Danielle Boccarusso as Santino & Alessandro Cimadamore as Anarldo


Writer/Director Federico Rea reveals the true story behind his film Battered Dreams, which screens at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

Growing up we all remember our grandparents and parents telling us the same stories over and over again, and you feel obligated to listen to these each time pretending that it’s the first as you don’t want to offend them. After four failed attempts trying to write fiction, I remembered a story my father told me… countless times.

Battered Dreams is a short film that was inspired by my father’s experience when he moved from Italy into a new country in the 70s. It’s all set in a 1970s fish & chip shop where a young man called Santino chops potatoes while hoping for a better life. His dreams of fame and fortune are constantly trampled upon while working long hours and under a very strict boss, but one night he gets his 15 minutes to shine.


Santino tries the suit on for size


The original story that my dad told me was that he was working hard in the chipper one day and the launderette next door dropped off a suit that had to be collected by someone after hours. My father’s boss at the time, put the suit safely in the back of the shop, waiting for it to be collected. My dad says that he had never seen such a beautiful suit before in his life and couldn’t help himself; he had to try it on, if it was the last thing he did.


Dickie Rock performing

Once he wore the suit, he felt amazing! His fun was interrupted by his boss who surprised him in the suit and ordered him to take it off before anything happened to it. With a heavy heart, my dad took off the suit and hung it back neatly in its cellophane sleeve. Later that night, the suit was collected. As my dad served the last customer that night, he had started cleaning up, when he caught a glimpse of a talk show on the TV and there was my father’s suit on the screen! Dicky Rock was wearing it on TV, when only hours before he had been wearing it whilst battering fish.

My dad has always wondered if Dicky Rock noticed the smell of fried fish on his suit that night, but since he is still waiting to tell him this story, Battered Dreams might do it for him.


Battered Dreams screens as part of the New Irish Shorts 6 programme at the Galway Film Fleadh on Saturday, 15th July at the Town Hall at 10am.


The 29th Galway Film Fleadh runs 11 – 16 July 2017


Preview of Irish Film @ Galway Film Fleadh 2017


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