Irish Doc ‘Unbreakable’ Gets UK Release

Mark Simone Corridor (1)

After a successful Irish release in 2014, the Irish documentary Unbreakable is to have a limited release in the UK from October 9th, including screenings in London at Picturehouse Central and Manchester at the Irish World Heritage Centre. Unbreakable will be released by True Films in conjunction with Picturehouse and the Cinema Partnership and will be available on VOD and DVD from October 23rd.

A tragic fall left blind athlete, Mark Pollock, paralysed. Unbreakable is the story of how he found his courage again.

Directed by award winning filmmaker Ross Whitaker (When Ali Came to Ireland; Saviours), Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story follows the almost unbelievable tragedies that life has thrown at Mark and his resolve to move beyond them. Unbroken by blindness at 22, Mark was a Commonwealth Games medal winner and competed in ultra endurance races across deserts, mountains and the polar ice caps and, ten years after losing his sight, he became the first blind person to race to the South Pole; a race that allowed him to finally put the demons of blindness behind him. But then, just four weeks from the day of his planned wedding to fiancée Simone, a fall 25 feet from a second story window left Mark near death and paralysed from the waist down.

This film brings the audience to Mark’s bedside in the acute ward of a spinal hospital – blind, now paralysed and broken. Six years in the making, it tells the story of Mark’s eventual rehabilitation and his mission to find and connect people worldwide to fast track a cure for paralysis, a mission which gives the audience a glimpse of the frontiers of robotics and medical science.

Unbreakable also documents how Mark and Simone have funded their cure exploration through Run in the Dark. This year over 25,000 people will join this global fundraiser at one of the official events in London, Manchester, Belfast, Dublin and Cork or at one of the 45 pop-ups that take place from Sydney to San Francisco.

 

 

About The Mark Pollock Trust

“We believe that the cure for spinal cord injuries simply requires enough of the right people having the will to make it happen. It is our mission to find and connect those people worldwide to fast track a cure for paralysis.”

To find out more go to www.markpollocktrust.org

 

 

Director Ross Whitaker tells Film Ireland 5 things he learned making Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story

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Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story

UNBREAKABLE1-600x400

 

DIR: Ross Whitaker • CAST: Mark Pollock, Simone George

Struck by blindness at the age of 22 in 1998, Mark Pollack went on to become an elite athlete, winning bronze and silver medals for Northern Ireland in the 2002 Commonwealth Rowing Championships and running six marathons in seven days the following year with a sighted partner across the Gobi Desert. In 2004, he completed the North Pole Arctic Marathon and succeeded in becoming the first blind man to reach the South Pole. Such achievements themselves make for a remarkable story, but in this case they are the background to an even more astounding story of achievement.

In July 2010 Mark was left paralysed from the waist down after he broke his back in three places falling from a second-story window. Ross Whitaker’s latest documentary takes its lead from here on in and follows Mark’s arduous road to recovery as he rebuilds his life and battles to walk again.

‘Inspirational’ is a word that gets bandied about as a one-size fits all adjective about stories of human endeavour but in this case it is deserved – Mark’s courage and conviction is truly something to be in awe of as he ploughs a route towards spinal cord injury recovery through aggressive physical therapy and robotic technology. There are moments of incredible insight into his essence as a human being such as when he talks about his wanting his recovery not to be about him and sets out on a mission to campaign, educate and promote research into spinal injury recovery.

Director Ross Whitaker has weaved six years of work into a spellbinding narrative that is driven along by Mark’s incredible fight against the odds and the steadfast support and love of his fiancée, Simone. As a director Whitaker lets the subject become the film rather than the film be about the subject. It is to the director’s credit that his role as messenger makes for a particular level of contact between subject and audience that opens up the experience of the viewer to the everyday struggles that Mark faces. Rather than ramp up the storytelling with predictable big narrative moments it is the minutia of the everyday that makes this film so compelling. It is in this small detail that the story is crafted and a hero is made.

 

G (See IFCO for details)

86 minutes

Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story is released 3rd October 2014

Unbreakable: The Mark Pollock Story  – Official Website

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ovMHiql5EE

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Mark Pollock hosts new factual series for Setanta Sports Yes I Can – premieres on TV on 7th November

Mark Pollock hosts new factual series for Setanta Sports

Yes I Can premieres on TV on 7th November 

Mark Pollock – the Irish man who has tackled the South Pole, Gobi Desert, North Pole and Himalayas – makes his TV hosting debut this November on Setanta Sports.

Yes I Can, a new TV Series produced by Dublin-based beActive premieres on Monday, 7th of November at 9pm. The series, which is funded by The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Setanta Sports is presented by blind Irish adventure Mark Pollock and directed by award winning Irish film director David Freyne.

Speaking from the office in Dublin series producer Triona Campbell said, ‘This series is pure feel-good, uplifting, prime time TV. We tracked down 4 really inspirational people for the first series who have always wanted to try extreme sports but in some cases just never had the chance and teamed them up with one of Ireland most well know adventurers, Mark Pollock. We would challenge anyone who watches the series not to feel a little bit more ‘Yes I Can’ about the obstacles and challenges they face in their own lives after having seen it.’

Brian Quinn, Marketing Director of Setanta Sports commented ‘This series contains some truly inspirational moments following how these 4 individuals who face challenges everyday have decided to challenge themselves even further. We are delighted to be showing the series and their unique achievements and we believe that the viewers will be moved by them.’

The series marks beActive Ireland’s second leap into factual having previously produced the on-line urban magazine seriesBeat Generation to Belfast Telegraph / Entertainment.ie which was also sold to Portuguese broadcaster TVI 24.

Yes I Can features inspirational stories from people with Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia and the blind.

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