There was good news over the weekend for Tom Sullivan’s Irish language drama Arracht with award wins at both the Founded in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival sets the agenda of the year with its programme of outstanding Irish and international film. and the Glasgow Film Festival. In Glasgow, it scooped the prestigious audience award.
The Dublin Critics Circle awarded Arracht best Irish film of the festival with lead actor Dónal Ó Hèalai picking up The Aer Lingus Discovery award. These awards follow much acclaim for the famine set drama with Screen Daily calling it ‘bracingly authentic, a powerful impact’ with the Irish Times believing it to be ‘Unmissable and a beautifully crafted murder ballad’
Arracht tells the story of Colmán Sharkey, a ﬁsherman, a father, a husband, living on the wild shores of Connemara in 1845 as The Great Hunger descends. As land taxes rise and crops rot Colmán confronts his landlord, the night ends in deadly violence andColmán is forced to go on the run, hunted for crimes he did not commit. As the years pass in solitude, Colmán returns to the mainland and encounters a young girl, Kitty and a life-saving friendship develops.
For Arracht to win best Irish film has literally taken my breath. It is such an honour to win at a film festival that I attended as a film fan and now to have produced a film that seems to really resonate with our audience is overwhelming. Tom has done such an incredible job in bringing his script to life and visualizing such an important historical moment in our history. There is nothing I can add that hasn’t already been said about Dónal Ó Héalaí’s performance, it is immense. And then as if our cup wasn’t full enough, we find out that we have won the audience award in Glasgow. We share so much as two nations and I am so proud that our film resonates with them.Cúán MacConghail, Producer
This was completely unexpected, and I am honoured. I would like to, from the bottom of my heart, thank everyone at the Glasgow Film Festival and the Dublin International Film Festival for believing in our film and all the people who came and voted. These awards belong to my brilliant cast and crew, the dedicated production team at Macalla and to TG4, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. and the BAI. This means so much to all of us. Thank you Glasgow and Dublin!Tom Sullivan, Writer/Director
Arracht is written and directed by Tom Sullivan, featuring Dónall Ó Héalai in the starring role. It is produced by Cúán MacConghail and backed by Screen Ireland and TG4.
Arracht will be released via Break Out Pictures is a new Irish film and event cinema distribution company founded by Nell Roddy and Robert McCann Finn. across Ireland on April 3rd.