HE'S been living in Hollywood for five years but director Ruairi Robinson insists it was the Irish element that helped get his science fiction thriller into the Cannes Film Festival.
Excitement has been mounting ahead of the world premiere of Academy Award-nominee Robinson's 'The Last Days on Mars' at the festival today and the Dubliner told the Irish Independent that it's a "dream come true".
There are 20 Irish-made features showing in Cannes this year but Robinson's is the only one selected as part of the prestigious Directors' Fortnight.
He follows in the footsteps of 'All Good Children' by Alicia Duffy and 'The Other Side of Sleep' directed by Rebecca Daly, to be chosen as part of the line-up and eligible for the prominent Camera d'Or.
"You don't expect visual effects to be so strong in Ireland, but we are world class, so it was really the only place I wanted to work on the movie," Robinson said.
'The Last Days on Mars' stars Liev Schrieber in a tale of astronauts sent to collect specimens on Mars who encounter a terrifying force.
Robinson has been living in Los Angeles since 2008, but returned to Dublin eight months ago to work on the digital aspect of the film.
"It's not actually finished yet, we're still in recovery position, so in that sense it's weird to be promoting a film and talking about it, but it's such an honour," he said. "We shot it last summer, but it has really been a three-year process for me."
Galway actress Emma Eliza Regan is also in Cannes to secure distribution for her short film 'Out There', as well as a co-production, 'Love Eternal'.
While fellow Irish starlets Saoirse Ronan, Amy Huberman and Missy Keating – the 13-year-old daughter of Ronan and Yvonne Keating – have movies screening at the festival this week, Regan is the only Irish actress there.
Meanwhile, Irish producers have been negotiating a number of international deals on their slate of film projects at the market.
Treasure Films, the production company behind Huberman's 'The Stag', sold international rights to their film 'Wild' to Radiant Films Inc and it will star 'True Blood' actress Emma Greenwell.
Filmmaker Mary McGuckian has also attached US actress Shannyn Sossamon as well as singer Alanis Morissette to her new Eileen Gray film 'The Price of Desire'.