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McDermottroe’s ‘Swansong’ Screening in Munich
29 Jun 2010 :
Sligo Actor, writer and director, Conor Mc Dermottroe’s debut feature film ‘Swansong- The story of Occi Byrne’ has been nominated in the category of Best First Feature at the 28th Film Festival in Munich.

‘Swansong: The Story of Occi Byrne’ has already enjoyed festival success, scooping the runner up award in the Best Irish Feature group at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh. The film, which is set in Sligo, tells the story of Occi who grows up plagued by anger, confusion and pain due to being teased and bullied as a father-less child. In the hopes of unlocking his own identity and overcoming the past that haunts him, Austin sets out to find his father and discover the secret of his birth. Remaining fiercely loyal to his mother, Austin is consistently tested on his journey, but eventually learns the true power that comes with love, friendship and most of all, a sense of belonging.

’Swansong’s main cast members include Martin McCann (Killling Bono) who plays Occi, Jodie Whittaker (Perrier’s Bounty), Marcella Plunkett (Once), Gerard McSorley (The Constant Gardener), Brid Brennan (Excalibur) and Owen Roe (Intermission). It was filmed on 16mm with director of photography Alexander du Prel (Das Spiel Ohne Ball)

Director Conor McDermottroe’s other awards include Best Film at the Venice International Short Film Festival in 2005 for 'A Woman’s Hair' and Special commendation at Kerry Film Festival 2006 for 'Squaddie'. He tells IFTN he is very touched with the Best First Feature nomination, especially one that comes from a German panel: “I was delighted to get nominated from Best First Feature in Munich,” he tells us. “I did the sound edit at Bavaria Studios with the same team that did ‘The Lives of Others’ and am thrilled to be screening the finished product in their home town. The buzz about the city is fantastic and the feedback on my first feature very heartening.”

Conor is currently working on two screenplays. One, a thriller based on a theatre piece he previously wrote and the other an original idea which he describes as “a culture clash working class comedy set in the West.

The film is an Irish/German co-production with Edwina Forkin (Three Days in Dublin) from Zanzibar Films, Hermann Florins (Une Femme sur Mesure) from Florin Film in Germany & Tom Maguire (It’s All About Love) from Borderline Prouctions. It is funded by The Irish Film Board, Arte, RTÉ, Eurmiages, and Kinowelt with the Little film Company taking care of sales.

The Munich Film Festival takes place this year from 25th of June to the 3rd of July. It was established in 1983 and , next to Berlin, it is Germany's largest film festival, with over 70,000 admissions every year. Over 2 500 film industry professionals from around the world and over 600 members of the press are accredited annually at the event which screens over 250 feature films, documentaries, shorts and TV movies each year. For a full list of nominees click here

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