N. Ireland Screen Fund powers Generator


LONDON -- Northern Ireland Screen, the U.K. government-backed film agency and funder, said Monday that it has sealed a deal to support a slate of low-budget movies from fledgling production banner Generator Entertainment.

The funding for "indigenous film production from home-grown talent," comes through the Northern Ireland Screen Fund, supported by agency Invest NI.

Set up by producers Simon Bosanquet ("Ripley's Game") and Mark Huffam ("Mamma Mia"), Generator has an initial slate of five films, four of which will shoot in Northern Ireland in the first half of this year.

Further films are planned to shoot in Northern Ireland for 2008 and '09, the parties said.

The slate is being put together in partnership with Framestore Features and Limelight and is being sold by Robbie Little's Los Angeles-based the Little Film Co.

The first project out of the slate deal with Generator is "Red Mist," a supernatural thriller set in an American teaching hospital based on a script by local writer Spencer Wright, directed by Paddy Breathnach ("Shrooms") and co-produced by Belfast-based Michael Kelly.

The second project to get the go-ahead will be "Chatakwa Falls," penned by Richard Crawford and due to crank up in March.

Northern Ireland Screen also will support Green Park Films' "Cherry Bomb," the funding body said. Written by Daragh Caville ("Middletown"), the film follows teenagers on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shoplifting and stealing cars. "Bomb" will shoot on location in Northern Ireland and is produced by Michael Casey ("Freeze Frame") and directed by Lisa Barros d'Sa and Glen Leyburn.

Just south of 700,000 pounds ($1.4 million) is being spent on the three projects.

"Our latest round of funding to Generator Entertainment and Green Park Films reflects our continued commitment to building a sustainable production sector here," Northern Ireland Screen CEO Richard Williams said.