Maze sets the yearly record for the biggest opening weekend for a domestic film
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Stephen Burke’s feature enjoyed the highest-grossing weekend for an Irish film in 2017
Irish director Stephen Burke’s Maze [+see also:
film profile] achieved an outstanding result over its first weekend on general release, opening without previews to over €141,000 after its official release on Friday 22 September. Currently showing in more than 60 cinemas all over the island of Ireland, Burke’s second feature has reached third place in the Irish box-office chart. This is the best box-office result for a domestic film since January 2016, when the Canadian-Irish feature Room [+see also:
film profile] by Lenny Abrahamson was released.
Produced by Jane Doolan and Brendan J Byrne (for Mammoth Films, Filmgate Films and Cyprus Avenue Films), Maze received national and regional support from a number of funding bodies, such as the Irish Film Board, RTE, the Cork City Council, Windmill Lane, Northern Ireland Screen, Film Vast and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Burke’s feature tells the true story of the infamous Maze Prison escape, which took place on 25 September 1983. On that day, 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners escaped from H-Block 7, making it the biggest prison break on European soil since World War II. This mass breakout led to the death of a police officer and the wounding of 20 people, two of them by gunshots.
The protagonist, Larry Marley, the mastermind behind the escape, is portrayed by Irish actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, known nationally as Nidge Delaney, from the RTE crime drama Love/Hate. The cast also includes Barry Ward, Martin McCann, Eileen Walsh and Aaron Monaghan. Shot in the old Cork Prison and its surroundings, Burke’s script focuses on the relationship between Larry and the character of Barry, and aims to emulate the complex peace process during the Troubles.
After having been successfully premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in the Republic of Ireland and at the Belfast Film Festival in Northern Ireland earlier this year, Maze is out now in cinemas, distributed by Lionsgate.
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