FILM fever, which has been sweeping through the county, has struck again, this time in Askeaton where it has reached into every nook and cranny of the community.
But Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis nearly scuppered the filming which took place over the past two weekends. Now with OsKars night now just two weeks away, a packed house is anticipated at Charleville Park Hotel where the red carpet will be rolled out even as the buses from Askeaton will be rolling in.
The event is a fundraiser for Askeaton AFC club which has teams for all ages, boys and girls, up to 16 and also has two youth teams and a Junior team. The club embarked on a very ambitious expansion programme some years ago, which included the installation of an astro-turf pitch but which has left the club in debt.
“We are really trying to make a dent on that and continue developing,” said Sherley Birdthistle who is a member of the very energetic OsKars Committee.
But the OsKars event has spread well outside the club and its members and has caught the imagination of people of all ages and across the entire community.
“We are just having the best fun,” Sherley enthused.
Starting last November, initial casting for their selected seven films came to about 50 people. But since then, the numbers have grown and grown and Sherley has now estimated that over 200 people have become involved with another 150 or so as extras.
“Everyone is getting to know each other. It has been a really strong community-building event,” Sherley continued. After rehearsals, over cups of tea or pints, people are chatting, swapping tips and generally building links. And that chimes very well with the club’s ethos.
Finding the right locations and props was challenging at times, Sherley acknowledged.
“It was difficult getting a venue that didn’t have radiators or alarms for example,” she said. But people proved resourceful and helpful and the offers came, among them the use of Casey’s old-style bar.
The seven mini-films to be shown will be Derry Girls, Young Offenders, One flew over the cuckoo’s nest, Walking Ned, The Field, Forrest Gump and Sister Act.
Fundraising is going well and sponsors are still welcome. Tickets cost €20 each, or €30 including the bus to Charleville and back on Saturday, March 7.