The latest home-grown news from Cannes. The Irish were out in strong numbers this weekend at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Irish party in Cannes hosted by Culture Ireland and Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB). Singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke played to a packed audience crowded with leading players of the international film industry. Amongst the Irish at the reception were Jim Sheridan, actress Amy Huberman, film actors from the Northern Irish film ‘Hunger’ Liam McMahon and Brian Milligan (directed by Steve McQueen which featured in the Un Certain Regard section at the festival) and Macdara Kelleher, this year’s Irish producer on the move. Business was just as furious with Irish films screening to packed audiences in the market including ‘The Escapist’, starring Liam Cunningham and produced by Parallel Films (Intermission, Breakfast on Pluto) which was previously selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival and ‘The Daisy Chain’, a chilling thriller starring Samantha Mortan, directed by Aisling Walsh (Song for a Raggy Boy) and produced by Subotica Films. ‘Summer of the Flying Saucer’ directed by Martin Duffy and produced by Magma Films and Satellites and Meteorites’ directed by Rick Larkin and starring Amy Huberman are also new to the market in Cannes this year. Irish film ‘Eden’ directed by Declan Recks and produced by Samson Films which recently won the Best Actress Award for Eileen Walsh at the Tribeca Film Festival, was also selling in the market along with ‘Dorothy Mills’ produced by Octagon Films starring Irish actress Jenn Murray in the lead role. A deal is close to being struck on Neil Jordan’s new Irish film ‘Ondine’, starring Colin Farrell which looks likely to shoot in Ireland this summer and would be produced by Parallel Films with financing from Wayfare and the IFB. There is more good news in store with a host of Irish films selected to screen at the Edinburgh Film Festival which takes place from 18th -29th June. Titles screening include the new Irish film ‘A Film With Me In It’ starring Dylan Moran and Amy Huberman, directed by Ian Fitzgibbons (Spin the Bottle, Paths to Freedom) and produced by Parallel Films, and the award winning film ‘Eden’ directed by Declan Recks. Also featuring in the festival is the debut feature ‘Helen’, a subtle, sophisticated psychological drama directed by Irish filmmakers Christine Molloy, Joe Lawlor and the feature documentary ‘Fairtytale in Kathmandu’ Irish shorts screening in Edinburgh include ‘Blind Man’s Eye’ directed by Matthew Talbot-Kelly and ‘No Regrets In The West’ directed by Colm Quinn. Other news announced at the festival includes the Dublin International Film Festival new script award Right Here Right Now in association with Walt Disney Studio Ireland. The prestigious jury includes John Hurt, Lenny Abrahamson, Trish Long (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Ireland), Sue Bruce Smith (Film Four) and US Agent David Flynn. The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14th to May 25th.