Director O'Callaghan hopes 'Bouncers' will open doors

KILLARNEY based film-director Damian O'Callaghan says he's been overwhelmed by the reaction following the first screening of his locally shot film and he now has high hopes that 'Bouncers' will open doors on the film festival circuit.

The hour-long film takes an inside look into the world of nightclub doormen and there's a healthy helping of humour and banter blended into the script. Many of the scenes were shot in Killarney - at the back door of Courtney's Bar to be precise - and with all film extras hailing from Kerry and Cork, local interest has been strong.

Last week almost 300 film-fans packed into Killarney Cinema for a red carpet private screening and it certainly went down a treat.

"I was delighted at the reaction, they were laughing in all the right places and the comments in our audience survey afterwards were just brilliant," Damian said.

Written, directed and starring Damian via his company O'Callaghan Productions, the film is designed to be TV friendly with the first two episodes running as the hour-long film. Co-directed by Dennis Earlie, it had a 40-strong production crew and a similarly sized cast.

Originally from Cork but a Killarney resident of over 20 years, Damian previously worked as a jarvey and therefore picked up the local banter first hand. He also picked a deep affection for his adopted hometown in the process.

"Killarney is such a scenic location, it's second to none, after all the first talkie 'The Dawn' was shot here and we're following in its footsteps," he said.

"We have had 'The Lobster' with Colin Farrell being filmed in Kerry and movies such as 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley' and, while they're very welcome, we should be making the most of our local talent."

Damian received no state aid for 'Bouncers', which was two years in the making, and so is over €10,000 out of pocket to date.

"That's typical for a first film and so we have to promote it as much as possible to help attract funding for the next production. We have had so much help from so many people, including the FAS TV and Video Training Unit in Tralee, people like Brian Nolan, David Hayes, Noreen Bingham and Vanessa Earlie, and we have had huge support from local businesses including cinema owner Tom Cooper.

Next up is the Galway Film Festival between July 5-8, then onto Europe and the US where 'Bouncers' will be screened at the Boston Irish Film Festival and film festivals in Chicago and San Francisco. So will the humour travel?

"There are a lot of Irish abroad and that has been recognised by President Higgins' trip to the US. I think the Irish want to see comedy from back home and this is the ideal vehicle," he said.