Ed Guiney • Producer
07/01/2008 - Ed Guiney is on a roll. The veteran Irish producer is not resting on his laurels, basking in the global acclaim accorded to Garage [trailer, film focus], which he produced. Instead he’s moved swiftly on to Prosperity, a series of four one-hour dramas for Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ. Unsurprisingly, Mark O’Halloran and Lenny Abrahamson, the writer/director team behind Adam & Paul and Garage reprise their duties on this production too.
Guiney is no stranger to success. Together with his partner Andrew Lowe he runs production company Element Pictures, shuttling between their Dublin and London offices. Element co-produced Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley [trailer, film focus], which won the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes and went on to become the most successful independent film ever released in Ireland.
Guiney’s impressive list of producer credits also include Gabriel Range’s Death Of A President [trailer] for Channel 4, which won the FIPRESCI prize at the Toronto film festival. He also served as executive producer on Peter Mullan’s The Magdelene Sisters, which won the Golden Lion at Venice 2002.
Guiney’s groaning mantelpiece also boasts a BAFTA for Best Single Drama for Omagh. He is also a partner in Hells Kitchen International, with Jim Sheridan and Arthur Lappin, which acts as a co-producer on mainly US films shooting in Ireland.
Cineuropa: Can you explain the genesis of the film and how you came to be involved?
Ed Guiney : Mark O’Halloran the writer mentioned the idea for the film when Lenny Abrahamson, Mark and myself were having lunch at the Berlin Film Festival where Adam And Paul screening in 2005.
How was it like, working with Lenny Abrahamson?
Lenny is an old friend of mine and we have known each other since we were kids. I produced his short film 3 Joes and exec produced Adam And Paul. I love working with Len; we have a very fluid, easy working relationship, very open, straightforward and good humoured.
How did you put together the funding/sales/distribution?
Garage was financed primarily out of Ireland with support from The Irish Film Board, RTE and the BCI as well as very importantly an investment from Film4.
How do you find European perceptions about Irish cinema have changed over the years?
I think early on film financiers and filmgoers were simply curious to see films from Ireland, as they were a rarity. I think now the onus is on us to produce truly interesting films almost regardless of the nationality. Irish cinema has had a good year this year with Garage and Once.
What lessons have you learnt from Garage that you will carry forward into your next projects?
I absolutely love Garage and loved the process of working on it. I guess the experience reminds me that this is why we make films and encourages me to keep trying to make only those films that I am truly passionate about.