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star is Born in the line-up.

IFC Films is film distribution company based in New York City which has released titles such as Boyhood, 45 Years, Gomorrah and The Death of Stalin.  Irish features they’ve distributed in the US include The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Grabbers and The Summit.

Speaking about the acquisition, Jonathan Sehring and Lisa Schwartz, Co-Presidents of IFC Films said, “We are honored to be able to release a film with such deep historical significance. It truly is a rallying cry for many Irish people who have felt their story has gone too long untold, and Lance has done an extraordinary job of presenting the film’s unique setting with warmth, passion, and sincerity. We are extremely proud to be sharing this impressive work with American audiences.”

Lance Daly added, “I’m really looking forward to collaborating with IFC, in reaching out to both Irish-American audiences who will find so much personal relevance in the story behind the Irish exodus to north America, and to their wider audience (who can also claim part-Irishness after seeing this movie!). This is the first time the Great Irish Famine has been dramatized for the big screen and it will be fascinating to see how Americans and Canadians react to these images of our past, to this extraordinary story, and to the blend of action, history, and drama that our cast and crew worked so hard to create.”

BLACK 47 is set during the Great Irish Famine and stars Hugo Weaving (Hacksaw Ridge, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix), Jim Broadbent (Oscar® winner for Iris) and the prolific Irish screen and stage actor Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Michael Collins).  Joining them are rising international actors James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom, The Drop) and Freddie Fox (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) along with a strong young Irish cast including Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Moe Dunford (Michael Inside, Patrick’s Day) and Sarah Greene (Noble, Penny Dreadful).

It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and reunite with his family.  He’s seen more than his share of horrors, but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland that has brutalised his people and where there seems to be no law and order. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets a destructive path to avenge his family.

Following its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, the film opened both the Audi Dublin International Film Festival and Belfast Film Festival and was the closing film of the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this summer.

The screenplay was written by PJ Dillon (Rewind), Pierce Ryan (Standby), Eugene O’Brien (Eden) and Lance Daly (Life’s a Breeze, Kisses).  Produced by Macdara Kelleher for Fastnet Films with Tim O’Hair, Arcadiy Golubovich and Jonathan Loughran, BLACK 47 was financed by Primemeridian Entertainment, the Irish Film Board, the Luxembourg Film Fund, Wildcard Distribution, Altitude, BAI, TV3, Eurimages, Umedia, Samsa Films and Fastnet Films.

BLACK 47 goes on release in Irish cinemas from Wednesday 5th September.