Dublin director to debut film at prestigious European festival

by Dublin Gazette

A Dublin director’s first feature film has been selected to premiere at a prestigious film festival in Europe later this month.

Tom Sullivan’s first feature film, the Irish-language ‘Arracht’, has been selected for the main competition at the 2019 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia.

Sullivan, who was born in Dublin and still lives in the capital, has produced several productions over a lengthy career in the film industry.

Arracht is his first full-length feature film, set in Ireland in 1845. The film centres around Colmán Sharkey, a fisherman who takes in a stranger. Patsy, a former soldier, arrives in Connemara just ahead of the blight, a crop disease that caused the Great Plague, killing and displacing millions of Irish people.

The film has now been selected to debut at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia is one of the largest film events in Northern Europe, screening over 250 feature films.

The festival has an attendance of over 80,000 and hosts over 1,200 film professionals from around the world annually. Sullivan’s Arracht has been selected for inclusion in the main competition, The Grand Prix, and will have its world premiere on November 29.

Tom Sullivan said: “I am honoured that our film will have its world premier in the main competition at Tallinn. It has been a life changing experience making Arracht. From witnessing the commitment of the cast, particularly Dónall Ó Héalaí, who’s total dedication and immersion in his process inspired us all.

“The crew, who were fantastic, had to battle three Atlantic storms to bring Arracht home. We are all so excited to launch the film in the beautiful city of Tallinn along with so many talented film makers.”

The film stars Dónall Ó Héalaí, Michael McElhatton and Siobhán O’Kelly, in addition to a film debut from 11 year old Saise Ní Chuinn, and was shot by Kate McCullough.

Arracht is produced by Cúán Mac Conghail for Dublin based company Macalla. The original music score for the film was written and performed by Kíla, making it a truly Irish production.

Producer Cúán Mac Conghail said: “I am incredibly proud of Tom and this film. Arracht was hard work but a joy for all of us to work on and I am delighted that it has been selected in competition for the Grand Prix.”

The Irish premiere date is to be confirmed, but Arracht is sure to be a must see when it hits our screens.

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