27 February 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
The Man Who Wanted To Fly Wins Best Film Award at IFI Documentary Festival
03 Oct 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Loosehorse’s debut feature documentary ‘The Man Who Wanted To Fly’, directed by Frank Shouldice, has won the Best Feature Audience Award at the 2018 IFI’s Documentary Festival in Dublin, Ireland.

The award was announced on Tuesday by the Irish Film Institute after the charming feature documentary enjoyed two sold out screenings and enthusiastic standing ovations at the weekend.

The film tells the story of 81 year old bachelor Ernie Coote and his pursuit of a lifelong dream to fly. Bobby Coote left school at 13 and says his reading and writing isn't great. He fixes clocks and spends a lot of time in his back shed making violins from old furniture. But he’s never lost sight of a lifelong dream to fly. His neighbour Sean has also caught the bug. Setting aside their own field of dreams they have cut out a runway and even built a hangar in a small rural border community. And now Bobby has used all his savings to buy a plane! He’ll get no encouragement from his brother Ernie, another octogenarian in the Coote family home. Ernie thinks the whole thing is mad but Bobby says he’ll make this happen … even if it’s the last thing he does.

Filmed over a period of five years, the ‘The Man Who Wanted To Fly’ was funded by Screen Ireland, RTÉ and Dublin Aerospace. It will be released in Irish cinemas early in the New Year, starting with the Irish Film Institute in January. In the meantime, the film now plans to spread its wings on the international festival circuit.

Loosehorse Producer Trisha Canning said:

“Winning this award at the IFI Documentary Festival is a fantastic achievement for everyone who made the film happen. The fact that it is an audience award makes it all the more rewarding. ‘The Man Who Wanted To Fly’ is a very Irish film with a very Hollywood twist - and people are clearly connecting with the romance of Bobby’s dream. We look forward to bringing this unique feel good story to cinema screens far and wide in the year ahead.”

Director Frank Shouldice said:

“I’m delighted that audiences are so enthusiastic about finding the ordinary quite extraordinary. Such a heartfelt reaction to our film at the Galway Fleadh, Guth Gafa festival in Kells and now the IFI Documentary Festival in Dublin makes it five years well spent.”

Sunniva O’Flynn, from the Irish Film Institute, added:

“IFI Documentary Festival 2018 was our best yet with the excellent quality of the programme reflected in the record numbers that attended throughout the five days of the festival. In a strong year for international work and a bumper year for Irish theatrical documentary, it was The Man Who Wanted to Fly, a wholly uplifting and life-affirming film about ageing, dreaming, friendship and Cavan, that won the hearts of the audience and secured the prestigious IFI Documentary Festival Best Feature Award for 2018.”

The Producers for Loosehorse were Cormac Hargaden & Trisha Canning, the Director of Photography was Dave Perry, Editor was Emer O’Clery, the Original Score was composed by Giles Packham and post production was carried out in Outer Limits.

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