Kerry director gets IFTA nomination
A 24-year-old Kerryman who made his first feature film for €4,500 has been nominated as a rising star in the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) awards.
Gerard Barrett from Listowel made Pilgrim Hill, set in his native county, with a cast of six and a crew of four. The going rate for the seven day shoot was €100 a day.
He wrote, directed and produced the film himself. Though it is low budget, it has come with high expectations with The Irish Times film critic Donald Clarke praising as the best film at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh.
It has since been picked up by the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado where Barrett was selected as the “great expectation” and he was signed to the same agency as Martin Scorcese.
It was also selected for the London British Film Institute (BFI) awards where Barrett was nominated as one of the 10 rising stars of the festival.Pilgrim Hill will get an Irish release in March.
He used his own resources and a credit union loan to finance the film, recruited an amateur actor and full-time farmer Joe Mullins for the lead role as a lonely bachelor farmer.
“I just got a really good deal on the equipment. I think it was probably a little of the farmer's son mentality coming out, always haggling” he said.
“When you are young and starting out, it is good that somebody puts a hand on your back and says well done.”
Barrett is nominated along with actor Jack Reynor (What Richard Did) who is one of the hottest properties in the film business at present and has recently been cast in the new Transformers film.
The others nominated are directors Lisa Barros D'sa and Glenn Leybourn who made the well-received film Good Vibrations about the punk impresario Terri Hooley and Ciaran Foy who made the horror thriller Citadel.
The winner will be announced on February 9th at the IFTAs which are staged in the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD).