Monthly Archives: March 2015

Galway Film Fleadh 2013

I wrote this sometime in October 2013 and posted it on my personal blog. As COLD, which is now re-named as LEOPARD is getting closer to a release, I decided to publish it on here. Hopefully you’ll like the read …

Film Fleadh, an experience never to be forgotten …

Even though I still have no clue how to pronounce it properly, Film Fleadh and especially Galway, was without a doubt one of my highlights of 2013.

Timing was perfect. A heatwave was taking its course, not a drop in sight. Due to a quick decision attending the festival my first stop was a traveling agency. I had no clue whatsoever where to go or what to visit. The guy was a real gent! Spent about an hour chatting which almost got me late for the first film …

Arriving at the theatre, the town and the people immediately gave me a good vibe.

As the previous film was running late I decided to get that tan to a higher level and sat down at the steps of the Town Hall when, while reading the FilmFleadh programme, I see a pair of hairy legs pass by. Mmm … I look up a little and there are those infamous shorts I got to ‘admire’ on the internet lately. Yep, all you Merlin fans probably know which pair I’m talking about. They have been travelling to different countries on a famous person’s butt these past few months. Wandering twitterland, there are pro’s and cons to that piece of clothing.

To all you others who are reading this, let me describe the whole package: male, dressed in flip flops, skinny hairy legs, long shorts, beard, long dark hair, sunglasses (missing the love story series T-shirt), … the one and only Mr Eoin Christopher Macken.

Met the guy at the premiere of his film The Inside, got the chance to see him direct and act in Dublin while filming COLD, went to some cons where he appeared and now got to see him amongst friends. I’m honestly starting to feel like I’m stalking the bloke.

Being too timid to directly walk up to him, I needed a plan. *light bulb moment* As it was very hot, I placed myself very discretely at the spot where everyone had to pass by to get to the bar. Needless to say that was a good move. ‘Hi there …’.

Lets chat movies shall we? (no spoilers)

First up: The Callback Queen
Set in London we meet Kate Loughlin, an Irish actress trying to break through in the film industry. As she’s getting the reputation of being ‘a callback queen’ – going to auditions but never get called back – her sleazy agent tries to push her into having sex with the producers in order to get the part. Will she maintain her integrity?

Watch The Callback Queen trailer.
Follow the production company, Film Venture London on twitter.
Like on Facebook.
Official website.

We got welcomed by director Graham Cantwell. If the film was going to be as good as his speech, it wouldn’t dissapoint. And it didn’t! A movie made possible with the help of friends and family, they should all be proud. The Irish versus British dialogues and situations were most amusing. They made the whole theatre burst out laughing quite a few times. Oh, and getting to see Prince Call on the big screen of course. Really enjoyed the whole five minutes … This was a good start!

Next up: shorts programme with Ghost Train
Michael and Peter, two brothers, have their annual meet up at a fairground where their friend Sam went missing 30 years ago. This year Michael needs to get something of his chest. Will we find out what really happened?

Watch Ghost Train trailer.
Follow Lee Cronin on Twitter.
Like on Facebook.
Official website Lee Cronin.

Why? I’m a sucker for the horror genre. After seeing Through The Night I got intrigued by director Lee Cronin’s work and wanted to see more. As the man said himself: “It’s a really subtle story with a full on horror edge.”. It was only later that I found out the ghost train itself (not the film) was made all digital which I find totally amazing and made me a total fan of his work.

Saturday night: time for COLD
Two brothers get back together again after the mysterious death of their father. While working their way through this, they find a mysterious girl still alive, dumped in the moors.

Watch COLD trailer.

Follow the cast on twitter: Tom HopperEoin MackenJack ReynorHelen PearsonCharlotte AtkinsonYare Michael JegbefumeMelia KreilingBrian FortuneLaura HigginsAnthony Murphy.
Follow the crew on twitter: Eimear Ennis Graham, Vicky Tooms, Steven Daly, Richard Bolger, Alec Moore, Henri Milliner, Miles Croft, Susan Kenny, Michael Gilbert, …
Follow Evora and Kevin Whyms on twitter.
Follow COLD fan account on twitter.

This was my main reason for attending FilmFleadh. Eoin asked me afterwards if it was as I expected it to be. It was everything I hoped it would be. Dark and creating those little twists I got to know and appreciate his writing for. Yes ladies, besides that blinding package, I also love how the guy’s mind works. By the time I finally get to write this, I’ve seen it twice.

You look at COLD the first time and the story is capturing, the twists suprising and you get the psychology behind it. Looking at it a second time, you notice different details because you already know the ending. That’s what makes the film even stronger than you already thought it was. There was a tear the second time, which proves to me how darn good it really is. I’m so lucky to have been able to be a small part of it!

Tom Hopper is brilliant in his part. He needed to put down a very difficult character with his built and size and he did! From the very first moment you see him walking across the screen, he grabs you and doesn’t let go. As Tom and his emotions evolve, so does the viewer with him. Even when he does something you think he shouldn’t, you still wanna reach out.

Have to say, the man has exceptional facial expressions in real life AND on screen!

Eoin’s character gets to push some buttons too. He emotionally pulls you in a total different direction at the end. Helen Pearson got handed a very touching part and handled that absolutely stunning. Rebecca Night was a natural and as for Jack Reynor, I saw him in ‘What Richard did’ and already liked him, so good choice Mr Macken. Won’t tell you any more cos I definitely don’t want to give away any spoilers.

Kevin Whyms’ music is gorgeous. It fits the film perfectly. He put up some pieces of music on Soundcloud which take me right back to Galway. Hearing Evora blasting through that theatre hall was absolutely fantastic too. Whenever I hear their songs again, those COLD scenes are right there in my thougts with them. Loved their little cameo too. Well done guys!

Also want to mention that next to the amazing landscapes, there were some amazing shots during the film. If I could get printable stills, I ‘d surely hang them on my wall. Kudos to Eoin for writing, filming in such a small time frame and to all the actors who had to manage with little rehearsal time and gave us this beautiful and stunning film to watch. Thank you!

And lets not forget Eimear Ennis Graham (cinematographer) who got nominated for the Bingham Ray New Talent Award! Congratulations to all cast and crew!

Next to seeing a few people from the crew (Steven even remembered my real name! 1-0 for him there Eoin!), it was also fun to see Brian Fortune again! He hadn’t seen me for a little less than a year but still remembered me. It made me feel humble when he recognized me between all those people and came up for a hug and a chat. He had gotten so skinny! Brian, if you ever read this, we both blinked and missed that talented upcoming actress …

And last but not least: How To Be Happy

After a bad break-up, Cormac Cavanagh a marriage councillor, starts sleeping with his clients. Flor, a private investigator, gets hired to take a look at the affairs. Things get complicated when they start to have feelings for each other.

Watch How To Be Happy trailer.
Follow How To Be Happy on Twitter.
Follow Richard Bolger on Twitter.
Like How To Be Happy on Facebook.
Follow How To Be Happy on Tumblr.

I picked this film because of one of its producers, Richard Bolger, who also worked on COLD and because of Brian Fortune is one of the actors. It was such a success they had to organise a second screening, both were sold out! I was lucky enough to get a ticket. A comedy screening in a Cinemobile gives the atmosphere a special vibe. The fact that it showed on a Sunday morning must have been a challenge for some individuals. At least that’s what I thought. It wasn’t! People were laughing from beginning to end. The twists and misunderstandings were a real joy to watch, the close-ups to die for. I really enjoyed it and would love to see it again!

On a final note: Galway was a blast! Had loads of laughs, fun, time to think and put a lot of things in perspective. That coast line was absolutely fab, my sunburn a fact. Added to that, someone told me: “Open up your heart, it’s way too beautiful to keep it locked. Let people in and give you some hapiness again”. To that person (I hope you get to read this some day), was it that obvious? Always thought I could hide it so well … Thanks, buddy! Hopefully till next time. Definitely till next time Film Fleadh!

And one final note to Eoin: remember that perk thingy? Remember I told you I wouldn’t hastle you about it? I take it back …