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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Irish movie tipped for Cannes award
The Wind That Shakes The Barley is released on 23 June
The Wind That Shakes The Barley is released on 23 June
A movie about the Irish civil war is being tipped to carry the day at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley, directed by Ken Loach, is in the running for the top award.

The world premiere of the Da Vinci Code - set to be one of the biggest movies of the year - opened the festival.

Since his groundbreaking BBC television 1960s plays - like Cathy Come Home - Loach has forged a reputation for intense and often controversial cinema, dealing with historical, social and political topics.

His Hidden Agenda film about the John Stalker shoot-to-kill investigation provoked vigorous praise and criticism from some in Northern Ireland.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley - due to be released on 23 June - is to be shown in Cannes on Thursday.

It is the first Irish film in official competition at the festival since John Boorman's film The General in 1988.

Irish producers

Loach's film is a drama not based on actual events or people, but is intended to be historically accurate in its portrayal of the time - with detailed research carried out by screenwriter Paul Laverty, who has worked with Ken Loach on many other films.

The era has been romanticised in some Irish historical accounts, but Loach says the movie will show the brutal reality of war.

Ken Loach
Ken Loach filmed on location in Cork

While lead roles are played by stars Cillian Murphy and Liam Cunningham as two brothers involved in the conflict, many local actors in County Cork were drafted in.

Loach went to local units of the Irish army reserve to recruit volunteers to play military roles, and the cast includes many who had relations involved in the fighting more than 80 years ago.

Cannes - the world's most prestigious film festival - runs from 17 to 28 May.

Simon Perry, chief executive officer at the Irish Film Board, said: "The Cannes market will provide an opportunity for Irish producers to meet with international film financiers, sales agents and film distributors.

"It also provides an opportunity to endorse Irish production services and competitive tax incentives, whilst acting as a high profile, well-resourced base for the Irish film industry and its guests attending the Cannes film market and festival."




SEE ALSO:
Da Vinci Code premieres in Cannes
16 May 06 |  Entertainment
Ken Loach to open film festival
29 Sep 04 |  Staffordshire
Loach awarded honorary degree
11 Dec 03 |  Coventry/Warwickshire


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