France and Ireland sign historic co-production treaty

This afternoon in the Irish Pavilion at an event hosted by Screen Ireland and the Centre National du Cinema (CNC) the first French-Irish co-production under the agreement between the two governments was signed. The production agreement was formally signed in Paris last December by the Ambassador of Ireland to France, Niall Burgess, and the French Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul-Malak. Today’s co-production agreement was signed between Valentina Films (France) and Max Films (Ireland) to jointly produce the feature film WHITE FRIAR.

“The Agreement signed between France and Ireland last December is a landmark in a long-lasting friendship between both our countries and our creators. We are very glad that a project such as White Friar comes now to be the proof that our efforts and this friendship are already meaningful to allow our artists to share their experience, their craft, their storytelling and thus to provide the audience with very ambitious works to be seen firstly in theaters” said Jérémie Kessler, Director of European and International Affairs, CNC.

“This is a wonderful day for our film WHITE FRIAR and for our partnership with Max Films in Ireland. The new co-production agreement between France and Ireland is a wonderful opportunity for these two great filmmaking and storytelling communities to work together” said Xavier Castano, Valentina Films (France).

“It has been a wonderful experience working with Xavier and his team over the last year and we are delighted to be moving another step closer to telling this great story” said Max Brady, Max Films (Ireland)



Inspired by the life of Father Tom Murphy an Irish Catholic Priest and Wing Commander in the RAF (Royal Air Force) in WWII and Eva Hofer a Hungarian Jew in Vienna, hiding in plain sight. WHITE FRIAR is a well-paced romantic thriller that examines morality, sexuality and identity. The story is dominated by female characters which differ from the norm of this genre in their power and experience. Both tender and violent, a story of faith, love and service.

The production is led by industry veteran, Executive Producer, Xavier Castano whose collaboration with Jean-Jacques Annaud delivered highly regarded and successful films THE BEAR, TWO BROTHERS and WOLF TOTEM. At the beginning of his career, he was 1st AD on iconic French films like TCHAO PANTIN, JEAN DE FLORETTE et MANON DES SOURCES and the Milos Forman’s VALMONT as Production Manager.

Max Brady of Max Films in Ireland is a long-standing producer, and her work is well known locally and internationally including work on the GAME OF THRONES series and more recently the soon to be released THE PROBLEM WITH PEOPLE starring Paul Reiser, WHIPLASH, FUNNY PEOPLE and recently playing opposite Michael Douglas in the KOMINSKY METHOD for Netflix and Colm Meaney, THE SERPENT QUEEN, STAR TREK, INTERMISSION, THE COMMITMENTS.

The cast of WHITE FRIAR is led by two Cannes Film Festival and BAFTA winners.

Anamaria Marinca, BAFTA winner and lead actress in Palm d’Or winner 4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS 2 DAYS for Cristian Mungiu. Her most recent feature YOU WONT BE ALONE was nominated at Sundance in 2022 and sold to Focus Features.

Jean-Marc Barr, who in addition to Luc Besson’s BIG BLUE also played the lead in Lars Von Trier’s Cannes Jury Prize Winner EUROPA. SILENT LAND one of his most recent features was nominated at TIFF in 2021. The film score is being composed by Katherine Kluge and Kim Allen Kluge who did the same for Martin Scorsese’s film SILENCE.

The film was written by Ivan Murphy the grand-nephew of Father Tom Murphy who inspired the story. Ivan will also direct as a first-time feature director.

I am very grateful to our incredible team behind and in front of the camera in Ireland and France for all their work over the last couple of years. With our co-production agreement now in place we are looking forward to getting into pre-production” Ivan Murphy, Writer & Director.