IFC Films Cuts Deal for Northern Ireland Drama ‘The Journey’

Toronto 2016: Movie centers on the unlikely friendship between political enemies at the end of “the troubles”

The Journey
Courtesy of TIFF

IFC Films has acquired the North American rights to “The Journey,” a real-life drama that follows the unlikely friendship between sworn political enemies Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness at the conclusion of “the troubles” in Northern Ireland.

After 40 years of violence in Northern Ireland, loyalist leader Paisley and former Irish Republican Army Commander McGuinness meet at St. Andrews to hammer out a peace agreement. While the talks are buckling, the two men take a car ride together, where they begin to break down walls and sow the seeds of a future friendship.

Nick Hamm directed the film, which stars Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, John Hurt, Toby Stephens and Freddie Highmore. Colin Bateman wrote the screenplay.

“I’m excited that ‘The Journey’ will have such a prestigious and intelligent distributor behind the film,” Hamm said in a statement. “It’s a powerful story about peace and reconciliation that I’m thrilled will be seen by a wide audience, and I couldn’t wish for a better partner than IFC Films.”

“We at IFC Films were immediately enthralled with the film and are always excited at the opportunity to work once more with IM Global. Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney imbue their characters with such charisma and provide a master class in acting,” Jonathan Sehring, co-president of IFC Films and Sundance Selects, said in the statement.

The film’s producers are Piers Tempest, Mark Huffam, Matt Jackson, IM Global Founder and CEO Stuart Ford and Hamm, and it was executive produced by Jo Bamford, Norman Merry, Janine Modder, and Miguel Palos Jr.  IM Global was the movie’s financier, with support from North Ireland Screen and Lipsynch Post.

CAA was involved in brokering the deal. IFC Films’ EVP of acquisitions and productions, Arianna Bocco, handled the negotiations on the studio side, and IM Global worked on behalf of the filmmakers.

The movie will hit theaters in mid-2017.