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Shoestring Irish comedy wows US festival

IT was made on a shoestring budget but it played to a sell-out crowd at the prestigious Newport Beach film festival in California last week.

Former Tudors' star Slaine Kelly has spoken of her delight as the movie that she co-wrote and starred in won acclaim stateside.

The 30-year-old penned feel-good Irish comedy The O'Briens with co-star Emmett Hughes as a reaction against current Irish movies.

"We were both sick of getting scripts for gritty Irish films through the post. Instead we wanted to write something that would resonate with audiences in America and across over the world," said Slaine.


The Donabate woman plays Una, one of three siblings summoned home to Galway by their father after their mother died.

Arriving from New York, London and Dublin, each of the grown-up children faces a dilemma as they try to live together under the one roof.

However off-screen it was as much of a challenge for producers to find accommodation for the 11-strong cast, including Liam McMahon, Kelly Blaise and Amber Jean Rowan, on location in Headford, Galway.

"Every day we had problems for which we had to find solutions. We had €30,000 to make the film – a fraction of what most movies cost – but we still managed to shoot on location in London and New York."

Directed by Richard Waters, the 84-minute feature had only been completed a matter of weeks before an invitation came to premiere it at Newport Beach.

"We sold 2,000 tickets for the screening. There was such a buzz at the festival we couldn't get everyone in," she added.

The Irish premiere is planned for later this year.