Stalker, the third feature from writer-director Mark O’Connor (Between the Canals, King of the Travellers) has confirmed its Irish cinema release date for February 28th, opening in selected cinemas. Stalker won the Underground Film Festival 2013, won second prize at the Galway Film Festival 2012 and has been selected for three film festivals in North America. The film stars John Connors (King of The Travellers), Barry Keoghan (Stay, Between the Canals, 71) and Peter Coonan (King of the Travellers, ‘Love/Hate’) with singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey providing music for the film.
The film is an Irish psychological thriller and follows Oliver Nolan, a volatile homeless man, who wanders the streets of Dublin City during the Christmas period. After an unusual encounter with an evangelist, Oliver believes he is sent on a mission from God to clean up society. When he saves a disaffected young boy named Tommy from some local bullies an unlikely friendship is formed. Oliver soon learns that Tommy’s mother is a heroin addict and his uncle Rudyard is a local drug dealer, and takes it upon himself to get even with Rudyard and his gang of roguish criminals for taking advantage of his only friend, Tommy.
Commenting on how he wanted to make something unconventional and experimental, Mark O´Connor, writer-director said “Stalker was born out of the political and social crisis in the country. I talked to John Connors about a guy I knew from Ranelagh and that´s where the character of Oliver was born. Myself and John sat down and wrote Stalker over a 3 week period. John slept on the streets in character to prepare for the role and made a speech to 10,000 people at a political rally which we used in the film. There were several taboo subjects we wanted to explore which rarely get addressed in Irish cinema such as mental health, clerical abuse, homelessness etc. We hope Stalker gets people talking about these issues but also entertains. It´s very exciting to finally get a chance to showcase Stalker to the Irish public in cinemas.”
Producer TJ O Grady Peyton commented, “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re delighted to see Stalker finally getting a release in the cinema. In a recent article James Hickey, head of the Irish Film Board, said how ‘we’re going through a golden age of Irish cinema at the moment’ and he’s right. There are so many creative and talented filmmakers making films of all sizes in Ireland at the moment. It’s vitally important for them to be seen on home soil in the cinema as the film industry is not only important for our economy, but our culture. Stalker was made on a shoestring budget with friends and passionate filmmakers and actors so to see it on the big screen is a dream come true. This is Mark’s third feature and we all believe it’s his best yet. Mark is a force to be reckoned with and has one of the most distinctive and unique voices in Irish cinema. Five of our lead actors have main parts in ‘Love/Hate’ and we’ve no doubt that people are going to love this film.”