Erin Kellyman, Maxine Peake Set for Irish Thriller ‘Woken’ Directed by Alan Friel

(VARIETY.COM) Shooting is underway on “Woken,” a psychological thriller set on a remote island in the North Sea

Shooting is underway on “Woken,” a psychological thriller set on a remote island in the North Sea starring Erin Kellyman (“Solo: A Star Wars Story”) and Maxine Peake (“Funny Cow”).

The pic is being directed by first-time Irish director Alan Friel who previously worked with Peake on his prize-winning 2017 short “Cake.”

Cameras are rolling in Fanore Beach, Ireland, on “Woken,” which is being lead-produced by Ireland’s Fantastic Films. Fantastic has partnered on the pic with Italy’s Propaganda, the Rome-based indie shingle that is ramping up production and moving into the genre pics space.

“Woken,” which is also written by Friel, is set against a post-apocalyptic scenario in which the isle provides a safe haven from a pandemic that has decimated earth. The pic sees the protagonist Anna (Kellyman) wake up pregnant and unable to remember who her husband is. Nor does Anna recognize Helen and Peter who are supposedly helping her get her health back. Disbelief in what she is being told leads to a horrible revelation and Anna having to contend with existential issues brought on by man’s destruction of the planet.

Propaganda has also teamed with Fantastic Films on sci-fi drama “Obliquo 616,” to be directed by Italy’s Lyda Patitucci (“Curon”) and co-written by Milo Tissone, Federica Pontremoli (“We Have a Pope”) and Markus Fleming. Propaganda is the lead producer on this sci-fier that is set in the near future and involves a group of people who emanate deadly radiations. Belgium’s Gap Busters is also on board.

Also in Propaganda’s expanding pipeline is family fantasy “Volare!” to be directed by multi-hyphenate Pier Paolo Paganelli and involving a girl named Sara who escapes from a horrific orphanage and joins a magical circus.

“We have chosen genre because we like it: its [cinematic] language is clear and genre also has a very attentive and well-defined audience” said Propaganda CEO and partner Matteo Oddone. He added that the company’s goal is to take genre filmmaking “to the highest possible level through innovation with new talents while also respecting its canons.”

Propaganda’s lineup also comprises being a co-producer on Andrea Pallaoro’s high-profile English-language drama “Monica,” now in post. Pic stars Trace Lysette (“Hustlers”) in the title role as a woman who returns home to the Midwest for the first time in 20 years to take care of her dying mother, played by Patricia Clarkson, and goes through major mental changes.

Nick Vivarelly, (08.04.2022)