Curtain to raise on Limerick City of Culture film trilogy

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Curtain to raise on Limerick City of Culture film trilogy

The poster for The Apparel, for the Film Limerick trilogy, designed by Ken Coleman

THE official screening of the National City of Culture Film Limerick trilogy will take place at the Limerick Film Festival, at LIT Millennium Theatre, this Friday night.

At 8pm, the festival will showcase three short films, which were filmed, produced and edited over the past two years by a multitude of local talent.

The Limerick City of Culture initiative partnered with the local Behind the Scenes film group, which also received assistance from Screen Training Ireland.

The trilogy was led by Film Limerick project manager, Ronan Cassidy, and acclaimed writer and director, Gerry Stembridge, who mentored six first-time directors and writers throughout the project.

The three short films to be screened include romantic-comedy Date:Time, written by Philip Shanahan and directed by Paul Corey; comedy The Apparel, written by Daniel Mooney and directed by Peter Delaney; and drama Day Off, written by Peter McNamara and directed by Stephen Hall.

Stephen Hall will be heading to Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival next month, with his film Safe. Filmmaker Peter McNamara is currently finishing off his latest film, Narcan, which he shot in New York, in 2015.

Before the project commenced, Mr Stembridge chose the six young filmmakers, and worked with the writers on developing the script.

The mentor worked with the directors on casting to secure the best available local talent for each of the three films.

He also oversaw the filming and mentored the directors on set and ensured that the links between the stories were taken care of, so that the final product would stand up as a single entity, explained project manager, Ronan Cassidy. 

Speaking about the project during the final filming phase, Mr Stembridge said that the trilogy was about representing a “modern Limerick”.

“People who walk in Limerick and go out to pubs and restaurants in Limerick, they never talk about what it feels like to live in Limerick. And a film can create that feeling, and there’s all different moods and all different atmospheres of different parts of the city, and film is the best thing to capture that because it’s a visual medium.”

He added that people will enjoy the three short films’ visual impact of Limerick, saying that people will know “what the place looks like and feels like”.

Speaking ahead of the big night, Mr Cassidy said the team is looking forward to showing it to the local public for the first time.

“We are excited and we are nervous, as it will be the first time we will get a public reaction. The reaction that we have got so far has been very, very positive.

“The whole reason why this was set up in the first place was to give local filmmakers a lift and a bit of boost in the career, and I think it has paid off. There are a few people doing really, really well, and I think this scheme has really, really helped. I have not seen this buzz around Limerick film in a really, really long time,” he enthused. 

The three films are expected to be screened on RTÉ in the future. A date has yet to be confirmed, he added.

The screening at LIT is a free event, and there will be a demonstration on how each community film project came together.