Principal photography has wrapped on The Queen of Ireland, a documentary charting the journey of Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss, from the small Mayo town of Ballinrobe to the world stage.
The film is directed by film-maker and photographer Conor Horgan (One Hundred Mornings, Deep End Dance, The Beholder) and produced by Blinder Films (The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, Citadel, One Hundred Mornings), and builds up a multi-faceted picture of a complex and compelling character through behind the scenes footage, archive, music and interviews with friends, peers and protégés.
The team have been filming with O’Neill intermittently over the last few years on a shoestring budget, culminating in an interview series filmed at IADT in Dun Laoghaire. Last week the production filmed a home-coming for O’Neill in Ballinrobe, where 100’s turned out to welcome home a local legend.
Panti’s Noble Call speech in the Abbey Theatre in February 2014 is widely regarded as the rallying cry around which Irish people gathered to ensure equality for homosexual and heterosexual persons, a movement that culminated in the passing of the Marriage Equality referendum on May 22nd.
This historic event will form part of the film, and should give it a resonance when it is released later this year. For updates on the progress of the documentary, check it out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.