Limerick City of Culture film to be screened at festival finale

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Jon Kenny walks along Ballybunion beach during the filming of Limerick-made movie All Washed Up, which will be screened at the Pervolia Film Festival grand finale this Saturday evening
A LIMERICK film will begin its international festival circuit as it screens at the Pervolia Film Festival’s grand finale in Cyprus this weekend.

A LIMERICK film will begin its international festival circuit as it screens at the Pervolia Film Festival’s grand finale in Cyprus this weekend.

All Washed Up, written by Drombana filmmaker Keith Bogue, will be in the movie limelight on Saturday evening after a successful application to be featured at the famous festival.

With a budget of €20,000, the 24-minute film was funded by the Limerick City of Culture and was mainly shot in Limerick, with a “strong” Limerick cast, including Maeve McGrath, Nigel Mercier and Liam O’Brien.

According to Mr Bogue, the drama which stars d’Unbelievables actor Jon Kenny, is a “beautiful work of art”.

“It’s about an old Shakespearean actor, and he’s at the end of his career, and he goes down to the beach to basically end it all. But he’s preparing for his demise, as an actor would go on the stage, and he is treating it as his last great performance. As he’s doing it, he is talking about his life; what could have been, the haves and have-nots of his life story,” he explained.

He said that the film, directed by Limerickman Ivan McMahon, is not about suicide, that it’s “paying homage to the men who brought theatre to the masses back in the day.

“It’s a serious film, it’s not a comedy. And I think he [Jon Kenny] is one of the most serious actors in the country, he’s a fantastic actor. I wanted him for this and he agreed,” he said.

Mr Bogue said that, where possible, he always tries to film his work in Limerick.

“We shot it in Ballybunion because there are no beaches in Limerick. We shot it in King John’s Castle, and the rest of it we shot up in the Belltable [69 O’Connell Street]. We did a few scenes in there. We shot the whole thing in five days.

“And the fact that I got the money from the Limerick City of Culture, I wanted to show the film during the City of Culture year, and we started shooting it in the middle of September last year. We premiered it at the Richard Harris Film Festival, at the opening night of The Field. The Harris family loved it.

“I always try use a Limerick cast too, as much as possible, and that’s because I am from Limerick. I have worked with Maeve and Nigel before, but I have never worked with Liam before, and he did a fantastic job. Everyone delivered fantastically,” he explained.

The filmmaker first pitched an idea to the City of Culture team to group Limerick’s young people with local film professionals in order to produce a film that he would then write and develop.

“They didn’t go for that, but they contacted me and said that they were really interested in what I do. I had this idea [All Washed Up] at the back of my mind for a couple of years, and I always wanted to make it.”

Though All Washed Up missed out on last year’s festival circuit, the screenwriter hopes that this weekend’s screening will be the start of many invitations for 2015 and 2016.

“I sent Pervolia a copy of the film and they got back to me, they loved it and they wanted to show it. And even though it’s a short film, it is slightly longer than most short films. A lot of festivals only want five-minute short films, but we are getting interest from festivals where they go for cinema. It’s a cinematic piece. We are delighted with it, we are getting great reaction, and it’s all starting now.”

He added that the film is already attracting attention from events and festivals in Poland and other non-English-speaking countries.

“It’s amazing how we are getting interest from countries where English isn’t the main language. And we didn’t subtitle it, we deliberately didn’t do that,” he said.

In late June, Mr Bogue’s short film For Goth and Country was screened at the Groovy Movie Glastonbury Short Film Festival, which he said was “received very well”, and has garnered attention from other arts festivals.

For Goth and Country, which he describes as “quirky”, was also made up of a Limerick cast.