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Thursday 28 August 2014

'Frank Kelly was always my first choice' - Madeleine D'Arcy premieres her award-winning short film 'Dog Pound' online

Watch Irish writer Madeleine D'Arcy's award-winning 'Dog Pound' starring the renowned Frank Kelly as it premieres online

Denise Calnan

Published 08/04/2014 | 23:29

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Irish actor Frank Kelly might be renowned for his part as the wayward priest in ‘Father Ted’, but Cork writer Madeleine D’Arcy saw his ‘kind face’ as the ‘perfect fit’ for her script-writing debut.

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Frank was always my first choice for ‘Dog Pound’,” Madeleine said, “I had always wanted Frank to play the main character, whose name is also Frank.

“He has such a kind face, he was the perfect fit, the right age,” she continued.

“I had posted him a letter with my script, my CV, the whole lot when I first completed the script, but he never got it.

“Two years later I came into contact with Frank, he said he never received my letter but he would love to play the part.”

‘Dog Pound’ (watch the film above), the delightful short film of a pub monologue that captures the unique relationship between a regular and a barman, is Madeleine’s first script-writing debut and inspiration was close to home.

“My husband Andrew came home from town one day,” Madeleine, who is currently on a MA scholarship in Creative Writing in UCC, explained, “and said he had seen a poor guy begging on the street, who said the Gardai had taken his dog and he needed money to get it back from the pound.

“We never got to the end of the story but it got me thinking. What if someone very kind had given him money for the dog and then realised they’d been duped?”

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Renowned Irish actor Frank Kelly in 'Dog Pound'

‘Dog Pound’ was a finalist in the Waterford Film Festival Short Screenplay Competition in 2012 and won the short film category at last night’s Hennessy awards. Director Tara Quirke hopes that by premiering the film on YouTube today, the four-minute treat will be shared with people around the world. 

Eagle-eyed viewers will recognize the famous Dublin pub Kehoe’s and some will even spot that the barman in the film is the real barman, Ian Murray.

“It’s fantastic to see ‘Dog Pound’ on screen,” Madeleine said

“All this time, people probably thought I was a complete lunatic but finally the work is emerging!

“It’s funny at the moment because everything is happening at once, but I’m so fortunate to have the support.”

Madeleine, who worked as a criminal legal aid solicitor before she became a writer, said writing was always a dream but never thought it would be a realistic career option.

“I had always loved books but I thought writing was much more creative than me,” she said.

“I always dreamed, but I had never thought it was possible. I learned the craft for three years but I didn’t think I was that good to send out some stories. I waited three years before I first sent a story and it was published in the Sunday Tribune.”

And now that Madeleine’s dabbled quite successfully in script-writing, it could bring her career in a new literary direction.

“Pursue film? I would love to,” she smiled.

“I do have several drafts on the go at the moment for several different projects, so we’ll see how that goes...”

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