BRINGING THE PAST ALIVE ?Filmmaker Kevin McCann (right) is pictured with ‘The Rising’ writer Colin Broderick.
High expectations for The Rising
WITH the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising approaching, award-winning director Kevin McCann and his team are busy working on the first-ever feature-length film about the historic event.
For McCann, ‘The Rising’ is a labour of love and a chance to tell the story of the pivotal events that eventually lead to the formation of the Irish Free State. He hopes audiences will ‘reconnect’ with that era.
McCann told The Mayo News that he feels it is his duty as a director to make the film, which should be released on St Patrick’s Day 2016.
“We have to remember the men and women of 1916 … the centenary is shouting out for something like this to be made,” he said, adding that the film “will address misconceptions, such as the idea it [The Rising] was a romantic misadventure or a political failure.” The film will instead depict it as “a triumph, and a victory that cracked the world’s largest empire.”
The film will centre around Seán MacDiarmada one of the lesser-known signatories of the Proclamation. McCann describes MacDiarmada, a man who Michael Collins held in high esteem, as ‘the second hero’.
McCann and his team, which includes historian Meredith Meagher, hope that through the film, the story of Ireland’s struggle for independence will be brought to a ‘global audience’.
“It has universal appeal and it will strike a chord with a lot of audiences today. It is a story of poverty, dignity and hope and, like the themes of the 1913 Lockout, they are still relevant today,” said Ms Meagher.
The filmmakers look on ‘The Rising’ as a sort of final instalment in a series that includes Michael Collins and The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
The wheels have been in motion for the film for over two years. Towards the end of 2014, a production team will be put in place, with filming to take place across the country next year. Although tight-lipped about names, the director revealed that he has been in talks with numerous actors, including big-name stars and emerging Irish actors.
The film, which already has over 10,000 followers on Facebook, is generating huge interest. Having already secured funding from the film board in Belfast, and raised funds and significant interest through the Irish diaspora, McCann is confident that his production company, Maccana Teoranta, will achieve the $6 million budget the film needs.
“We want genuine support, and like The Rising, we want people to come together … these powerful stories need to be brought to film,” said the director, who plans to launch a crowd-funding initiative soon.