NORTH Kerry film-maker Gerard Barrett will realise a lifetime ambition this weekend when his debut film, Pilgrim Hill, goes on cinema release across the country.
The BAFTA winning film will hit cinema screens this Friday, and will run for two weeks.
Gerard - who wrote, directed and produced the highly acclaimed film Pilgrim Hill - said he is very excited about seeing his first film hit the big screens this weekend.
Before winning his Rising Star Award at this year's BAFTAs, the Knockanure man won the same award at last year's Galway Film Fleadh and New York Film Festival and also scooped the Great Expectation Award at the prestigious Telluride Film Festival in the US.
This weekend's nationwide release of the film is another massive boost for the talented director, who made the film in his native Knockanure on a shoestring budget of just €4,500.
"I never imagined the film would b so successful," he said. "I mean you try to do good work. That's all you can do, but the critical acclaim it has got across the world is astounding. I won't lie, it's exciting, but it's great fun as well. It's mental."
The multi-award winning film tells the story of Jimmy Walsh, a middle-aged farmer living in rural Ireland. Unmarried and ill-educated, Jimmy has unquestioningly assumed responsibility for tending to the remote family land and its livestock, and has taken on the care of his ageing, bed-ridden father in the same manner. His social life amounts to a couple of pints in the pub when he can get away, and Jimmy is clearly finding his life tough. He's not prepared for the turn it is about to take.
"The main thing I wanted to capture was the loneliness and isolation Jimmy was going through," Gerard explained. "I think the loneliness thing hit a nerve with people because I think it is something we all dread and is universal no matter where you are from - the fact of being alone, being lonely and not having the chance to share your life with someone."