Castlebar film-maker Orlagh Heverin with her award.

Prestigious award for Mayo film-maker at leading Texas festival

Mayo film-maker Orlagh Heverin picked up an award for the Best University Film at the Austin Revolution Film Festival, Texas.

Orlagh made the journey to the festival with her parents Paul and Joy Heverin and her children Toni and Connor Milroy, and her uncle and godfather Michael Heverin (Clonmel).

The entourage were following in the footsteps of Michael Heverin Snr (Irish House Castlebar/Orlagh’s Grandfather) who lived in San Antonio Texas for a period of time in the early 1960s.

There is a photograph of Michael Heverin with the famous dog Lassie at his work place in San Antonio.

Coincidentally the group stood outside where Michael worked 60 years later to the date the photograph was taken.

Orlagh completed a Master of Arts in Creative Practice at Atlantic Technological University, Galway in 2021 where she made her most recent film Deoch Dance.

The short film was well received in Austin where it screened to an audience of likeminded filmmakers.

The audience also loved the story behind why the group were in Texas, attending the film festival being the perfect excuse to trace Michael Heverin Senior's footsteps.

The award is a belt buckle, which is a very Texan themed award.

Deoch Dance was selected from 3,000 submissions to be screened at this festival.

Deoch Dance is an experimental film piece which stars dancer Catherine Donnelly.

The whole film was shot locally in Mayo.

Two of the locations that Orlagh chose are associated with recovery.

She shot on the birthplace of Sr. Ignatia, who was born in 1889 in Shanvalley, Burren, Castlebar, who later became known as the Angel of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) when she was the first to admit those suffering from alcoholism to St. Thomas’s Hospital, Akron, Ohio (USA).

Orlagh also shot in the beautiful gardens of Hope House Foxford, which offers a programme of recovery for those living with addiction.

Ms. Heverin said she wanted to shoot in these locations “as they are a place of healing and recovery from addiction, and I wanted the energy of the locations to transfer to the screen and the viewer."

Ms. Heverin is delighted with the short films recent success, which follows on the back of several other awards including Best Picture Short Movies at the Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de Madrid, Spain (FICIMAD) (June 2022).

The film was shot by local cinematographer Fintan Geraghty.

Orlagh had the support of her family and local businesses when making her short.

Orlagh is grateful to all those that supported her venture including funding from Creative Ireland.

The short has played all over the world including Iceland, Hawaii, Prague, London and more locally in Louth and Cork and the Linenhall Arts Centre.

This is Orlagh’s fourth short and follows on from Secret Repetition (Writer. Short film. 2015), Losing Memories (Writer/Director. Short film. RTÉ/Galway Film Centre Short Script Award. 2008) and Memories (Writer/Director/Editor. Short film.1996).

Ms. Heverin plans a local screening of the work in the summer to mark the end of its festival run.

You can follow the filmmaker on her Instagram account @heverinorlagh or