Far removed from the glittering lights of Cannes or Hollywood blockbusters, Kerry Film Festival (KFF) has selected a North Kerry film to open its thirteenth festival. The five-day KFF pilgrimage through the best of local, national and international film-making talent steps out this year with a film that exemplifies all that is world class about Kerry in terms of its setting, people and emerging creative talent.
Winner of this year’s Bingham Ray New Talent Award at the Galway Film Fleadh Gerard Barrett’s directorial debut Pilgrim Hill tells the tale of the emotional and financial struggles facing a middle-aged bachelor farmer, Jimmy Walshe, in rural Ireland. Jimmy has dedicated his life to caretaking the crumbling family farm and his bedridden father. It is a solitary existence and yet Jimmy manages to retain his good humour and get through each day. But life is tough in rural Ireland and about to get even tougher for Jimmy.
Conceived, written and shot in North Kerry and featuring stunning performances from West Limerick’s Joe Mullins and Muiris Crowley from Killorglin, Pilgrim Hill succeeds in shining a light on some of the darker issues surrounding rural isolation while retaining a deep and engaging humanity.
Director Gerard Barrett was born in Kerry and attended Tralee IT where he studied Film, TV and Media. He also worked and trained in radio with Kerry Radio. Accepting the invitation to have his film open the festival Mr. Barrett said:
“I’m extremely honoured and privileged that Pilgrim Hill will open the Kerry Film Festival this year. The film has connected with audiences all over the world and achieved more than anyone involved in the film could have ever imagined for it.
Since premièring at the Galway Film Fleadh in July, after awards, acclaim and travelling around the world screening at festivals in North America, Asia and London, at the end of the day, this is a Kerry film through and through. It was conceived, written, shot and edited in Kerry. It got its first public screening in Kerry and it feels right that it comes home after its journey.”
The film will be shown on Tuesday 9th October at 8pm at Siamsa Tire. It will be preceded by a wine reception at 7.30pm. The director and cast will attend the screening.
Full programme information for this year’s Kerry Film Festival will be launched on the 21st September at www.kerryfilmfestival.com
Tickets for Pilgrim Hill are available immediately through the Kerry Film Festival website www.kerryfilmfestival.com
Kerry Film Festival runs from the 9th – 13th October in Tralee with additional dates around the county during the month of October.
Kerry Film Festival would like to thank The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Kerry County Council/ Comhairle Contae Chiarraí, Tralee Town Council / Comhairle Baile Thra Li, Siamsa Tire and The Brandon Hotel.