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SYNOPSIS OF “CELTIC KNOT”

Since the Norman Invasion over 400 years ago, many battles have been fought on the Emerald Isle, but none is fiercer than the struggle that occurs within the heart of an Irishman as he internally debates the choice between violent uprisings and peaceful resistance. With each generation, every father must decide which legacy he will pass down to his children: one of war or one of peace.

In the early 1990’s, Joseph McQuillan and his wife, Maud, enjoy their drive through the rural countryside of County Antrim on their way to Belfast with their impressionable teenage son, Sean. At a check point, Joseph can’t resist being a bit flippant with the British soldiers much to Maud’s dismay and Sean’s amusement. Once in the city, Maud enjoys a visit to her favorite china shop while Joseph and Sean run errands a few blocks away. A short while later, as Joseph and Sean approach the corner near the china shop, a bomb explodes in a pub across from the shop blowing in the display window of the china shop-- killing Maud instantly.

As family and friends gather at Joseph’s farm for Maud’s wake, Joseph’s spirits lift when his older brother, Riley, and his wife, Catherine, arrive from Idaho. While they visit with Joseph, Michael Mahaffy (head of a terrorist cell and long-time friend of Joseph), and his son, Graeme, express their condolences. Michael is a stern and loyal fighter for Irish independence, willing to give his own blood and that of his son’s in order to drive the British out of Northern Ireland. Graeme’s life is consumed with the fighting, especially after his mother was killed during a confrontation with the SAS.

Joseph’s internal struggle with the violence surfaces when he takes issue with an off-handed remark made by Graeme. When Sean takes sides with Graeme, Catherine tries to ease the tension by inviting Sean to spend a few months at their ranch in the U.S. When Sean learns that Joseph will remain in Northern Ireland, he is strongly opposed to the idea, but Joseph insists that he go, promising to join him soon.

After Sean’s departure, Joseph joins Michael and Graeme at a rally that quickly turns into a blood bath when rogue cell members ambush the authorities. Joseph’s feelings about peace are solidified when he sees a boy Sean’s age lying dead in a gutter from a gunshot wound. Matters are further complicated after Michael’s farm is raided by British forces in search of the organizers of the ambush. Michael flees to Belfast and immediately calls Graeme who is now in Chicago monitoring an arms shipment. He tells him about the rally, the raid on their farm and his growing doubts about Joseph’s loyalty and trustworthiness.

Overwhelmed by the continuing violence, Joseph decides to join Sean in Idaho with the hopes of starting a new life for both of them. He leaves his woodshop in the care of his loyal employee, Kyle. A merciless cell member tortures Kyle searching for Joseph’s whereabouts and a missing file containing documents pertaining to the arms shipment.

In the states, Agent Bryce Lomax of the Chicago Bureau of Investigation receives detailed information from an anonymous source about the impending arms shipment. The warehouse where the arms are being stockpiled is put under surveillance.

Hiding out in Belfast, Michael’s meeting with fellow cell members is cut short when British soldiers raid the safe house. During the dramatic gun battle, Michael is seriously wounded and apprehended along with the surviving cell members. Both Joseph in Idaho and Graeme in Chicago learn about the raid on Michael’s hide-out from the evening news. Graeme calls for the immediate shipment of the arms and sets off to find Joseph.

Fearing the worst, Riley and Joseph prepare for payback. During one occasion when they’re away from the ranch, Graeme arrives in Idaho, seeking revenge against Joseph and Sean for the capture of his father and the betrayal of the cell. When Joseph and Riley return to the ranch, Joseph and his son must fight for their lives and the values they have chosen.

PROJECT SUMMARY

The initial manuscript for The Celtic Knot and its screenplay were conceived and written by Louise Luster.  The story is about a member of the Irish Republican Army (“IRA”) whose wife is killed by a terrorist bomb.  Realizing the futility of the continuing violence against the British occupation of Northern Ireland, he decides to start a new life with his teenage son on his brother’s ranch in Idaho.  He believes his past is behind him until a member of the IRA tracks him down.

Other films of this genre include The Wind That Shakes the Barley (starring Cillian Murphy), In the Name of the Father (starring Daniel Day-Lewis), The Devil’s Own (starring Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt), and Michael Collins (starring Liam Neeson).   What sets this project apart from  the other films is the story’s primary focus which is about a father’s desire to protect his son, enabling him to experience a peaceful way of life, far from the violent turmoil.  While the IRA Conflict is a part of the story, it is used primarily as a backdrop, the reason for the main character’s inner turmoil.  When promoting this film, the Conflict will not be the main emphasis.

When our Director, Andrzej Sekula, was asked why he found this project appealing, he wrote:

“I was approached by Efren Muro with The Celtic Knot script.  I was immediately drawn to the storyline having lived in London during the late 80’s when tensions were very high between the IRA and the United Kingdom. The script has a significant storyline that combines a thrilling political story relevant to our time with impressive dramatic material. “The Celtic Knot” deals with the undeniable social affects of political scenarios as they affect the people of both the invading countries and the invaded; where all are forced to form an opinion on the matter.  Those who have to live in the midst of the turmoil are forced to choose on how to act because non-action is no longer an option for them.  It touches on raw feelings that many people worldwide are able to relate to today.   I am looking forward to bringing together a strong cast to produce a marketable film that is entertaining, relevant and significant to the history we live today.”

With scenes of violence and the frequent use of expletives, this film is intended for mature audiences.

The preliminary production budget for this project is approximately €8.9 million.  It will be shot in PanaVision using 35mm film.  Two-thirds of the film will be shot in Northern Ireland and Dublin, and a second production team will be required to film in the U.S.  Every effort will be made to film scenes on location, lessening the need for studio sets.

Talent chosen by the Director that will be approached for various roles in this film include Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Brendon Gleeson, and Edward Norton.

Campbell Ryan Film Productions in Dublin has stated a desire to produce this film.  Andrzej Sekula will direct and be the Director of Photography for this project.  The Leo Media & Entertainment Group in London has joined the management team as an Executive Producer.  Their biographies are in a separate section of this document. 

THE COMPANY

The Peridot Film Company, LLC (“Peridot”), will be established in Ireland.  Its officers will be Louise Luster (CTP Films, LLC), and Efren Muro (Mosiato Films).  We will serve as Executive Producers and Co-Producers for the development and production of the film titled The Celtic Knot.  This is a marketable, international, multi-million dollar project that requires professional cast and crew to ensure its success.  Under the banner of Peridot, CTP and Mosiato will bring together the experienced crew, creative talent, and funding necessary to produce and distribute this film.

Disbursement of funds and contract negotiations will be handled through Peridot.  An independent accounting firm will prepare the necessary statements and reports required for disbursement of funds.

The estimated budget for The Celtic Knot is approximately €8.9 million.  The project will be filmed in Northern Ireland, Ireland, and the U.S., using predominantly Irish/UK crew and actors.  The project’s Director/Cinematographer is on board and a production company in Ireland has stated their desire to produce the film.

Our primary objective is to create a film for international theatrical distribution that our target audience will find visually appealing, emotionally stirring, and one they will want to purchase for their home film library.

CREATIVE MANAGEMENT TEAM

The following people are responsible for the creation and successful distribution of The Celtic Knot:

  • Andrzej Sekula - Director/Director of Photography
  • Michael Garland – Producer (Grand Pictures)
  • Louise Luster – Screenwriter/Executive Producer (CTP Films, LLC)
  • Efren Muro – Producer (Mosiato Films)
  • Alex Sullivan – Executive Producer (The Leo Media & Entertainment Group)
  • Tamsyn O'Connor – Associate Producer (The Leo Media & Entertainment Group)

Andrzej Sekula:

After filming commercials, music videos, short films and documentaries in the UK in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s, Andrzej made his American feature debut as cinematographer for Reservoir Dogs in 1992.  The demand for his talent led him to the filming of the following projects:

  • Three of Hearts in 1993;
  • Oleanna, and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1994; he earned the nomination for Britain’s BAFTA Film Award;
  • Hackers in 1995 (with Angelina Jolie);
  • Cousin Bette in 1998 (with Jessica Lange and Elisabeth Shue);
  • American Psycho in 2002 (with Christian Bale); nominated for a Camerimage Golden Frog from the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography;
  • Falling in Love in Pongo Ponga in 2002 (written and directed by actor James Woods);
  • Vacancy in 2007 (with Kate Beckinsale); and
  • Vice in 2007 (with Michael Madsen and Daryl Hannah).

Andrzej began his directing career with the film Cube2: Hypercube in 2002, for which he won the 2003 Critics’ Award from Europe’s Fantasporto film festival.  In 2005, he directed The Pleasure Drivers, starring Lauren Holly and Angus Macfadyen.

Michael Garland

Michael broke his teeth as Financial Controller for Palace Productions working on such projects as Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves and The Crying Game, and Michael Caton-Jones' Scandal. In 1995 he produced This is the Sea starring Richard Harris and Gabriel Byrne for Overseas Film Group. He later produced Accelerator which was screened at Cannes and Montreal.

Grand Pictures was established in early 2000 and has produced the award-winning TV series Paths to Freedom and Fergus's Wedding with Michael as producer. Spin the Bottle, produced by Michael and based on the cult hero of Paths to Freedom, was a domestic box office hit, won a number of IFTAs and also won Best Feature at the Boston Irish Film Festival.

In 2006 Michael produced Puffball and in 2008 he produced The Race, an Irish/German co-production.

Next up is Superhero directed by Ian FitzGibbon in co-production with Bavaria Pictures. Michael is also developing a slate of projects including Jean Pasley's King of the Pipers, Winterwood based on the novel of the same name by Patrick McCabe and the Dead Spit of Kelly from a story by Flann O'Brien.

Louise Luster

Louise wrote the manuscript titled “Soul Intent” in 2003, upon which this story is based.  In 2004, she adapted the story into a screenplay titled “Celtic Knots” and, after several revisions, changed its title to The Celtic Knot.

While working on script revisions, she founded CTP Films, LLC and served as Executive Producer for the documentary “The Fall of ‘55”, promoting that project at the November, 2005 American Film Market and at various film festivals during 2006.  That film has secured distribution through Frameline Releasing.

In addition to her work on this project, Louise serves as script consultant to Idaho filmmakers and is Executive Producer/Script Consultant for another project that is at script stage with anticipated production in 2008.

Efren Muro

Efren has been working in entertainment for over fifteen years for studios such as 20th Century Fox, Paramount Studios and Universal and independent production and distribution companies.  The majority of his experience is in the international distribution aspect of entertainment wherein he participated in the principal film markets:  MIFED, Marche du Film, American Film Market and European Film Market. While working closely with other producers and directors on the distribution of their films, he helped develop and finance various projects.

Efren ventured on his own in 2006 to produce the feature length film “9 Lives of Mara” which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, starring Patrick Bauchau, Chad Donella and Troy Gentile.

In addition to producing, he is an accomplished screenwriter who enjoys working with other writers on mainstream and art house projects. 

Efren’s overall goal is to collaborate with talented writers and directors to bring notable projects to the marketplace.
   

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