The Irish World was there at the recent Irish Film Festival London when Tarrac, which we have previously covered, screened on the Friday with the film followed by a Q and A with director Declan Recks, writer Eugene O’Brien and cast members Lorcan Cranitch and Cillian O’Gairbhi.
We caught up with Declan Recks and Lorcan, an Irish World award winner, to chat about the film and the festival.
How does it feel to be here at the Irish Film Festival London for this special screening of Tarrac?
Declan says: “Oh, it’s great. Yeah, it’s always good to see the film with a different audience.
“I’ve seen it in a few different countries now and it seems to go down well wherever we’ve shown it which is always good.
“And first time to screen at the Irish Film Festival in London: Lovely cinema, great sound, great picture, which is always really important.
“And the audience were great. They really seemed to enjoy it and asked some really lovely questions.
“So yeah, really enjoyed it.”
Lorcan says: “It’s an honour really, I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been part of the festival.
“It’s very exciting actually to be part of these festivals.
“They are the things that sort of fuel the industry in a lot of ways because they generate a great interest.”
Declan adds: “It’s a great platform for promoting the film and for getting word out there.
“I think word of mouth that comes from festivals is always really important and you can’t buy good word of mouth.
“So festivals like this are key to a small film that doesn’t have a big promotion budget. Going to festivals and getting the festival audience interested is really important.”
The film’s themes- family, grief- are universal, aren’t they?
Declan says: “I think you don’t have to be from the west coast of Ireland to understand it. You know, as you say, at its heart it’s a story of family and a father/ daughter story, and a story about grief as well.
“And then everybody loves a sporting story. A sporting underdog story: You can’t go wrong.
“I think everybody loves one of those and and to be able to combine the two was great.”
Lorcan adds: “It’s a sports film but it’s got a serious human interest quality and the way they deal with the tragedy and the history of their lives, and the history of their own relationship is something is such a human story for all of us really, which is why I think Eugene has written a really brilliant script and a really brilliant story in that way.
“The energy of the sport runs sort of counter to the heartbeat of themselves really, in a way.”
Declan comes back in: “We were lucky.
“The script obviously is fantastic and we had wonderful cast, and then Kerry, you couldn’t ask for a better backdrop than Kerry. I mean, it’s stunning and the sport itself of Naomhóg racing, which I don’t think has ever really been seen on screen.
“It’s just a really unique kind of setting for this family story and I think that’s why people are responding to it. I think it’s something different.”
Tarrac is the latest film from TG4’s Cine4 scheme which has also given us famine drama Arracht, Róise & Frank (which also starred Cranitch) and the Oscar- nominated An Cailín Ciúin.
Lorcan says: “I think the scheme is hugely important and really, really worthwhile.
“It’s such a welcomed sort of injection into the industry.
“And we have, I suppose, traditionally seen cinema and television in the Irish language as something that is just confined to the western seaboard and getting it beyond that, and getting it outside of the country, it’s great to see it happen.
“And this being treated as a feature film that just happens to be in the Irish language like all these great films and like any other language- French, Italian- so really it’s great for Irish cinema and it’s great for the Irish language as well.”
Declan adds: “This is my third project in Irish, all through TG4.
“TG4 they’re the driving force behind this Cine4 scheme which makes three or four feature films every year but obviously, they’re there to promote the Irish language but they’re also there to promote Irish culture and Irish stories.
“And that’s their main focus, Irish stories.
“And I think Cine4 and all the films that have been made in it are a real credit.”
Lorcan: “And it’s also adding to the indigenous film industry as well, because there’s a lot of young people who are learning about the craft, about cinema and to have the opportunities to work on the pictures, whatever language they’re in, is great for Irish cinema.
“We’ve proven that with An Cailín Ciúin.
“So it’s amazing, it’s great.”
Just one more question for you Lorcan, you joined us for an Irish World awards many years ago, is that a good memory?
Lorcan says: “It is. It’s an extraordinary memory.
“I do remember an extraordinary night in the Galtymore.
“It was like half of Ireland had descended on the Galtymore.
“It was amazing. Delighted to be part of it, really was. Brilliant.”
Tarrac is in UK cinemas now.
Declan Recks is at the Kiln Theatre and Cinema in Kilburn on Thursday 4 January for a special screening followed by a Q and A session. For more information, click here.