Exclusive: Shinawil, Reel One & Dominic Schreiber link for dark comedy ‘Our Father’

Our Father

Former Newen exec Dominic Schreiber has linked up with Clean Sweep producer Shinawil and Canada’s Reel One Entertainment on a new drama from A Patch Of Fog writers, Michael McCartney and John Cairns.

Our Father, which has been selected for the copro pitching session at Series Mania on Tuesday, follows streetwise criminal Danny Burns, who gets a shot at redemption when he flees from his native Belfast to a remote town in Newfoundland, where he is mistaken for their new priest, Father Peter.

The 8 x 60-minute show is described as a “darkly comedic, character-driven drama” and also has Cardinal showrunner Patrick Tarr attached on the writing team, alongside Newfoundland writer Emily Bridger (Little Orphans).

Dominic Schreiber

TBI understands the series will be structured as a treaty co-pro between the UK and Canada, with most of the filming set to take place in Newfoundland, where Take The Shot will handle production.

“It’s a classic fish-out-of-water story of an impostor living a lie but also slowly discovering a new-found sense of worth and belonging in a community,” explains Schreiber, who started working on the project while it was at Reel One, which was then acquired by Newen in 2019.

Schreiber, who became SVP of coproductions & acquisitions at Newen before leaving last year to set up Colliderscope, is exec producing on behalf of Newen-owned Reel One while Aaron Farrell is attached for Shinawil.

The Irish producer has ramped up its scripted output over recent years under head of drama Farrell, with Shinawil’s slate ranging from Irish–Canadian co-production Clean Sweep for RTÉ and Sundance Now, as well as feature film The Mircale Club, starring Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates and Laura Linney.

The pilot script was funded through an initiative by the Canadian Media Fund and Northern Ireland Film to encourage coproductions between the countries, with Series Mania marking the project’s first outing.

“We’re pitching it into Canadian, UK and Irish broadcasters and there could be multiple seasons potentially,” Farrell says, whose team has also been service producers for Channel 5’s The Catch, The Doll Factory for Buccaneer Media and Paramount+, and Maryland for Monumental and ITVX.

Our Father hits the post-pandemic sweet spot right now, where people want escapism and a bit of fun. But it isn’t just completely blue skies – it has a darker edge, but with a bit of humour,” adds Schreiber, who is also working on an English-language adaptation of Belgian series Team Chocolate with STX Entertainment, among numerous other yet-to-be revealed projects.

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