SINGER SONGWRITER KIDNAPPER to Premiere at Galway Film Fleadh
A new feature film starring two of Ireland's leading actresses is to premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh on Friday - with actors and director in attendance.
SINGER SONGWRITER KIDNAPPER is the debut feature film of award-winning writer/director Douglas Ray, who worked as Ken Loach's assistant and has built up a reputation for his quirky short films featuring actors such as Tom Hardy, Rafe Spall and Ruth Wilson.
Singer Songwriter Kidnapper also stars Paul Hilton and acclaimed comedian Matt Berry. The film follows hapless has-been musician Mark, who finds out his wife has been cheating on him with a woman and embarks on a poorly executed kidnap in revenge.
The wife, Karen, is played by Bray native Eva Birthistle - who has won multiple awards and recently starred in RTE hit Amber. Known as the lead in Ken Loach's Ae Fond Kiss, she has starred in numerous TV and film dramas, winning London Film Critics Circle Actress of the Year Award in 2004 and twice named IFTA Best Actress in a Leading Role (Film) award.
Karen's lover Jamie is played by Northern Ireland's Antonia Campbell-Hughes, star of Irish feature film The Other Side of Sleep, for which she was named as a Star of Tomorrow by Screen International. She has appeared in an array of TV series, including Spooks, Lewis and the sitcom Lead Balloon to great press acclaim.
Mark, the kidnapping husband, is played by Paul Hilton, an Olivier Award winning British stage actor who's had key roles in critically acclaimed BBC drama series Silk and Twenty Twelve.
Matt Berry is a well-known UK comedy actor who played Douglas on Channel 4's The IT Crowd, co-wrote and stars in Channel 4's thespian themed comedy Toast of London, and is of the ensemble, together with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, in BBC's House of Fools.
"A dark comedy about love, loss and the aftermath of fame"
He was once a lead singer with adoring fans, now he's just another forty-something guitarist struggling to launch a solo career. And, to make matters worse, his wife's just left him for a woman.
So he's kidnapped them both and is driving out of London with a tub full of poison and enough antidote to save only two people. He's going to poison all three of them, then they can all discuss what's happened and decide who gets to be saved.
The original script weaves sharp humour into the traditional thriller genre, resulting in a very dark, very funny tale that builds to an unexpected and unforgettable climax. Its theme is the crisis in contemporary masculinity: what role can men usefully play in society? How do they respond to the rise of the "alpha woman"? And how do women respond to "middle youth" men who won't commit to parenthood or careers?
Douglas Ray is a screenwriter and director. He has written several spec British thrillers, recently working with actor Tom Hardy (Inception) and photographer Greg Williams on the feature film Samarkand, following the trio's successful collaboration on the short film Sergeant Slaughter.
Douglas is a graduate of the UK's National Film and Television School. He worked his way up through the industry as a director's assistant for filmmakers including Ken Loach and Brian Gilbert, before moving into directing himself.
Douglas has directed over two hundred commercials, idents and corporate films and directed several short films including Get Off My Land (which he also wrote) - starring Rafe Spall and Ruth Wilson, which has screened at over 30 festivals around the world.
Key Cast Biographies
EVA BIRTHISTLE - KAREN PRINCE.
Eva won numerous awards for her work as the lead in Ken Loach's Ae Fond Kiss. Eva recently played the role of Sarah Baily in RTE's domestic and International hit TV series Amber. Throughout her career Eva has worked with many distinguished directors such as Neil Jordan, Peter Greenaway, Aisling Walsh and Ol Parker and on well known TV shows like Waking The Dead, Ashes to Ashes, Silent Witness and Poirot.
ANTONIA CAMPBELL-HUGHES - JAMIE
Antonia was recently the lead in an The Other Side of Sleep, an Irish film selected for Directors Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival (for which she was named as a Star of Tomorrow by Screen International). Antonia also played a leading role in Kelly & Victor which won a UK BAFTA for best newcomer film, Storage 24 with Noel Clarke and she starred as Alice in comedy feature Lotus Eaters which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. Antonia rose to prominence through cameo roles in Jane Campion's Bright Star and Albert Nobbs. Antonia also played the lead in the biopic 3096 about Natascha Kampusch (who was kidnapped and imprisoned in Austria for 8 years).
PAUL HILTON - MARK PRINCE
Paul is best known for his stage work for which he has been nominated for an Olivier Award. Theatre directors he was worked with include Rufus Norris, Michael Grandage, Dominic Dromgoole, Adrian Noble and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Paul has also worked on high profile TV work like Silks and Twenty Twelve and films including Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights and Raul Ruizs' KLIMT.
MATT BERRY - TOBY
Matt Berry is an established comedy actor who is best known for his portrayal of Douglas in Channel 4's The IT Crowd. Matt is the lead in Channel 4's new hit sitcom Toast of London and he plays Beef in BBC2's sitcom House of Fools. Matt has also appeared in numerous TV comedy series, including The Mighty Boosh, Saxondale and Gareth Marenghi's Dark Place. Matt has also played supporting roles in features such as One Day, Moon and Snow White and the Huntsmen.
ANDREW HAWLEY - DANNY
Andrew's breakout role was Daikin in the original stage production of The History Boys. Since then he has played a variety of roles in TV and Stage including the role of Alfonso D'Este in 3 series of The Borgia and appearances in Lewis and BBC's adaptation of Wuthering Heights. He has a role in the BBC's forthcoming single drama Noah.