7 October 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Seána Kerslake and Patrick Kielty-led comedy Ballywalter wraps in Northern Ireland
03 Feb 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Principal photography has completed on Ballywalter, the feature debut of director Prasanna Puwanarajah, which shot on location in Northern Ireland.

Written by Stacey Gregg, the film stars IFTA award nominee Seána Kerslake (A Date For Mad MaryThe Hole in the Ground) and BAFTA award nominee Patrick Kielty (My Dad, The Peace Deal and Me), who is best known for his comedy and television work. Read our interview with Seána Kerslake.

Ballywalter is produced by James Bierman of Empire Street Productions (Genius) and Nik Bower of Riverstone Pictures (Final Portrait, The Wedding Guest) in co-production with Alan Maher and John Wallace of Cowtown Pictures (Rialto), and Brian Falconer (Ordinary Love) of Out of Orbit.

The film, which began production in early January, is financed by the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, and Salmira Productions. Bankside Films are handling worldwide sales.  Deepak Nayar, Natascha Wharton, Celine Haddad, Salman Al-Rashid and Sam Frohman serve as executive producers.

Puwanarajah’s debut play Nightwatchman premiered at the National Theatre in 2011, where he has also worked as an actor.  He directed Moth at the High Tide Festival, and at the Bush Theatre, where it was a Time Out Critic’s Choice in the summer of 2013.  Television directorial credits include Spoof or Die for Channel 4 (also written by Gregg).  His short film Boys, written in response to the London 2012 Olympic Games; screened in an edited version at the Opening Ceremony. His debut graphic novel, Sleeper, written with Jed Mercurio and illustrated by Coke Navarro, is published by Simon and Schuster this autumn.

Ballywalter is a life affirming story about the unexpected connections that can change the course of our lives.

Eileen (Seána Kerslake) is a caustic, unrepentant University drop-out whose dreams of a successful life in London have fallen by the wayside. Back at home with her mum; she makes ends meet by working as an unlicensed driver in her ex-boyfriend’s minicab. Shane (Patrick Kielty) has exiled himself in Ballywalter following the break-up of his marriage, but now he’s trying to get his life back on track by enrolling in a stand-up comedy course.

When Shane calls a taxi to get him to his classes, Eileen answers, and a surprising connection is made. As the two spend time together shuttling back and forth, a beautiful friendship develops, leading both of them to a moment of realisation. Shane reintegrates; Eileen makes peace with herself and who she really is. Finally, she can stop running and just drive.

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