Irish director’s sci-fi movie ‘Last Days on Mars’ selected for Cannes

23 Apr 2013

Last Days on Mars, the debut feature film of Oscar-nominated Irish director Ruairí Robinson, has been chosen for the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival which takes place next month.

Shot by award-winning Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan and scripted by Clive Dawson, Last Days on Mars has been produced by Fantastic Films (Wakewood, Stitches) and Qwerty Films, with finance from Bord Scannán hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB), the British Film Institute and Prescience, with international sales being handled by Focus Features.

“Having my film selected for Directors’ Fortnight is very exciting and a wonderful endorsement of the creative talents of my cast and crew,” Robinson said. “My head just exploded.”

A total of 23 feature films will screen as part of the Director’s Fortnight line-up, 17 of which will be world premieres. Directors Fortnight is non-competitive but first-time films are eligible for the Camera d’Or prize, open to all debut films across the festival and parallel sections.

Many famous directors, including Sofia Coppola, Werner Herzog, Michael Haneke and Spike Lee, are amongst the world-class directors who have had their debut films selected for the Directors Fortnight over the past three decades.

The visual effects for the movie, which was largely shot in Jordan, were done by the Screen Scene VFX team in Dublin, which includes Game of Thrones’ Ed Bruce.

The cast includes Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai, Elias Koteas, Olivia Williams and Johnny Harris.

Last Days on Mars showcases the excellent creative skills of Ruairí Robinson as a director of a large-scale sci-fi movie,” the chief executive of the Irish Film Board John Hickey explained.

“The IFB funded Ruairí’s Oscar-nominated short film Fifty Percent Grey in 2002 and we are delighted to see his debut feature film recognised at the world’s most famous film festival, Cannes.”

Man on Mars image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years