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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Dublin film 'went down a storm' at festival premiere

Imogen Poots stars in Dublin-made film Vivarium, which was given its premiere at Cannes on Saturday. Photo: Getty
Imogen Poots stars in Dublin-made film Vivarium, which was given its premiere at Cannes on Saturday. Photo: Getty

A Dublin-made film was chosen out of more than 1,000 to be one of seven given a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Vivarium was picked as part of Critics' Week at the prestigious festival - the first Irish film chosen since 1968, when The Rocky Road To Dublin was shown.

Clontarf-based producer John McDonnell - who runs Fantastic Films with Brendan McCarthy - said it was "like being an expectant father" they were so nervous ahead of the premiere.

Amazing

The film, which stars Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, had never been shown to an audience before, apart from a test screening.

Jesse was in Cannes with John and Brendan to join the critics watching the film.

"It was like being an expectant father. We'd never screened it to an audience and you always hope that you'd made an amazing film. It went down a storm," John told the Diary.

He said they had been "lucky" to work with the actors.

"They were fantastic. Imogen, I don't even have the phrase for her. She is amazing.

"Jesse is fantastic and they were both so lovely to work with," he said.

The majority of the film, which is directed by Irish director Lorcan Finnegan, was shot in Ardmore Studios in Wicklow.

Being shown during Critics' Week gives the film a brilliant platform to be snapped up by distributors.

The crew is hopeful it will then be released in Ireland later this year or in 2020.

hunting

The film follows a couple, played by Poots and Eisenberg, who are hunting for their perfect home in suburbia.

However, they become trapped in a labyrinth-like world of identical houses.

With cuckoo funds so prevalent in Irish society, the film hints at this harsh cycle in the housing sector.

"There are no jump-scare bits but I think it is one of the scariest films we've made. It's so horrific," said John.

"We have a young couple setting out for the perfect place and it turns into hell."

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