Tributes on death of Banshees of Inisherin co-producer James Flynn following short illness

Tributes on death of Banshees of Inisherin co-producer James Flynn following short illness

TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of Irish film producer James Flynn.

The 57-year-old, who died on Saturday, February 11 following a short illness, was described as “one of the key figures in modern Irish film-making” by Irish President Michael D Higgins.

“Over the course of his career, James Flynn made a remarkable contribution to the Irish film industry, both in terms of fostering the development of films by the Irish film community itself, and in bringing so many international projects to this island,” President Higgins explained.

“Beginning with his work as head of development at John Boorman’s Merlin Films over 30 years ago, he went on to play a major role in the development of the Irish film industry over the following decades, as well as a leading contribution to training.

“From the experience he had in Irish film from its early beginnings following the reconstitution of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and my appointment of Lelia Doolan as Chair in 1993, James Flynn was one of the first and most valuable people appointed by Lelia and the Board,” he added.

“James filled his role at the Irish Film Board with distinction,” the President said.

“He was one of the most knowledgeable Irish people about film with a deep insight into what was required for successful film making and his contribution helped to lay the foundations for building what it is now such a successful Irish film industry.”

Irish film producer James Flynn

Mr Flynn left a career in finance, and a position with the Investment Bank of Ireland, to begin his career in the Irish film industry by taking up the role of Head of Development at John Boorman’s Merlin Films International.

From 1993 to 1997 he worked as Business Manager of the Irish Film Board, where his responsibilities involved the analysis of feature films and television drama projects for development and production finance loans.

In July 1997, Mr Flynn established Metropolitan Film Productions Limited, and he went on to establish Octagon Films in 2002 to develop and produce films for the international market.

Octagon developed and produced the likes of Inside I’m Dancing, in conjunction with Working Title/Universal, as his subsequent credits as producer included P.S. I Love You and Neil Jordan's Ondine. He has also served as producer or executive producer on television drama such as The Tudors, Rae and The Bougias.

More recently Mr Flynn produced multiple IFTA-winning TV series such as Love/Hate, Penny Dreadful, Vikings and Kin.

He was also co-producer of Martin McDonagh’s Oscar hopeful The Banshees of Inisherin, which is competing for nine Academy Awards this month.

In a statement made confirming his death, Metropolitan Films Ltd said: "All of us in Metropolitan Films are deeply saddened by the passing of our esteemed co-founder, colleague and great friend James Flynn, who, after a short illness, departed peacefully on Saturday morning, with his wife Juanita Wilson and children Alex and Anna by this side."