Kilcummin director is reeling in the awards

Kilcummin's Michael Hayes on the set of his short film 'Toy Soliders'.
Kilcummin's Michael Hayes on the set of his short film 'Toy Soliders'.

Cillian Walsh

MICHAEL Hayes, from Killcummin, is making waves in film industry with his short film 'Toy Soliders'.

This is the 33 year-old's first time taking the director's role in a production and the way things are going, it won't be his last.

Michael's film won the award for best social commentary at the Charlie Chaplin Film Festival in Waterville at the weekend and this follows wins at the Belfast Film Festival earlier this year, Kerry Film Festival last year and the Galway Film Fleadh last year.

Michael is no stranger to the film industry, having spent the past eight years in the business before getting his first chance to direct on Toy Soliders in 2011.

He worked as Production Assistant on the 2006 hit film The Wind That Shakes The Barley, after a stint working in production in RTÉ Cork.

Michael then landed the job of 3rd Assitant Director on fellow Killarney-man Michael Fassbender's movie Frank.

"We went out to Albuquerque, New Mexico in America shooting that one and it was a great laugh with Michael reminiscing about back home and life in Killarney," said Michael.

"Michael [Fassbender] went through his struggles as well and it took him eight or ten years to get his break. It's great to see he's making the most of it now and he's gone on to phenomenal success," he added.

Toy Soldiers revolves around a rebellious 16-year-old who, along with friends, discovers what appears to be two meaningless toy soliders but the consequences of the find have a dramatic effect on all involved.

'Toy Soliders' has a 7.2 rating on the IMDb website and has been described as a "powerful coming of age drama that explores the themes of family, teenage angst and rebellion."

The film is currently been shown at the Soeul International Youth Film Festival in South Korea this week and will be shown at the International Short Film Festival in Paris next month. Michael is finishing up work on the BBC series Ripper Street and begins filming the Mrs Brown's Boys film next week. The future looks bring for the Killcummin man, but he says there's no guarantees in the movie business, "The film industry has no hard and fast rules so you don't really know where you're goning to be working next. You kind of have to play everything by ear."

Michael is up for the Best Newcomer Director's award at the Underground Cinema Awards next month and Toy Soliders is also nominated for the Best Funded Short on the same night.