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					              ANYWHERE ROAD
                          In Association with Palisades Pictures Presents

                               BLACK IRISH
    Brendan Gleeson, Michael Angarano, Tom Guiry, Emily VanCamp
                           and Melissa Leo

                                     Written and Directed by
                                          Brad Gann

                                   Running Time: 92 minutes
                            35mm, Dolby Digital, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
                          Rated R for some language and brief violence.

                                     PRODUCTION NOTES

                High-resolution stills are available at:

Press Contacts:
P&F Communications
Ray Forsythe
Andrew Conn

Marina Bailey Film Publicity
Marina Bailey
Nicole LaMonte
                   BLACK IRISH

                 Brendan Gleeson
                 Michael Angarano
                    Tom Guiry
                  Emily VanCamp
                    Melissa Leo

                     Directed by
                     Brad Gann

                     Written by
                     Brad Gann

                    Produced by
           J. Todd Harris and Kelly Crean

                   Produced by
  Brad Gann, Jeffrey Orenstein and Mark Donadio

               Executive Producers
  Geraldine Crean, Gwen Field, Shahen Derderian

                Executive Producers
Barry Levy, Gal Lipkin, Miriam Marcus, Marc Toberoff

              Co-Executive Producers
         Jon H. Freis, Julie Hall, Parker Hall

                Associate Producers
                    Sayda Foell
                 Frederick Johntz
                  Laray Mayfield

              Director of Photography
                 Michael Fimognari

                     Casting by
                   Laray Mayfield

                Production Designer
                 Sharon Lomofsky

                  Original Score by
                    John Frizzell

                     Edited by
                  Andrea Bottigliero

                 Costume Designer
                  Virginia Johnson

                                          BLACK IRISH


BLACK IRISH is a gripping coming-of-age drama. The story chronicles the trials and tribulations
of 15 year-old Cole McKay (Michael Angarano), an obedient son who yearns for the attentions of
his emotionally remote father (Brendan Gleeson). Cole is by turns nurtured and abandoned by
the rest of his family; his unwed and pregnant sister Kathleen (Emily VanCamp), troubled older
brother Jack (Tom Guiry), and rigid and religious mother Margaret (Melissa Leo). The tale
unfolds in a skillful interweaving of character arcs that builds towards a heart-wrenching climax.

Written and directed by Brad Gann, BLACK IRISH is his directorial debut following his screenplay
for Walt Disney Pictures‟ “Invincible” starring Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear.


METHOD FEST: Winner, Best Feature; Winner, Best Actor; Winner, Best Supporting Actor
FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL: Winner, Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature; Winner, Audience
HAMPTONS FILM FESTIVAL: October 2006 Festival Premiere, Golden Starfish Nominee
SEATTLE FILM FESTIVAL: Official Selection, June 2007
SONOMA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL: Official Selection, April 2007


The making of BLACK IRISH has been quite a journey for me, starting from the seed of an idea
twelve or so years ago to its incarnation as a film today. The process of birth is an apt metaphor
for this, and I suppose, most films: a long period of gestation, followed by a relatively brief but
intense period of labor, the actual production being both painful and exhilarating. Exhilarating in
the sense of getting the opportunity to work with such gifted actors as Michael Angarano,
Brendan Gleeson, Melissa Leo, Tom Guiry and Emily VanCamp, who breathed such life,
dimension, pathos and love into characters that had existed merely in my head and on the page.
And painful too, as with any production, time and money conspire to place constraints upon
creative vision. I quickly learned, however, that these very constraints can serve to change the
story in ways that, with faith, ingenuity and luck, often improve upon the original intent.

I consider casting to be the real coup of the movie. Though it is a coming-of-age drama centered
around a 15 year-old boy, the movie is very much an ensemble piece. Throughout the course of
the story, each family member individually undergoes what is the greatest crisis of his or her life.
Michael Angarano plays the lead role of Cole McKay, a boy on the cusp of manhood, struggling
to find his place in the world. Michael brought such a profound intuitive understanding of his
character to the table, and an availability of emotion that anchors the entire movie.

Brendan Gleeson brought so much to his role and to the production: a passion for his art, a
compassion for, and a profoundly deep understanding of, his character, not to mention a wink, a
wide grin and an open heart to all those around him. It‟s abundantly clear to me why he‟s a
favorite of the world‟s top directors.

Tommy Guiry, to my mind, is the second-coming of Sean Penn. There‟s so much pain and
humanity he brings not only to the role of troubled older brother Terry, but to every role I‟ve seen
him in. After each take, you‟d think he‟d be exhausted by this constant exorcising of his demons,
but he‟d come at you instead with a joke or a killer Christopher Walken impression.

Melissa Leo brought such dignity to the mother Margaret. She‟s an unparalleled character actor
with such a unique blend of strength and vulnerability that was crucial to pulling off this
heartbreaking role.

And Emily VanCamp simply amazed me as well, so talented and so beautiful, and able to
effortlessly achieve so much subtle nuance with the lilt of her voice or a subtle glance or a look.

I was somehow fortunate enough that the planets aligned themselves in a way such that these
specific actors were attracted to their respective parts. They lent power to the story in ways
beyond measure and blended seamlessly into one cohesive and yet divisive family.

The story is set in Boston, which, to my mind, became something of a fateful if not fortuitous
accident. Though the script was originally conceived as being set in New York, Producers J. Todd
Harris and Kelly Crean suggested teaming up with Moody Street Pictures, a production team
based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Upon meeting the folks at Moody Street (Mark Donadio,
Miriam Marcus et al.) and after an initial scout in and around Boston, I came away knowing that
this story‟s narrative could be strongly enhanced by these surroundings. Visiting such locales as
South Boston (aka “Southie”), Dorchester, Chelsea, Charlestown and East Boston, I immediately
understood that these neighborhoods, infused with Irish culture, have retained customs and
mores that have remained virtually impervious to outside influence, be it mass popular culture or
other ethnic intrusions. In a phrase, these people and neighborhoods, for better or for worse,
“take care of their own” to this day. This sentiment, which I found to run unusually strong in this
area, melded beautifully with this story and this family.

As with all achievements, the key to successful implementation is planning. Much consideration
was given to craft an overall visual design for this film. Prior to the typical pre-production period, I
was fortunate to be able to carve out two weeks wherein Cinematographer Michael Fimognari
and I would meet and discuss design ideas and parameters. It was during this period of discovery
that the look of the film began to coalesce. After much discussion, we settled on the paintings of
Caravaggio as our guideposts. His works share a rich autumn palette, infused with deep browns,
umbers, golds, creams, and blacks with a smattering of reds. We settled on a grainier film stock
as well, which serves to complement a grittier narrative, and we decided to de-saturate the film
using a bleach-bypass process. I wanted the story to be seen through Cole‟s point of view
whenever possible, limiting camera moves to be as unobtrusive as possible. Locations were
chosen with older architecture as a primary consideration. Costumes and props were chosen with
an eye toward avoiding materials and patterns that would peg them to a specific style or decade.
And we implemented the notion that as the story progressed, the visuals would get progressively
starker to mirror the characters‟ sense of isolation.

Making this film was difficult. We were up against it on several fronts, not least of which was
timing. We began principal photography on the same day Martin Scorsese began shooting “The
Departed” in Boston as well. As one might imagine, competing against a big-budget movie in a
tight market for resources was vexing. Fortunately, our game crew performed admirably under
extremely tough conditions and under tight time constraints (we shot principal in twenty-two

At its core, “Black Irish” is an unfolding journey into the contradictory heart of an Irish Catholic
family struggling to make ends meet. Perhaps you might recognize some semblance of your own
family; some memory of a shared past, no matter how distant. And through this memory, I hope
you‟ll also come away with a message of hope, possibility and redemption.



Gleeson brings his considerable talents to the role of Desmond, the 50 year old, alcoholic, chain-
smoking father. Formerly wiry strong and handsome, Desmond has succumbed to bad habits
and illness. Claiming fate has dealt him a bad hand, he‟s long since replaced his dreams with a
deep cynicism.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Gleeson decided to become an actor at age 34 after teaching for several
years. After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, he made his film debut as a
quarryman in Jim Sheridan‟s “The Field” and had several small roles in major Hollywood movies
based in Ireland, such as Ron Howard‟s “Far and Away” and Mike Newell‟s “Into the West.” His
breakthrough role came in the Scottish-themed “Braveheart,” which was largely filmed in Ireland,
playing Mel Gibson‟s right-hand man Hamish.

The versatile actor quickly became a favorite of some of the world‟s greatest directors as is
evidenced by his work for Steven Spielberg (“A.I.”), Ridley Scott (“Kingdom of Heaven”), Neil
Jordan (“Breakfast on Pluto”), Martin Scorcese (“Gangs of New York”), M. Night Shyamalan (“The
Village”), Anthony Mighella (“Cold Mountain”), Wolfgang Petersen (“Troy”), John Woo (“Mission:
Impossible II”), and John Boorman (“The General” and “The Tailor of Panama”).

Gleeson re-teamed with director Mike Newell for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” in which he
portrayed Professor „Mad Eye‟ Moody, a role he repeated in this year‟s “Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix” for director David Yates.

Later this year, he will be seen in Robert Zemeckis‟ “Beowulf” opposite Ray Winstone, Anthony
Hopkins, and Angelina Jolie, and is currently in production on “Churchill at War,” portraying the
former British Prime Minister‟s life and career at the end of WWII.


Michael Angarano stars as Cole, the youngest son and the film‟s protagonist. Cole is a good-
looking, good-natured, earnest, 15 year-old altar boy. He carries the guilt of a good Catholic
schoolboy and is also a gifted young baseball player.

One of Hollywood‟s most sought after teen actors, Angarano starred with Kurt Russell in the
Disney release “Sky High” and was featured in the skateboarding movie “Lords of Dogtown.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Angarano has been acting in films and television since he was 7
years old. His early credits include “For Richer or Poorer,” “Music of the Heart,” “Almost
Famous,” and “Seabiscuit,” as well as episodes of the series “Cybill,” “Seven Days,” and “ER.”
More recently, he has appeared in the feature films “Dear Wendy” and “One Last Thing…” and
had guest starring roles on “Will & Grace” and “24.”

He will be seen in the forthcoming “Snow Angels” starring Kate Beckinsale and “The Forbidden
Kingdom” starring opposite Jackie Chan and Jet Li.


Tom Guiry plays Terry, the McKay‟s older son, 17 years old and big-framed. Surly and misguided,
the threat of violence is his constant companion. Terry is more complex than meets the eye with a
surprising sense of loyalty to family. With an explosive temper, Terry lives by his own set of rules.

The New Jersey native made his film debut in “The Sandlot” when he was 11 years old. Guiry
went on to appear in the feature films “Lassie,” “Wrestling with Alligators,” Ang Lee‟s “Ride with
the Devil,” Jonathan Mostow‟s “U-571,” Joel Schumacher‟s “Tigerland,” Ridley Scott‟s “Black
Hawk Down,” and Clint Eastwood‟s “Mystic River.” He was also recently featured on the critically
acclaimed NBC TV show “The Black Donnellys,” about four young Irish-American brothers caught
up in New York‟s underworld of organized crime. The drama “The Speed of Light” is his next film,
reuniting him with his “Tigerland” co-star Matthew Davis.


Emily VanCamp plays the daughter Kathleen: 16 years old and beautiful, with just enough
attitude. Independent, loving, intelligent and secure, Kathleen is mature beyond her years and a

Best-known for her role as „Amy Abbott‟ in The WB hit series “Everwood,” VanCamp started
acting in films and television at the age of 13, appearing in the TV mini-series “Jackie Bouvier
Kennedy Onassis” as the title character in her teens. The Canadian native‟s film credits include
“Lost and Delirious,” “A Different Loyalty,” and “The Ring Two.” In the spring of 2007, she joined
the cast of the popular ABC drama “Brothers & Sisters” as „Rebecca Harper,‟ the illegitimate
daughter of Patricia Wettig‟s character and newest member of the „Walker‟ family. She recently
completed the thriller “Carriers” with Piper Perabo, Chris Pine, and Christopher Meloni.

MELISSA LEO (Margaret)

Melissa Leo portrays Margaret, the mother: 44 years old and a natural and understated beauty.
Margaret is weathered by the passage of time. She's fiercely proud, determined, intelligent, and
religious. She has faced disappointment with courage and sees herself as the moral backbone of
the McKay family.

Leo has a vast body of work, earning great acclaim from her role as Benicio Del Toro‟s wife in the
Oscar-nominated film “21 Grams” from director Alejandro González Iñárritu.

The New York-born actress first came to audiences‟ attention in the ABC daytime drama “All My
Children” as „Linda Warner,‟ earning her a Daytime Emmy nomination. She left the series after
one year and quickly racked up film credits including “Streetwalkin‟,” “A Time of Destiny,” “The
Ballad of Little Jo,” and “The 24 Hour Woman,” as well as guest starring roles on such TV series
as “Miami Vice,” “Spenser: For Hire,” and “Law & Order.” She has also appeared in several films
by director Henry Jaglom: “Always,” “Venice/Venice,” “Last Summer in the Hamptons,” and
“Hollywood Dreams.” Her numerous film credits also include Tommy Lee Jones‟ “The Three
Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” “Hide and Seek,” “American Gun,” and “Stephanie Daley.”

Before “21 Grams” brought her even more film work, Leo had regular roles in the TV series “The
Young Riders” and the highly acclaimed “Homicide: Life on the Street.” She has several films
awaiting release, including “The Cake Eaters,” “One Night,” and “The Alphabet Killer.”


BRAD GANN - Writer/Director/Producer
BLACK IRISH marks the directing debut for screenwriter Brad Gann. In the past few years, Brad
has sold two major scripts: STATIC, an action drama bought by Sony Pictures with Neil Moritz
producing, and INVINCIBLE, a sports drama starring Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear, which
sold to Disney with Mayhem Pictures (“The Rookie,” “Miracle”) producing. It was released in the
summer of 2006, landing at #1 at the box-office. Currently, Brad is penning another sports drama
entitled THE THROWBACK for Walden Media, developing a drama pilot for Sony Television, and
writing an action thriller entitled BAD BLOOD for producer Todd Harris and Switchblood, LLC.
Brad will be back in the directing chair this coming Winter on a project entitled ONCE WAS LOST,
starring Danny Glover and actor/rapper T.I. , with Creanspeak producing.

J. TODD HARRIS - Producer
J. Todd Harris is president of production for IPW, the rights-driven production company based in
Los Angeles. He has produced 28 films and has had three films in the Sundance Film Festival,
two in Toronto and one in Cannes, which one an award. His credits include Universal Pictures‟
“Dudley Do-Right” starring Brendan Fraser and Sarah Jessica Parker. He co-produced the horror
hit Jeepers Creepers for MGM/UA and Francis Coppola. His Sundance entries have included
“Digging To China” (starring Kevin Bacon), “Urbania,” and “Lewis & Clark & George.” He also
produced the cult classic “Sordid Lives,” the TV movie “Little Richard,” and the recently completed
“Legend Of Lucy Keyes,” 20 Century Fox‟s “Supercross,” and the romantic comedy “Knots”
(starring John Stamos and Tara Reid). Harris earned his BA and MBA from Stanford University.
In between degrees he served as managing director of the Palo Alto-based repertory theatre
company TheatreWorks.

KELLY CREAN - Producer
Crean is founder and president of Creanspeak Productions, Falcon Film Funding, and
Creanspeak's financing arm Creanspeak Funding, LLC. She is the managing member of three
funds, one of which is based and traded internationally. The other two are housed at UBS &
Merrill Lynch respectively.

She is currently in post production on “Speed Shift,” a new reality series following the
Ferrari of Houston racing team while competing in the American Le Mans circuit. She is also in
prep on another reality pilot about a troop of ballet students in training for their final performance
and transition into the professional dance world. Also currently in development are several
projects, including “Once was Lost,” the follow up feature to writer/director Brad Gann‟s BLACK
IRISH; “One Step Beyond,” a journey into the Ska music scene shooting in 2007 with Executive
Producer Barbara Boyle, and “Cover,” directed by Bill Duke and starring Aunjanue Ellis, Raz
Adoti, Vivica A. Fox, Loretta Devine, Louis Gossett, Jr., Paula Jai Parker, Mya Harrison, Heavy D,
Glenn Plummer and Clifton Powell.

Crean is an executive producer of "Gagsters!" the first hybrid reality/scripted TV show for
children. Since the hit show began its run on Kids' WB in 2004, it has been sold in over forty
countries. She also co-created and executive produced “Doctors of Rock” for HDnet. In
collaboration with the living hip hop legend Kool Mo Dee, Crean produced the revolutionary
documentary “There's a God on the Mic,” based on the musician‟s highly acclaimed book of the
same title. Additional feature films include “Last Night,” “The Statue Game,” and the 2003
Sundance Film Festival entry “Prey for Rock & Roll,” starring Gina Gershon, Drea De Matteo and
Lori Petty.

In addition to formerly serving as an associate producer on "Emeril Live!" she worked as an
assistant to producer Cary Woods at Miramax on “Swingers,” “Scream,” “Citizen Ruth,” “Gummo,”
and “Copland.” Earlier in her career, she worked in production at MGM, CBS News and Engel
Brothers Productions.

A former member of the U.S. Ski Team, Crean earned a degree in English Literature from
Columbia University and studied film production at Columbia University's School of the Arts.

MARK DONADIO - Producer/ MIRIAM MARCUS - Executive Producer
Moody Street Pictures is a Boston-based independent media company that develops feature
films, television and music productions as well as work for corporate and commercial clients.
Moody Street Pictures offers end-to-end production & development services, enabling clients to
realize their media & entertainment visions. Moody Street Pictures offers creativity and
innovation as well as support for cutting-edge motion picture and video technology. In addition to
its distinguished team, Moody Street Pictures has the unique advantage of its relationship with
sister company Boston Camera, New England‟s leading Motion Picture and Video equipment
rental outfit. Moody Street principal Mark Donadio has produced twelve movies, including the
critically acclaimed “Next Stop Wonderland” starring Hope Davis.

Anywhere Road is an independent distribution company built to be a haven for filmmakers, taking
challenging and unique films into theaters and helping them reach their fullest potential. The
company‟s first release was the Brazilian hip-hop drama “Antonia” by director Tata Amaral. It will
next distribute the Australian crime drama “Razor Eaters.”



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