Arranmore is an island community of native Irish speakers who are passionate about football
5th December 2019 by Will Stewart
MadeGood – Please tell me a bit about yourself as a film maker. Is this about Arranmore a typical example of your work? You are part of a film making team, please tell me more about Kamiokande. Do you always work together, and what’s your working relationship like?
I’m a self taught photographer and director. I didn’t go to university or college, I come out of a manual labour / retail background and had my first break in photography when I was 23. I have worked extensively in the music industry for the past 6 or so years, having shot for artists like The 1975, Glass Animals, Django Django, Tom Grennan, and Kele Okereke. I started directing music videos around 2013 and wrote/directed my first short film in 2017. Since 2018 I have worked with a DOP named Stu McOmie. Our first collaboration was on a music video and we just worked really well together, so we’ve continued to collaborate ever since. I’ve also worked with a composer named Jack Brady Spelman on all my films.
MadeGood – How did you find out about Arranmore, and what made you want to make a film about the Island. The football club is a focus of the film, was this intentional from the outset? Or was it the community itself that initially drew your attention?
We were doing a lot of research on football in remote places, and stumbled across the tournament that Arranmore participates in with all the other small island communities around Ireland. It was very intentional to find a story about a football club, but the community aspect of football on the island is where our key interest was.
MadeGood – Was it easy to gain film making access to the islanders, or were they wary at first? They sound proud of their home, what was your impression of the island?
The locals were incredibly forthcoming and welcoming. They were very open to speaking with us about their culture and home on the island. They are incredibly proud of it and they are incredibly proud of it and it shows through the support of their local team. Players who live as far as Leicester will hop on a train to London on a Friday, get a flight to Belfast, take a bus to Donegal, and finally hop on a boat to Arranmore just to get to a game on a Saturday. No joke.
MadeGood – What are you working on next?
I finished a short film in January of 2019 called Early Worm, which is actually releasing online on November 25th via Vimeo. I also very recently completed a documentary called Post 398 which we shot out in New York City this Spring. That will be doing the festival circuit next year before having an online release. At the moment I have a feature length film in early development with the BFI which has been a real focus for me since the Spring.