Altitude Film Sales Acquires Nick Rowland’s Debut Feature, Calm With Horses, Starring Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar and Cosmo Jarvis
Posted: 26th April 2018
Altitude Film Sales has acquired international sales rights to DMC Film’s Calm With Horses, the feature debut of Nick Rowland starring Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar which is set to shoot in the West of Ireland in May in co-production with Element Pictures. Altitude Film Distribution will partner with Element Pictures Distribution for the film’s release in the UK and Ireland. Film4 will finance production along with the Irish Film Board and the newly announced Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP Fund).
DMC Film, the production company founded by Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan, and producer Daniel Emmerson have developed the project with Film4 as Nick Rowland’s feature directorial debut following Slap his BAFTA and BIFA-nominated short film. Rowland’s other short film successes include a Sundance Grand Jury Prize nomination for Out of Sight, and Royal Television Society Student wins for Dancing in the Ashes and Group B, which was also nominated for a student Oscar®. Most recently he has directed episodes of the BBC primetime drama Hard Sun and Amazon’s Ripper Street.
Calm With Horses is based on a novella from the acclaimed collection of short stories Young Skins by Irish writer Colin Barrett from Mayo. The collection won The Guardian’s first book award and the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize. Writer Joe Murtagh has adapted the screenplay and has collaborated with Rowland since they studied together at the NFTS. Rowland, Murtagh and Emmerson have all featured in Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow showcase.
Cosmo Jarvis starred in the BAFTA nominated breakout success Lady Macbeth released by Altitude as well as Alex Garland’s Annihilation.
One of the industry’s rising screen stars, Barry Keoghan recently starred in Lance Daly’s Black 47 which premiered in selection at Berlin. Altitude is also representing the film for international sales and distribution in the UK. Keoghan can also been seen in Bart Layton’s Sundance Grand Prize nominated American Animals, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Niamh Algar won the Best Supporting Actress at the Irish Film and Television Awards (2017) for her performance in Nick Kelly’s The Drummer and the Keeper, and is known for her lead role in Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name which received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (2016). She will also star in Shane Meadows’ upcoming TV series, The Virtues.
Daniel Emmerson is producing while Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan will serve as Executive Producers for DMC Film (Slow West, Macbeth, Assassin’s Creed) alongside Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe for Element Pictures (Room, Frank, The Lobster), Sam Lavender and Daniel Battsek for Film4, Celine Haddad for the Irish Film Board and Sarah Dillon for the WRAP Fund. Element Pictures’ Rory Gilmartin (Rosie) will serve as co-producer along with Kate Glover (Black Mirror, McMafia).
Shooting is due to start across the counties of Galway and Clare in Ireland on 14 May. The casting director is Shaheen Baig whose work has earned her an international reputation for discovering talent for films including recent successes Lady Macbeth, God’s Own Country and The Falling. The production team includes IFTA-nominated director of photography Piers McGrail whose credits include Glassland starring Will Poulter and Toni Colette, Never Grow Old starring Emile Hirsch and John Cusack, David Freyne’s The Cured starring Ellen Page. The production designer is Damien Creagh who has most recently worked on Idris Elba’s Yardie, which premiered at Sundance, and Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s BAFTA-nominated and BIFA-winning Notes on Blindness. The editor is Nicolas Chaudeurge who has just completed Kim Nguyen’s The Hummingbird Project starring Jesse Eisenberg and worked with Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland on the Oscar® winning Still Alice and Andrea Arnold on her Cannes Jury Prize-winning Fish Tank. The costume designer is Sharon Long who has worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, Jack the Giant Slayer and The Bank Job. The film’s soundtrack will be composed by David Holmes whose work includes Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans trilogy, ’71 and Hunger.
In darkest rural Ireland, ex-boxer Arm 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 is asked to kill for the first time, and his attempt to do the right thing endangers everyone he holds dear.
DMC Film currently has a slate of projects with up and coming British and Irish talent. Dystopian London crime thriller The Kitchen will be directed by Kibwe Tavares (Jonah, Robot & Scarecrow) from a script written by Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther), who will also star in the project. Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake) will write and star in Gentle In The Bones, the story of a female bare-knuckle boxer. Joe Murtagh is re-teaming with DMC on Dreadful Ned, an epic revenge movie set during the Irish War of Independence.
Recent Element Productions in collaboration with Film4 include Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Lenny Abrahamson's Academy Award® and Golden Globe-winning Room. Upcoming productions include Lanthimos’ The Favourite, starring Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz; Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, starring Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz and Alessandro Nivola; and Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger starring Domhnall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson.
Producer Daniel Emmerson says, “Everyone at DMC is very grateful for the incredible support from Film4, IFB, Element, Altitude and the WRAP fund in getting us to this point. We feel very lucky to have an amazing cast and crew working on the film, and can’t wait to get started.”
Mike Runagall from Altitude says, “Nick Rowland and Joseph Murtagh’s work has marked them out as exciting director and writer talent to watch and we are delighted to be working with them and our friends at DMC and Film4 to bring Calm With Horses to audiences worldwide”.
ALTITUDE FILM ENTERTAINMENT
The Altitude Film Entertainment group comprises Altitude Film Production led by Will Clarke chairman and joint-CEO with Andy Mayson; Altitude Film Sales with Managing Director Mike Runagall; and Altitude Film Distribution with Head of Distribution Hamish Moseley.
The Altitude sales slate includes Whitney from Academy Award®-winning director Kevin Macdonald and Academy Award®-winning producer Simon Chinn which receives its world premiere in Cannes’ official Midnight selection; Billie directed award-winning filmmaker James Erskine and produced by Victoria Gregory and Barry Clark-Ewers; Black 47, directed by Lance Daly and starring Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford and Sarah Greene, which received its World Premiere Out of Competition at the Berlin International Film Festival 2018; Beats, directed by Brian Welsh and executive produced by Academy Award®-winning director Steven Soderbergh; Maradona from the Academy Award®-winning team behind Amy and Senna; Ghost Stories, directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman based on their international smash hit starring Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther and Paul Whitehouse, which will be released wide in the UK on April 13 by Lionsgate; and Black Water: Abyss directed by Andrew Traucki.
Altitude Film Distribution has expanded its slate extensively over the five years since its launch. In 2017 it released the Academy Award® Best Picture winning feature Moonlight, the Academy Award® documentary nominated I Am Not Your Negro, and was responsible for the release of Academy Award® and BAFTA-winning Amy in 2015 and 20 Feet From Stardom. Other releases include BAFTA nominees Lady Macbeth by William Oldroyd; The Florida Project from Sean Baker; Beast written and directed by Michael Pearce; Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela’s Loving Vincent; Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie; Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange and Little Men; Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow; Bharat Nalluri’s Spooks: The Greater Good; Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room; Lili Fini Zanuck’s documentary Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars; and Andrey Zvyagintsev's award-winning Loveless. Forthcoming releases include Studio Ponoc’s Mary and The Witch’s Flower; Asif Kapadia’s Maradona; Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney; Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn; Marc Meyers’ My Friend Dahmer; Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazz Sicilian Ghost Story; Chloé Zhao’s The Rider; and Brian Welsh’s Beats.
ELEMENT PICTURES DISTRIBUTION
Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe run Ireland’s leading independent film distribution company Element Pictures Distribution, handling StudioCanal’s slate in Ireland as well as direct acquisitions. Notable releases include Lenny Abrahamson’s Golden Globe and Oscar® winning Room and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. In 2011, EPD released John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, which became one of the highest grossing independent Irish films of all time. Additionally, Element Pictures operates an online video on demand platform, Volta.ie and also runs and operates the Light House Cinema in Dublin and Pálás in Galway.
Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, both new and established.
Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®-winners such as Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years and David Mackenzie’s Starred Up.
Film4’s recent releases include Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, Todd Haynes’ Carol and Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette. Forthcoming releases include Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, John Cameron Mitchell’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Jim Hosking’s An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn and Bart Layton’s American Animals. Films in production include Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long, Iain Morris’s The Festival, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Steve McQueen’s Widows, Stephen Merchant’s Fighting With My Family, Tom Harper’s Country Music and Asif Kapadia’s Maradona.
Other recent debut features Film4 has backed include Rungano Nyoni’s BAFTA and BIFA-winning I Am Not a Witch, Michael Pearce’s Beast, Benedict Andrews’ Una, Adam Smith’s Trespass Against Us and Toby Macdonald’s Old Boys.
For further information please visit www.film4productions.com.
THE IRISH FILM BOARD
The Irish Film Board (IFB) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry, investing in talent, creativity and enterprise.
The IFB’s mission is to support and promote Irish film, television and animation through fostering Irish artistic vision and our diverse creative and production talent, growing audiences, and attracting filmmakers and investment into the country.
The IFB is committed to providing leadership, direction and advocacy for the Irish screen industries, as well as supporting writers, directors and production companies through investing in Irish filmmaking talent.
The agency delivers on its mission through generating inward investment by promoting Ireland as a film location as well as promoting Irish films to major international markets. The IFB is also committed to supporting the distribution of feature films, bringing Irish film to wider audiences and engaging with European counterparts on mutually beneficial policy initiatives.
Major Irish and international titles to have received support from the IFB in recent years include Academy Award®-nominated films such as Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner, John Crowley’s Brooklyn, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, and the Academy Award®-winning Room, helmed by Lenny Abrahamson. Other notable titles include John Carney’s Sing Street, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship alongside critically acclaimed domestic titles such as Frank Berry’s Michael Inside, Aoife McArdle’s Kissing Candice and Peter Foott’s The Young Offenders.
THE WRAP FUND
The Western Regional Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP Fund) is an new initiative of the Western Development Commission and Galway Film Centre in association with the local authorities of Clare, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo along with Údarás na Gaeltachta, set up to support film, television, animation and gaming industries in the Western region of Ireland. The WRAP Fund is committed to strategic investment that encourages regional production and development activity across the audiovisual sectors, to support local talent, create sustainable employment, build the audio-visual infrastructure and contribute to the cultural veracity of the region. Launched in late 2017, Calm With Horses is the first project supported by the WRAP Fund.