Posted April 9, 2018
A witty, warm, delightful documentary – **** - The Irish Independent
Delightful Filmmaking – 4**** - The Herald
Ken Wardrop’s latest documentary is as humorous as it is insightful – 4**** - RTE Guide
The Ultimate Feel Good Film – 4**** - Sunday World
Utterly Charming. A celebration of music and the endearing bond between teacher and pupil – 4**** - The Irish Times
With only 4 days until it’s cinema release, the reviews for Making the Grade are rolling in and we’re blown away with the amazing response to the film. Make sure to check out the film when it hits cinemas this weekend.
Posted February 8, 2018
We are so excited to introduce the official trailer for Making the Grade, the latest feature from Ken Wardrop. The film will have its international premiere at SXSW next month and will release in cinemas from April 13th.
Watch the full trailer here.
Posted February 1, 2018
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Ken Wardop’s latest feature documentary MAKING THE GRADE has been selected to screen at the prestigious 2018 SXSW Film Festival, March 9-17 in Austin, Texas. MAKING THE GRADE will screen as part of the 34 Beats Per Second strand which screens twelve films showcasing the sounds, culture & influence of music & musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Speaking on the selection, Director Wardrop commented “We’re thrilled to announce that the International Premiere of MAKING THE GRADE will be in Austin, Texas during this year’s South By Southwest Festival (SXSW). This massive creative gathering is a wonderful spotlight for both new film and music and is such an exciting opportunity for our film. I’d like to thank all of our great students, teachers, filmmaking team and the Arts Council for their support throughout this journey.”
MAKING THE GRADE invites us into the world of the piano lesson. Every year teachers and students throughout Ireland prepare for graded musical exams. These exams can be pleasing for some but daunting for others. Each student has their own goal but reaching Grade Eight is considered a pinnacle. This endearing and uplifting documentary explores the bond between piano teachers and their pupils as they struggle through these grades. This is a story of the transformative power of music and the pride and happiness it provides both the students and teachers. It may inspire us all to keep making the grade.
Irish Audiences will have the chance to see MAKING THE GRADE when it goes on release from April 13th.
Posted January 17, 2018
Irish feature KISSING CANDICE has been officially selected for the world-renowned Berlin International Film Festival next month where the film will screen in the Generation strand of the festival. A visceral and thrilling coming of age drama, KISSING CANDICE is Aoife McArdle’s debut
Both written and directed by McArdle, the film stars the IFTA-nominated Ann Skelly as Candice, a 17-year-old who longs to escape the boredom of her seaside town, only finding solace in her vivid imagination. When a boy she dreams about (played by Ryan Lincoln, Cardboard Gangsters) turns up in real life, she becomes increasingly entangled with a dangerous local gang.
Speaking about the festival selection, McArdle said: “Berlinale is such a bold, beautiful festival. It’s a huge honour to have our European premiere there”.
The Generation strand of the festival integrates youth into the festival’s film-aesthetic discourse. Previous Irish films to have been selected for this strand in the past include Mark Noonan’s You’re Ugly Too and Tom Moore’s The Secret of Kells.
KISSING CANDICE shot on location in Dublin, Louth and Wicklow and had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. It’s the feature film debut from award-winning music video director Aoife McArdle and was produced by Andrew Freedman of Venom Films (His & Hers, Kelly & Victor, Mom & Me) and Sally Campbell of Somesuch with funding through the Irish Film Board’s Catalyst Scheme.
Wildcard Distribution has acquired the Irish and UK Rights for the film with a theatrical release due in the coming months.
Posted January 10, 2018
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our latest film, Making the Grade, by Ken Wardrop will be hitting cinemas on April 13th. We are delighted to be working with Element Pictures Distribution who have secured the Irish and UK rights to the film.
Making the Grade invites us into the world of the piano lesson. Every year teachers and students throughout Ireland prepare for graded musical exams. These exams can be pleasing for some but daunting for others. Each student has their own particular goal but reaching Grade Eight is considered a pinnacle. This endearing and uplifting documentary explores the bond between piano teachers and their pupils as they struggle through these grades. This is a story of the transformative power of music and the pride and happiness it provides both the students and teachers. It may inspire us all to keep making the grade.
Posted September 14, 2017
“An absolute masterpiece and one of the gems of Toronto. Go see this film.” – Unseen Films
“Drama, violence, passion, and Irish accents—what more could you want?” – Much Music
“Aoife McArdle’s dreamlike Realist wonderland Kissing Candice is an emotionally and visually impressive feature film debut.” – Film School Rejects
“Through this bold statement of a film, McArdle offers us a flavour of what to expect from her in the near future.” – Cineuropa
“The crafty dark star of TIFF 2017” – Brave New Hollywood
Just some of the amazing reactions to Kissing Candice, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. We are blown away with the positive response to the film.
Check out the trailer here.
Posted August 25, 2017
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Kissing Candice, written and directed by Aoife McArdle, and starring the hugely talented Ann Skelly (Red Rock) and Ryan Lincoln (Cardboard Gangsters), will have it’s world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
KISSING CANDICE is Aoife’s feature film directorial debut, following her multi award winning short film for U2’s ‘Every Breaking Wave’. Shot on location in Ireland, the film is set against the backdrop on the border between Southern and Northern Ireland.
17 year old Candice longs to escape the boredom of her seaside town, only finding solace in her vivid imagination. When a boy she dreams about turns up in real life, she becomes increasingly entangled with a dangerous local gang.
Posted February 23, 2017
Ken’s latest documentary film ‘The Piano Lesson’ premiered at the ‘Audi Dublin Film Festival’ last week to a standing ovation. It charts the musical journey of numerous piano students through the commitment and pressure of the keyboard examinations. The film offers a unique window into the students’ lives. You will discover meaningful truth in their successes and setbacks; unearthing charming curiosities that will make you laugh and cry!
Posted September 4, 2015
Here is a teaser clip from MOM and ME by Ken Wardrop which will have its World Premiere this weekend at Telluride Film Festival
Posted September 4, 2015
We are delighted to announce the world premiere of MOM and ME at the prestigious Telluride Film Festival.
MOM and ME is Wardrop’s second feature documentary following his hugely successful Irish documentary His & Hers”. This time Wardrop has travelled to the USA to explore the complex relationships men have with their mothers. Shot across the state Oklahoma, voted America’s manliest State, the film offers a candid and moving portrait of tough guys and their even stronger Moms.
Posted August 30, 2015
The World Premiere of Grant Gee’s film with Orhan Pamuk INNOCENCE OF MEMORIES will screen at a special event in Venice Days.
Posted August 30, 2015
VISIT FILMS have acquired worldwide sales rights for Ken Wardrop’s MOM and ME.
Posted April 7, 2015
Aoife’s short film ‘Every Breaking Wave’ is a visual essay of U2′s song of the same name, was released yesterday, and it is brilliant.
The response to it has been massive, with some of the world’s biggest directors commenting on it. Spike Jonze said “I had never seen anything by Aoife before but was really taken with this film. She captured that feeling and size of life of being a teenager and of first love so well. She drifts between the reality of friends and first love into fantasy so effortlessly and romantically. It’s a perfect little gem of a romance movie.”
And Alejandro González Iñárritu (director of Birdman) also said “The piece is full of sound and fury. It contains all that a young artist’s work should: a lot of things to say and feel, said with fucking guts, vision and ambition. There is no fear in McArdle’s piece but plenty of humanity; shot and expressed with poetry without betraying the truth”
We love it.
Posted January 5, 2015
Behold we have the first trailer for The Visit.
Co-produced by Venom Film, with support from the Irish Film Board, The Visit is a creative documentary that poses the question, what would happen if we were to be visited by a being from another world. The film presents this hypothetical scenario to experts from around the world who have already dedicated their lives to preparing for such an event.
The Visit will screen in the World Documentary Competition category at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, before being released here next year.
Posted October 21, 2014
We are thrilled to announce that the super talented Aoife McArdle has been selected for the IFB Catalyst Scheme. Her script Kissing Candice tells the story of a lonely, imaginative teenage girl growing up in a stifling community, who finds romance with an unhinged stranger.
Aoife is an award winning commercial and music video director signed to our sister company Antidote. She has also directed a number of short films. Her latest piece for Electric Ireland’s GAA Minor Championships is a powerful ode to the teenage lives of those passionately consumed in the world of the GAA. It is cinematic, visceral and a delight to watch.
We are very excited to spend the next year working with the Catalyst Scheme in bringing Kissing Candice to life.
Posted February 19, 2014
…And the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut feature goes to KELLY + VICTOR, directed by Kieran Evans (pictured above).
Co-produced by Venom and Hot Property Films the film tells a bittersweet love story with palpable performances by Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Julian Morris.
We are absolutely thrilled for Kieran who seemed utterly surprised and delighted by the win on Sunday night. Furthermore we are overjoyed and proud to have been a part of such a fantastic project
A big shout out to the Irish crew who worked on the film: Director of Photography Piers McGrail, Editors Tony Kearns and Nathan Nugent, Vast Valley, Screen Scene and Ardmore Sound.
Posted January 10, 2014
We’re delighted to have been part of KELLY + VICTOR – our first involvement with a BAFTA nominated project!
The film was produced by Janine Marmot of Hot Property Films and co-produced by Venom’s Andrew Freedman and his team. Director Kieran Evans is nominated in the “Outstanding Debut by a British Director” category.
Posted December 20, 2013
It has been a busy and productive year here at Venom!
We have started moving into the post production phase of Michael Madsen‘s documentary The Visit and look forward to continuing the project in the New Year. The crew have spent a lot of time travelling the world for the film and have met some incredible people along the way. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the project and to support the production from our end in Dublin.
After a whirlwind journey through Oklahoma for Ken Wardrop‘s next documentary we are very excited to take the project into the edit phase in the New Year. The crew spent three non-consecutive months exploring the state and got to know its people and its cowboy culture.
As we wind down for the holiday season we’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of Venom this year and wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
See you in 2014!
Posted December 16, 2013
Ken’s latest feature documentary has finished its third month of filming in Oklahoma. It truly was a western adventure with cowboys and every type of vast landscape to take in. The team is recovering from a busy year on the project and we will be moving into post production in the New Year.
A huge thank you to the people of Oklahoma. We couldn’t have done it this year without their generosity, hospitality and enthusiasm for the film. We would especially like to thank the Oklahoma Film Office and the local film industry for their continued support of the project.
Posted October 16, 2013
Andrew welcomed a new addition to his family early this morning. We can’t wait to meet little Miss Freedman and a huge congratulations to the whole family!
Posted October 16, 2013
It’s been a hectic few months here at the Venom offices!
We have been working on Ken Wardrop’s new documentary and have just completed the second of three blocks of filming in the United States. The team will be heading back to the U.S. next month to finish filming and we will move into post-production in the new year.
The other project keeping us on our toes is The Visit, which we will be getting even more involved with once we move into post-production over the next couple of months. Brian has been tirelessly co-ordinating all the rushes coming in from the crew who have been travelling all around the world.
Check back for more developments over the coming months!
Posted May 29, 2013
A very Happy Birthday to our Casting Director Raquel!
Raquel has been working at Venom on Ken Wardrop’s next documentary “Gentlemen”.
She has been part of the research team who have been searching high and low for potential participants.
Posted April 26, 2013
Norah McGettigan’s SANCTUARY has received four nominations from the British Independent Film Festival.
Big congratulations to Norah, Anne-Marie and Agnieszka for their nominations in the Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. The film also has a nomination in the Best Film category.
BIFF’s main screening event will be held on Saturday 4th May in London with an awards ceremony in the evening.
For more information check out http://www.thefilmfestivalguild.com/#!biff2013/c1upp
Posted April 19, 2013
Sanctuary will screen in Chicago as part of the Chicago Movies and Music Festival tomorrow evening. This will be the film’s second screening in Chicago. For details on the screening check out http://cimmfest.org/sanctuary/.
Next up for Sanctuary will be the International Family Film Festival in California and the British Independent Film Festival in the UK.
Posted April 4, 2013
Norah McGettigan’s SANCTUARY is keeping very busy on the festival circuit. The Phoenix Film Festival will screen the film tomorrow at the Harkins Theatre with the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival and the International Family Film Festival lined up for later this month.
In most recent news SANCTUARY will be screened as part of the British Independent Film Festival in May. The film will have its main screening at London’s prestigious Empire Cinema at Leicester Square on the 4th May.
Keep your eyes peeled for more information over the coming weeks.
Posted March 19, 2013
We would like to give our newest team member Raquel a big VENOM welcome!
Raquel will be working as the Casting Director on Ken Wardrop’s upcoming documentary.
Posted March 11, 2013
Norah McGettigan’s Sanctuary is taking the festival circuit by storm with a busy spring season ahead:
-Women’s International Film Festival, Miami, 20th-24th March
-Phoenix Film Festival, Arizona, 4th-11th April
-Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, 5th-18th April
-International Family Film Festival, Hollywood, California, 1st-5th May
Posted March 8, 2013
Kelly + Victor had a successful screening at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Lead actress Antonia Campbell-Hughes, cinematographer Piers McGrail along with producers Janine Marmot and our very own Andrew Freedman were in attendance.
Posted March 7, 2013
Check our our trailer for Kelly+ Victor
Posted February 25, 2013
Filmbase/RTE short film Joy, written and directed by Colm Quinn, will have it’s first television screening on February 25th on RTE2 at 11.25pm as part of the Short Screen series.
Joy tells the story of Nicola, a 16-year old girl, in hospital after giving birth. When her best friend Tess visits, she must reluctantly introduce her newborn daughter who only lived for a short time.
The film had its international premiere at the prestigious South by Southwest Film Festival in Texas in March 2012, before going on to gain a Special Mention for Best Irish Short at the Galway Film Fleadh.
Following its debut in the international competition at the Cork Film Festival, Donald Clarke of The Irish Times reported “Joy, shot in beautiful widescreen, finds a teenage mother facing up an anticipated, but still heartbreaking, trauma. The film never shouts when it can whisper. Its familiar story is archetypal in its poignancy.”
Joy also screened as part of a Cork Film Festival compilation at the St.Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne, and featured at the Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto and the Seattle International Film Festival amongst others.
Starring Jane McGrath (Pure Mule), Aoife Duffin (Moone Boy) and Derbhle Crotty (Notes on a Scandal), Joy was produced by Neil Wallace and Emmet Fleming for Venom Films. Director of Photography was Kate McCullough.
Joy was shot on location in St.Vincents Private Hospital in Dublin. A teaser can be viewed at the folllowing link http://www.thisisirishfilm.ie/trailers/joy
Posted February 20, 2013
Kelly + Victor is set to take over the Lighthouse Cinema this Friday at 8PM. The film is rapidly taking in the film festival circuit having taken the BFI London Film Festival by storm late last year and now moving on to the highly acclaimed SXSW next month.
Don’t forget to book your JDIFF ticket on www.jdiff.com before it’s too late!
Female lead Antonia Campbell-Hughes will be in attendance at the Lighthouse as will Producers Janine Marmot and Andrew Freedman.
Look forward to seeing you there!
Posted January 22, 2013
A big VENOM welcome to the newest member of our team!
Brian will be working as a researcher for our upcoming documentary alongside Ken and the rest of the Venom team.
Posted January 21, 2013
Kelly + Victor will be screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival on Friday 22nd February at The Lighthouse Cinema.
JDIFF will release its schedule this Wednesday 23rd January and tickets will be available online then as well at www.jdiff.com.
Don’t forget to book yours!
Posted January 21, 2013
All of us at VENOM are very excited that Anne-Marie Duff has been nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award for her performance as Maire in SANCTUARY!
Don’t forget to tune into the 10th Annual IFTA Awards ceremony on Saturday 9th February from 9.30PM on RTÉ One.
Posted November 12, 2012
Norah McGettigan’s SANCTUARY has been awarded an Indie Fest Best of Show Award. Indie Fest is an international awards competition which aims to first and foremost serve filmmakers and showcase “cinematic gems and unique voices”. The film has made Indie Fest’s main webpage. Please click the link below to have a look -
Posted November 2, 2012
The Works International will be showcasing Kelly + Victor at the American Film Market this week. K+V is among five Irish co-productions being represented by various global sales houses at the event. For more information check out the link to an IFTN article below.
Posted October 25, 2012
SANCTUARY was screened last night as part of the 50th Belfast Festival at Queens. Festival programmer Jude Sharvin led the way in a fantastic Q&A session and a huge thank you to her for taking such good care of us all!
Posted October 23, 2012
Norah McGettigan’s SANCTUARY premiered in Poland last night to a packed cinema audience. The film was duly celebrated with many of the cast and crew in attendance. Norah is pictured above with SANCTUARY actress Agnieszka Zulewska on the left. Click on the link below for a look at the glitz and glamour of last night!
Posted October 22, 2012
SANCTUARY is getting its theatrical release in Poland this week and will have its premiere tonight. Check out the film’s Polish trailer and a “behind-the-scenes” featurette via the links below.
Posted October 17, 2012
Kelly + Victor premiered at the BFI London Film Festival with director Kieran Evans, actress Antonia Campbell-Hughes, actor Julian Morris and producers Janine Marmot and Andrew Freedman in attendance.
Posted September 24, 2012
“Sanctuary” scooped up two awards at the Koszalin Debut Films Festival in Poland. The film’s leading actress Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy, The Last Station, Garage) shared top honours in the Best Actress category. While sound designer Fiadhnait McCann took the award for her work on the film’s haunting soundscape. Best Film will distribute “Sanctuary” this Autumn in Poland. The next Irish screening will be October 24th in the Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast as part of Green Screen: Irish Films Distilled.
Posted August 21, 2012
Another chance to watch His and Hers on RTE 1 television at 11:25pm on Tuesday 21st August 2012
Posted July 2, 2012
We are delighted to announce that SANCTUARY by Norah McGettigan will have its World Premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh. The film will be screened on Friday 13th July at 9pm in the Town Hall.
“A breathtaking debut, Sanctuary effortlessly evokes the twin perils of heartbreak and hope that inevitably follow great loss. At once personal and profound, art-house yet everyday, Norah McGettigan has crafted an elegiac, challenging yet beautiful film that belies her status as a first-time film maker.“
- Gar O’Brien, Programme Director, Galway Film Fleadh
Posted February 10, 2012
We’re delighted to announce that Irish director Colm Quinn’s short drama Joy is to have its international premiere at next month’s South by South West festival in Austin, Texas. Winner of the Filmbase/RTÉ short film award, it will screen as part of the narrative shorts competition along with 26 other titles from around the world.
Joy tells the story of Nicola, a 16-year old girl, in hospital after giving birth. When her best friend Tess visits, she must reluctantly introduce her newborn daughter who only lived for a short time. The film stars Jane McGrath (Pure Mule), IFTA nominee Aoife Duffin (Behold The Lamb) and Derbhle Crotty (Notes on a Scandal).
Joy was shot by Director of Photography, Kate McCullough (His & Hers) and produced by Emmet Fleming and Neil Wallace for Venom Film.
Taking place in Austin, Texas, the SXSW® Film Conference and Festival is a creative environment featuring the dynamic convergence of talent, smart audiences and industry heavyweights. A hotbed of discovery and interactivity, the event offers invaluable networking opportunities and immersion into the art and business of the rapidly evolving world of independent film. World-class speakers, creative minds, and notable mentors tackle the latest filmmaking trends. Last year the Festival featured many features and shorts, with 66 world premiere features, including Bridesmaids, Source Code, Attack the Block, Weekend, The Beaver, Dragonslayer and Natural Selection among others. The 2012 SXSW Film Conference and Festival takes place in March 9 – 17, 2012 in Austin, Texas. SXSW is also an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards Short Film competition (Best Narrative Short and Best Animated Short). For more information, visit http://www.sxsw.com/film.
Posted December 1, 2011
Our latest short film JOY has just had its premiere at the Cork Film Festival, where it screened in both the International and Irish competitions. Written and directed by Colm Quinn and produced by Neil Wallace and Emmet Fleming, the film stars Jane McGrath, Aoife Duffin and Derbhle Crotty. Huge thanks to DoP Kate McCullough and all the crew for doing a fantastic job.
Joy, shotin beautiful widescreen, finds a teenage mother facing up an anticipated, but still heartbreaking, trauma. The film never shouts when it can whisper. Its familiar story is archetypal in its poignancy – DONALD CLARKE
Posted September 18, 2011
After an incredibly successful and rewarding four week shoot in Ireland and two week shoot in Poland SANCTUARY has now wrapped. Many thanks to all involved in the production and keep an eye out here for updates as the film moves into post-production.
Posted September 17, 2011
We are delighted to announce a wonderfully successful shoot which wrapped last thursday at 22:17. Congratulations to all the team including Irish talents, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Director of Photography Piers McGrail and the work for editor Tony Kearns can now truly commence at Venom’s post facility next week.
Posted September 17, 2011
Say hello to Mia Phyllis Freedman, produced over a nine month period in Ireland. She was born on 10th September 2011, two hours after Wrap on Sanctuary.
Posted August 25, 2011
Sanctuary , has successfully completed filming in Ireland and moves to Poland next week . The film stars Jan Frycz and Anne-Marie Duff and is shooting on location in Cavan (Ireland) and Krakow (Poland), and is directed by Norah McGettigan and produced by Andrew Freedman and co produced by the Wadja Studios.
Posted August 25, 2011
Principle photography is underway on Irish/UK co-production ‘Kelly + Victor’. Written and directed by Kieran Evans, ‘Kelly + Victor’ is adapted from Niall Griffith’s critically acclaimed novel of the same title.
The film stars Irish actress Antonia Campbell Hughes (The Other Side of Sleep, Lotus Eaters, Lead Balloon) and Julian Morris (24 Hours, ER) as Kelly and Victor and tells the raw, compelling and passionate love story of sexual obsession, set against the backdrop of a highly cinematic Liverpool. Irish Cinematographer Piers McGrail will have his feature film debut as Director of Photography for the Irish/UK co-production.
Producers on the feature are Andrew Freedman (His & Hers) of Venom Films – the production company behind Ken Wardrop’s IFTA winning documentary ‘His & Hers’ – and Janine Marmot (Bodysong, Made in Heaven) for UK based Hot Property Films. The production is supported by Film Agency Wales, Irish Film Board, FilmFour and Domino Publishing.
Irish co-producer Andrew Freedman said “We are delighted to be collaborating on this wonderfully ambitious and exciting debut film by director Kieran Evans.”
Filming will continue in Liverpool until 20th September. ‘Kelly + Victor’ will be edited by Tony Kearns and post-production will be facilitated by Dublin based post-production facility Screen Scene.
Posted July 22, 2011
Welcome to our new website! Keep an eye out for the latest news here.