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PRODUCTION UK / Ireland

Nick Rowland in post-production with his first feature, Calm With Horses

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- Based on a Colin Barrett novella, Rowland's drama will star Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar

Nick Rowland in post-production with his first feature, Calm With Horses
Barry Keoghan and Cosmo Jarvis in Calm With Horses

Nick Rowland's debut feature, Calm With Horses, is the fruit of a particularly intense five-year period that started when the director was studying at Beaconsfield's National Film and Television School alongside his future screenwriter, Joseph Murtagh. The pair worked together on four shorts, including Slap, a BIFA- and BAFTA-nominated drama released in 2014 and starring Joe Cole in the lead role. Rowland and Murtagh's idea for a feature-length project finally came to life in May last year, when Calm With Horses' filming commenced across the western Irish counties of Clare and Galway.

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The drama, currently in post-production, is an adaptation of a novella from the acclaimed collection of short stories Young Skins by Irish writer Colin Barrett, published in 2013. Set in the gloomy Irish countryside, the story revolves around ex-boxer Douglas Armstrong, nicknamed “Arm” and a feared enforcer of the drug-dealing Devers family. In spite of his life of crime, Arm tries to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son, Jack. Torn between these two families, the man's loyalty will be truly tested when he is asked to kill for the first time. Confirmed lead actors are Barry Keoghan (Black '47 [+see also:
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interview: Lance Daly
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Dunkirk [+see also:
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), Cosmo Jarvis (Farming [+see also:
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Lady Macbeth [+see also:
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interview: William Oldroyd
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) and Niamh Algar (The Drummer and the Keeper [+see also:
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Without Name [+see also:
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), whilst notable crew members include director of photography Piers McGrail (GrasslandNever Grow Old), editor Nicolas Chaudeurge (The Hummingbird Project [+see also:
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Fish Tank [+see also:
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interview: Andrea Arnold
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) and composer David Holmes (the Ocean’s trilogy, Hunger [+see also:
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interview: Laura Hastings-Smith Robi…
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]
).

Calm With Horses was developed by British firms Film4 and DMC Film with financial support granted by Northern Ireland ScreenScreen Ireland and the Galway Film Centre's Western Region Audiovisual Producers Fund. In particular, the project was able to benefit from the support of the latter two bodies thanks to the main co-production partner, Dublin-based Element Pictures. Its production team includes Daniel EmmersonMichael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan for DMC Film, Sam Lavender and Daniel Battsek for Film4, and Ed GuineyAndrew LoweKate Glover and Rory Gilmartin for Element Pictures.

British company Altitude acquired international sales rights back in April and will distribute the film in the United Kingdom and Ireland in partnership with Element Pictures later this year.

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