Drama series Amber continues to take the world by storm
It's available in the USA on Netflix and on Hulu.
Screenworks has also secured funding from The Irish Filmboard for the development of it's feature film The National Broadcaster. The film set in 1960's Ireland is to be written by Rob Cawley and Paul Duane.
22 November 2012
AMBER GOES GLOBAL
Broadcasters in Europe and Latin America have picked up an Irish four-part psychological drama Amber from distributor Content Television.
Produced by Ireland’s Screenworks for RTÉ, Amber (4x60′) follows the investigation into the sudden disappearance of a 14-year-old girl, with each episode showing a different person’s viewpoint.
Among those to have acquired the Dublin-set series are DR (Denmark), SVT (Sweden) and Hot Drama (Israel).
DirecTV in Latin America, Globosat in Brazil, Allarco for Canada’s Super Channel, Netflix in the US and NBCU Global Networks in Australia have also secured rights.
DAVID MURRAY and LAURYN CANNY on the set of AMBER (Photo Rob Cawley)
Barbaric Genius shortlisted for Best Newcomer in the 2012 Grierson Awards
Paul Duane's feature documentary Barbaric Genius, about the wino turned chessmaster & award-winning author John Healy, is shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category of the world's most prestigious documentary awards, the Griersons.
The film, which was made over a five-year period, chronicles John Healy's life as his classic The Grass Arena is finally brought back into print after twenty years, and the filmmaker's attempts to unlock the secrets of this remarkable and very lonely man.
The film is the only one of the 40 shortlisted nominees with no UK funder, broadcaster or distributor attached.
The awards ceremony will be held in the Empire Cinema on Leicester Square on November 6 and will be televised by Sky Arts.
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Barbaric Genius Reviews
We've been pretty busy here at Screenworks - Paul Duane's feature documentary has just finished a short theatrical run in Ireland and The UK.
Reviews of Barbaric Genius:
"Paul Duane has created an enthralling documentary...Healy is a lonely, haunted, brilliant man... a gripping study." ****
Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian
a valuable and respectful portrait of a remarkable writer (and man).”
"John Healy has a story worth telling... an absorbing film." ****
This documentary about author John Healy is a must-see if you like dark revisionist tales..." ****
London Evening Standard
"Fascinating documentary... his story deserves this sensitive telling."
John Healy's an extraordinary character... a fascinating story... reminded me of Searching for Bobby Fischer.”
Mark Kermode, Radio 5 Live
This documentary is fascinating.”
Philip French, The Observer
"a compelling documentary"
Matthew Sweet, BBC Radio 3
"a fascinating and emotionally engaging documentary that's by turns heart-breaking, sobering and inspirational." ****
Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
"sage... sad... stirring in the audience both warm and tormented feelings."
Antonia Quirke, Financial Times
"Barbaric Genius is a brilliant re-framing of Healy’s ‘history'... the portrait Duane has presented feels nothing less than definitive."
Richard Kovitch, 3 AM Magazine
"A fascinating if stubbornly enigmatic subject for a documentary...absorbing." Tim Robey, the Telegraph
"This humane and haunting film... is all the more interesting for the frayed edges it leaves on display." ****
Little White Lies
"Healy is a star rightfully restored to our presence, someone who has been through it all – death, fame, love and hell... Duane’s depiction of this prototypical tragic figure transcends to give this man a mythical status."
The Cultural Expose
"A fascinating story."
"both a stunning character study and a damning examination of class-based prejudice." ****
"The fascinating tale of a modern hellraiser, ‘Barbaric Genius’ proves that the spirit of Hemingway is still alive and kicking."
"A rare documentary in which the skill and craft involved almost becomes irrelevant because of just how fascinating the subject is." ****
"Barbaric Genius gets to... the snobbishness and social prejudice that still exists at the heart of the London literary scene; the film is a piquant reminder of a figure first cheered by the establishment for who he was, then cursed and cast out for the very same thing."
Mike McCahill, Cinésthesia
"You will never look at someone clutching a bottle of booze on our streets the same way again after watching this film." *****
Camden New Journal
"the film offers a clear picture of the hidden tensions in British life around class, privilege and education."
The Irish World
"The best Irish documentary of 2012."
Screenworks inks deal with Content
Content Television is to distribute Screenworks crime drama Amber.
The series is a 4x1hour crime thriller produced by Irish indie Screenworks for public broadcaster RTÉ. It follows the disappearance of a 14-year old girl and the two year search for her. It is directed by Thaddeus O'Sullivan (Silent Witness) and stars Eva Birthistle (Waking the Dead) and David Murray (Zonad) as the girl's parents.
Rob Cawley, company director, Screenworks said: "The Content team were quick to see the potential of this innovative story structure and we look forward to following the international success of Amber in their highly capable hands."
The deal was struck by Kathryn Rice, senior vice president, European sales, and acquisitions at Content Television.
Screenworks create new animated 3d character for RTE
Screenworks are going into production this week for a series of Christmas links for RTEjr and TRTE. The links will air over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and on St. Stephens Day - and feature many of the RTE Young Peoples presenters along with a new face.
This is the new little fella - we call him Grubble (always in Trouble) - and he was designed by Screenworks own Enda O'Connor - Watch out for him on your TV over the Christmas period.
Mc Gill Documentary In Post
Very Extremely Dangerous
Paul Duane's Irish Film Board supported feature length documentary is in the final stages of post production
Jerry McGill spurned a rock’n’roll career for a life of crime, robbing banks & running from the FBI, while touring with legends of country music & appearing in movies. After three jail sentences, aged 70 & suffering from terminal cancer, he announced his return to recording. I followed a heavily armed McGill and his longsuffering fiance Joyce thru four states as he stole whatever’s not nailed down & charmed his way into & out of trouble.
But when you point a camera at a man who will do anything for notoriety, how responsible are you when he goes too far?
PAUL DUANE SAYS:
This is very much a first-person documentary. I’d only read about McGill in books and seen him in Stranded in Canton when he contacted me early in 2010. He wanted to get back in contact with his old Memphis companions, something I was ideally placed to do through my work with author/filmmaker Robert Gordon, and I had some long phone conversations with Jerry (some of which I recorded), from which this film eventually grew.
The helter-skelter way things got started (an email saying, basically, “Jerry’s just discovered he’s got cancer, he’s going to Memphis next week and wants you to meet him there”) led to a style of filming that puts me in the centre of the action, participating, not off to one side, observing. There are also some slightly eccentric elements, for instance Jerry's girlfriend Joyce’s desire to remain off-camera while her voice and conversations with Jerry continue. These add to the film's uniquely ad-hoc feel.
This is in one way the story of an Irish filmmaker fascinated with the South who is suddenly dragged into close involvement with a man who symbolises everything both good and bad in the clichés of Southernness, a man whose racial insensitivity can be shocking but who is obsessed with and knowledgable about black music and culture, a Confederate flag-wearing self-described “Yankee killer”, a beer-drinking, moonshine-drinking, pill-popping wild man of rock’n’roll whose adherence to his own myth has finally (almost) killed him.
The story arc has a momentum all of its own, from the excitement of McGill’s initial return to Memphis to his final heedless race to the casino at Tunica. I was along for the ride, and realised towards the end of the filming process that myself and my producer were just the latest in a long line of temporary companions who had joined McGill for part of his demented journey. I feel privileged to have filmed it but it was heavy going at times, dealing with the constant craziness. That gonzo energy comes across in the rushes and our challenge when assembling the material into a feature was to harness the energy but also to tell a clear and distinct story. Our ambition was for this to be about, not just the USA and Europe, but also the parasitic nature of film, the symbiotic bond between the born performer and the viewer, and the way that con artists tell you the truth even while they’re stealing your possessions.
Visually, it speaks for itself. The camera examines Jerry's face in extreme close-up as he goes from macho swagger to tearful remorse, and we follow him over the course of a few months change from a penitent cancer sufferer to a bombastic outlaw, and further – and then into unexpectedly moving territory, underlining the unknowable nature of the human soul.
Amber Has Wrapped
Our 4x52 drama series, Amber which is directed by IFTA winning Thaddeus O’Sullivan (Single-Handed, Into the Storm, Stella Days), was shot on location in suburban Dublin from late August 2011. It stars Eva Birthistle (Walking the Dead, Glenroe) and David Murray (Zonad, Raw) as the parents of missing 14-year old girl ‘Amber’. Director of Photography was IFTA nominated Peter Robinson (West is West, Inside I’m Dancing) and it was filmed on Red.
‘Amber’ was co-written by Gary Duggan and Screenworks own Rob Cawley, who produces alongside Paul Duane (Barbaric Genius, Director: The Royal, Casualty) of Screenworks, the Dublin based production company behind the series. The series received funding from the BAI Sound and Vision Fund. Further details will be announced closer to its scheduled TX in Spring 2012. For more details about AMBER - go here.
Screenworks new website launched
You're on it! A few bugs still but getting there!
Barbaric Genius screening at Edinburgh This Weekend
1hr 12min - Rated 15 - Documentary - English
Director: Paul Duane - Cast: John Healy
Paul Duane's documentary will screen in The Filmhouse in Edinburgh this weekend.
The story of John Healy, who went from street wino to world-class chess player to award-winning author and then disappeared from view. An extraordinary man's remarkable life, a struggle against himself and society, a story of violence, art and possible redemption.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Paul Duane.
Press for Barbaric Genius AKA ‘John Healy – You Have Been Warned’ (tv version)
“A remarkable story, an absorbing film – I never read The Grass Arena (though I shall now), but clearly the man is some kind of genius.”
(Irisn Independent, 15 January)
“Quietly powerful…Paul Duane’s patient, revealing documentary captured the dislocation of being second-generation Irish in London and the ravages of alcoholism and gave an insight into the creativity and intelligence of a most enigmatic man.”
(Irish Times, 15 January)
TV Pick of the Week in Sunday Times and Metro Herald.