Galway film projects boosted by WRAP fund cash

A still from Oops! Back in The Deep End

Two movies planned for Galway are among the recipients of a cash injection – thanks to a pioneering scheme operated across the West.

The €2m Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund — or WRAP Fund — is a unique initiative of the Western Development Commission and the Galway Film Centre and was set up to stimulate the industry in the region.

The newly-announced projects are Death of a Ladies Man’, by Cohen Productions DAC/Port Pictures, which will start shooting across Galway in late May – and Ooops! Back in the Deep End, an animated feature by Moetion Films which is in production in Galway City.

Two other projects are based in Sligo – Screamers, a documentary by Dot Television and Marcie Films, and the Winter Lake, by Winter Lake Productions/Tailored Films.

Death of a Ladies Man stars Gabriel Byrne and Brian Gleeson, and tells the story of Samuel O’Shea, a hard-drinking womanizer has seen better days. His second marriage is ending, and his first wife and two grown children have turned against him. More problematic, he has begun seeing things: Frankenstein sidles to the bar; strangers sing and dance to Leonard Cohen tunes; and his much-missed father Ben O’Shea, who died when Samuel was just a boy, pops up for chats.

Samuel retreats to his family shack in remote Ireland, where he begins work on that great novel he always meant to write, and meets and falls in love with a surprising local woman. All this leads Samuel to an utterly unforeseeable, but surprisingly happy ending.

Oops? Back in the Deep End is an animated movie, featuring the voices of Dermot Magennis, Tara Flynn and Alan Stanford.

Life in an Ark with 50,000 others has many dangers – icebergs, unwelcome visitors, storms, woodworm and a very fragile truce between carnivores and herbivores.

All hopes are pinned on a dove dispatched into the wild in search of land.

These recipients are in addition to the previously-announced Calm with Horses, which was shot in Clare and across Galway city and county and is currently in post-production.

Calm with Horses stars Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar and Simone Kirby and is set in darkest rural Ireland, where ex-boxer Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son, Jack.

Torn between these two families, Arm’s loyalties are truly tested when he is asked to kill for the first time.

In addition to its production investment, WRAP is announcing the recipients of the first round of development investment to assist local producers to develop projects that can undertake production within the region.

This was as a result of a call out with a deadline of October 2018. Companies based in Clare, Donegal, Galway and Mayo have received support.

These include ‘Trace’, a feature film developed by Galway production company Magamedia and written by Ray Lawlor; and ‘St John’, a television series developed by Galway production company Danú Media and Dearg Films and written by Brian Reddin.

WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin said that developing the audio visual sector as part of the Creative Economy is a key goal of their recently published five-year strategy.

“As the lead agency for the Creative Economy under the Government’s West Regional Enterprise Plan, we already see the benefits a dedicated fund such as the WRAP fund can bring to a region: high-calibre projects adding €4m extra spend to the local economy together with invaluable training and experience for local talent interested in working in this industry,” he said.

Galway Film Centre Manager Alan Duggan described the WRAP Fund as a game-changing initiative for the region in terms of the opportunities it provides to talent across film, TV, animation and games.

“It also represents a unique collaboration between the eight local authorities, Galway Film Centre and the WDC – each with the foresight to support the audiovisual sector at a time of unprecedented opportunity for the region,” he added.