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'South' Writer/Director Gerard Walsh chats to IFTN ahead of Cinema Release
16 Nov 2016 : Katie McNeice
The second feature film from the Irish director will screen in Irish cinemas from Friday, November 25th in a self-distributed release from Bankhouse Productions.

‘South’ recently received the award for Best Feature at the Fingal Film Festival, with its screening at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh marking its official debut.

We catch up with Writer/Director Gerard Walsh on filming at home, writing authentic Irish stories and his plans for future projects,.

Darragh O’Toole (Red Rock) leads the cast as Tom in the drama, which sees a young man seek out the only family he has left following the passing of his father.

IFTN: Can you tell us how Bankhouse Productions came to be involved, and the production timeline which followed?
“I had the script written a few months before I met Matthew Toman from Bankhouse. Eibh Collins (Galway Film Fleadh Programmer) gave us a good kick to move ourselves after the Fleadh. I asked him if he wanted to make a film for four grand, and while it did end up being a bit more than that, we ended up shooting it a few months later.”

IFTN: Talk us through your experience of filming in Ireland and the locations you used
“We shot in Galway and Dublin though originally the script was to start in Cork and to end up in Galway. Strategically it worked out better because I work in Galway, so knew a few more people there and it was the same in Dublin. Sticking with Galway worked out better actually because we were able to shoot in a bus station for a whole day. They were very accommodating.”

IFTN: What was is like to premiere the project at Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year?
“’South’ is the second film I’ve had in the Fleadh in two years. The first was ‘A Day Like Today’ and it was amazing to get that in the first time, but incredible to get ‘South’ in as the second as well.”

IFTN: Might it be fair to say the growing strength of Irish drama is lending itself to films like 'South, given how popular young actors such as Darragh O’Toole are from the likes of ‘Red Rock’?
“I wrote the script before I knew Darragh was in ‘Red Rock.’ He had a small part in my first feature and I actually wrote the script for him. He got cast in ‘Red Rock’ around the same time I finished the script for ‘South’, which got me eager to get the film made before he was swiped up. I know a lot of people who, if they can get someone for a name, they will, and they may not suit the character. I had seen what he could do before and he did a great job again.”

IFTN: What are your plans for your next project?
“I have a couple of scripts I’m developing and I’d love to get a little help on this time, to keep my focus on the project. When you work on your own you actually end up spending more time raising money, doing promo videos and that sort of thing. I’d like to just get onto my next project and then stay focused on only that.”

IFTN: ‘South’ is a very Irish story. Do you expect you will stay with the same themes?
“Yes I really want to stick to the smaller stories. I want to be able to relate to people with my films, and I’d like to retain a focus on heavier drama, more social realism. I don’t think I would enjoy working on a bigger production. I like moving around a small set—once you have a team of a hundred people it gets a lot less fun.”

Darragh O’Toole, Lead Actor:
"Being a low budget indie, it was a brilliant feeling getting to share the creative process so tightly with cast and crew. Everyone all pulled in the same direction in order to make it work, making it thoroughly enjoyable."

Anna Lavery, Marketing Manager:
“It was a great collaboration with Bankhouse Productions and my years of experience working in marketing in various film companies along with a lot of patience and determination that got us here today.”

Visit the Official ‘South’ Facebook Page

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