Blast off for local actor and director at Belfast Film Festival

A short film which showcases one man’s desperate plea for Northern Ireland to enter the space race has won a prestigious award at Belfast Film Festival.
Cailum Carragher from Newtownhamilton.Cailum Carragher from Newtownhamilton.
Cailum Carragher from Newtownhamilton.

Directed by Armagh man, Conor Toner and starring Cailum Carragher from Newtownhamilton along with Armagh actor, Rían Early, ‘Everything Looks Simple from a Distance, won a LUMI Award at this year’s festival.

The LUMI Awards highlight and promote films which have innovation and diversity at their heart, whether embedded in the project’s storyline, soundtrack, cinematography, technology or characters.

The judges noted the film’s ‘impressive and innovative take on a story set within the historical landscape of the Troubles, praising Toner’s film as a ‘fresh and exciting breath of life into an exhausted and abused cinematic period of our local history’.

The judges said: “The beautiful cinematography which was shot in visually striking black and white makes this short film a treat to watch.

“The monologue chopping between its varying locations, the rhythm and strength of the short is carried and maintained at each location by a powerhouse performance from Cailum Carragher.”

The film is set in 1969 Northern Ireland, where one dreamer believes he has the answer to all the troubles and strife - to get our wee country to be the first people on the moon.

Conor Toner’s refreshing brand of comedy contemplates the struggle to stay positive in a divided society, and the optimism/ignorance necessary to fight on.

Newtownhamilton actor, Cailum Carragher, who was recently on our screens in Blue Lights, said he was proud to be in the short film and predicts a bright future for director, Conor Toner.

He said: “This was such a fun project to work on and we are all beyond thrilled that the film won a LUMI Award at this year’s festival.

“Conor has such a unique take on his projects and in this short film he brought something really different to a subject matter which has been explored so many times in the past. While the film was set against the backdrop of the Troubles it carried a message of hope.

“I loved that the judging panel suggested that Northern Ireland entering the space race ‘might just have worked’. The message from the film is that if you are going to have a dream, it might as well be a big one.”

Conor Toner praised everyone who worked on the project, describing it as a labour of love during which everyone brought something unique to the table.

He said: “Growing up in Armagh we were always very aware of space as we would often visit the city’s planetarium, therefore it felt like a natural subject for me to explore, however, tongue in cheek.

“Everyone who worked on the film can be rightly proud of their work and it was such a thrill to accept this LUMI Award on behalf of our whole team.”

To find out more about the film, now showing at film festivals, visit IMDB.

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