ON SET Castlebar‘s Kevin Henry directing a scene in Soulsmith, which airs on RTÉ One this Friday night.
Castlebar director Kevin Henry will see his award winning Irish feature film Soulsmith air on RTÉ One this Friday night.
It will be the film’s Irish television premiere, airing on RTÉ One at 11.55pm, immediately after The Late, Late Show.
It was the directorial debut of Henry, who wrote and directed the film, with many scenes set in Mayo and several parts played by Mayo people.
Entirely self-funded, the film won Best International Feature at the Austin Revolution Film Festival in the USA last year.
Soulsmith follows the journey Ed Smith, played by Matthew O’Brien, a Dublin based playwright who is struggling professionally after initial success in the Irish theatre world. When he receives word of a family bereavement he travels home to Mayo to attend the funeral and reconnect with family and
friends. Featuring scenic landscapes in the west of Ireland, Soulsmith introduces viewers to an ensemble of characters that Ed meets on his journey. As the past is dredged up, Ed is forced to confront his present and to question the value of his work and the authenticity of his voice.
Shot in Dublin and in Mayo, the comedy-drama touches on issues of mental health and masculinity in contemporary Ireland.
It premiered to a sold-out audience at the 2016 Cork Film Festival.
Locals feature too – Richie Wynne, Donna Ruane, Declan Askin and Tommy Canavan to name but a few.
Speaking to The Mayo News in August 2017, Kevin Henry spoke of the challenges with producing a self-funded film.
“The film was all made with goodwill. One of the hardest things was finding people who would work for free and who would also be very good at what we needed them to do. But we were very lucky in that we got some very good people on board,” he said.
Among the Mayo scenes people will recognise are Castlebar locations like Lough Lannagh and Johnny McHale’s pub, as well as places further west, like Old Head, Silver Strand and Mweelrea. Henry’s home house on Curradrish Road is used as Smith’s home in the film.
Henry says the filming, which took place in Mayo in April 2015, was challenging but fun. “The days can be very long. We worked 20 hours one day … they really were incredible people. You were running on adrenaline.”
Kevin Henry is a son of Jerry and Carmel Henry, Curradrish Road, Castlebar. His brother Jerome is a well-known Gaelic football referee at national and local level.