77-year-old Ken Loach (photo), winner of the Palm D'Or for The Wind That Shakes The Barley has teamed up again with that film's writer Paul Laverty and producer Rebecca O'Brien for the Ireland set Jimmy's Hall. A seven-week shoot has commenced in Counties Leitrim and Sligo, but what will sadden film buffs around the world is this is likely to be Loach's last narrative film, according to O'Brien, but he might continue directing documentaries.
Jimmy's Hall deals with Jimmy Gralton, who in 1921 built a dance hall on a rural crossroads in Ireland where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream... but above all to dance and have fun. The film celebrates the spirit of these free thinkers. The film is set in 1932 and follows events when Jimmy returned from a decade in New York and re-opened the hall.
The cast features theatre actor Barry Ward in the title role and Simone Kirby (television's Pure Mule) plays the female lead. The ensemble cast includes Jim Norton (Water for Elephants), Brían O'Byrne (Mildred Pierce) and Andrew Scott (The Stag).
Jimmy's Hall is a Sixteen Films, Element Pictures, Why Not Productions and Wild Bunch production made with support of the British Film Institute, Film4, the Irish Film Board and will be released in the UK and Ireland in 2014 by Entertainment One. Wild Bunch is handling international sales.
Read more exclusive contents on cineuropa.org.