Irish Drama ‘Parked’ Wins Mannheim-Heidelberg Festival

Parked - P 2011

Darragh Byrne’s feature film debut stars “Hell on Wheels” actor Colm Meaney and Colin Morgan of “Merlin.”

COLOGNE, Germany – Irish drama Parked from director Darragh Byrne has won the top prize at the Mannheim-Heidelberg film festival, one of Europe’s leading fests for up-and-coming directors.

Parked, which is Byrne's feature film debut, stars Hell on Wheels actor Colm Meaney as an unemployed man who returns home to Ireland but has nowhere to live but his car. When a dope-smoking 21-year-old, played by Merlin’s Colin Morgan, parks beside him, the two develop an odd friendship. Sweden’s The Yellow Affair is handling world sales for the film.

The unlikely friendship between a young Chinese man and a grumpy Argentine shopkeeper is the focus of Chinese Take-Away, the sophomore effort from director Sebastian Borensztein, who won the festival’s Rainer Werner Fassbinder prize as well as Mannheim-Heidelberg’s audience award. Latido Films is selling the low-beat comedy worldwide.

The Mannheim-Heidelberg international jury gave a special prize to Quebecois director Sebastien Pilote for The Salesman, a drama centered on a car salesman nearing retirement, which eOne is selling worldwide Pilote’s debut also won the FIPRESCI international film critics’ prize

The jury gave a special mention to Iranian slice-of-life drama Walking on the Rail from Babak Shirinsefat (world sales: Oba Art House); to the actor Laurent Capelluto for his role in My Only Son from Belgium director Miel van Hoogenbemt (sales: Films Distribution) and to cinematographer Piotr Niemyjsk for his lensing of Bartosz Konopka’s Fear of Falling (sales: Wide Management).