Currently shooting in Montreal is Pat Collins’ Song of Granite, a biopic based on the life of Irish singer Joe Heaney (Seosamh Ó hÉanaí).
Macdara Ó Fátharta, Michael O’Chonfhlaola, and Colm Seoighe portray Heaney at various stages in his life, which saw the singer move from Ireland to the UK, and on to New York City, where he settled shortly after performing at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Heaney is estimated to have recorded hundreds of Irish traditional (sean nós) songs. The Féile Chomórtha Joe Éinniú (Joe Heaney Commemorative Festival) is held every year in Carna, County Galway.
Collins is a gifted filmmaker, having given us Living in a Coded Land and Silence. Song of Granite is written by Collins, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride, and Sharon Whooley. Cinematographer Richard Kendrick shot the film for black-and-white and it is edited by long-time Collins collaborator Tadhg O’Sullivan.
Production moved to the Canadian city after filming in Heaney’s native Connemara finished. Song of Granite is a co-production between Ireland and Canada, made under the bilateral co-production treaty that gave us the likes of Room and Brooklyn. The film is being produced by Quebec-based Amérique Film and Dublin-based Roads Entertainment. The film is backed by the Irish Film Board.
Soda Pictures will release the film in the UK next year, with an Irish release expected at the same time.