Ireland embraces The Guard
by Naman Ramachandran
26/07/2011 - Home grown Ireland/UK production The Guard [trailer, film focus] has been warmly accepted by Irish audiences, collecting over €2 million, making it the biggest Irish release since The Wind That Shakes The Barley [trailer, film focus].
The independent film is on its way to becoming one of the biggest hits of the Irish summer, leaving Hollywood franchises like Transformers, X-Men, Kung Fu Panda and Pirates Of The Caribbean in its wake.
Directed by John Michael McDonagh, the film is a comedy-thriller starring Brendan Gleeson as an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins forces with a straitlaced FBI agent, played by Don Cheadle, to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.
The Guard is backed by the Irish Film Board (IFB) and Section 481 and produced by Chris Clark (Patagonia [trailer]) and Flora Fernandez Marengo (And Soon The Darkness) for Reprisal Films and Ed Guiney (Garage [trailer, film focus]) and Andrew Lowe (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) for Element Pictures, who also distributed in Ireland.
IFB CEO James Hickey said, “For an independently produced film to breakout at the Irish box office, overtaking a string of Hollywood hits and Oscar nominated films (True Grit, Black Swan, The Fighter) that have the weight of a US studio marketing budget behind them, is a remarkable achievement. We are delighted to be able to support projects such as The Guard, which is a uniquely Irish film with a broad appeal and has connected with audiences right across Ireland.”
Optimum Releasing releases The Guard in the UK on August 19. Entertainment One Benelux will release in the Netherlands, Starway Film Distribution in Belgium and Ascot Elite Entertainment Group in Germany and Switzerland.