THE new film, The Long Wet Grass, is set near Callow Lake (between Swinford and Foxford) and was filmed in various nearby Mayo locations in late 2016.
The producer and scriptwriter Seamus Scanlon has a strong connection with Mayo and especially Callow Lake where the film is set.
His mother was May McGowan from Renbrack who attended Callow School. It has since been demolished.
The film was shot near Pontoon, Callow, Foxford and Toomore with the help of local residents in true meitheal style who provided food, housing, a vintage car (Brendan McEvoy), props and locations. Even the weather was good in October for four days.
Crew members included Westport locals Emer Gannon, Maria Gillan and drone operator Robert Moran. The sound engineer Fintan Geraghty is from Castlebar. Toomore (Foxford) based Pamela Norrington and Tommy Stenson from Swinford were also involved. Locals Áine Thompson and Patrick Hyland ably played the roles of Woman and Victor as children in the flashback sequences.
The film is based on a prize winning flash fiction piece of the same name which then became an award winning one act play (as part of The McGowan Trilogy).
It was staged in New York City, Galway, Westport, Hastings (UK), Gorey, Moate and Kilmuckride. A Japanese language version is set for Tokyo in July, 2018.
The film stars the lead actors from Nancy Manocherian’s US and UK stage productions of The Long Wet Grass – Anna Nugent (Law and Order: SVU) and Paul Nugent (The Blacklist, The McGowan Trilogy).
The film was directed by London based filmmaker Justin Davey assisted by Galway based Cinematographer Lakshika Serasinhe. The original play version was directed by Kira Simring.
A notable coup was securing Academy Award winner Marketa Irglova (Once) to compose the music. Once she read the script of the original story and the play and the film script she came onboard and wrote three new songs for the film as well as the score.
The Irish premiere of the film appropriately enough was in Mayo – at the wonderful Clare Island Film Festival.
This was followed by the US premiere in San Francisco, and the New York premiere last weekend as part of Irish Screen America. Two more screenings are coming up at the IndieCork Film Festival (October 14) and the Kerry Film Festival (October 20). A ‘mainland’ Mayo screening is planned for the future!
The film trailer is available at https://vimeo.com/234713973