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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Ireland / Austria

Karey Kirkpatrick to direct World War II drama Faraway Home

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- The film will follow two young Jewish children sent by their parents away from Nazi-occupied Austria

Karey Kirkpatrick to direct World War II drama Faraway Home
Director Karey Kirkpatrick

American writer-director-producer Karey Kirkpatrick is attached to direct a new Irish-Austrian production, a drama entitled Faraway Home. Before this film, Kirkpatrick directed or co-directed three features – namely, Smallfoot (2018), Imagine That (2009) and Over the Edge (2006). Among his other notable contributions, he worked as a writer for James and the Giant Peach (1996), Chicken Run (2000), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) and The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008, also serving as a producer).

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The project promises to be “a beautiful story of two young Jewish children sent by their parents away from Nazi-occupied Austria during World War II, on the Kindertransport to London.” The children will finally end up at a Jewish refugee farm in Millisle, Northern Ireland, thus escaping the war and certain death. The script, penned by Stephen Gibson and Clare Sera, is an adaptation of Marilyn Taylor’s 1999 novel of the same name.

On this occasion, Kirkpatrick will team up with Gibson and veteran producer David Barron (the Harry Potter saga, Cinderella [+see also:
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and the recent Escape to Pretoria) for the Irish branch of Powerscourt Pictures (which also has offices in the USA and the UK). Speaking to iftn.ie, the first outlet to report the announcement, Gibson revealed: “When we shared the Faraway Home script with Karey and asked him to direct, it felt like a long shot, but you have to aim high. When he read the script, he was blown away and came on board, so we were over the moon. Karey is a wonderful director, with a track record of working with young actors, like Yara Shahidi in Imagine That, and with Sarah Bolger and Freddie Highmore in The Spiderwick Chronicles. It's wonderful to be working with a Hollywood director of his calibre, and we welcome him to our team.”

Faraway Home is being developed and backed by Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and the Vienna Film Commission. Barbara Pichler and Gabriele Kranzelbinder are also producing for KGP Filmproduktion GmbH (Austria). The feature will begin filming in Ireland and Vienna in early 2022. The cast is yet to be disclosed.

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