Kilkenny actor stars in short film success

a SMALL group of southeast-based filmmakers, who set out to make a short film for competitions and film festivals, have ended up with their film hitting the big screen supporting a major feature film.

a SMALL group of southeast-based filmmakers, who set out to make a short film for competitions and film festivals, have ended up with their film hitting the big screen supporting a major feature film.

‘Romantic Hideaway’ is a film primarily about love – but it goes a lot deeper. Set on Valentine’s Day, the story is about the dark obsessive side of love that climaxes with a twisted dénouement.

The no-budget film was shot in 18-hours straight through, followed by another 48-hours editing.

Kilkenny actor Donie Ryan stars as ‘Norman’, with Pagan McGrath as ‘Elena’. Donie has been in three feature films, including Neil Jordan’s ‘Breakfast On Pluto’ and ‘The Tudors’, plus a raft of short films and other television work.

Pagan McGrath is an emerging actress currently studying a Masters in Drama and Performance at University College Dublin. Her acting career began in Wexford Youth theatre at the age of fifteen. It was her role in “Once a Catholic” that lead to her first professional role in Billy Roche’s “Lay Me Down Softly” which toured Ireland and the UK (London).

Director Andrew T Wright teamed up with filmmaker Trevor Sweeney and Dublin-based director of photography Thomas Skwara of Reel View and shot the psychological horror in their garden shed.

“I approached Trevor and Thomas with a great little two-page script written by Kulvinder Gill, in the hope that we could shoot the film in a day or two away from their busy schedule during their downtime,” said Andrew.

“The initial intention was to submit the short to a London competition and then enter it into short film festivals around the world and see what happens. They were more than up for it and so we started to pull the whole thing together.”

The film crew of Trevor Sweeney, Thomas Skwara, Sean Plunkett, John Strickland and Alex Tyrrell-Wright were assisted by friends and neighbours who prepped the food and kept the teas and coffees coming.

Having a cinema release means that the short film now qualifies to enter the short film category of the IFTA Awards 2013.

“Every filmmaker’s dream is to see their film on the big screen but the reality is that very few ever actually make it that far,” said Andrew.

“So as you can imagine we are absolutely thrilled to bits that our little no budget film is rubbing shoulders with the multi-million dollar big hitters. And as for qualifying even just to enter into the IFTAs, well that is something that we hadn’t even contemplated; it’s all a bit surreal but very, very exciting.”