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My head exploded after Cannes call – Irish director

CANNES film festival may be one small step for some but it is one giant leap for the Irish company behind the movie Last Days On Mars.

Irish director Ruairi Robinson said that his head "just exploded" after he heard that his debut feature was selected for the well-known festival.

The movie stars X-Men Origins: Wolverine's Liev Schrieber and Romola Garai from Atonement and tells the story of a group of astronaut explorers who succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.

The Dublin-based production company Fantastic Films said that they were thrilled with the prestigious nod for the science fiction movie.

And producer John McDonnell said that the timing couldn't have been better.

Plans are already underway to establish a human colony on the Red Planet by 2023.

However, the company behind the experiment, Mars One, has outlined that the deal doesn't include a return ticket.

In order to return, the astronauts would need a fully assembled and fuelled rocket capable of escaping the gravitational field of Mars, on-board life support systems capable of up to a seven-month voyage and the capacity either to dock with a space station orbiting Earth or perform a safe re-entry and landing.

The scenario is not dissimilar to the premise of the movie Last Days On Mars, according to John McDonnell.

"I read an article while we were shooting that was talking about if there was life on Mars, so yes, it is very much of the now," he told the Herald.

Because of the science fiction subject of the film, a significant number of special effects had to be added in during post-production stage, which is still ongoing in Dublin.

And Mr McDonnell said that they would be going to the wire to get the film completed by the festival opening.

"In the best Hollywood tradition we are still finishing off post-production."