- 30 Aug 21
The remake rights to Tom Sullivan’s Irish famine-set thriller 'Arracht' have been snagged by 'The Hurt Locker' producer.
Award-winning Irish language film Arracht has caught the eyes of Greg Shapiro’s Kingsgate Films, alongside Patrick Milling-Smith and Brian Carmody of Smuggler. Shapiro is best known as the Oscar-winning producer of The Hurt Locker, and intends to release an English language remake of Arracht for US audiences.
The film, set in 1845 Ireland, centres on fisherman Colmán Sharkey, who takes in a stranger, Patsy, a former soldier, who arrives just ahead of the blight – a crop disease that caused the Great Plague, killing and displacing millions of Irish people. He is forced to go on the run following a violent night of events where confronted a local landlord.
Filmed entirely on the remote west coast of Ireland in Connemara, the film received backing from Screen Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and TG4.
Arracht debuted at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia in November 2019. The following year, it scooped awards at Dublin International Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Irish Film & Television Academy Awards (IFTA). It was submitted by Ireland for review by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for the Best International Feature Film, but it did not receive a nomination.
Cúán MacConghail, producer of the original Arracht, responded to the news saying: "To have produced a film that moved Greg Shapiro and his team so much, that they wanted to option it is the stuff that dreams are made of. He has produced several of my top ten films of all time. Tom and I are so delighted."
Tom Sullivan, director of Arracht, stated, “I was so excited when Greg and his team responded the way they did, the film seemed to really resonate with them. It will be fascinating to see where they take our little big film next.”
The new English-language deal comes ahead of the long-awaited theatrical release of Arracht in Irish cinemas. Break Out Pictures will release Arracht in theatres across Ireland on October 15. The film is also due to arrive in US cinemas, though a date remains unconfirmed.
Watch the film's trailer below.