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Saoirse Ronan gets teeth into vampire role as Cannes investors go Irish

Teen star will play a bloodsucker in new Neil Jordan flick, it was announced at the Cannes Film Festival – where Irish-backed films have been selling well.

Saoirse Ronan after winning an IFTA for best female leading role in 2010
Saoirse Ronan after winning an IFTA for best female leading role in 2010
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall

SAOIRSE RONAN HAS signed up to play a vampire in a new horror movie directed by Oscar-winning Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan.

The 17-year-old Atonement actress – who was born in New York but grew up in Co Carlow – will star alongside Bond girl Gemma Arterton in Byzantium, which is set to begin filming in October. The $11million film tells the story of a mother-and-daughter pair of vampires who team up to suck blood, Reuters reports.

The news came as several Irish films announced deals with investors at the Cannes Film Festival. Parked, a movie starring Colm Meaney about a man who lives out of his car in a Dublin parking lot, was signed up for a US release later this year by indie distributors Olive. And upcoming punk film Good Vibrations – about the iconic Belfast record shop and label which gave the world The Undertones’ adolescent anthem Teenage Kicks – was bought for world sales by The Works agents.

It was reported last week by IFC.com that comedian Steve Coogan has signed up for a role in Good Vibrations, alongside Michael Fassbender.

On Friday, Cannes critics saw the world premiere of new Irish movie The Other Side Of Sleep, directed by Rebecca Daly. And Friday coming will see This Must Be The Place – starring Bono’s daughter, Eva Hewson – screened for the first time at the festival.

Louise Daly of the Irish Film Board – which hosted a reception for Irish filmmakers and international buyers at the weekend – welcomed the financing deals, telling TheJournal.ie: “It’s been a very busy Cannes market and we’re very excited about a number of projects in the works.

“There’s been a strong presence from Ireland here – both in the two films that are premiering, and the others which are in production or pre-production. Cannes is the most important film market in the world, and everyone is here.”

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Michael Freeman

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