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Iben Hjele and Ciaran Hinds in Conor McPherson's "The Eclipse"

Irish movie 'Eclipse' picked up for worldwide release

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Iben Hjele and Ciaran Hinds in Conor McPherson's "The Eclipse"

Even more success for the much-buzzed about Irish film “The Eclipse” – Magnolia Pictures has picked up the worldwide rights to the Conor McPherson flick, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Major companies such as Lionsgate and Miramax were vying for the film, but Magnolia reportedly paid low- to mid-six figures for the feature in the first major sale at the Tribeca Film Festival in years.

The film, starring Tribeca Film Festival’s 2009 Best Actor Ciaran Hinds and Irish American favorite Aidan Quinn, impressed U.S. distribution companies.

Tribeca has aimed to expand its acquisitions market, and several of its films have secured distribution within weeks or months of the festival, but a quick purchase as in the case of “The Eclipse” is rare.

Based in and around an Irish literary festival, the film follows Michael (Hinds), a widowed teacher who works as a volunteer at the festival. To his surprise he finds himself becoming increasingly obsessed with a female horror writer (Iben Hjejle) participating in it. 

To offset sad sack Michael, Quinn plays Nicholas, a successful, full-of-himself American writer who comes to lord over the Irish festival.

Meanwhile, Michael has been seeing ghostly apparitions and is too scared to tell anyone about them.

By adding his trademark supernatural elements to the drama, McPherson has created a film where it seems as if a very highbrow version of “Terms of Endearment” has been accidentally cross edited with scenes from “Night Of The Living Dead,” with all the laughs and cathartic screams that implies.

McPherson made his directorial debut with the “The Eclipse,” which was a labor of love for all involved, according to the renowned Irish playwright.

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