A LOCAL entertainer has praised his family, friends and local community who pulled together to help him realise a lifelong dream of featuring in the Cork Film Festival.
Denis Kiely, who owns the party entertainment company Kids Party Club, had previously made a one-minute short film before taking on a more ambitious project featuring a total of 17 locations.
The final result — a short film titled A Cup of Sugar — will now screen at the Cork Film Festival.
Mr Kiely, who is from Douglas, said the film centres around preconceptions about a lonely immigrant in the community.
It stars Sonia Laredo in her first acting role. Denis co-stars as the neighbour who drops in to borrow sugar.
Christopher O’Flaherty also makes an appearance as a nosey neighbour, alongside Denis’s partner Ursula who plays his on-screen wife.
“All the neighbours are gossiping about this guy who is very reclusive,” Denis said. “It’s both these factors that lead to him being the outcast. One of the neighbours has a mischievous idea to call around one day when he runs out of sugar. People get it into their heads that he is strange and have misconceptions that he is chopping up dead bodies in his living room. However, the reality is very different.”
Denis praised his partner Ursula for supporting him throughout the project.
“When she first read the script she cried. She was really supportive and also took care of all the catering which would have cost a fortune had we brought in professionals.
“Ursula was brilliant but I don’t want to put anyone above another person because every member of the cast and crew was equally amazing.”
Some of the locations that feature in the short film include Bishopstown, Fermoy, Glanmire and Ballincollig.
Denis confessed that there were a lot of obstacles while filming.
“The night before the first day’s shoot, Ursula commented that as we had everything so well prepared, nothing could go wrong. I joked by saying: ‘All we need is to arrive at the film location and find a roadwork crew drilling and digging up the road’.
“We both laughed. When we arrived on set that’s exactly what we encountered. We could only laugh, we persevered and worked around it.”
The Cork man is glad to see his hard work paying off.
“I wanted the film to be in a substantial film festival. It means so much to us that it’s going to have its world premiere in the Cork Film Festival.
“I had to keep it a secret for four or five weeks before the announcement. When we first started the film I knew I had to be real about it. Never did I imagine that it would get as far as the Cork Film Festival and I’d have the chance to sit down and watch it on a big screen.”
Denis is looking forward to a bright future as he continues to make more films.
“The film cost €1,600 to make but this was spread over two years which made things a lot easier.
“I’m hoping that there won’t be as many delays with the next one. Hopefully, the next one will be smoother and we won’t have a pandemic to contend with.”
A Cup of Sugar will be screened at the Everyman Palace on November 10 as part of the Pure Cork Shorts competition in this year’s Cork International Film Festival. To purchase tickets for online and live screenings visit corkfilmfest.org.