Loach's 'Jimmy's Hall' to screen at Cannes
Irish film 'Jimmy's Hall' has been selected to premiere at the prestigious 67th Cannes Film Festival next month.
Shot on location in Leitrim and directed by Ken Loach, the film will go up against Mike Leigh's biopic 'Mr Turner', for the coveted Palme d'Or.
Both men have won the Palme d'Or in the past: Leigh for 'Secrets and Lies' and Loach for 2006 film 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley'.
Other directors to be included in this year's official competition line-up include 83-year-old Jean-Luc Godard, Canada's Atom Egoyan and Belgian siblings Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
Based on a play by Donal O'Kelly, 'Jimmy's Hall' tells the true story of political activist Jimmy Gralton.
Gralton built a dance hall on a cross roads in Ireland in 1921, before decamping to New York for close to a decade.
Loach has said 'Jimmy's Hall' will be his final foray into feature films although he will continue to work on documentaries.
The film boasts an impressive supporting cast including 'Love/ Hate' actor Brian F O'Byrne, Jim Norton – who played the part of Bishop Brennan in popular series 'Father Ted' – and Andrew Scott, who played Moriarty in 'Sherlock'.
James Hickey, CEO of the Irish Film Board, said being selected for the May festival was a massive boost for the Irish film industry's profile on a global scale.
The festival will open with a screening of Olivier Dahan's biopic 'Grace of Monaco' staring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly and will close on May 25.
Deirdre O'Kane and her husband Stephen Bradley are bringing their film 'Noble' about the life and work of charity campaigner Christina Noble to 'Le Marche Du Film' which runs alongside the festival.
Bradley hopes to secure international distribution rights for the film at the market.
The film stars Deirdre O'Kane, Mark Huberman, Sarah Greene and Ruth Negga.